The Ask Boxhead Archive!
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What do you think of the controversy over James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces?" I really don't see why The Smoking Gun had to make such a big deal out of some inconsistencies, do you? I mean, Oprah says that no matter what, it's still "an uplifting story of redemption."
An Oprah Book Club Member
Well, let me start by asking you a question: why do you give a tiny rat's ass WHAT Oprah thinks? She's a TV hostess, period. Unfortunately, too many people in this country have turned her into some kind of allegedly brilliant combination guru/goddess. I have nothing against Oprah personally, but the bottom line is that she's just another rich TV star, so why should her opinion ever be looked upon as so important? (And why is she so full of herself that she has to wait to call in to "The Larry King Show" at the last minute so the show has to run overtime? Hmmm...to get herself even more publicity?)
As far as James "Liar, Liar Pants On Fire" Frey, I think he's a complete loser. The bottom line is that this book is supposed to be nonfiction. Nonfiction is what it is--you can't change the details, puff it up, or completely fabricate incidents just to make it more exciting. It's supposed to be his life story, and he exaggerated things only to make himself look cooler and "badder," and to have people think he went through more of a transformation than he did. (Oh yeah, and throw in that he wanted to sell more books.)
If he wanted to change the facts that much, he should have just written it as fiction. But that wouldn't have gotten him as much attention, people wouldn't be falling all over him and his bullshit story, Oprah probably never would have picked his book for her show, and articles wouldn't refer to him as "big literary bad boy." I hope he's completely discredited, drummed out of the business and ends up working at Walmart. He's a disgrace to truthful writers, of all kind, everywhere.
Oh yeah, and one last thing: As far as "redemption" goes, since when did we as a society start glorifying former junkies, alcoholics and criminals just because they stopped doing those things and finally chose to buckle down and join the rest of us in not-so-fun-all-the-time real life? Sure, it's great if you pull yourself out of something like that, but no one should be rewarded for such behavior.
I hope you demand your money back for this trash,
What do you think of our President's latest nominee for the Supreme Court, Samuel Alito? He seems like a really good judge to me, especially after that whole Harriet Meiers incident. And the slot has been vacant for too long.
Where do I begin? I can't believe people haven't caught onto the fact that Harriet Meiers was a smokescreen. Georgie knew there was no way in hell she would ever get confirmed. He did it to distract people, and to deliberately drag the process out so he could then rush to get this second person confirmed in a hurry since the spot has been vacant for as long as it has. (As an aside, am I the only person who thinks she is a dead ringer for that old spinster chicken in the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons?)
As far as Alito goes, he's a conservative, period. That's no surprise; there's no way Georgie would nominate someone who wasn't a conservative. What really bothers me about him is that he's full of crap and won't own up to some of his past--like the details about his involvement with the conservative Concerned Alumni of Princeton by saying "he doesn't remember." If you did it, admit it, and just answer the questions honestly instead of spewing a lot of crap but never actually saying anything.
The real shame here is that he IS going to get confirmed, and I find that profoundly disturbing. He's only 55, and that means he could be on that bench for the next 40 years. A white ethnic male from the industrial Northeast who has spent the past 15 years in the wonkish world of the federal appellate bench will be replacing a woman who grew up on a cattle ranch, met with gender discrimination in her first job search, and then served as a state legislator and trial court judge. All I have to say is, I'm glad I'm way too old to have to worry about abortion anymore. And anyone who isn't better start getting political real fast.
PS: How's your copy of "Long Dong Silver" holding up, Clarence?
What do you think of "Beauty and the Geek," the show that's "from the mind of Ashton Kutcher?" I think he's dreamy.
Madison Dakota Rosenthal
I have nothing against Mr. Kutcher personally, just like I said I have nothing against Oprah personally. But I think we all know he has one thing going for him--and it ain't his mind. As far as the show itself, I don't feel the need to watch stupid pretty women embarrass themselves and help prove true so many of the alleged stereotypes about women. (e.g., that all pretty women are stupid.) A woman in her 20s who can't spell the word "Wednesday" shouldn't be considered entertaining, it should scare people. Including Ashton Kutcher. And it should scare Demi Moore even more, no pun intended.
I've been reading a lot lately about "Intelligent Design," and how our President thinks it should be taught in school, right alongside evolution. I can't say I like the fact that man evolved from apes, since I think gorillas are actually the more evolved species, but I do think that's how it happened. What do you think?
I think the term "intelligent design" is anything but intelligent. It's a smokescreen, and simply a more palatable and less histrionic repackaging of creationism, and quite frankly I can't believe that so many people are falling for it. (The "President," and I use that term loosely, falls over his own feet, so I'm not surprised he fell for this.) The key point here is that God does not belong in public schools, period. There's church and there's state and they should be kept very separate. While I personally believe that God had a hand in creation--whether that was done totally via evolution or not--I don't think that's what should be taught in school. Unless it's Bible Thumper Academy, in which case they can present whatever crap they want as "science."
PS--Nice handwriting, especially for a gorilla.
Ayelet Waldman writes the Mommy-Track mysteries and used to be one of my favorite authors. But then I saw her on "Oprah," and she said she's kept her marriage on track because she's in love with her spouse, not her kids. My friends and I were absolutely appalled--what do you think of her?
I think Ayelet Waldman should get a medal for saying this, and I think you're a complete idiot. Did she say she didn't love her kids? No. What she said was that after 13 years of marriage she still has a sex life, and the reason for that is she's in love with her husband. She realizes that her partner--their relationship as a couple--is still as important as it was before kids came along. Her kids did not become supreme rulers of everything and knock all other priorities out of the park. In other words, she loves her kids, and they're a HUGE, majorly important part of her life, but they're not "her life." Bravo, Ayelet. For both saying this on the air and for not treating her children as anything other than what they're supposed to be--her children, not a substitute for a meaningful adult relationship with a spouse/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend, or even for real friends her own age.
Bite me you freak,
Can you believe that Brad Pitt dumped Jennifer Aniston?
Besides being a complete babe, Jennifer Aniston also seems like a very nice, down-to-earth girl. I can see how Angelina Jolie could definitely turn one's head, because, after all, she's Angelina Jolie. But on the other hand, she's Angelina Jolie--you know, tongue-kissing her brother, adopting Himalayan whistle kids at the drop of a hat. (She's the next Mia Farrow.) And I don't know what anyone sees in Brad Pitt. So no, I can't believe he would dump Jennifer Aniston. However, somehow it does make ME feel better about getting dumped. (I haven't quite figured out how yet, but it seemed to make sense when I first said it.)
I am so inspired by the new pope, Benedict XVI, and am thrilled that he attended the recent World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany. Don't you think he's just great?
Yours in Christ,
No, I'm afraid I don't think he's great, and I discussed this in a previous Ask Boxhead (June, 2005). But more to the point, what part about Germany + youth rally don't you find incredibly disturbing? Whether it's supposed to be a "catholic" (not capitalized on purpose) rally or not? Am I the only person who remembers the youth rally of 1936 in Nuremberg? You know, the one with all the Hitler youth? Actually, I'm sure I'm not the only one who remembers. I'm sure your new pope remembers it as well, since he joined the the Hitler Youth when he was 14 and I'm sure he was at that rally. And no, I'm not buying the "everyone was forced to join the Hitler Youth" line of crapola that he spews out, either.
What do you think of the new German pope, Joseph Ratzinger, aka Pope Benedict XVI? Are you surprised they elected a German for the first time in hundreds of years? I think he seems like a real nice guy.
Yours in Christ,
First I must say I'm rather surprised that you'd be asking me that question. Does the term "papist bastard" mean anything to you? Speaking as a former victim of 14 years of catholic (not capitalized on purpose, thank you) "education," I have about as much regard for that church as I do for dirt. Actually, that's not quite true; I like dirt. The catholic church is the most homophobic, sexist, racist, archaic institution on earth today, and needs to be given a good swift kick in the pants instead of being glorified by the ass-kissing media all the time.
Concerning a German pope being elected, yes I am quite surprised and wonder what they were thinking. I expect the Swiss Guard to march into Poland within the first three months of his reign; buzz bombs over England will be next. You heard it here first.
I have a wedding coming up, and I'm getting really nervous about it. There will be 600 people there, and I just don't know if I'm ready for that. What do you think about me running away on a Greyhound bus, then calling home from New Mexico and saying I was abducted?
When will you straight girls learn to stop treating your weddings like these end-all, be-all events that have to be huge and cost tens of thousands of dollars? A nice, tasteful, semi-formal wedding with a fabulous dress that shows off your cleavage in a classy way is one thing, 600 people is completely another. I don't even know 600 people, and I'm a famous advice columnist. (Okay, well, I don't know 600 people.) And as much as I love attention, I can't say I'd want to be married in front of 600 people. (Perform for, yes; get married in front of, no.) You're an irresponsible idiot who obviously either doesn't know what you want or let your parents bully you into doing something that you don't want to do. Grow up. I've had it up to here with women not being able to commit and their irresponsibility in general, and I think the authorities should throw you in the slammer. At the very least you should get billed for all the search costs.
But I'm Not Bitter,
PS--I've dated you, haven't I?
I really did have an affair with Paula Abdul when I was a contestant on "American Idol," but no one believes me. What should I do?
I'm Not Lying,
You got dumped from this heinous show because you lied, and liars generally never change their spots. Wait a minute--that's leopards, isn't it? But I digress. . .I think the larger issue is the picture of you accompanying these stories. You're wearing a turquoise knit cap that matches your turtleneck exactly. Not a good look for anyone, except possibly cartoon mice. (Or real mice, too, I would imagine.) Believe me, that picture proves that being a liar is the least of your problems.
As far as sleeping with Paula Abdul, who hasn't?
Liar Liar Pants On Fire,
In just about everything you read today, you'll see an article about blogging and bloggers. I think they're great, and doing the world a service. Why don't you blog?
I hate to quote my mother for the obvious reasons everyone hates to quote their mothers, but "if your friend jumped off a roof, would you?" I don't blog for the same reason that I don't frequent bulletin boards, chat rooms, or write an online diary: I have a life and a modicum of self respect. And more importantly, I have a job. (One where I sit in front of a computer all day long so I could easily be "blogging" instead of working.) Believe it or not, I also don't believe anyone has that much interest in what I have to say about everything and nothing, especially in real time. Quite frankly, some days even I'm not even that interested in what I'm doing from hour to hour.
Yes, I have a personal Web site and I do a monthly rant. But the key difference for me is that I don't update said site daily, and sometimes I find it hard to come up with even monthly topics for the rants. If I never hear the stupid word "blog" again, I will be happy. Bottom line: this is another bullshit fly-by-night trend that my fellow Web "professionals" have decided to try to make money off of by telling clients that they need to track these blogs and bloggers. It's bad enough we have the plethora of so-called professional pundits constantly spewing their opinions at us--do we really want "everyman" to be doing that? I think not. Remember when WSIWYG Web design programs came out and lots of people who used them automatically assumed they were designers? They weren't and still aren't; extrapolate from there.
Just wanted to let you know that I'm still dead.
Yours as always,
Generallisimo Francisco Franco
Thanks for the update; it's always lovely to hear from old friends. And if you see Charles Lindbergh, please kick him in the pants and tell him that Phillip Roth and I are both very glad he never became President of the United States.
Do you have pig's feet? Ha ha.
Yes, I do have pig's feet, and as a matter of fact it IS very hard to find shoes. I would expect a joke this tired from a holier-than-thou pinhead like you who helped his evil, moronic brother steal the presidency after actually losing the election in 2000. (And if that hadn't happened we wouldn't have to put up with said moron destroying the country and pissing off the rest of the world for another four years.) I'd say that your mother should horsewhip you, but I sincerely believe she's actually the root of the pervading streak of evil that runs through and controls your your family.
Since you seem to like jokes so much (after all, you are a huge joke yourself...), here's one for you: "Knock Knock." Who's there? "U.S. Customs." U.S.Customs who? "US Customs about the $19,000 worth of clothes and jewelry your feckless, rich wife bought in Paris in 1999 but 'forgot' to declare to us." Moral compass on the fritz there, "J?" Not a good quality in a governor who thinks it's okay to execute people in the electric chair. But then, what do I know, I have pig's feet.
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