December 8, 2007

A man wrongfully imprisoned.
His wife and daughter taken.
Upon his release, he becomes a murderous barber sworn to vengeance.
His amorous accomplice a baker.
In her famous meat pies, the corpses.
Tim Burton.
Johnny Depp.
Helena Bonham Carter.
Alan Rickman.
Stephen Sondheim's music.

Sweeney Todd
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Merry bloody Christmas.

I'll be first in line.

December 7, 2007

Why Love And Hate Are Such Close Bedfellows
An Illustrated Pondering

My love for Sharon Stone is what's commonly referred to in these parts as 'legendary'. Good (Casino) or bad (Beautiful Joe), hot (Basic Instinct) or cold (Sliver), underrated (The Quick and the Dead) or roundly hated (Catwoman), I've seen it all. I love this woman irrationally. She is the very embodiment of Glamorous Insanity. She is fabulous and probably nuts. She is an opinionated but charity-minded force of nature. She is wonderful. She either has an agent who can't stand her or picks scripts by employing the questionable "eeny meeny" method, but no matter the project she's usually better than the material and frequently shines in spite of it. I don't care what her seemingly innumerable detractors say, she is talented. She's a good actress who just happens to often appear in appallingly unwatchable films. She's beautiful. She's brainy. She's madly outspoken. I love her.

While many might say that her greatest crime is being in more box office misses than hits and not having the good sense to retire, I have a very different opinion. I hope she makes movies until an impossible age. I hope she's around at least as long as Jessica Tandy. No, her greatest crime in my books is that she's a frequent and unrepentant fur-wearer.

Admittedly, she does rock the fur in many fabulous couture ways. Examples...

Fur Bathrobe.
Or the Norma Desmond 'I'm ready for my closeup but I don't want to look like I tried' casual-glam of fur trim.

Sheer Fur.
Only Sharon could evoke the allure of naughty exposure and sense of being swaddled in luxury in a single outfit. This gives the 'I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur' campaign a run for it's money, really, by doing both.

Fur For Peace.
Since she wore this slinky little critter to the Nobel Peace Awards Dinner, I named it appropriately. Nothing says 'I applaud your selfless contribution to humanity' like silver fur.

The notion that all her fur is faux has crossed my mind. Then again, this is the same woman who didn't use a crotch-double in Basic Instinct and who reportedly sued a plastic surgeon for hinting at work she might have had done so I'm not thinking she's really into faking things. And though I hate fur, I was willing to overlook it all in the name of living and letting kill because she wears a lot of fur to charity events in which she raises untold millions for worthy causes like children without winter coats and AIDS research and the like. But then she wore this:

Fur Duvet.

I am hard-pressed to imagine a scenario in Greater L.A. which would require one to wear an actual quilt of fur. She looks like an uber-chic cavewoman who has just rolled off the bedrock, wrapped herself in the sabre-tooth tiger skin that her husband Grawg killed last week in preparation for winter, and sauntered fabulously into some time-warp that deposited her at a gala event. How can she even carry the ponderous weight of it? Somewhere a very large, very naked, very pissed-off bear is swearing vengeance on the entire Stone clan.

Seeing her in fur is like being offered chocolate wrapped in a steak. It's akin to being given the keys to a brand new car that eight skunks have just fought and died in. Do you see what I'm getting at? There's no way around the contrary emotions. I want to wrap her in my arms and yet the thought of touching that dread fur makes my flesh crawl. It's like getting a beautifully wrapped gift under the Christmas tree and tearing it open to find tarantulas inside.

My point is that seeing Sharon perpetually swathed in fur forces me to experience admiration and repulsion simultaneously. It has been said that love and hate are not opposites but actually similar passions and that slipping into one while immersed in the other is very common. It might be why there are crimes of passion committed by one lover against another. It's very likely why the person you love can sometimes drive you absolutely batty with anger. Love and hate are different sides of the same coin. What you adore you may also be compelled to loathe and what you can't abide might slip under your radar and suddenly demand all your affections. Like recovering from an addiction, what you passionately love with unconscious force becomes what you studiously avoid like the plague. You never truly hate the substance. You learn not to indulge but deep down you are always struggling against your love for it. And that love, ironically, is what drives you to hate it. Love/hate. Like Sharon in fur, it's a very fine line to toe.

December 4, 2007

What amuses me today is this...

Nothing predates Jesus.

Look, I don't watch The View. I don't watch TV at all and even if I did, you couldn't pay me to watch The View. But every so often the absolute vapidity that forms the base of the show finds me online and works against my better judgment to amuse the hell out of me.

Sherri Shepherd (whose name I only learned from YouTube just now) thinks that nothing pre-dates Christianity. Purportedly the hosts were discussing Epicurus, a Greek philosopher born in 341 BC, and the following 'conversation' ensued:

Whoopi: ... probably when he was around there was no Jesus Christ stuff going on.
Sherri: No, no, they still had Christians back then.
Sherri: They had Christians 'cause they threw 'em to the lions.
Whoopi: I think this might predate that. I think this might predate that.
Sherri: I don't think anything predated Christians.
Joy: The Greeks were first. The Greeks came first, then the Romans, then the Christians.
Sherri: Jesus came first before them.

So many questions, so little brain cells with which to properly ponder them. What do Americans learn in school, anyway?

It's great to believe strongly in Jesus but it would also be good to employ some of the grey matter God so liberally handed out when doing so. Many things predate Christianity. Many things predate Jesus. 'BC' is generally accepted as meaning 'before Christ' and refers to the time period prior to the birth of Christ while 'AD' stands for 'anno domini' which translates loosely to "the year of our lord" and refers to the time period beginning with the birth of Jesus and which we are still currently in. Therefore the year 341 BC would, in fact, predate Jesus by a good three hundred and forty-one years. Which is just plain historic fact and not some demonic myth made up by the purveyors of heavy metal and Harry Potter to test the faith of those in the Bible belt.

Additionally, I do believe it was most often the Romans who are associated with having thrown Christians to the lions and not the Greeks. The ancient Greek civilization generally refers to the period from 750 to 146 BC and is the time that greatly influenced the Roman Empire which succeeded the Roman Republic somewhere between 27 and 31 BC and lasted arguably until 476 AD when the last emperor, Romulus Augustus, was deposed and not replaced. Therefore it was historically impossible for the Greeks to have thrown Christians to the lions since Christianity wasn't born until Jesus walked the earth. And it's not like I had to play KISS albums backwards at double-speed while carving six-six-six into my forearm to figure this out either, Sherri. I bet she still believes the earth is flat. Oh, she's on the fence about that. My bad.

I'm fairly certain Whoopi Goldberg only barely restrained herself from bitch-slapping Sherri and I have to ask myself why she did. For inexplicable reasons, many people watch The View and if the hosts have that little education, how can they reasonably expect to enlighten the mass public even incrementally? I'm not asking for life-altering revelations and historical lectures from The View, for godsakes, but I would expect slightly more intellectual capacity than your average Starbucks frappuccino on a daily basis.

Which is probably where I've gone wrong, actually.