Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I wanna be like Lorne Michaels when I'm old

I was surprised to read about the large number of people Lorne Michaels has banned from Saturday Night Live. I knew about Sinead O'Connor being banned for ripping up the picture of the Pope, but I kind of figured that was just evidence that the Vatican controls the world (in cahoots with the Trilateral commission, the United Nations, Jewish bankers, the Illuminati, and Satan, of course). But it appears that Lorne himself is a banning machine, and most of the offenders haven't challenged the powers that be, they've just been drunk (The Replacements), difficult (Steven Seagal, Robert Blake, Chevy Case), or guilty of "mugging for the cameras" (Frank Zappa, Milton Berle).

The thing is, I totally want to be like Lorne Michaels someday. Not when I'm a regular adult, because acting like a huge diva is just annoying unless you're Naomi Campbell, but when I'm reaalllly old--I want to look like Miss Havisham and act like a petty, melodramatic despot. So watch out--if you get on my bad side now, in 60 years I will totally ban you from my nursing home!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ryan Phillipe and Ashlee Simpson are the poor man's TomKat

Best Week Ever Blog reports that Ryan Phillipe may have recently gotten "dishevelled" with Ashlee Simpson.  I think it's fair to call this the weirdest celebrity couple that has come along for awhile (Mandy Moore and DJ A.M. was inexplicable, but short-lived).  In addition to the age difference (10 years, by my calculations) they seem to be attempting to move in opposite directions on the Celebrity Quality Continuum--Ryan is a Justin Timberlake look-alike who wishes he was Leonardo DiCaprio, while Ashlee is a Jessica Simpson lookalike who wishes she was, um, Jessica Simpson. 

But, and I never thought I would say this:  I miss the early days of TomKat.  Ryshlee might be odd, but they inspire only a short head-scratching, whereas TomKat provoked an intense, multi-stage response:  disbelief, intense Googling, indignation, more disbelief, horror, amusement at the misfortune of others, obsession, attempted burning of Dawson's Creek DVDs, opening windows to air out smell of singed metal, disillusionment, forgetting about it most of the time.  It was a feast of relationship train-wreckage, with a side of Scientology! 

Was TomKat a once-in-a-lifetime event, like a comet?  Maybe not:  that same Best Week Ever entry suggests a future couple that could--is it possible?--blow the socks off TomKat:  Ryan Phillipe and Dakota Fanning. 

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Turn out the lights if you like the the planet and/or weekends

When I work late, as tragically sometimes happens even at Ye Olde Do-Gooder Law Firm, I notice that almost everybody in my office leaves their office lights on when they leave. Seeing An Inconvenient Truth and Children of Men within a short period of time made me feel slightly environmental, so this strikes me as a waste of electricity (and a sign of humanity’s impending doom).

I think I know the reason: people want to create the illusion that they might still be at work, even after they have left. But all this does it push Leaving Work farther and farther into the closet. Going Home For the Night becomes the Love the Dare Not Speak its Name.

So this is a call to arms. Stop covering the fact that you have a life outside of work! Bonus: while you're at it, you might also delay humanity's inevitable self-destruction! Turn out the lights!*

*The quasi-anonymity of my blog means that nobody at work reads it, which may somewhat dampen the effectiveness of this particular call to arms. Ah, the conundrums.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Alberto Gonzales: Live by the not very plausible deniability, die by the arguably slightly more plausible deniability

Ah, time, how you do fly. It seems like only yesterday that I was writing about how the new Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, had twisted himself into a tasty pretzel of nonsensical post-hoc justification to explain why he had dissed Priscilla Owen when they were on the Texas Supreme Court together.

(Review: He said that when he labelled her dissenting opinion "judicial activism" for essentially imposing a Just Make The Dumb Slut Have the Kid Already rule in abortion judicial-bypass cases, he wasn't saying she was an judicial activist, but that if he had written the same thing it would be activism for him. For reals, read it and weep.)

Flash-forward today, when that same kind of preposterous non-explanation is a maybe-firing offense! Gonzales' explanation for the role he was playing while his chief of staff masterminded the firings of a bunch of U.S. Attorneys was a classic:

"I was not involved in seeing any memos, was not involved in any discussions about what was going on . . . That's basically what I knew as the attorney general."

Really, I think the first one was worse.

Monday, March 12, 2007

NCAA whaa?

I'm not gonna join any NCAA pools this year. This is clearly at least antisocial and possibly misanthropic behavior--St. Scobie's pool is its First! Ever! Community! Event!, and the emails about my office pool are the only cheerful, non-work-related "To Everybody" emails that are sent all year.

But despite all the good cheer, taking part in these things just serves to emphasize what a moron I am about basketball, and, you know, I don't like feeling like a moron. I know so little about basketball that I just had to google to confirm that it is, in fact, the sport to which the NCAA pools relate.*

You could say that I might feel less like a moron if I learned a teeny bit about basketball. But no! I'm at that point in my life (almost 30!) when I no longer feel the need to attempt to correct my ignorance. Instead, I'm going to celebrate it as an eccentricity, like those old guys who refuse to learn how to use email and instead have their secretaries print it out for them.

*I realize you can do the pools without knowing anything about the sport, but in the past I've picked teams on the basis of personal affection for certain schools or states, and have thus been personally hurt when, say, Wisconsin (which I love! because people from Wisconsin are so nice!) has done poorly, and Texas Tech (which I hate! for reasons that are a whole nother story which I can tell you another day!) has done well.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Scooter Libby goes to the hoosegow for chauvinist beliefs

One of the more disturbing things about the whole Scooter Libby/Valerie Wilson thing is that it apparently seemed reasonable to the Bush administration to attack Joe Wilson by suggesting that his wife was the person who suggested he should go to Africa.

There are a bunch of reasonable ways you could think of to discredit a political adversary who's said something you don't like: Did he benefit financially from the trip? Was he unqualified to look into Nigerian uranium sales to Iraq? Did he have a book deal, and was just trying to make controversial statements to increase the buzz about it? Did he have an unseemly affection for teenage girls?

Fine, fine. But the information that his wife gave him the assignment? It could be a charge of nepotism, IF it weren't coming from a President whose main qualification for office is that he has the same name as his daddy.

Logically, it only works as "rebuttal" of Wilson's findings claims if you believe:

1. That any man who has to get job references from his wife is a big wuss.
2. That big wusses cannot be trusted to accurately investigate purchases of uranium.

If only Scooter had had the foresight to say, Dudes, this strategy is stoopit and sexist to boot, and I'm not going to be part of it. Alas, poor Scooter!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

First non-chart of 2007!

The non-chart is baaaack! Last year I got into kind of a thing about "In/Five Minutes Ago/Out" charts, which idea I ripped off from Entertainment Weekly. Despite its various new upgrades, Blogger will still not let me make an actual chart, so use your imagination to put this into a 3x3 spreadsheet format:

In: Hilarious Alec Baldwin
Five Minutes Ago: Washed-up Alec Baldwin
Out: Hot Alec Baldwin

In: Decrying real-life torture
Five Minutes Ago: Enjoying TV torture
Out: Torturing bugs

In: Discretion
Five Minutes Ago: Confession
Out: Repression

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ode to Lauren Graham

I wish that Lauren Graham could play every role in every TV show and movie that is ever made, like Eddie Murphy in Norbit except good. In the meantime, I will always have Gilmore Girls.

Despite having a name that reminds you of teacozies, Gilmore Girls is one of the best shows on TV. It's about a 30-something woman, Lorelei Gilmore (Graham) who got pregnant when she was 16, moved to an eccentric-packed small town to get away from her rich, judgmental parents, and raised her daughter Rory into an adorable, fast-talking overachiever who is also her best friend. She's also got major romantic angst--the classic dilemma of Luke the gruff diner owner who's been her friend for years obvious soulmate versus Christopher, her unreliable first love and babydaddy big mistake.

At the end of last season SPOILER ALERT, IF YOU LIVE 6 MONTHS IN THE PAST Lorelei broke off her engagement to Luke due to his closing her out of his life after he found out he had a 12-year-old daughter named I'm A Shark, Please Jump Over Me. Lorelei went to Christopher for comfort and, in a Katie Holmesish move, ran away to Paris and married him, but then blessedly experienced a belated realization that it wasn't meant to be, and now is single again.

Which leads us to the moment in this week's episode ("Will You Be My Lorelei Gilmore?") that made me melt into a puddle of Lauren Graham love and write "LG + TA" all over my folders. Luke showed up at the baby shower Lorelei was throwing for Rory's childhood friend, and told Lorelei that he had finally sold the boat his dead father left to him, after keeping it in an emotional storage facility for 20 years. Lorelei said she'd thought he'd never get rid of the boat. "Well," Luke said, "Things change."

Lorelei didn't even answer, just looked at Luke with a slightly wistful, nostalgic, but not unhappy look which exactly distilled the essence of what it means to be 39 and to watch your daughter's friend become a mother and to talk to your ex-fiance and realize that that part of your life might be gone forever but to also know that your life would still change in ways you couldn't predict, but knew you would be pretty great, although not the same as what came before. Which, who even knew that such a thing needed to be distilled, or could be? Lauren Graham did, is who.

So, anyway, watch Gilmore Girls. If you absolutely can't bring yourself to watch something that sounds like Golden Girls but is missing Bea Arthur, you can start your Lauren Graham education with Bad Santa, where she plays Mrs. Santa's Sister as exactly the strumpety-barmaid-with-a-fetish-for-Santa that you never knew you needed as a mother figure. Thank me later.

Oscars: TomKat rehab?

I had various thoughts while I was watching the Oscars, but I can't liveblog because our laptop was stolen in the Great Home Burglary of 2006, and then over the last four days my thoughts have melted together into a big shiny ball of gold and taupe goddess dresses studded with penguin-shaped interpretive dancers and Jack Nicholson's bald head.

All except this one: I have an ominous premonition that Tom Cruise's fairly innocuous appearance as the presenter of a humanitarian award will, in retrospect, be the beginning of an image rehabilitation. In 5 years we'll think of TomKat as just another Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and the whole couch-jumping, Brooke Shields-bashing, Stepford Katie reality we all recognize now will be swept under a plush rug of talented publicists and charitable work. Terrifying. Eternal vigilance, people!