Category Archives: Hollywood

I can hardly wait to see you come of age

It is a very special day! Three years ago today, my most favorite person was born.

The Nephew is joyous and brilliant and funny and stubborn and I am admittedly biased, but I am quite sure he is the best little human around. I am one cranky mama-jamma, but not when The Nephew’s around. He cheers me right up. You can’t be in a bad mood around this kid. He’s filled with light. Look at that face. Can you look at that face without smiling? Well, maybe you can, but you might be broken, just a warning. You might want to get that looked into.

So today I am spending the day celebrating the birthday of my favorite little person, that somehow I am lucky enough to be related to. I know! Funny how that worked out, right? I get to hang out with him on his birthday and watch him eat cake (when you ask him what kind of cake he will have on his birthday, he looks at you like you’re insane and says, “CHOCOLATE,” like, “duh, ADULT, of course it’s chocolate, what OTHER kind of cake is there?” Mom told him I was coming home for his birthday, and he apparently thought about it for a moment, and said, “She can have some of my cake,” like it was a tough call, but he decided it would be ok. Aw, buddy!) and open presents and swim and play with the other kids and generally be the most amazing little guy around. He’s worth the drive home and back in the heat; he’s worth spending too much money on in presents; he’s worth pretty much anything I’ve got.

The ONLY type of cake. ONLY.

Happy birthday, The Nephew. And a million, billion, trillion more. I love you more than pudding and popsicles and bacon and nailpolish and penguins and semicolons.

In completely non-related news, there has been a lot of celebrity news. Let’s discuss what’s up in the land of celebrities, shall we? Or, as Dad calls it, the land of fruits and nuts.

First: Katie Holmes has left ol’ toothy alien-believin’ Cruise, and balance is restored in the world.

…help me. HELP ME.

In what some could say is the only intelligent decision she’s made in…well…seven years, Katie Holmes finally decided to leave Tom Cruise last week. I can’t believe that she stayed with him as long as she did, honestly. Here’s what I see happening. His gigantic battalion of lawyers will gag-order her to the point where she can say one of three phrases about her marriage to Tom, and never more than one of the three on the same day: “We both want what’s best for Suri,” “We were married for seven years,” and “This is a new chapter of my life.”

Tom Cruise is apparently flabbergasted by this development, and probably went to whoever runs the Church of Scientology now and was all, “YOU PROMISED ME A PRETTY LADY IF I PROMISED TO NOT HAVE GAY SEX THIS IS NOT WHAT I WAS PROMISED” and they were all, “Eh, people don’t always behave according to the law of thetan space operas, what can you do” and then Cruise stomped and stomped and screamed “RUMPLESTILTSKIN!” and tore himself in two and fell through a hole in the floor.

There are a million theories as to why Holmes finally left Cruise; from his religion (more specifically, him attempting to shove his religion down their child’s throat) to his controlling nature (ZOMG he wouldn’t let her do a Dawson’s Creek reunion!); however, I think it all boils down to one, very specific thing:


She’s apparently attempting to get full custody of Suri. I hope like hell she does. He scares the everloving shit out of me, no joke.

(On a related note, Andreas says he thinks I suffer from odontophobia, which is the fear of teeth. Not ALL teeth. Just people with TOO MANY teeth. And who show them too much. That’s all.)

On to happier things. You are all aware, I hope, of the love we have here at Lucy’s Football for Anderson Cooper. And by “we” I of course mean “me.” That was a royal “we.” It’s not a cheerocracy here at Lucy’s Football.

Last week, Anderson Cooper, in a completely classy and understated way (as if he could do it any OTHER way) admitted what most of us had assumed for, well, ever:

I’ve always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn’t matter. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked “the gay question,” which happens occasionally. Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.  The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.

I have always assumed that Anderson Cooper was gay. (So have a lot of people. At one point, he made Out Magazine’s list of most influential gay celebrities, and this was LONG before he even came out.) Mostly, I assumed he was gay because I was attracted to him, because that’s how these things work, you see. Here’s the thing. Doesn’t matter. If he chose not to talk about it? Totally his call. The only thing that worried me is what he addressed in his statement above – that other people (namely, youth struggling with coming out themselves) would see being gay as a shameful thing, something to be hidden, embarrassed by. I love that when Anderson Cooper came out, he did it with his typical grace and style, thinking of others, classy as possible.

I’ve always admired Anderson Cooper. I know this will make some people dislike him, or distrust him – homophobic people who think that someone’s sexual orientation supercedes everything else in their life – but for me, it makes me like and admire him more. He’s a hell of a reporter and a writer, he’s funny, he’s intelligent, and he’s brave, on a lot of levels. And he happens to be gay. What he does in his personal life doesn’t affect me in the slightest. That he’s a role model for other struggling gay kids who need someone to look up to – well, that matters to me as a human being who cares about the well-being of my fellow human beings.

Thank you, Anderson Cooper. You’re wonderful. Good for you.

And, finally, in so so soooo sad news, apparently Chris Brown’s latest album is not being reviewed well, and ZOMG, you guys, what total sadface that is, right? I mean, we should all rally for the poor guy. If someone who beat his girlfriend can’t get another Grammy, I don’t know what the world is coming to. I mean, look. He spells it all out of for us in one of his songs: “Listeners seeking references to Brown’s troubles need look no further than ‘Don’t Judge Me,’ in which he sings ‘Just let the past just be the past … take me as I am, not who I was.'” Oh, well, that fixes it, then. We should all forgive you for beating your girlfriend and not feeling in the least bit sorry about it at all. We should ALL rush out and buy that album, clearly. To fund domestic violence. Clearly. My adorable and lovely cousin is madly in love with him for no reason I can ascertain, so he MUST be a class act, I mean, of course he must. Even when I say, “J., HE BEAT HIS GIRLFRIEND,” she has the response of, “Oh, that was a long time ago,” which explains it, of course. It’s my own damn fault for not being able to forget things like WOMEN COVERED WITH BRUISES.

I’d put a photo of Chris Brown here but I hate him so much I can’t even, so here’s a photo of an adorable sleeping puppy instead. You’re welcome.

Happy Sunday and happy day of The Nephew’s birthday! Day off tomorrow for me, whoo-hoo!

All this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings

If you’re not a Twitter (or even a Facebook) person, you don’t get your news all in-a-flashy like we do, so you might not have found out right away. But Tuesday night, I was sitting around writing something up for another blog (you’ll see, it’ll be out next week) and flipping back and forth to my social networks. That’s what I do when I’m writing. Here, I’ll give you a glimpse behind the curtain. You like that sort of thing, right? You want to see the Great and Powerful Oz?

This is totally me, only less manly. And wizardy. And curtainy.

Here you go. I sit down to write, I open up the following tabs: Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, WordPress. Then I write for a while, and when I’m either stuck or bored or need a break or notice I have a notification in one of the tabs, I flip around and see what’s up. I know I could probably get work done a hell of a lot faster if I ignored (or refused to open) the other tabs (and when I’m in a hurry, I don’t open them at all, and wait to check them until I’m done – I’m not a complete moron about what drains my time) but I like that they’re there, and I like that I can see if people are trying to get in touch with me or if important things are going on or what-have-you.  

So I was writing and writing and flipping around and catching up on back episodes of Haven while I wrote (I have such a weird crush on Eric Balfour with his big old noggin it’s kind of insane) and flipped over to Facebook and saw a post that just said “Oh” and the link said Nora Ephron had passed away. 

And because I am a gigantic sap I totally started to cry. 

Listen, Nora Ephron was a pretty stellar woman. You all probably know her from When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail (the first of which she wrote, the latter two she both wrote and directed) and you might think “meh, romantic comedies, whatever, cheesity cheese cheese” but she was really kind of someone we can all look up to, and it’s a huge loss that she’s gone. 

She interned for John F. Kennedy. She was a low-level mail girl (imagine calling someone an ANYTHING girl now? the mind just boggles) at Newsweek back in the 60s. Why? Because they didn’t hire female writers and she wanted to work in publishing. Her just-for-fun satirical writing with some friends led to her first writing job, with the New York Post. It’s the writer’s version of being discovered at a soda fountain and going on to become a famous actress, I think. (Side note: the person who noticed her writing? The publisher of the Post? A woman. Nice job with the early integration, Post.) From there, Ephron became a well-known reporter, essayist, and humorist, writing for not only the Post, but Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, and New York magazine, as well as collecting her essays into a number of books. 

That’s her with the notebook. And RFK. Neat, right?

So she conquered journalism. She was a hipster feminist, WAY before it was cool.

Also, she looked pretty kickass while doing it.

What next? Well, in her personal life, she married, she divorced, she married again (Carl Bernstein, maybe you heard of a little thing called Watergate? The journalists who broke Watergate? Woodward & Bernstein? This is that Bernstein, and Ephron knew who Deep Throat was THE WHOLE TIME, yo), Bernstein cheated on her with one of her friends, she wrote a scathing screenplay about it (Heartburn, in which she says the cheating husband is “capable of having sex with a Venetian blind,” hee!) and she married again, to a screenwriter, by all reports quite happily. 

70s feathered hair makes me smile. Here’s Ephron and Bernstein before the Venetian-blind-screwing.

So. Screenplays, huh? After she helped Woodward & Bernstein clean up their screenplay for All the President’s Men (her version wasn’t used), her writing caught Hollywood’s eye. Not long after, When Harry Met Sally happened. (Oh, she also wrote Silkwood. So whenever I say I want to Silkwood-shower my brain after I see something especially icky? Thank you, Nora Ephron.) 

Without Nora Ephron (for better or for worse, because YES, I KNOW, it’s NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN) we’d never get the line all women are kind of secretly hoping some guy will say a variant of to us at some point or other in our lives: 

I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. 

Yes, yes, like I said. It’s irrational to expect this. But think about it. Don’t we all kind of want someone to love us not only despite, but for, our quirks? The things that we think, “huh, this is probably driving someone nuts” – someone noticing that? And loving it? That’s something, right? That’s your person. The person that loves you FOR those quirks. The person who notices all of our junk and thinks, eh, we all have junk. The person who wants the rest of their life to start right now, because they found you. Don’t you even say this isn’t a little bit awesome. Is it irrational? Yeah. But it’s also a little bit awesome and kind of true and I love it.

Or how about, “Is one of us supposed to be a dog in this scenario?” or “Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash. But I would be proud to partake of your pecan pie.” Or that they don’t make Sunday days-of-the-week panties, “because of God.” Or “Oh, but ‘baby fish mouth’ is sweeping the nation?” Or (sob) “I am not your consolation prize, Harry.” 

I know that it makes me a huge old girly-girl and I know that it’s creating these unobtainable expectations for romance, but I will always, always, ALWAYS want a When-Harry-Met-Sally romance on some level. Always and forever. I know it’s not coming, of course I do. The practical side of me is well-aware of that. But the side of me that still picks up wishing-pennies and refuses to step on cracks still holds out some hope. She’s optimistic, that one. 

Then Ephron decided, huh. I liked writing that. That went really well. Let’s try some directing, what do you say? 

The first one (This is My Life – heard of it? Nope, me either) wasn’t a home run. I love her a little more for that. If she hit it out of the park the first time, she wouldn’t be as relatable. Then: Sleepless in Seattle. 

Pair up Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan at the height of their squishy adorableness. Keep them separated for most of the movie. Throw in a ton of longing and heartbreak and the statistic (how much did THIS kill the women watching? I was in my early TWENTIES and was a little panic-stricken!) “It’s easier to be killed by a terrorist than it is to find a husband over the age of 40!” The Empire State Building. “That’s your problem! You don’t want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.” (I do. That is my problem. I ABSOLUTELY want to be in love in a movie.) Their faces when they see each other for the first time. “Magic.”  

Yep. Nice job, Nora Ephron. Add “meeting on the Empire State Building” to the “things all women secretly kinda want” list.  

Then You’ve Got Mail. Did everyone love this as much as I did? Or is it just me who was completely swept away in the whole New York City/bookstores and the love of literature/rivals/secret identities/falling in love without seeing each other’s faces thing? I’m ok with it if it’s just me.  

I’m going to quote the hell out of You’ve Got Mail. Listen, I tried to narrow it down. I just couldn’t. I love it so much. 

Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small – and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void. 

I would have asked for your number, and I wouldn’t have been able to wait twenty-four hours before calling you and saying, “Hey, how about… oh, how about some coffee or, you know, drinks or dinner or a movie… for as long as we both shall live?” 

I love daisies…They’re so friendly. Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower? 

What will NY152 say today, I wonder. I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects. I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You’ve got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail. From you. 

Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms. 

When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does. 

The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings. 

I wanted to be your friend…I knew it wasn’t…possible. What can I say, sometimes a guy just wants the impossible. 

And, the line that can make me cry just thinking of it, the line that I didn’t have to look up online for the exact wording because sometimes it comes to mind with Meg Ryan’s face attached, her hopeful, relieved, teary face, and I just get all weepy all over again because it’s just perfect: 

I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be you so badly. 

If it makes me sappy and girly and silly, so be it. But I like the magic in this movie. I like that there are two people out there so, so perfect for each other, and they meet in the least likely of ways, and they, despite all odds, manage to make it work. I like that. So much. I like that it speaks to those of us who spend a lot of our time online – not the “ZOMG WE’RE GOING TO FALL IN LURVE” thing, but the making-a-connection thing through the computer, with someone you’ve never met, through their words and their thoughts and getting to know them through the minutae of their day, you know? I love that. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. The two of them really were the cutest together in these movies back in the day, weren’t they? 

She continued to direct (her last movie was Julie and Julia, which wasn’t that long ago) and write books. She had two children. She had a large group of friends and supported up-and-coming young writers and comedians and directors; many of whom were women. She believed that (unlike a lot of men, both then and now) women in comedy WERE funny, ARE funny, and if they had to work twice as hard to show that? Well, nothing wrong with a little hard work. She openly talked about (shh!) “female issues” – sex, aging, romance, motherhood, divorce – and she made them FUNNY. And RELEVANT. She made them so MEN wanted to read about them or watch them. MEN! Interested in WOMEN’S issues, can you imagine the HORROR? She reportedly had a huge cackle; if you made Nora cackle, you knew you’d done something really special.  

I would have liked to make Nora cackle. I have a cackle. I’ve been told the same thing, actually; that if someone hears my laugh in an audience, from all the way backstage, they know the show’s going well. I’m proud we have that in common. We’re not the type to be silenced. We don’t whisper; we roar. 

I love this. This is 80 flavors of adorable.

She believed very strongly in the power of the written word. From Hilary Rosen’s piece about her in the Huffington Post: “What do you do when your friend Nora Ephron dies? You cry and then you write about it. Because that is what she said to do whenever you told her a story that moved her or amused her. ‘Write about it’ she’d say. It was like Beethoven telling you to play a symphony or Billie Jean King telling you to serve the ball or Springsteen telling you to rock. She was the best of the best and when she said, ‘write’ she was telling you to engage in the noblest pastime she knew.” 

How can you not love a woman who believed in the written word this much? “The noblest pastime she knew.” Chills. Just, chills. 

From Lisa Belkin’s piece, also from the Huffington Post: “’Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim,’ she said in a 1996 speech to the graduating class of Wellesley College.” My college graduation speaker told us to make sure to save for retirement, I think. I’d have liked a speech about being the heroine of my own life. I try to be. I think I’m succeeding. 

And finally, from Arianna Huffington’s piece from the Huffington Post. (See, Nora Ephron didn’t really need to write anymore, and didn’t have time to, really. But when Arianna Huffington approached her about a new blog she was starting, Ephron did some research and realized that blogs were the wave of the future in writing and making that immediate connection. She made the time, because she loved it so much. She was a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and good friends with Arianna Huffington.)

Ephron and Arianna Huffington.

“Nora excelled not only as a blogger but as a blogging evangelist, spreading word of the medium’s particular value and making many converts. She quickly grasped that ‘one of the reasons for blogging was to start the conversation and to create the community that comes together briefly to talk about things they might not be talking about if you hadn’t written your blog.’” 

Savvy woman, that Nora Ephron. 

She intimated she was ill in her last book, but very few people knew she was suffering from leukemia. She played that close to the vest. I can appreciate that. I’d do the same thing. Who needs the sympathy? Life’s too short for that. She passed away on Tuesday from complications related to the disease. 

We lost one of the good ones Tuesday. She paved the way for a lot of women in writing and in comedy. She showed what we can do, us women, if we work together; if we refuse to take no for an answer; if we work our asses off. She wrote beautifully and told it like it was and she loved deeply and she laughed, and she laughed, and she laughed. 

Thank you, Nora. You’ll be missed. In your honor: I think I’ll write.

Well, not just one wish. A whole hatful, Mary. I know what I’m gonna do tomorrow, and the next day, and the next year, and the year after that.

I watched most of It’s a Wonderful Life last night. I’ll watch the rest tonight, then probably start it over again, and then repeat the process Wednesday night. See, I’m in the midst of a present-wrapping flurry (speaking of which, I have totally run out of packing tape. WHO RUNS OUT OF PACKING TAPE A FEW DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS? Me. The answer to that question is me. Good gravy) and I can’t wrap presents without one of three things playing in the background: A Wish for Wings that Work, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, or It’s a Wonderful Life.

I have to have something playing I don’t have to pay attention to, because I need to pay attention to the wrapping, but I need something festive, because Christmas is sucking all the joy out of my brain. So I can’t watch one of the million shows I have recorded, because I’d have to pay attention to them because they’re new to me (I did debate putting on Criminal Minds last night, but as much as Dr. Reid puts me in a mood, it’s not as much “festive” as it is “romantic” so I decided against that.) I blogged about my love of A Wish for Wings that Work and The Grinch already this season. I rewatched A Wish for Wings that Work last night and realized a few things: a., I’m probably the only person that watches this special like clockwork every year, and that’s the saddest thing ever; b., I know every single line in the special and repeat them along with it, obnoxiously, under my breath, with a lot of emphasis, because I am an ACTRESS, as it’s playing; and c., it’s a little disturbing how hard the stupid thing makes me cry EVERY SINGLE YEAR. I wasn’t even HORMONAL last night. I was just ME. And there I was, AGAIN, crying over a penguin who wanted wings that didn’t just sputter. My dad calls that “an allergy attack.” He gets embarrassed if a movie makes him emotional so if I pick on him about it, he says “MY ALLERGIES ARE REALLY ACTING UP RIGHT NOW” and runs off for a tissue. So yeah, Opus the penguin totally gives me an annual allergy attack.

So anyway, It’s a Wonderful Life. To me, this is just about the most perfect movie in existence. And the first time I watched it, I didn’t even like it. I thought it was too long, and I thought it was boring, and I remember I mocked it and upset and confused my friend I was watching it with. Then, the following year, I was all alone and it came on and I had nothing better to do so I actually paid attention, and I realized, DAMN but this is the best thing that was ever created in the history of ever and I love it so much. Also, it totally causes a number of allergy attacks throughout. And there is very little in the world I love more than a good cry.

Apparently, when the movie came out in 1946, it didn’t perform all that well, and people liked it well enough, but weren’t blown away. It got dismissed as overly sentimental. But over the years, it took on a life of its own, and now, every Christmas Eve, NBC airs it (so I can watch it for, oh, I don’t know, the fourth? fifth? time in the month of December, usually while hanging out with my brother and having a few Christmas libations.)

I just love everything about this movie. Is it sentimental? Sure. Sure it is. Throw on a few more pejoratives, if you must. It’s also a little hokey, and overwrought, and sappy. But it’s also heartfelt, and true, and well-written, and inspirational.

I can hear you, you know. “WHAT? AMY likes this movie so much? But Amy is dark and twisty and evil!” Sure, yep. But I love this movie more than just about anything. SUCK IT UP CHUMLEY I’M AN ENIGMA. You don’t have enough time left in the WORLD to figure out the maze that is my brain.

So if you hate it, or you’re just totally over Christmas crap, or you have NO SOUL, move on, Sally. But today we’re talking It’s a Wonderful Life. Because it makes me HAPPY. 

George Bailey

OK, I have a lot of love for Jimmy Stewart. I mean, just look up there. He was a ridiculously handsome man. I love old-timey handsome black and white actors. It’s a thing with me. But Jimmy Stewart just makes me tingle. So tall! So self-possessed! Such a sexy smile! Also, later in his life – westerns. I LOVE WESTERNS SO HARD.

I love everything about George Bailey. I love that he does the right thing, even though he doesn’t WANT to. He’s conflicted. He’s real, like real people are – but he comes through. I love how angry he gets at things. I love how much he loves his family. I love how he just kind of puts his head down and does his work and you watch his dreams dissipate around him and your heart just breaks for him (more on this later.) Also, he’s kind of surrounded by idiots. (Again, more on this later.) I love me some George Bailey, you guys.

Mary Hatch Bailey

Sure, Mary’s kind of a simple woman. She figures out what she wants when she’s like seven or something – she wants to marry George. She told him so, at the drugstore. “Is this the ear you can’t hear in? George Bailey, I’ll love you til the day I die.” That line thrills me every time, and I have a heart that’s black like coal, seriously. And she works toward that goal. But she also goes off to college, so she’s not completely pathetic. And she has a backbone. When George is being all stompy, she stands up to him. Also, Donna Reed is absolutely glowy in this movie. She’s not the perfect goody-goody she became later on down the line on television. She’s beautiful and she’s spunky and she’s funny and she runs around town to save the day. I like Mary because I think she’s like me – she likes a good project, especially when it involves someone she cares about.

(Psst, if you Google Donna Reed, there’s a very strange and kind of offensive photo that I’m not going to post of her in really odd makeup playing a Native American with a really miserable look on her face. It’s really skating the line of bad taste. If you’re entertained by that sort of thing, please, do yourself a favor and employ your Google-fu. You’re welcome.)

Wizened-up scurvy little spider Mr. Potter

I know, you’re probably supposed to hate Mr. Potter, all broken in his chair and spinning his little webs and being all evil, but I love him. He’s so nefarious! So wicked! When he steals that money from Uncle Billy you get a naughty little thrill. I love the scene where he’s trying to buy George by offering him everything he ever wanted and he realizes that George can’t be bought. The look of surprise and disgust on Lionel Barrymore’s face is perfection! I also love the scene when George comes to him for help when Uncle Billy loses the money (that Mr. Potter himself stole) and George says “I misplaced $8,000” and Mr. Potter says, incredulously, “YOU misplaced $8,000?” It had never crossed his evil little mind that someone might actually shoulder the blame for something they didn’t do to save someone they loved. I love when George runs past his office after he’s come back to life and yells “Merry Christmas, Mr. Potter!” Mr. Potter retorts, “And a happy New Year to you! IN JAIL!” Mr. Potter! You are the genesis for Mr. Burns and I love you! 320 Sycamore

Aw, I love that old house, too, Mary. I love that Mary all secretly buys it behind George’s back and that it was what she wished for when she threw the rock. I love the round thing (that probably has a name, I don’t know, I’m not an architect) that keeps falling off the staircase railing and how George kisses it at the end. I love George’s rant about how “this drafty old house” is killing everyone. I want a 320 Sycamore. There’s a 320 Sycamore-esque house in the woods we drive past on the back way when I go home to visit my parents that I totally want. Someday I’m going to win a meeeeelion dollars and buy it and then have all the rescued animals there and live like a weirdo and be so so happy.

The dance where they fall into the pool

I love the whole dance. I love that the guy that Mary’s there with is Alfalfa from The Little Rascals and he’s kind of hot but totally annoying and I love that George tells him to “stop annoying people” in such a grumpy old-man voice. I love their Charleston contest. I love that Mary’s face just lights up when she sees that George is there. I love that George’s face just lights up when he sees that Mary turned out very nicely, thank you. I love that the floor opens up and they dance oblivious to the widening gap. And I love that they keep dancing once they’ve fallen in.

The walk home from the dance

The walk home from the dance, with George in an old-timey basketball uniform and Mary in a huge bathrobe because their clothes were wet. Singing “Buffalo Gals.” “This is a very interesting situation!” “What do you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.” “Why don’t you kiss her instead of talking her to death? Oh, youth is wasted on the wrong people.” They are the CUTEST. Then, as all good things do, it comes crashing down. George gets a glimpse of happiness and finds out that his father has had a stroke. Mary’s face as he runs away, her eyes wide and worried, kills me. 

George & Mary’s wooing scene

George showing up at Mary’s house, all out of sorts because he’s realized that Harry’s not staying in Bedford Falls, so that means that George, yet again, is left holding the bag. Mary, so excited to see him, with all of her little preparations – the record, the needlepoint she’s made. And then George being the CRANKIEST HUMAN BEING ALIVE. It makes me laugh EVERY TIME I SEE IT. Mary asks him if he likes Harry’s new wife. “Well sure I like her. SHE’S A PEACH.” Out of nowhere, sitting on Mary’s couch: “I see it still smells like pine needles around here.” Who SAYS things like that when they’re trying to woo someone? George Bailey, that’s who. But don’t worry, Mary holds her own. When her weird, meddly mother sticks her nose in (my brother is convinced the woman playing her mother is a man, and she does have a very masculine voice, yelling down the stairs) asking what George wants, Mary yells up, as pert as can be, “He’s making violent love to me, Mother!” I love Mary so hard for that, I can’t even tell you. Then Sam Wainwright, Mary’s current beau, or who THINKS he’s Mary’s current beau, calls.

Listen, if this scene doesn’t get you at least a little hot, you might be broken. I pretty much AM broken and it gets me totally hot. The tension between the two of them in this scene is OUT OF CONTROL. I read somewhere that Jimmy Stewart thought this scene was stupid and didn’t work and he improvised most of it. Uh mah gah. This scene is one of the sexiest things in the whole planet. Well, until he kisses her, because that’s kind of weird and wooden and it looks like he’s eating her face. But up until they kiss, it is the sexiest thing just about ever ever ever. “I don’t want any plastics, and I don’t want any ground floors, and I don’t want to get married! To anyone! Ever! You understand that? I want to do what I want to do!” Oh, George. You were lost the minute she walked into your drugstore when you were a kid and asked what coconut was, and you know it.

The run on the Savings and Loan

I love the run on the Savings and Loan, even though it makes me angry. I love when Mary runs in with their honeymoon money all, “How much do you need?” because Mary is the most kickass. I love the woman that only asks for a little money and how George kisses her right on the mouth for it. I love Potter’s whole “fifty cents on the dollar, my pretties!” scheme that doesn’t work out for him. Love, love, love.

George realizing he’s going to be stuck in the town forever (multiple times)

Every time George realizes he’s going to be stuck in the town forever and another one of his plans falls apart my heart breaks a little bit more and I think I’ve seen the movie probably upwards of 100 times. First he has to stay in town to keep the Building and Loan running after his father dies. Fine! Fine, he’ll do that for four years, while Harry goes to school, it’s for the best of the town, it was his father’s dream. Once Harry comes back, they’ll swap places. But wait! Harry’s back and has a kickass job offer in Buffalo and a hot new wife! Well, George can’t be selfish and expect him to back out on THAT, now can he? So he stays. Then he’s going on a honeymoon with Mary, all over the world! But wait, the Building and Loan’s about to close! Well, let’s use the honeymoon money to save it. Then Potter offers him a dream job, with all of the money he could want and a chance to travel! But he can’t take it, because that would mean selling his soul. Then he and Mary start having children. Every chance he has to escape and live the life he thinks he was meant to, he’s stopped by one thing or another. And every time, my heart hurts for him, because who hasn’t had that happen to them? And Jimmy Stewart is amazing with this – his look of eager anticipation, followed by the slow leaking-in of realization and loss, is a wonder to watch.

Harry Bailey. Harry Bailey topped ‘em all!

Every time the angel narrator is telling about the war and says “Harry Bailey. Harry Bailey topped ‘em all!” I cry a little. I know it’s stupid. I just really, really like that line. And I like that George is strutting around town all proud brother with a cigar. Listen, Harry, you couldn’t have topped ‘em all if George hadn’t saved you. Don’t forget that, Fighter Pilot Champion.

Effing Uncle Billy, why’s he live with so much vermin anyway

I am always totally annoyed by Uncle Billy. I know you’re supposed to feel bad for him but mostly I think he just needs to be institutionalized. I think he’s mentally ill. My father stops watching every time right before Uncle Billy leaves the money in the bank because “I hate that stupid old man, he ruins EVERYTHING.” So he watches right up until that part then he leaves the room, which always makes me laugh. Also, Uncle Billy lives in a house of vermin. He has that crow, which he brings all over, and you know it probably shits everywhere, gross nasty thing, then when you see his hoarder-style house he has a damn SQUIRREL running around. What the hell, Uncle Billy? Those are NOT PETS. Those are VERMIN. The only good thing about Pottersville is that Uncle Billy’s in the nuthouse, where he belongs. Yes, I like Mr. Potter better than Uncle Billy. Sorry. I might be squishy about this movie but it doesn’t make me not Amy.

Those kids are totally the most annoying

When George comes back to the house and the kids are screaming and banging away on the piano and “Scuse me! Scuse me! Scuse me!” and “Dad Dad Dad how do you spell frankincense” and “I want to give my FLOWER a drink” I think I’d probably jump off a bridge, too. LOUD NOISES!!!! Also, who names their kid Zuzu, and I love when he yells at the teacher in that scene over the phone and Mary’s all “Well, she’s hung up” and George snarls, “I’ll hang HER up.” Hee!

George not even hesitating when he jumps in after Clarence

It’s just a teeny, tiny, not-even-a-second thing, but I think it speaks volumes about George’s character that it’s a snowy night, he was just about to commit suicide, and when he sees someone in the water drowning, he doesn’t even think twice – he throws himself over the bridge to save him. Not even a moment’s hesitation. None. I love that scene.

George realizing the implications of not being there for everyone

Clarence (who also kind of annoys me, sorry, I hate stupidity and I hate dumb innocence) bringing George around, showing him what was different, kills me. The worst is the cemetery. “Harry Bailey was a hero! He saved every man on that transport!” “Every man on that transport died because Harry wasn’t there to save them – because you weren’t there to save Harry.” Oh, tears. I mean, allergy attack! Allergy attack!


It makes me laugh SO HARD EVERY TIME that the WORST THING the filmmakers or screenwriters could think of for a fate for Mary was that she was a spinster librarian. Wouldn’t it have been worse if she was a hoochie-cooch girl at that bar that Violet is being kicked out of, or something? OH NO! “You’re not going to like it, George!” Clarence warns, when George asks him where Mary is. And you think, oh, shit, she’s married to Sam Wainwright. Or is it worse? Is she married to Mr. POTTER or something? And IT’S SO MUCH WORSE. She is a LIBRARIAN. And she – GASP!!! – is UNSEXILY ATTIRED and LOOKS PLAIN and ISN’T SMILING. I know. I KNOW. Fate worse than death, you guys.

The town comes through 

This scene gives me so many allergies I need to take an Allegra-D. I love that Mary runs in and she’s all bright-eyed from the cold and she sees George and she’s just so happy he’s alright and she’s hatched this little plan, and she’s got all the people rounded up, and they just start coming in and coming in and COMING IN, putting money after money after MONEY in the basket. And Harry comes in, because he’s eschewed his celebrations in order to be there for his big brother. And Sam Wainwright sends a telegram, saying whatever George needs is his. And then Harry toasts – “To my brother, the richest man in town.” SO MANY TEARS. I’m a little teary WRITING THIS. And it’s NOT EVEN ON. I know. Seriously, this movie gets me every time.

So thank you, Frank Capra, for making a movie sixty-five years ago – before my FATHER was even born! – that still makes me cry and laugh and puts me in the Christmas spirit every single year. I need that this year, more so than most years. It is much appreciated.

I’d totally let George lasso the moon for me. Any old time at all.

I’m picking up a chant from the student body…they’re chanting for Rudy.

Apparently, when I blogged about Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer the other day and said I wasn’t going to be talking about Rudolph Nureyev, this upset some people, as they thought that a., they should have a SAY in what gets DISCUSSED around here, and b., they thought that I talk about more weighty matters than, say, crappy Christmas specials or hammering people over the head if they don’t follow the arbitrary rules of Twitter I set up while eating chicken fingers in the dark.

Well, THAT’S distressing. I mean, come on, it’s like you people want me to use my BRAIN or something. I know all about bad (and good, and, well, MOST ALL, actually) television. And about all kinds of random ephemera that doesn’t rate high enough on anyone else’s crap-o-meter to get noticed. Sure. Sure I do that. But historical figures with the first name Rudolph? I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THESE PEOPLE.

I like history quite a bit, sure, but I’m not a SCHOLAR of people named RUDOLPH. I mean, who is? What an odd thing to be a scholar about. Also, ALSO! What’s up with you people thinking you get to VOTE on my blog topics, hmm? Is this suddenly a blog-ocrocy? It is NOT. It is a DICTATORSHIP and I am GRAND HIGH POOBAH. I have a HAT with a TASSEL and a LITTLE CAR with BULLETPROOF GLASS.

Shit, I totally don’t have any of those things and I’m pretty sure my minions will revolt if I don’t give them what they want once and a while, right? And I love my minions. They’re the best minions in the history of minioning.



(with additional notes from my brain)

Rudolph Giuliani

This smile screams "Have I got a lemon I MEAN A REALLY GOOD PRE-OWNED CAR FOR YOU!"

Famous for: being the mayor of New York City during 9/11

Rudy Giuliani was born in 1944. That makes him 67. Aren’t you totally impressed with the math skills I did on paper just now? I thought so. He was a lawyer and a businessman and a mayor and he smiles a lot.

He was the mayor of New York City from 1994-2001. This was during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I wasn’t living on that coast at the time, so I don’t know what the local sentiment was, but from across the country, I thought he was doing a pretty decent job of holding it together. Also, he went on Saturday Night Live not long after the attacks and that was nice of him.

I think every once and a while he makes some noise about running for president but nothing really ever comes of it. I think the problem is, he kind of looks like a really desperate used-car salesman. Like, “OH MY GOD PICK ME PICK ME” and that’s not as much confidence-inspiring as it is sad. He actually reminds me of that guy from Glengarry Glen Ross who’s also on The Simpsons, you know, Old Gil? That guy? Who’s all desperate and “Come on, Old Gil needs a win, aw, this just isn’t Old Gil’s day!”

Apparently he’s had some marital issues. It’s that smile, seriously. It’s creeptastic. That’d be all coming at you in the dark, just imagine that. No thanks.

Oh, and he had a weird son who was all jumpy when he was being inaugurated for the first time and Chris Farley played him on Saturday Night Live. Aw. Chris Farley. I miss him so much.

Should I have blogged about him rather than Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer? NO. He’s totally boring compared to the Bumble. Come on, guys.

Rudolph Valentino

So effing dreamy. I can't even. I have a thing for Roman noses, bee tee dubs. Yowza.

Famous for: being a super-hot Italian silent film star; dying young

Rudolph Valentino was totally rawr-worthy, and apparently women in the 20s wanted to lick him while men in the 20s were all “ugh, whatever, he is GREASY” and thought their women should be wanting to bone Douglas Fairbanks. Listen, whatever, I would totally do either one of them. They are both DELICIOUS. Well, no, not NOW. They’re dead now. Sheesh.

Don't even tell me you wouldn't have wanted to be in a Valentino/Fairbanks sandwich.

But anyway, he was in a bunch of silent films, and all the ladies swooned, and all the men were filled with jealousy and called him effeminate (this is how people in the 20’s yelled “fag” out of car windows) and Valentino tried very hard to shake off these rumors by sleeping with all of the ladies and also boxing. Aw, poor sexy Valentino. Listen, Valentino. They were totally just JEALOUS. I mean, nowadays, all these years later, when someone’s a famous lover and totally hot, they call him a “Valentino.” They don’t call him a “Frank” or whatever those people’s names were. DON’T BE SAD MY ITALIAN STALLION.

Also, he wrote a book of poetry called Day Dreams. I kind of am having a day dream about Valentino right now. Also Fairbanks. Let’s be frank. I’m an equal-opportunity daydreamer.

So he was super-famous, and randomly married a lesbian, then another lady once that didn’t work out for him, and then when he was 31, died of complications of appendicitis. What the hell? That seems unfair. He was totally too pretty for that to happen. 100,000 people lined the streets of New York City for his funeral. I’m going to guess most of those people were of the female persuasion.

Should I have blogged about him rather than Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer? Maybe. He’s kind of a total fox.

Rudolf Nureyev

Who's a BAMF? Nureyev. I want to go on a crime spree with him.

Famous for: ballet and awesomeness

This is actually totally kind of sad and also awesome. So Rudolph Nureyev was the biggest Russian ballet dancer in all of the land, and went on tours, until Russia was all “nyet nyet” and made him stay in Russia. He was totally all subversive and a bad-ass, though, and one day, one of the other top dancers fell ill and he had to replace him on his European tour. He scandalized Mother Russia by fraternizing with PARISIANS ZOMG and then in a dashing bit of derring-do, he ESCAPED and defected and stayed in France. I’m kind of totally in love with Nureyev right now. Aw, and then while touring Denmark, he met and fell in love with another ballet dancer, Erik Bruhn. Squee, Nureyev! That was in 1961. He wasn’t allowed back into Russia until 1987, to visit his dying mother, because Russia was totally in a snit about him taking off like that. I would be, too. He’s totally the coolest. And apparently he appeared on The Muppet Show and danced “Swine Lake” with Miss Piggy. Heh.

This is a sentence I stole from Wikipedia (which is scaring me lately, WHY ARE THERE ALL THE THUGS AND WITCHES AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE LATELY WIKIPEDIA) that I love about Nureyev: “Nureyev was notoriously impulsive and did not have much patience with rules, limitations and hierarchical order.” Yep. ME TOO NUREYEV.

Erik Bruhn died in 1986 and Nureyev died in 1993. They both suffered from, and died from, complications from the AIDS virus. THIS IS SO DEPRESSING MINIONS I CAN’T EVEN.

Should I have blogged about him rather than Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer? Yeah, maybe. He’s really kind of interesting. But then I’d have to do all the serious research, and also maybe the KGB might put me on their “people to kill” list or something, and I don’t have time to run from the law right now. I’m very busy.

Maya Rudolph

I also totally dig her freckles. And I liked her Donatella Versace impression.

Famous for: being on “Saturday Night Live”

I know, this one’s cheating, right? TOO BAD. It’s STILL MY BLOG.

I love Maya Rudolph because she’s totally not afraid to make a complete and total dork out of herself. That makes me happy. Also, were you aware her mom was Minnie Riperton, who sang that “Loving You” song that goes so high near the end that only dogs can hear it? AND she’s in a relationship (and has three children) with Paul Thomas Anderson, who directed Magnolia. What’s my favorite movie in the whole, whole world, quick, anyone, QUICK I SAID? Yep. Magnolia. ‘Tis true.

One of my favorite things Maya Rudolph did on Saturday Night Live was Glenda Goodwin, Attorney at Law, who wanted to protect you from things like thunderwolves. I am heartily amused by the inane sketches that no one likes that are on very late at night.

Also, she’s in movies now, and also on that show Up All Night, doing her Oprah impression but pretending it’s something else, but I never much liked that impression to begin with so I don’t watch that show. Sorry, show.

Should I have blogged about her rather than Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer? Only if it was part of a Saturday Night Live themed post. Which I’m totally going to foist on you guys someday. I LOVE SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE SO SO SO MUCH IT’S REALLY EMBARRASSING TO THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE ME.

INTERLUDE – The internet tells me that Rudolph means “famous wolf” or “wolf fame.” That’s odd. And funny. In other news, Amy means “beloved.” I KNOW RIGHT. That couldn’t be MORE true.

Rudolph, Wisconsin

My hometown had like a gun on the sign or something, I think. I like the deer better. More welcoming.

Famous for: The NASCAR driver Dick Trickle lives here. THIS IS A REAL PERSON’S NAME. Also, there’s a place in town called “The Wonder Cave.” I wonder if Dick Trickle’s ever been in The Wonder Cave? EUPHEMISM? You decide.

Seriously IT IS HIS REAL NAME. I couldn't even BEGIN to make something like this up.

Rudolph, Wisconsin is a village with 423 people in it. One of them is named Dick Trickle, and there’s a place called The Wonder Cave. In The Wonder Cave, there are all kinds of God things, like statues and sayings and religious curios. That’s not so wonderful for those of us who would go down there expecting vampires, stalactites or Sleestaks. MISLEADING.

It *looks* wonderful, from the outside. Inside it's all Virgin Mary statues and praying stations. I KNOW.

People in Rudolph, Wisconsin, are almost all white and almost all rich, and they seem to like dairy a lot because they have a whole factory for dairy products, according to that scary woman on Wikipedia who wrote like a kabillion articles and looks like she has a gingerbread house in the woods.

Dick Trickle. WHY DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS SOONER INTERNETS. (Side note: my father, who loves NASCAR, says that Dick Trickle is not a funny name at all. When I said it IS a funny name, and reminds me of that old “The Yellow Wallpaper by I.P. Freely” joke, he said “Stop making fun of poor Dick Trickle,” and then I laughed until my nose ran for like an hour.)

Should I have blogged about this rather than Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer? Um, yeah, probably. What are the odds that someone named Dick Trickle’s going to move to a town with less than 500 people in which there’s a place called The Wonder Cave? I mean, that’s comedy GOLD, people. You couldn’t make something like that up if you TRIED.

There are other Rudolphs and Rudolfs in the world – Rudolf Steiner was an Austrian philosopher who founded Anthroposophy, which I KNOW sounds made-up but it’s totally a thing; Rudolph Isley is one of the Isley Brothers; Wilma Rudolph won three gold medals in the 1960 Summer Olympics for being super-fast; Rudolph I of Germany was a king but I find kings and such totally confusing; and Rudolph Farnsworth is a villain on some show called Kim Possible, which is a really horrible pun, seriously. I’m sure there are others as well.

Are you HAPPY, minions? There. Now you know some THINGS about OTHER RUDOLPHS. With PICTURES. Don’t EVEN say I didn’t give you anything during this holiday season.

I still think Rudolph is a whine-ass and that the Bumble should have eaten him and his whole family. And PS, when I told my mother I blogged about Rudolph, she said, and I quote, “You talked about how much you loved The Bumble, didn’t you. We should have known there was something not quite right about you from the beginning.”

YES. THANK YOU, MOMMY. I love YOU, too. *smooooch*

Remind me to renew that restraining order, because I’m going to blast that flick on the internet tonight.

I have a lot of opinions about things. I know, I know, you can feign innocence, with your big doe-eyes and your “whaaaaat? Not YOU!” Be quiet. I have very strong opinions, and I’m not shy about them. It’s not something I’m apologetic about. Why should I be? People make LIVINGS out of blasting the world with their opinions. And you know what they say about opinions. Opinions are ubiquitous and a common, shared trait we all hold dear. What, you thought I was going to go scatological with that?

Well, I am going to be talking about Kevin Smith today. I thought probably I should just ease you into the dick and fart jokes. I didn’t need put the word asshole in the first paragraph. That’s just vulgar.

(Side note: – Conversation with my [very conservative] dad when I told him about the topic of today’s post:

Dad: Why would you write about him? Don’t get me started on him. I hate him.

Me: What? Why? You never hated him before.

Dad: He keeps going to Occupy Wall Street.

Me: Kevin Smith? I think you’re talking about someone else.

Dad: Oh, ho, ho. Nope. He’s all OVER Occupy Wall Street. And it’s ironic because he’s one of the 1%.

Me: Kevin SMITH? Is one of the 1%? I don’t think so, Dad. I mean, I think he’s doing OK, but I don’t think he’s swimming in money. And he Tweets everything. Like, I think he’d Tweet from the BATHROOM. I find it hard to believe that if he was at Occupy Wall Street he wouldn’t have mentioned it.

Dad: He IS. I SAW HIM. On the NEWS today. And people were talking to him about that movie he made, bashing the president, and that anti-gun movie, and…

Me: Are you talking about Michael Moore?

Dad:…yes. Michael Moore. That’s who I’m talking about. You’re not blogging about Michael Moore, are you.

Me: No.

Dad: I like Kevin Smith, don’t I.

Me: Yes. You liked Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

Dad: I did like that. Yes. I like Kevin Smith. That’s a good idea for a blog post.)

I’ve talked about this before – most in-depth, probably, here, and also a little here, but Kevin Smith is (well, was, as it’s a done deal, thanks, Woodstock Film Festival!) on my short list of idols I want to meet in person. I know he has his detractors. I’m not completely innocent to the ways of the world. I know there are people who’ve never liked his films, who think he’s too self-promotional, who think he’s loud and crude and 0bnoxious and untalented and doesn’t deserve a place among auteurs. I get it. I hear you.

Thing is? I love him.

I loved Clerks the minute I watched it in 1995, on VHS in a friend’s living room. I loved Mallrats, also on VHS, in my apartment, the following year. I loved Chasing Amy (my name! In a movie title! Aw!) with its little baby Affleck and its lifelong beginnings of my Jason Lee crush. I ADORED Dogma. Still one of my favorite movies of all time. Still moves me to tears. Clerks The Animated Series? One of the funniest moments on television in my entire life (more on this below.) Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back? Stupid as hell. Loved every minute of it. Jersey Girl? Not his finest moment, but appreciated what he was attempting. Clerks II? Enjoyable, foolish, dorky, fun. Zack and Miri Make a Porno? I loved it. Sorry, I know this kind of got drubbed in the press but I really enjoyed. Red State? Crazy-ass departure for Smith. So proud to see how far he’d grown.

I know. I omitted Cop Out. Haven’t seen it. I know. He directed it. He didn’t write it, and from what I’ve read, it sounds like his heart wasn’t in it. I kind of don’t want to believe it exists, so as long as I ignore it, maybe it doesn’t. I live in a fantasy world. Leave me alone.

(The Clerks The Animated Series scene that still makes me laugh, years later? And BTW, this was cancelled too soon, it was AWESOME.  All you have to say is “Who is driving?” and I am GONE. Here. All for you, Damien!)

OK, so here’s the thing. Kevin Smith has brought me a hell of a lot of enjoyment over the years. And he’s just a geek. He loves geeky things, like comics and video games and, yes, scatological humor. He’s never put himself out there as more than he is. He’s very self-deprecating. He’s a good guy, who loves his friends, who works his ass off, who really, really loves what he does. And he makes me laugh. Like, tears in my eyes. And sometimes he makes me cry. And I love him for it. Yeah, sure, they’re probably supposed to be guy movies. Whatever. I like dick and fart jokes as much as I like something dark and moody. I’m allowed. And when I love someone, and they’ve been there for me for years (and since Kevin Smith movies have been there for me since 1995, I’d say he’s stuck around through some pretty serious shit, so good on you, Kev), I get very momma-bear. Like, claws and teeth and BACK THE EFF OFF MY CUB, YOU.

So this happened this week, and you know what?

You can just totally bite me, Sam Adams.  (Really? Sam Adams? That’s…um…a beer or something? Isn’t it? I think I’d probably change that. Just my opinion, that’s all. Opinions. You know how it goes.)

OK, first off, “Kevin Smith’s Army: How his loyal fans prop up a stunningly mediocre career?” Yeah. That’s nice. Are we in a war? I’ll fight for Kevin Smith. I’ll do it with words, right now, Sam Adams, you hoppy mofo. Also, wow. OK, like I said, opinions, assholes, we all have them, blah blah blah. Or is it some people ARE assholes? I always get these things wrong. My apologies.

Now, on Twitter, Sam Adams said that he didn’t write the header/subbheader. So I guess that’s The Slate’s work. Which, BTW, The Slate, I honestly didn’t know you still existed until someone pointed out this article to me. So that’s nice. Good for you, still hangin’ in there! Like a lil’ ol’ kitteh in a treeeeeee! Also, your site sucks and keeps crashing my computer. NOTHING like a kitteh in a tree. Kittehs in trees NEVER crash my computer, Slate. FAIL.

No, now, hold on. That’s not how this war’s going to be won, with mean, mean insults against Sam and his penis size and his talents as a writer and such, and apparently I’ve been drafted. I mean, I guess I have. That’s how the draft works, though, isn’t it? You wake up one day and BAM you’ve totally got your draft card in your mailbox and it’s go to Canada and live with the moose or fight in the war, or maybe protest or something. I guess I’ll fight. I would totally rock camo. Although in Kevin Smith’s army, I’m pretty sure we’re not wearing camo, right, Sam? We’re all “tubby, unshaven guys in long coats and baseball caps who could…work…as Smith’s stand-in.” AWESOME! Well, I’m sort of tubby but that’s a rude thing to call me, I really would prefer zaftig, RUDE. And listen, it’s cold out, so I totally I don’t shave my legs as much as I should. Unshaven FTW. I don’t have a trenchcoat. I have a wool coat that’s pretty long, can I use that? And I totally have a baseball cap. MULTIPLE baseball caps. DEAD RINGER BABY!

So listen. Sam Adams, who is described on one website as being “nice and firm, with a malty backbone, slightly sassy, with a nice smack of hoppy bitterness” (you go, Sam! I am ALSO SLIGHTLY SASSY WANNA FRENCH) really doesn’t dig Kevin Smith. Like, REALLY not. Smith is an “asshole” whose “influence has shrunk,” his movies are “maudlin” (Jersey Girl), ” hollow and impersonal,” (Cop Out), “flat-footed and painfully inept” (Mallrats – also, LIES LIES LIES) and “eccentric” (Dogma). His fans are a horde of hollow soulless geek-people, following Smith’s every move blindly (one of Smith’s appearances is actually referred to as a “circle jerk” – nice, Sam! Classy with a capital K!) and Smith exploits them (or, let’s be honest, I’m one of the hollow [wo]men, “us”) by “raking in the big bucks from his most ardent fans.”

And then there are the final two paragraphs of Sam’s article:

“What’s at issue, of course, is not the $10 cost of a movie ticket, but Smith’s ego and a post-hoc self-righteousness that conveniently followed the bottoming-out of his critical stock. Where, you have to ask, was this hostility to critics when they were hailing the freshness of Clerks, or praising Smith’s grab for maturity with Chasing Amy? The ‘you can’t fire me because I quit’ undertone to Smith’s posturing is so transparent it’s almost sad. He’s become the suburban stoner equivalent of Charles Foster Kane, his faculties dulled by the nattering of yes-men and the uncritical embrace of eager acolytes.

“By Smith’s own token, his career is almost over. He’s said that his next film, the story of an up-and-coming hockey player called Hit Somebody, will be his last—or rather, his last two, since a few months later he said the story had grown too big to fit in a single film. Of course, there’s no one to hold him to that promise. At least no one he’d listen to.”

OK, Sam Adams, we get it. You’re SO OVER Kevin Smith. Point taken, right between my beady little “eager acolyte”‘s eyes.

Now, listen. I know, when I go about attacking people on the internet sometimes they totally vanity Google themselves and then comment in the comments section and I kind of feel like a massive tool. (Because I am VERY IMPORTANT YO.) Which Sam Adams wouldn’t know anything about. Massive tools, I mean. I’M KIDDING SAM ADAMS LIGHTEN UP. So here’s the thing.

I get that Sam Adams doesn’t dig Smith’s movies (or “flicks” as he’s so eager to point out that Smith calls them.) That’s fine. I mean, I don’t get it? But there are a lot of things I don’t get in the world. Like why Silly String needs to exist, or how someone can say “I demand an apology” and assume you’re actually going to go through with it, I mean, that’s like a challenge to NOT apologize, am I right? That’s fine, Sam Adams. It’s even fine to write about not liking them. I mean, journalists and film critics and even (I know! I’m as surprised as you!) things like The Slate exist and people write for them. That’s cool. Good for you, Sam Adams. I’m glad you’re living the dream. And I only found one odd and egregious typo in your article, so that’s nice, thanks, good job with the copyediting, whoever’s in charge of that at The Slate which totally still exists, like a narwhal.

But here’s what I take offense with. I know you say you didn’t write the header and subheader? Which is interesting, because I didn’t realize that when you hit The Slate bigtime someone writes your titles FOR you. That is AWESOME. I want someone to outsource tasks to someday, too. To dream…the impossible dream…ahem. AHEM I SAID DAMMIT. But it’s not just the title. It’s the characterization of Smith as a master puppeteer, controlling his empty-headed (and male) fans to follow his bidding, to watch his (bad) movies, to be his little minions of evil. He is our Bad Horse, Sam Adams, and we are his Evil League of Evil.

See, I have a brain, Sam Adams. And it is a totally awesome thing, and here’s one of the things it does. It chooses, among the millions and billions of things that are available for me to love and like and loathe and what-have-you, what I’m going to enjoy the most of all. What’s going to make me laugh, and what’s going to make me want to come back for more, and what’s going to make my chest get all fluttery and proud and happy. And one of those things? Is Kevin Smith. Kevin Smith, and his movies, and his books, and his comics, and his podcasts. He doesn’t have me drugged with a weird geek roofie (why isn’t this a thing? SOMEONE MAKE THIS A THING) or anything. I found him, with the help of a friend who is no longer in my life, and he stayed. He won me over with “I wasn’t even supposed to BE here today!” and kept me with “That kid is back on the escalator again!” and “Your mother’s a tracer!” and “I have issues with anyone who treats God as a burden instead of a blessing. You people don’t celebrate your faith; you mourn it.”

Am I a geeked-out fangirl? Yes. But do I follow blindly? No. My eyes are open, Sam Adams. I can see what works and what doesn’t. But here’s the thing, and I think I sensed almost a bit of…oh, I don’t know, call it sour grapes with you? A little “why HIM, why the FAT ASSHOLE, why so many FRIENDS” in your article? Kevin Smith, whether it’s a very, very good act (although I met him, and acted like a complete weirdo, as described in all its gory detail in the link above, so I don’t think so) or it’s genuine, is one of us. One of his so-called geek army. But he moved to the head of the class, while retaining his geeky qualities and his personable demeanor and his attitude of “I really can’t believe I get to DO this” and it’s for this, just as much for the movies he’s given us over the years, the comics, the podcasts, the books, the shows, that we love him. He’s a geek success story. He remains humble. I mean, the guy got asked to leave a plane because he was too fat to fly, Sam. This is one of us. We’re a fat country. Maybe not in your eyes; you seem to see him – and I’m quoting your Twitter feed directly, not putting uninvited words in your mouth – as ” hunkering down in his basement Xanadu and living off (his fans) uncritical adulation.” He’s your Mr. Potter, your scurvy little spider spinning his webs the empty-headed geeks are all scurrying to wrap themselves in, even as they are being poisoned by them. But we know what we’ve got, and we still like him. Does me make mistakes? Sure. But you know what? So do my best friends. Yet I still love them. Do I worry about his weight and that he’s smoking too much pot and that he says he’s leaving directing? Sure I do. Again, I worry about people I care about. He wins, Sam Adams. He’s got people who care about his well-being who don’t even know him personally. So where does that leave your article?

Well, you don’t think he’s grown as a filmmaker. I see his progression, but here’s the thing; he’s gotten more polished and more skilled with the filmmaking aspect of it, but he still goes to the same well for the ideas. Well, (no pun intended), don’t a lot of people do this? I mean, Stephen King’s been going to that same well full of supernatural fish for decades, and it’s serving him well enough, I think. No complaints from me, or, I think, from him. People have their comfort zone. I am not ever going to write the great American novel. You know why? Adult onset ADD oh look shiny. But I like television, and movies, and books, and sometimes I make people laugh. So that’s my well. And that’s cool, because look, people come and see what I’ve done, and that jazzes the hell out of me. You’ve probably got your thing, I mean, you, I don’t know, criticize things? All I see on The Slate are a couple of articles, but you’re a critic, I guess. That’s YOUR well. Smith’s well is potty humor, intelligent rapid-fire phrasing, and geek culture. And he’s GOOD at it. Why would he go to another well when he’s got this one to draw water from?

Sam. Sam, Sam, Sam. We’re going to have to agree to disagree, I guess. Much like Holden and Banky in their fight over Alyssa; much like Randall and Dante in their fight that trashed the Quick Stop; much like the fight that drove apart Brodie and Rene, only there will be no reconciliation on a dating game show for us.

I’ve been here long enough, Sam, and must go, or I will be declared AWOL from my post in Smith’s Army. They don’t like that. You have to sing “Berzerker” as your penance, and if you miss one word, EVEN ONE, they take away your Kevin Smith fan club card. IT IS THE WORST, Sam. They don’t just give those AWAY, Sam.

Opinions, Sam. Assholes. We all have them. Just don’t use yours to shit on other’s happy, ok? Because that’s really a flagrant disuse of it.

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