You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Old News, New News

Sorry for the dearth of posts on my part the last few weeks. Live Tweeting the Oscars was mentally and physically exhausting, particularly the after-party, which consisted of me, a bottle of lager, and a very unwieldy bottle opener.

It's been a fairly awful two weeks since then, as far as global news. The Oscars were so depressingly bad that it seemed like piling on to follow up. James Franco gave a new meaning to the phrase "deer in the headlights." Which is to say he was like a deer, actually stuck in a car's headlights.

Anne Hathaway gave it a go. She was like the plucky kid in a high school rendition of Bye Bye Birdie.You were rooting for her, but she was never going to lift the proceedings beyond what they were.

Parent 1: "Hey, that Hathaway girl's not bad."
Parent 2: "Yeah, (yawn) wake me when it's over so I can offer a smattering of encouraging applause."

Soon after the Oscars, Charlie Sheen presented some hope with a fascinatingly bizarre collection of comments. Between "tiger blood" and "winning," Sheen seemed on the verge of a new Joaquin Phoenix-like comic persona ... until it turned out that he wasn't kidding. The proceedings quickly turned from comic to sad and disconcerting, like watching a street performer and slowly realizing he's actually a homeless panhandler with particularly vivid hallucinations.  Randy Quaid started to look taciturn and sober-minded by comparison. Comics known for their unsentimental verbal disemboweling of stuck up celebrities were expressing their extreme discomfort at Sheen jokes. It was like watching sharks swim up on a badly wounded tuna and saying, "Man, even I can't bring myself to eat that poor bastard."

For awhile there was some hope that Moammar Gaddafi, the pompous, delusional, murdering thug who runs Libya might be overthrown. Gaddafi, as always, did his best to provide comic relief from his own authoritarian butchery, by giving rambling, disjointed speeches and wearing robes that made Chairman Kaga from Iron Chef look like Buster Brown. It might have been slightly entertaining, if not for the fact that Gaddafi-supporters were shooting down protesters in cold blood.

Then New Zealand, which was a sad story.

Then Japan.

I think of the Indonesian tsunami and the Haitian earthquake and now Japan.  Some stories can't be mocked, can't be lightened, can't be deflated, and shouldn't.

So, let's leave it at that for the moment. Sometimes laughter isn't the best medicine.

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Monday, March 14, 2011


Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan. Terrible, terrible news and events these past few days.

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