Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bucket of Porn

Shortbus is porn, let’s just get that out of the way first. Well, it’s porn if you think people really and actually having sex on film is porn, or a man ejaculating on himself is porn. Shortbus also might be art; I’m not really sure.

The concept of uber-cutie Hedwig and the Angry Inch director and full time demented pixie John Cameron Mitchell newest “release” is this—put out the word, receive hundreds of amateur sex tapes, watch them all, choose actors, find groovy warehouse space and apartments, and then let everybody go at it like rabbits at an End of the World party. The storyline is basically one of trying to find human connection in the Big Disaffected City, and it really could only have been made in New York City. People in other places don’t usually fret quite so much or so vocally about how jadedly and intellectually disconnected they are. I think being artsy and disaffected is a sort of hobby for New Yorkers.

The main players consist of Unhappy Gay Boy, Generic Too Chipper Boyfriend, Non-Orgasmic New Age Therapist, and The Dominatrix Who Really Doesn’t Like People. (Unlike this latter character, I think most Doms are probably lovely people who don’t actually relish being mean all the time.)

There is a tremendous amount of full frontal, bakkal, side-al and upside down-al nudity in this movie, all of if presented by “real” people, most of them who are cute and fit, with just a smattering few who are not, to show that the film maker is not biased or anything. We see a heap of cock, but maybe because John Cameron is a gay man, there is not a lot of female genitalia to be found. We see women masturbating, but through their clothes, and really, who does that? Do we get to see a lot of guy parts? Yes we do—tons, in all sizes, all shapes, and all levels of tumescence. Early on, we get the “treat” of seeing a dude attempting to fellate himself; later he ejaculates on himself, and we get a close-up and drawn out view. This scene may have been dead sexy to a gay man, but it was a tad, dare I say it, anti-climactic to me. Unlike stories in Hustler (which I admit I haven’t read in thirty years), male “stuff” in action is less like a fire hose or a waterfall of burning love, and more like someone accidentally dropped the mayonnaise. Not really very inspiring, or sexy. But then again, I’m not a gay man, so I may not be qualified to judge.

All of this grinding, sweating, masturbation and aforementioned money shots are oddly neither shocking, nor titillating. I found myself thinking “Eh, seen it, done that.” What the viewer is left with is the acting and what passes for the storyline, and both are actually fairly enjoyable. Mr. Mitchell has stated in the press that he hopes Shortbus (which is the inexplicable name of the sex club all the characters continually visit) will lead to similarly minded sex clubs springing up around the country. “It’s not about sex, it’s about love and sensuality” or words to that effect. I suspect that either clubs like this already exist in your community, or that they never will. I’m pretty sure that there is a real Shortbus, and that it really is run by drag queen extraordinaire Justin Bond. Based on the movie version, if you head to Brooklyn and turn left just past the bridge, it will be on the top floor of a building in the first block or so. Check it out, and if you find it, report back to me.

Verdict? Shortbus is actually a fairly worthy movie with kind of compelling characters and a sort of interesting storyline. Oh yeah, and whoever did the most excellent 3D model of NYC deserves some sort of award.

If you are willing (or eager) to see a bunch of reasonably attractive real people getting it on alone, by twos, or in groups or hordes, then by all means, check it out. I’m sure John Cameron Mitchell would appreciate the ticket sales.


Well, I did mean to review Marie Antoinette for you, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. Sleep tight my babies, and try not to dream of sperm—or as Jerry would say, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Penny for Your...Lawn, Or, The Decline and Fall of the Holy US Empire

Here’s my solution for the immigration problem—let’s figure out a way to shore up the Mexican economy to the point where poor Mexicans no longer need to risk death and imprisonment just to raise our children, pick our fruit and mow our lawns. Wouldn’t helping Mexico fix their economy be cheaper than building some stupid and useless wall, deporting janitors and paying even more border guards to drive around in the Texas heat smoking Camels and scratching their balls?

Here’s a thought—let’s dig a trench along the US/Mexican border and fill it full of all our pennies. That would work. A moat of pennies would fix a lot of things, for one thing, it would give us something to do with our pesky surplus of the heinous coins, so notoriously odious for their wallet and pants pocket clogging propensities. A penny means so little to us Americans that we keep trying to have them removed as legal tender. Some of us have closets full of the things (being poor myself, I just have a bowl). Many people are so reluctant carry pennies around that they leave them behind when shopping…they abandon money! Few of us will bother stoop to pick them up off the street—the effort expended is not deemed worth the value gained. If we build a moat of pennies, never ever again would bank tellers have to deal with little paper rolls of the dreaded things, which always come in at 49 cents or 51 cents, and therefore must be counted and rolled again. Or whatever they do back there behind the Plexiglas. Maybe they eat them.

If every American donated just one dollar a day of their pants pocket pennies to the Moat Project, poorer Mexicans would have no reason to come here in the first place. It’s not as if they have a burning desire to leave their families for months or years to come up here and install our roofing. A dollar a day is, what, one third of a single tall latte? But to a poor Mexican, a US dollar is about three hours wages, which would probably be enough extra cash per day to keep them in their own country. It’s not as if they are coming here for their health. With the Moat Project, all they'd need to do is travel to the border, load their own pockets, and go home. Problem solved.

Of course, I jest. We actually need illegal immigrants—our own economy depends on their labor. The restaurant industry alone would screech to a halt without all those hardworking Ecuadorians and Salvadorians to mis our en place. If you don’t think so, just ask Anthony Bourdain. Think eating out is expensive now? Just imagine how much an the average dinner date would cost if restaurant owners had to pay fancy US culinary school graduates to support their swollen egos to the extent they think they deserve? (I’m talking to you, Steven from Top Chef, Season One.) The pastry business would disappear overnight (because apparently culinary school grads think that pastry is for losers). No donuts, no danishes, no midnight runs to IHOP. I think we can all agree that this would be a bad thing.

Honestly, I’m kind of not joking about supporting our neighbors. Wouldn’t it be so much cheaper in the long run to help Mexico build up their economy and drive out corruption? Having more affluent neighbors who aren’t crack addicts raises your own property values, right? I also think it would be a whole lot less expensive to find ways to get the whole Islamic community to like us again. Since 2001, we’ve spent almost a half a trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rub your eyes and read that again. A half a trillion…and counting. Do you know what we could buy with a half a trillion dollars? For one thing, free health insurance and education all the way through graduate school for everyone. Think how much that would change things. In fifty years, instead of jobs as human furniture for the Chinese aristocracy, we could still be ruling the world and making it do our bidding. I think we spend less than a billion dollars per year on education right now, which is less than we spend in a week in Iraq. Kind of makes you think, right? Kinds of makes you want to riot, right? Right? It's not as if that half a tril has bought us anything either; we are vastly less safe as a country than we were on September 11th, 2001.

We might as well admit it, we can’t win over there. Even if we understood the issues over there, (which we don't), it's too late. We botched it from the get go. We botched it back in the day by supporting Israel with no questions asked; we botched it by first supporting Saddam Hussein in the 1980’s (yes, boys and girls, we gave him the whatever WMDs he may have had) and then removing that support in the wrong way; we botched it by not developing some sort of working (and influential) relations with all those crazy ayatollahs when they took Iran away from our state-sponsored party boy and former Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Hell, we botched it in Chili, Venezuela, and El Salvador. Botching it seems to be our biggest export. And now that we are in the “Information Age”, we are botching it by ignoring education, killing our citizens through lack of social services, and trying to privatize the Internet. Basically, we suck, and are doomed to fail, just like the Roman Empire, only faster. If we want to reverse this sad trend, we need to bring everyone back, and to start spending our money on us, not them. Seriously. Go vote. Or riot. Or both.

Tomorrow (yes, it will be tomorrow), I’ll have reviews of both Shortbus (porn!) and Marie Antoinette (boring!) for you. Till then, start counting your pennies.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"Oh Crap!" and The Departed

King Jong Il has a nuke, awesome. Sigh. But, on the bright side, he’s managed to make Bush shut up about Iran for five seconds, so there is that. Actually, I kind of understand why we can’t just barge in there like we usually tend do and occupy North Korea. After all, as much as China doesn’t like North Korea having the bomb, they really wouldn’t like the US squatting on their western border like a belligerent toad, taunting them with our blue jeans and soft toilet paper. And we can’t go against China; they may still be a second-world country as far as their economy and technology goes, but they are catching up fast and there are so very, very many of them. They may be small people, but they are abundant. Plus, anyone who can eat horse intestines by choice and still live can totally kick our butts, is all I’m saying. So, as much as we don’t like it, we really can’t afford to have China mad at us. Actually, the Koreas just hang off the edge of China like a deflated willie (just like Florida does for us), so why hasn’t China just taken over the Koreas already? It seems as if they could do it, and really, who’s going to stop them? Russia? Us? Russia would be on their side, and we couldn’t go up against both of them without using nukes ourselves, and that’s just too horrible to contemplate. I’ll bet the cockroaches would be happy though, what with no people and suddenly they are all six feet tall and glowing green and whatnot.

And a Movie
Girl Kid had to work all weekend, and so was royally pissed at me for going to see The Departed by myself on Sunday. What? She didn’t want to see that one anyway. She was just annoyed that I got to go to a movie on my own whilst she labored away serving popcorn to people with so much hubris that they demand in-seat concessions service for a movie they paid $3 to see…and then throw the half-empty popcorn bucket on the floor when they leave. Jerks. I can see her point, but my attitude was, “Hey, I already worked a full week, I should be allowed some fun.” I’m insensitive, apparently.

From the opening seconds of The Departed, you know you are in the hands of a master. Martin Scorsese still has the stuff; and even if it is the exact same stuff he’s been handing us for all these years, he still does it so very well. The physical sensation of “ahh, it’s going to be okay” was very relaxing. Now, I know, every other reviewer out there is a Mr. Snooty Pants about how this movie is not as great as Goodfellas, and perhaps they are right. But, then again, if the timing was reversed and The Departed had come out in 1990, then those same reviewers might be whining about how Goodfellas was derivative, you never know. And it really doesn’t matter; it’s still a good movie.

I read one review that suggested that Leonardo DiCaprio was not up to the acting standards of his cast mates, such as Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Wahlberg. Now, Nicholson I’ll give you, because who can top that guy? He’s in a class of his own. But, Mark Wahlberg? Com’on! Granted, Mr. Wahlberg gives the performance of his career here, but that says more about Mr. Scorsese’s skill with actors than it does about Marky Mark’s acting chops. Our Boy Leonardo is Scorsese’s go-to guy of late, and he’s always been good. He’s matured into a subtle acting style, and he knows that sometimes less is more. You don’t need histrionics to make good acting; in fact, the opposite is usually the case. I like Leo, and those other reviewers can bite me. Matt Damon is pretty amazing too, and Jack Nicholson probably eats babies for breakfast. Or dates them. He brought 22 year old model Paz de la Huerta to the premier…it boggles the mind really. When she was born, he was 47 years old and had just finished filming Terms of Endearment and was still dating Angelica Huston. I think Angelica has the upper hand on that one. Even in her fifties, she remains one of the most beautiful women around, and he’s dating 22-year-olds. Of course, I am a chick. Dudes probably feel differently, as there is no accounting for some people’s tastes.

The Departed has a plot that includes lots of world-class male smack talk, good guys and bad guys pretending to be on the opposite side of the fence, plenty of gratuitous violence, and Jack Nicholson’s perma-smirk. And it’s all pretty good.

Verdict? Unless you prefer to see animated blue porcupines dancing and singing with humorous results, then by all means, go see The Departed. If you happen to miss it, it will hold up well on the small screen too. If you are looking for a date movie, this will work—it’s got really fun trash talk and explody guns for the boys, and pretty and hunky boy-beef for the girls. Good fun for everyone. You could do worse—a derivative Scorsese movie is still better than pretty much everything else out there right now. So go already, what are you waiting for? A blue porcupine? If so, nothing can help you, but I love you anyway.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"I called it!" And, Fucktards A-Go-Go (Or Just Go)

Anna Nicole Smith named her new baby girl "Dannie Lynn Hope". I told you she'd name the kid after her dead son! I totally called it.

And now Ms. Smith has two guys vying to be named the daddy, and she's marrying Contestant #2, her super creepy lawyer "Howard Stern" (of all things). Oh boy, if she didn't exist, we'd have to invent her, she's just so awesomely entertaining. If you wrote this stuff, no one would buy it; but Ms. Smith is living it. She’s a one woman soap opera, and I can’t wait until she gets amnesia and falls off Angel Falls while secretly having an affair with her brain surgeon twin brother who might be gay.

It’s too bad about Danny Smith v1.0 though. Hey kids, don't mix methadone and Zoloft (among other things), 'cause it might totally kill you, umkay? Jeez, that's just a sad and stupid way to go.

In Other News
“Condie” Rice goes to Iran to try to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons? Hey bitch, you are on the wrong side of the world, North Korea is not in the Middle East. As if we needed any further proof that the Bush administration’s real agenda is oil, not terrorism or world peace. If I hear any more from Team Bush about WMDs or how we can’t allow Iran to develop nukes while Kim Jong Il dances around waving his actual nuclear bomb in our faces, I’m going to go bonkers and hurt someone.

And in the on-going saga of what’s wrong with men?, Charles Carl Roberts IV goes and kills a bunch of Amish girls because he sexually abused some relatives when he was 12 and wanted to do it again. Way to go fucktard. Let’s resurrect Mr. Roberts the IV and shoot him in the head again. What a total jerk. And now the Amish really won’t want anything to do with us, so say goodbye to all those colorful quilts. What I find even more retarded is that the guy delivered milk and walked his kids to school before taking hostages and killing five children (and counting). I think if I was planning a homicidal spree, I would skip work that day, you know?

In Yet More Other News
Have you ever noticed how it’s always the Republicans who are involved in sex scandals? I mean, Clinton’s little “thing” was just a perk of being the most powerful dude in the world, and at least Monica Lewinsky was an adult who actively wanted and pursued his groove thing. Mike Foley, thank you so much; because of you, maybe, just maybe, the Democrats have a chance in November. “Family values”, indeed. I find it crazy how the Republicans are going out of their way to pronounce that Mr. Foley “never engaged in sexual conduct with a minor and is not a pedophile”. Um, yes he is. Just because he couldn’t get any of his victims to cooperate doesn’t mean he is not a creepy and criminal perv. Sending explicit emails and asking for photos is enough. Do you hear me Bill O’Reilly?

Go vote in November. Let’s get these creepy old perverts out of office. More later.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bad Guardian

Now, I know what you are thinking, “Oh Mistress Squidia, is there no bottom to the hole that is your taste in movies?” and the answer clearly is, “No, there is not.” In my defense, I did live in the Yukon Territories for four years, I do have some experience with survival techniques, and I do love all things “Northern”. Plus, I’m a fan of Dangerous Catch (for all the same reasons already stated). So, last Friday, despite my deep and abiding loathing of Abercrombie & Fitch Butt Boy Ashton Kutcher, as well as my mild nausea induced by Kevin Costner, especially when he’s in “I’m such a stud-hombre hero type person that you must bow down and give me snoogies right this minute” mode, and despite my own best judgment…oh god, I can hardly stand to admit it…I went to see The Gaurdian. Pity me.

There’s really not much to say about this movie, because even if you would rather gargle hamsters than see The Guardian, you’ve seen it all before anyway. It’s that predictable. All the usual suspects are on on deck: Dark And Disturbed Hero Man; Younger, Keener, And Even More Disturbed Hunk O’ Beefcake; and their counterparts-slash-disposable-female characters, Wise Old Woman Barkeep; and, Succulent Yet Feisty Tomato. Actually, Bonnie Bramlett (yes, part of 60’s folk group Bonnie & Delaney and slumming hard here) plays the Crusty Yet Loveable And, Like, Full of The Wisdom barkeep at Ye Olde Local Drinkin’ And Carousin’ Establishment. As such, she provides the movie’s only authentic moments, and gives a completely awesome speech on the joys of aging, “I look at my wrinkles and scars and think, ‘Those just mean I drank a lot, smoked a lot, and fucked a lot’”. Bitchin’, and words to live by too.

What happens in The Guardian you ask? Well, there is a fairly dramatic icy Alaskan ocean rescue-gone-wrong in the opening scenes, which explain why Our Mr. Costner is just so messed up in the head that he would have to take (shudder) a teaching job while he recovers from the psychic trauma. Ashton’s character has a deep dark secret of his own which leads his character to fits of ego, brooding, and eyebrow manipulations comic enough to keep you moderately entertained. Plus, he takes off his shirt a few times, and I gather that some people out there would find this attractive. Personally, and in spite of his obvious interest in older women, Ashton Kutcher make me barf.

Anyway, blah di blah blah; conflicts are resolved, people are rescued, some sex is had (which is really the only reason the Tomato got the job), Old passes the torch to Young (but without losing face), and a Great Big Sacrifice is made for the greater good of all. All of this plods on with unerring devotion to your standard Hollywood plotline, so much so that I had to wonder if the whole thing was scribed by Final Draft without human interaction of any kind. It all ends badly however, with an ending so cheesy it rivals that of Van Helsing, which was so cheesy that the state of Wisconsin went into catastrophic economic recession for the better part of a year after it's theatrical release. I think the ending of The Guardian might just be worse; it was so bad I almost threw up a little bit in the remains of my soda.

Still, I saw The Guardian by myself, and there is nothing wrong with two hours of alone time in the dark, if you ask me. Single moms everywhere will agree—a horrible movie with no one pestering you is automatically a masterpiece.

Verdict? Avoid at all costs, unless you are, 1) running way from a contract killer and have to duck in somewhere that no sane person would go; 2) a gay man with the hots for Ashton Kutcher’s rippling abs; 3) Demi Moore; 4) homeless and just want to get warm for a bit; or 5) a single mom in desperate need of some alone time and everything else is showing at the wrong time to suit your child care arrangements. For everyone else, rent Deadliest Catch instead. Those guys are the real chronic.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Haiku Monday...and Limericks

The Science of Sleep
Arty, sad, beautiful boy
I recommend it

13 Tzameti
Moody, strange masterpiece
It’s from France, Bitches

Here I am at work,
The weekend was way too short
The week will drag, boo

Big piles of laundry
Are strewn across my bedroom
I need cleaning gnomes

Copious cat barf
Dishes fall from the cupboard
Bad start to my day

They sleep on my book
And leave poop and hair on rugs
Cute, purring Evil

Our government sucks
George Bush is the anti-Christ
Chavez speaks his mind

And Now In Limerick Form

There once was a laddie named Bush
Who’s daddy never swatted his tush
He kisses up to Carl Rove
And breaks laws by the trove
In 2008 we’ll give him the push

I need to be making more money
Paying my bills is not funny
If I pull them all out
And spread them about
I can make my bank account puny

If only I could win the Lotto
I would build a beautiful grotto
Full of nubile young lads
All scantily clad
And me three sheets to the wind and/or blotto

If you need a real mistress to satisfy you needs
For spanking, humiliation or other such deeds
Visit the link on the right
Mistress Matisse doesn’t bite
And on her fine toes you may feed