The year in diatribes (first quarter)

Dude, let’s sit around and fart, eat wings and watch some football!

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Then check out some strippers, perhaps? By all means, if you’re a “guy’s guy.” It’s your nature. It’s what you’re wired to do.

Trends come and go, but this one seems buried in granite. While it’s an improvement over the Promise Keepers fad (and the aging hippies beating drums in the forest), casting all men as immature frat boys is yet another step back into stereotype.

Of course, my opinion is minimized because of my sexual proclivity. But I know men, straight men, who are actually discreet with their bodily functions. I even know some who don’t like football. And what’s so appealing about watching a bunch of silicon-injected cheese-ettes dance around a pole in the company of, mostly, horny middle aged men?

Think what this “movement” has brought us: Adam Sandler movies, Rob Schneider movies, sluts masquerading as feminists, and what qualifies as one of the worst ditties of all time: “I love football with my friends … and twins!”

So next time your guy shuffles off to the strip joint, serenading you with a belch and greasy hands, don’t let him get away with the excuse: “Hey, I’m a guy.” No, you’re most likely an obnxious jackass.

The third rail of sexual politics

No one ever asked me, or anyone else, it seems, whether lesbians, gays and bisexuals belong under the same minority umbrella as transsexusals. But the activist class has already decided that Alexis Arquette and I share a common struggle, and it’s best not to challenge the queer politburo.

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Yet I can’t resist. So let’s dissect: Arquette decided a year ago that he wanted to become a woman. I decided, about 12 years ago, that I never wanted to sleep with a woman again. Just because we both may be despised or misunderstood (and frankly, I don’t understand the inclination to chop off one’s penis, but it’s not my place to say he can’t, or shouldn’t), does that make us brothers? Or brother and sister? Or … see, it’s confusing.

Why not invite polygamists in? Hey, if you wanna have three wives, go for it. Not my business. But does it have anything to do with me?

As Stephen H. Miller writes on the Independent Gay Forum:

Sorry, but the desire to obliterate your born-gender identity (and, specifically, your detested sexual equipment) in order to live, usually, as a heterosexual has little to do with the gay experience—or simply with same-sex attraction. But “LGBT” activism thrives on obscuring this difference as if it were merely one of degree, further confusing the public regarding the nature of homosexuality.

And don’t think the religious right isn’t paying attention. This isn’t helping the move for gay equality — marriage, adoption, etc. Is that fair? I don’t know. Frankly, I’m not sure how I would’ve adjusted had my mom or dad turned into my dad or mom.

Again, I don’t favor dicrimination of any kind. Nor do I favor this brand of sexual equivalency. Trannies should forward their own case for equality. It won’t be an easy case to make, but, as evidenced in this post, I have no idea how to make it. Nor do many gay, lesbians or (sigh) bisexuals.

Not that we had a choice in the matter.

“I like to watch”

My list of greatest Oscar snubs (since the 1970s … I don’t have all day here, and, presumably, neither do you):

1972
Al Pacino (“The Godfather”) to Joel Grey (“Cabaret”) for BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR … back when Pacino was understated, and often brilliant. Francis Ford Coppola also got robbed that year for BEST DIRECTOR, losing to Bob Fosse (“Cabaret”).

1974
One of my all time faves, the late Madeline Kahn, for her spot-on Marlene Dietrich parody in “Blazing Saddles.” She lost out to Ingrid Bergman (“Murder on the Orient Express”) for BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS.

1976
“Network” and “Taxi Driver” losing to “Rocky” for BEST PICTURE!?! Martin Scorsese wasn’t even nominated that year for BEST DIRECTOR; Sidney Lumet (“Network”) was, but, inexplicably, John Avildsen (“Rocky”) took home the prize.

1979
“Being There” was royally robbed; it wasn’t nominated for BEST PICTURE, but “All that Jazz” was … egads! No nomination for its lead actress, Shirley MacLaine, either, despite pulling off the funniest masturbation scene in film history. And, of course, not recognizing Peter Sellers for BEST ACTOR as Chance the Gardner stands as the greatest injustice in Oscar history.

1980
“Ordinary People” over “Raging Bull” and “The Elephant Man” for BEST PICTURE? Robert Redford winning BEST DIRECTOR over Scorsese and David Lynch?? And no nomination for Anthony Hopkins (who may have done his best work as the caring doctor in “Elephant Man”)??? Damn fools.

1982
Should’ve been the year of “The Verdict.” Instead, it was the year of “Gandhi.” Would’ve been Paul Newman’s first, and most-deserved, Oscar. And what have these people got against Lumet, who directed Newman?

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1986
Only David Lynch was nominated for “Blue Velvet.” Nothing for Dennis Hopper, who was nominated, deservedly, for “Hooisers.”

1989
Woody Allen losing out to Oliver Stone for BEST DIRECTOR. “Crimes and Misdemeanors” is a classic; I dare you to sit through “Born on the Fourth of July” again.

1990
“Goodfellas” not only didn’t win BEST PICTURE, it lost out to “Dances with Wolves”?!? And Scorsese loses to Kevin Costner for BEST DIRECTOR?? And Lorraine Bracco (“Goodfellas”) to Whoopi Goldberg (“Ghost”) for BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS?? I remember screaming at the television many times that year, and not just when Billy Crystal was performing one of his interminable musical numbers.

1992
The year that ruined Pacino, who won BEST ACTOR over Denzel Washington (“Malcom X”) and Clint Eastwood (“Unforgiven”). Pacino’s been in overdrive ever since. I’d be remiss not to mention Marisa Tomei, who won BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS over the likes of Judy Davis (“Husbands and Wives.”)

1993
Like Pacino, when Anthony Hopkins keeps it subtle, he’s sublime. Should’ve won BEST ACTOR for “Remains of the Day,” but instead Tom Hanks got the nod for his showy turn in the overrated “Philadelphia.”

1996
At least Frances McDormand won BEST ACTRESS. But “Fargo” should’ve also landed trophies for BEST PICTURE, BEST DIRECTOR (Joel Coen) and BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (William H. Macy). Instead, those awards went to “The English Patient,” Anthony Minghella (for “The English Patient”) and Cuba Gooding Jr., who went on to star in “Boat Trip.”

1997
Robert Duvall (“The Apostle”) did his best work ever, yet Jack Nicholson (“As Good as it Gets”) gets recognized for one of his more medicore performances. And Atom Egoyan (“The Sweet Hereafter”) was much more deserving for BEST DIRECTOR than the “Titanic”-egoed James Cameron.

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1998
By now everyone must regret giving 15 minutes of fame to BEST ACTOR Roberto Benigni (the Italian Robin Williams … not a compliment). Nick Nolte (“Affliction”) should’ve won. And, regardless of what you think about Spielberg, “Saving Private Ryan” was a helluva lot more worthy a BEST PICTURE winner than “Shakespeare in Love.” And anyone would’ve been more worthy than BEST ACTRESS Gwyneth Paltrow.

1999
A fairly weak crop, as evidenced by the criminally overrated “American Beauty” winning BEST PICTURE. “The Insider” would’ve been a better choice across-the-board.

2000
Julia Roberts shows some clevage and finally wins an Oscar; Laura Linney (“You Can Count on Me”) should’ve beat her out for BEST ACTRESS.

2001
“Gosford Park” was a better movie than “A Beautiful Mind,” and are you really going to tell me Ron Howard is a better director than Robert Altman?

2002
Hard to say what movie should’ve won BEST PICTURE, but there’s no doubting “Chicago” was the worst choice since “Oliver” in 1968.

2003
The year DragonCon took over the festivities, leaving Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray (“Lost in Translation”) empty-handed in favor of, uggh, “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the Kings” (and Sean Penn/BEST ACTOR).

Noted and quoted, the Ford epitaph

From Christopher Hitchens:

One could graze for hours on the great slopes of the massive obituaries and never guess that during his mercifully brief occupation of the White House, this president had:

  1. Disgraced the United States in Iraq and inaugurated a long period of calamitous misjudgment of that country.
  2. Colluded with the Indonesian dictatorship in a gross violation of international law that led to a near-genocide in East Timor.
  3. Delivered a resounding snub to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn at the time when the Soviet dissident movement was in the greatest need of solidarity.

Instead, there was endless talk about “healing,” and of the “courage” that it had taken for Ford to excuse his former boss from the consequences of his law-breaking. You may choose, if you wish, to parrot the line that Watergate was a “long national nightmare,” but some of us found it rather exhilarating to see a criminal president successfully investigated and exposed and discredited. And we do not think it in the least bit nightmarish that the Constitution says that such a man is not above the law. Ford’s ignominious pardon of this felonious thug meant, first, that only the lesser fry had to go to jail.

The year in diatribes (first quarter)

Dude, let’s sit around and fart, eat wings and watch some football!


Then check out some strippers, perhaps? By all means, if you’re a "guy’s guy." It’s your nature. It’s what you’re wired to do.

Trends come and go, but this one seems buried in granite. While it’s an improvement over the Promise Keepers fad (and the aging hippies beating drums in the forest), casting all men as immature frat boys is yet another step back into stereotype.

Of course, my opinion is minimized because of my sexual proclivity. But I know men, straight men, who are actually discreet with their bodily functions. I even know some who don’t like football. And what’s so appealing about watching a bunch of silicon-injected cheese-ettes dance around a pole in the company of, mostly, horny middle aged men?

Think what this "movement" has brought us: Adam Sandler movies, Rob Schneider movies, sluts masquerading as feminists, and what qualifies as one of the worst ditties of all time: "I love football with my friends … and twins!"

So next time your guy shuffles off to the strip joint, serenading you with a belch and greasy hands, don’t let him get away with the excuse: "Hey, I’m a guy." No, you’re most likely an obnxious jackass.

The third rail of sexual politics

No one ever asked me, or anyone else, it seems, whether lesbians, gays and bisexuals belong under the same minority umbrella as transsexusals. But the activist class has already decided that Alexis Arquette and I share a common struggle, and it’s best not to challenge the queer politburo. Alexis20arquette9_1

Yet I can’t resist. So let’s dissect: Arquette decided a year ago that he wanted to become a woman. I decided, about 12 years ago, that I never wanted to sleep with a woman again. Just because we both may be despised or misunderstood (and frankly, I don’t understand the inclination to chop off one’s penis, but it’s not my place to say he can’t, or shouldn’t), does that make us brothers? Or brother and sister? Or … see, it’s confusing.

Why not invite polygamists in? Hey, if you wanna have three wives, go for it. Not my business. But does it have anything to do with me?

As Stephen H. Miller writes on the Independent Gay Forum:

Sorry, but the desire to obliterate your born-gender identity (and, specifically, your detested sexual equipment) in order to live, usually, as a heterosexual has little to do with the gay experience—or simply with same-sex attraction. But "LGBT" activism thrives on obscuring this difference as if it were merely one of degree, further confusing the public regarding the nature of homosexuality.

And don’t think the religious right isn’t paying attention. This isn’t helping the move for gay equality — marriage, adoption, etc. Is that fair? I don’t know. Frankly, I’m not sure how I would’ve adjusted had my mom or dad turned into my dad or mom.

Again, I don’t favor dicrimination of any kind. Nor do I favor this brand of sexual equivalency. Trannies should forward their own case for equality. It won’t be an easy case to make, but, as evidenced in this post, I have no idea how to make it. Nor do many gay, lesbians or (sigh) bisexuals.

Not that we had a choice in the matter.

"I like to watch"

My list of greatest Oscar snubs (since the 1970s … I don’t have all day here, and, presumably, neither do you):

1972
Al Pacino ("The Godfather") to Joel Grey ("Cabaret") for BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR … back when Pacino was understated, and often brilliant. Francis Ford Coppola also got robbed that year for BEST DIRECTOR, losing to Bob Fosse ("Cabaret").

1974
One of my all time faves, the late Madeline Kahn, for her spot-on Marlene Dietrich parody in "Blazing Saddles." She lost out to Ingrid Bergman ("Murder on the Orient Express") for BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS.

1976
"Network" and "Taxi Driver" losing to "Rocky" for BEST PICTURE!?! Martin Scorsese wasn’t even nominated that year for BEST DIRECTOR; Sidney Lumet ("Network") was, but, inexplicably, John Avildsen ("Rocky") took home the prize.

1979
"Being There" was royally robbed; it wasn’t nominated for BEST PICTURE, but "All that Jazz" was … egads! No nomination for its lead actress, Shirley MacLaine, either, despite pulling off the funniest masturbation scene in film history. And, of course, not recognizing Peter Sellers for BEST ACTOR as Chance the Gardner stands as the greatest injustice in Oscar history.

1980
"Ordinary People" over "Raging Bull" and "The Elephant Man" for BEST PICTURE? Robert Redford winning BEST DIRECTOR over Scorsese and David Lynch?? And no nomination for Anthony Hopkins (who may have done his best work as the caring doctor in "Elephant Man")??? Damn fools.

1982
Should’ve been the year of "The Verdict." Instead, it was the year of "Gandhi." Would’ve been Paul Newman’s first, and most-deserved, Oscar. And what have these people got against Lumet, who directed Newman?

1986
Only David Lynch was nominated for "Blue Velvet." Nothing for Dennis Hopper, who was nominated, deservedly, for "Hooisers."

1989
Woody Allen losing out to Oliver Stone for BEST DIRECTOR. "Crimes and Misdemeanors" is a classic; I dare you to sit through "Born on the Fourth of July" again.

1990
"Goodfellas" not only didn’t win BEST PICTURE, it lost out to "Dances with Wolves"?!? And Scorsese loses to Kevin Costner for BEST DIRECTOR?? And Lorraine Bracco ("Goodfellas") to Whoopi Goldberg ("Ghost") for BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS?? I remember screaming at the television many times that year, and not just when Billy Crystal was performing one of his interminable musical numbers.

1992
The year that ruined Pacino, who won BEST ACTOR over Denzel Washington ("Malcom X") and Clint Eastwood ("Unforgiven"). Pacino’s been in overdrive ever since. I’d be remiss not to mention Marisa Tomei, who won BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS over the likes of Judy Davis ("Husbands and Wives.")

1993
Like Pacino, when Anthony Hopkins keeps it subtle, he’s sublime. Should’ve won BEST ACTOR for "Remains of the Day," but instead Tom Hanks got the nod for his showy turn in the overrated "Philadelphia."

1996
At least Frances McDormand won BEST ACTRESS. But "Fargo" should’ve also landed trophies for BEST PICTURE, BEST DIRECTOR (Joel Coen) and BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (William H. Macy). Instead, those awards went to "The English Patient," Anthony Minghella (for "The English Patient") and Cuba Gooding Jr., who went on to star in "Boat Trip."

1997
Robert Duvall ("The Apostle") did his best work ever, yet Jack Nicholson ("As Good as it Gets") gets recognized for one of his more medicore performances. And Atom Egoyan ("The Sweet Hereafter") was much more deserving for BEST DIRECTOR than the "Titanic"-egoed James Cameron.

1998
By now everyone must regret giving 15 minutes of fame to BEST ACTOR Roberto Benigni (the Italian Robin Williams … not a compliment). Nick Nolte ("Affliction") should’ve won. And, regardless of what you think about Spielberg, "Saving Private Ryan" was a helluva lot more worthy a BEST PICTURE winner than "Shakespeare in Love." And anyone would’ve been more worthy than BEST ACTRESS Gwyneth Paltrow.

1999
A fairly weak crop, as evidenced by the criminally overrated "American Beauty" winning BEST PICTURE. "The Insider" would’ve been a better choice across-the-board.

2000
Julia Roberts shows some clevage and finally wins an Oscar; Laura Linney ("You Can Count on Me") should’ve beat her out for BEST ACTRESS.

2001
"Gosford Park" was a better movie than "A Beautiful Mind," and are you really going to tell me Ron Howard is a better director than Robert Altman?

2002
Hard to say what movie should’ve won BEST PICTURE, but there’s no doubting "Chicago" was the worst choice since "Oliver" in 1968.

2003
The year DragonCon took over the festivities, leaving Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray ("Lost in Translation") empty-handed in favor of, uggh, "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the Kings" (and Sean Penn/BEST ACTOR).

Noted and quoted, the Ford epitaph

From Christopher Hitchens:

One could graze for hours on the great slopes of the massive obituaries and never guess that during his mercifully brief occupation of the White House, this president had:

  1. Disgraced the United States in Iraq and inaugurated a long period of calamitous misjudgment of that country.
  2. Colluded with the Indonesian dictatorship in a gross violation of international law that led to a near-genocide in East Timor.
  3. Delivered a resounding snub to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn at the time when the Soviet dissident movement was in the greatest need of solidarity.

Instead, there was endless talk about "healing," and of the "courage" that it had taken for Ford to excuse his former boss from the consequences of his law-breaking. You may choose, if you wish, to parrot the line that Watergate was a "long national nightmare," but some of us found it rather exhilarating to see a criminal president successfully investigated and exposed and discredited. And we do not think it in the least bit nightmarish that the Constitution says that such a man is not above the law. Ford’s ignominious pardon of this felonious thug meant, first, that only the lesser fry had to go to jail.

Hypocrisy alert

According to The Washington Times (links down, so take my word for it), Democratic presidential candidate — and self-appointed champion of the poor — John Edwards never took a pro bono case during his career as a trial lawyer. Reminds me of Bill Clinton — champion of public education — who sent Chelsea to the exclusive Sidwell Friends School.

Kill the bastard

I’m opposed to the death penalty, both in principle and practicality. That being said, I shed no tears when human scum like Richard Allen Davis (convicted for killing Polly Klaas) buy the farm.

And I have no problem with hanging Saddam, though I’m aware of the contradiction. It’s up to the Iraqis; God knows they’re entitled to a little bloodlust.

But provincial Europeans, including Italy’s prime minister, predictably disagree.

TNR honcho Marty Peretz wonders if they would’ve said the same about Mussolini, or Eichmann?

Even if Saddam is not exactly in the category of Eichmann, he–like Pol Pot and other leaders of deliberately killer regimes–has no claim on our conscience. What’s more there is something prissy and finicky in Prodo if Saddam’s fate can touch his soul.

What’s more, one should look at this through the eyes of the Iraqis. If the blood tyrant is not killed it will be as if had been vindicated.