Monday, January 30, 2006

Gone Too Soon, Another One

Ahhh, great.

Wendy Wasserstein was a hero to me and to a lot of actors and writers my age. In 1989, the year after I got out of school, Wasserstein was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play in the same season, both for the great The Heidi Chronicles. (Which has been radically misunderstood as a "feminist tract" by a lot of people. Like any examination of the life and times of a smart, capable woman from the 60s to the 80s has to be Steinem-riffic.) She crowned that work with a play for the 1992-93 season, The Sisters Rosensweig, which, yeah, owes some to Chekhov's three sisters in its examination of family scattered and relationships bruised, but she preserves the upper-middle-class New York Jewish milieu (even though the play is set in London; how she do dat!) and the great good humor that were her trademarks. (Check out her delightful kids' book, Pamela's First Musical, which describes a little girl's maiden trip to a Broadway show, where she sees, among other things, the leading lady Ethel Mary Bernadette, and "pairs of well-dressed men." Hahaha.) The Sisters Rosensweig was a hit (for a straight play in the 90s, anyway) and some critics preferred it to the prohibitive audience and critical favorite of that season, Tony Kushner's great Angels in America, Part 1: Milennium Approaches. Not a hugely famous face, she was, nevertheless, a frequent pinch-hitter for David Letterman, who once commented on that very fact after they shared a great interview, even though she had absolutely nothing to plug at the time. Perhaps that's what made it such a great interview.

She spoke to Dave, she spoke to New Yorkers, she spoke to a lot of us. Now Wendy Wasserstein has left the room. I miss her voice already.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

CBS & Warner Bros., RCA & All The Others

Warner Bros. TV and UPN (The "U Peoples' Network;" a black friend called it that so bacdafucoff) are merging to create a new network, called The CW Television Network, to be named for parent companies CBS and Time Warner. Great. Now you have a one-stop shop for all the crap the big four wouldn't buy.

On an unrelated television note, sometime before the New Year the DISH Network severed ties with Lifetime Network. (They replaced it with WE in some markets, and Oprah's Oxygen Network in others.) Normally, who cares, because I have a penis, but there was a full-page ad in the papers today that made me go hmmmmmm. (Scroll to the "See the full-page ad" info and click.)

It's the floating opposites that get me. "46 Sports channels. 7 Pornography channels. 0 Lifetime channels." And? And this, it's more bullshit advertising. Lifetime is whining because Dish has room for 46 sports channels and 7 channels for porn, but no room for the iddy-biddy liddle womens' market? Awww. That of course intimates that women can ONLY enjoy Lifetime-calibre "Mother, may I sleep with the handsome killer while my five kids and I endure my cancer" movies and bullshit talk shows? Why would a major entertainment network ever intimate that women can't enjoy sports? Or even, Christ forbid, a little pornography? Has the knuckle-dragging "Man TV=Sports+Pussy" mindset finally trickled down to the pretty ladies at Lifetime? Listen, doll-faces, women can do lots of stuff now. Anchorman taught us that. Sometimes they can watch a ball game, or even two guys doing a woman who looks almost happy to be getting done by two guys. And I, the proud possessor of a penis (and yes, it's my own), can even watch Lifetime if I want. Hotcha!!! Freedom of choice!!!

Of course, I don't have a dish, but that kind of ad makes me want to buy one just so I can revel in the fact that Lifetime got shafted.

PS you think DISH's flip-flop might have somethig to with the fact that The Most Powerful Woman In The World fucking owns Oxygen?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Skip Town

Ok, I'll say it. Skip Bayless is a moron.

People's Evidence 1, Your Honor. Not only does he lose points almost immediately for saying Seattle has the best baseball park in America (holy shit, are you kidding? Safeco Field is the biggest white elephant of the new parks, not least because it's built on a train yard and looks like four different ball parks thrown together under a roof), but then he gets to the meat of his argument, that the Seattle Seahwks won't make it to the Super Bowl and don't deserve to.

Of course, he was doing what he always does, which is trying to stir up shit by throwing little teeny firebombs that supposedly carry wight because he's a Smarty-Pants Sports Colyumnist With A Bully Pulpit At ESPN. Which is fine, he did the same thing while he was here at the Chicago Tribune, and look how well that turned out.

No, the problem is in the execution. For starters, he does something I can't fucking stand, which is take possession in the argument: He goes on and on about "my Carolina Panthers," "my beloved Super Bowl," "my third-string back," "my tough, smart little overachiever, Nick Goings." (Well, I'm sure young Master Goings will be pleased as punch to hear you think so highly of him, Skipper!)

My fucking God. (Now I'm doing it.) I hate that shit. Now, if Bayless has a vested ownership of some sort in the Carolia Panthers or the Super Bowl, I'll apologize freely and fully. (Or even a season ticket.) Because in no other instance should one use that stupid, jes'-folks possessive crap. And if he does have a financial interest in the Panthers, HE SHOULDN'T BE WRITING ABOUT THEM, SHOULD HE? for the same reason CBS should never have let Bill Walton do color on the Arizona-Illinois NCAA hoops matchup in March 2001, because Luke Walton was on the floor for Arizona. Conflict of interest much?

But not only is he painfully, awkwardly folksy, he also shows us again that so many sportswriters love to churn this crap out in a vacuum. He rails about how the Seahawks have gotten lucky all season long in the league-worst NFC West, with a cupcake schedule full of teams with bad records. Like this is the first time that's ever happened in the history of the National Football League. Sorry, "Skip Bayless's beloved NFL." Like no other team has ever cakewalked to the playoiffs before. The bad record part seems to be true, but I don't really care. And of course, the Seahawks couldn't have gotten this far on skill. No way. They only beat Carolina because the Pants are banged up, and God knows, no team near the end of the NFL season has ever had injuries before! Holy Starbucks, Captain Blindspot!

He hedges his bets a little, praising the Seahawks left side linemen for opening holes for Shaun Alexander, then goes right back to the bullshit by questioning the validity of Alexander's concussion the previous week against the Redskins, and then suggesting the Seahawks played better after Alexander went out not because they wore the Redskins down; oh no, it was because they hate Shaun Alexander. Dude, you tried that shit on Barry Bonds once. It didn't stick then, either.

I know's editors (and the producers of Cold Pizza, aka Woody and Skip:Hey Ladies!) want him to say this shit. But he's a columnist, not a reporter. Not that if he were a reporter, he'd get a free pass. But sports journalism, as irrelevant as it may be, needs to be treated like the real thing, not like fucking entertainment junket journalism. Stop pretending that things that directly affect the outcome of events a)exist in a vacuum unknown to time, and b)involve you personally as anything but a detached observer. Bayless is welcome to cheer and boo for, and even overrate, whichever teams he likes. But not on my time, and not in the God-damned press box.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

You Read it Here First

Just to get this on the record, as I'm sure The Daily Show or Howard Stern or someone will make this observation, too:

Osama Bin Laden's new audio tape sounds like Al Pacino. Especially in Al's low-talker mode, like most of Heat or the scene in Glengarry Glen Ross when Roma is buying drinks and trying to sell Lingk (Jonathan Pryce) the Florida plats. Listen again and I think you'll get what I'm talking about.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Letter To the Vice President

Dear Dick,

You don't mind if I call you "Dick," do you? Not because your name is Richard, but because you're a fucking cock.

Asshole. What the fuck do you think you're doing? 9/11 wouldn't have happened if we'd been able to spy on two of those fuckheads? Really? You don't think they might have, oh, spoken in code on their fucking cell phones or something?

Khalil: Hello?
N: Khalil?
K: Nawaf, are you there? Let's blow up the Pentagon and the World Trade Centers, OK? And if we can get a plane to crash into something else, that would be great, too.
N: Khalil, is that you? Hello?

That's what you would have gotten, asshole. Never mind who dropped the fucking ball before it happened. If a war on terror that creates more terrorists isn't enough for you to wipe your ass with the Constitution, why the fuck would you think we'd have been OK before this happened? Or did you, um, maybe KNOW it was going to happen? And still you can't get ANWR opened up. Boo-fucking-hoo. Asshole.

Look, I know you don't read, like the President, so maybe Tucker Carlson or some other little wonky Republican shit can convert this into digital data and jam it up your ass as he rims you, but then again, it's possible you don't even have an asshole since you may not even be human.

Go. Go the fuck back to Wyoming. Just go away. Or go and do something else.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Reason # 432 Why I'm Probably Going To Hell

It came to me while I was talking to my brother on the phone Monday morning:

"Dick Clark's New Years Slurrin' Eve."

I know. I know. I'd go to church right now if I thought it'd do any good.