Dennis Miller Rants and Monologues



 "Maybe he deserves a second chance, I mean who did he really hurt
besides himself? Maybe it's time that we as a nation start staying out
of people's personal problems and vices. What are we doing spending
billions of dollars trying to keep people's private lives in order?
And I'm talking about legal age consenting adults here, not kids, we
obviously have to take special precautions to protect kids. But what is
this Orwellian hang-up of ours of sticking our nose into other
grown-up's affairs? What concern is it of ours if some mindless stoner
wants to spend his his life hooked up to a Turkish skull bong? Now,
I'm not pro-drug, they obviously cause a lot of damage, but I am
pro-logic and you're never going to stop the human need for release
through altered consciousness. The government can take away all the
drugs in the world and people will just spin around on their lawn until
they fell down and saw God.

"Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but it seems to really
enrage the vast cheese dog and beer quaffing nation out there when someone
decides to waste his own life chasing down chemical euphoria and I'm not
sure why. Our displeasure with someone hell-bent on self-ruination
through drug use seems really disproportionate to its direct impact on
us. And as a matter of fact, I believe we amplify that impact when we
attempt to enforce unenforceable laws. It not only costs us billions of
dollars, but it puts us in harms way as addicts are driven to crime as a
means to an end. Why do we chase druggies down like villagers after
Karlov? Let them legally have what they already have and defuse the
bomb. You know, I think the hysteria about drugs is often times baseless.
And this comes from me, a man who has never done cocaine in his life,
although I did smoke dope upon occasion during my stint as a student at
Oxford in the late 60s. And you know, the war on drugs is more often than
not fruitless and patently hypocritical, be honest with yourselves now.
What drugs are the most dangerous to the most Americans? Its a no
brainer: cigarettes and alcohol. Those are the statistical champions by
hundreds of thousands of deaths. And wouldn't you rather shoot a game
of pool with a guy smoking a joint than a guy drinking whisky and beer?
Someone smoking a joint doesn't all of the sudden rear back and stab his
partner in the eye socket with a cue stick, ok? He's too busy laughing
at the balls.

"And you know as far as harder drugs go, if somebody wants to shoot
up and die right in front of you, more power to him, you know? It's his
call. And you know the herd always has a way of thinning itself out.
We aren't stupid people here in America, no more than anyone else in
the world, so why are we obsessing on habits that harm no one but the
habitual, while we let real problems slip ever further out of reach. We
seem to be willfully turning away from reality, and from logic might I
add, to punish people, who in many instances are doing an extremely fine
job of punishing themselves, thank you. And in some cases they're not
even punishing themselves, but rather just following age old spawning
instincts that are as woven as deeply into their brain as their need to
watch Home Improvement.

"Is their anything more fruitless than trying to legislate sexual
behavior? You know according to the law, you can't even get a blow
job in Georgia? No wonder Sherman hustled through there. And really if
you stop to think about it, who is hurt by the time honored unavoidable
trade of prostitution? Only the guys who pay extra to be hurt. There
is no sane reason to cling to this archaic legal attempt to curtail an
activity that will be around until the end of time. You know, you could
come back to this planet ten thousand years from now and man could have
evolved to the point where he doesn't even take in nutrition from a
hole in head anymore, but I guarantee you that he'll still be cruising
ninth avenue trying to get a knob-shine from somebody named Desiree.

"What sort of perfect harried experiment society are we striving for
folks? One where you will be forced by the puritanical mentality of
your pin-headed Gladys Kravitz neighbors into a tightly constricted,
over-regimented existence? A life safe from the temptations and rewards
of the flesh? If that's your kink - go for it. But for the rest of
us, let's save the money we're wasting trying to regulate other people's
private lives. If an individual wants to smoke a joint, or shoot up, or
munch blotter like tic-tacs and drop out, let them. All right? Let's
put the billions we're wasting on a drug war, fought by fitness fanatics
on steroids and three-martini senators rolling in pork, let's put it
back in the educational system. Let's free the courts and jails of
lonely men and broken women who feel the need to buy and sell sex.
Let's let hookers and their johns have a safe building somewhere off the
streets, inspected medically and taxed up the wazoo. Let's go on from
there to tax liquor and cigarettes so that those industries can pay for
safe one-lane drunk-proof highways and air purification systems. Most
importantly, let's stop pretending that people are going to lead the
lives that we tell them to lead. Let's stop pretending that a few
simple prohibitions on substances and activities will yield up a nation
of Beaver Cleavers: polite, clean, sexless, and ready to serve their
fellow man, no questions asked. People are people. They're going to
with their lives what they want to do, whether you like it or not.
There is nothing you can do about them that won't break the bank,
overcrowd the prisons, or corrode an already oxidized judicial system.
People are perennially going to get fucked up and fucked, and we will
continue to get fucked over if we don't concede the fact that there
is absolutely fuck-all we can do about it.

"Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong."


What's Right with America

You know, normally on my HBO show I come out here week after week and piss on
everything like a drunk yard cat. You know that. That's my job. I've always
felt I'm paid to find things that are wrong and then do my best to throw the
switch on the perimeter floods and light it up. Tonight we're suppose to talk
about what's right with America. Now I know you've got to burrow pretty deep to
unearth any underlying confidence in a nation that's sapped of its vigor,
strafed by violence, and pummeled senseless by the debasement of every
institution from the Armed Services to Baseball. That being said, Are we gonna
have some fun tonight?! Yeah, all right. That was rhetorical.

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but you know, there's a lot right right with
America! Nowadays, you just have to look a little harder for it. Sure, we're
sick of paying for illegal immigrant kids to go to school and we're going to
stop. But only a country that did it for a while can stop doing it. See? People
don't ever consider that. And okay, we nearly exterminated the Native
Americans. Nobody tries to hide that anymore. But we did change our textbooks
so the facts came out. I mean, who else does that? Only America. And as if
admitting the truth wasn't enough, we don't even tax their casinos. And us -
with a 4-trillion-debt! I'm saying not taxing billions in Indian bingo loot is
magnanimous and should be in the "What's Right with America" column! How's
about this - in America we let people in prison read, study law, even work out
so they can get themselves out of jail in much better mental and physical shape
to resume their lives of crime. A lot of countries treat their criminals like
animals, like sub-humans, as if they'd done something wrong!

Not America. Not this great country. I'm not a complete ethno-centrist. I went over to France
earlier this year for a couple of months, to see if I might live there. And
while I enjoyed my time in Paris, I should tell you that the French hate our
guts. I cannot believe they actually gave us the Statue of Liberty. They
must've been throwing it out anyway. Because these people detest us. They look
at us and we are one, big, collective Jethro bearing down on them, rope belt
and all. And you know something? In all fairness, we might be hicks, but at
least we're hicks who tend to our armpits more frequently than once every time
Comet Kohoutek is in the solar system. These people avoid showers like a blonde
at the Bates Motel. They had to invent perfume. It wasn't an augmentation, it
was a defense mechanism. Trust me, when Louis the XIV guillotined you, he was
doing you a big favor separating your olfactory senses from your brainstem.
"Yeah, Claude, paint the water lilies a little later. Right now I need you to
pick up that loofa and storm the pit Bastille, all right?" Thank you, Pepe
LePeux. I had a cabdriver over there, smelled like a man eating Gorganzola
cheese while getting a permanent inside the septic tank of a slaughterhouse. I
said, "Hey, pal. There's an extra five in it for ya if you run over a f***ing
skunk." So, there'd another reason why this country's great.

We smell better than most. Another reason we're great is because we create things here,things
of unique beauty, things that unconsciously interweave the American attributes
of ingenuity, optimism, gluttony, and narrow-mindedness. Things like: "All You
Can Eat" Restaurants ... The Clapper ... Street-legal, semiautomatic grenade
weapons that even the Tontons Macoute didn't have ... The Temporary Insanity
Plea ... Cutting-edge CD-ROM technology used for porno ... deep-fried cheese
... bans on toy guns ... rain ponchos for dogs ... Orange Julius ... Orange
County ... beer can hats ... plea bargaining ... being able to plug your
parents with bullets and getting acquitted ... indeed we're even free over here
to subscribe to 500 channels of cable only to find out that that piece of shit,
William Katt's superhero show, is on 498 of them ... You know ... As a matter
of fact, you want to know what's right with America more than anything? Our
right to speak out about everything that's wrong with it. And we're all free to
vent at will-at least for the next couple of days till Gingrich takes over and
straps the rat cage on our collective face. You know ... this really is a great
country. Remind yourself of it once in a while. Take the family on Route 66,
shop at the Galleria, buy a gun, have your breasts enlarged, have your penis
lengthened, sue your neighbor, eat three Big Macs, drive 120 and pay the
ticket, visit the White House - or better yet, jump the fence and go meet the
Prez in person. He likes that. He really really likes that. It's America,
goddamn it!!

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


Sexual Harrassment

All right, lets put our cards on the table. We got a dicey little subject this
week: Sexual Harrassment. Now, its pretty easy for me to come out here week
after week to do some high concept screed about how, for instance, I think
violence is bad...oh, well, thank you Dr. Insight ! But this week were
crotch-deep in a good old-fashioned quandary, arent we? The age old battle of
the sexes situated in the Circus Maximus of the workplace. Look, I should tell
you right up front that while I'm sure many of you think of me as the world's
most insightful hermaphrodite, I am in fact a guy. So I I have to confess
that my first thoughts on this issue were well, it can't be all that bad, can
it? Certainly a lot of these cases have to be trumped up, dont they? But then I
flashed on the fact that much of what goes through my head is shot through the
dick prism

You know, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but what do I
really know about what it's like to have some fat, foul-breathed, ham-handed
boss leaning over your shoulder while you type or laying his hands on your
waist while you fax something? I have no idea about how it feels to have some
leering, pawing, needy co-worker breathing down your cleavage while you try to
keep the best job available in a small town without much opportunity so that
you can put your kids in clothes without the help of a deadbeat ex-husband;
that has got to be brutal . So all I can say, is to be really honest with you
and myself about what I have observed in my forty years of dragging a penis
around this pebble we call Earth (laughs). And that is this; I think men more
often than not are probably guilty of a lot of the shit that they are being
accused of. From my observations, a lot of guys act so badly and so stupidly
with women in nightclubs and at the beach and on the street, I know that if
they got some occupational leverage they would probably use it as a come-on.

Why are men like that? Well, because over the years men have written the rule
book...not all men, sit down, Donahue . But many men have written the rule book
that says its OK to look the other way when certain members of the male herd
squeeze, pinch, and demean women. Well now the rules are finally being
rewritten and as men and women go through this period of readjustment the bad
behavior is coming back to haunt us, isn't it? Because nowadays were hearing
more and more stories of men being accused of sexual harassment and
instantaneously presumed guilty until proven innocent. But just because MANY
men are guilty it is dangerous to jump to the conclusion that ALL men are
guilty. All right, now that we understand our game, lets introduce tonights
dualists; Jones vs. Clinton in the Board of Education building . Do I think
something happened between them? I most certainly do; he's a powerful man who
also happens to be a tenth degree horndog (laughs and applause) and you know
something I think most of you will agree once you get beyond all this faux
patriotic rebob about besmirching the Presidency with tawdry accusations, the
fact is Bill Clinton probably achieved emeritus status in the Players club
while governor of the state of Arkansas . There is too much rumor, too much
innuendo, and just enough evidence; bottom line, folks, where there's smoke,
there's friction.

You know, Stephanopoulos must be feeling like the guy that
Louis B. Mayer assigned to accompany Erryl Flynn around town. Georgie-boy has
become a sexual Red Adere and it appears our good president was sinking a
whole lot of wells in the mid-80s . Having said that, do I think he sexually
harassed Paula Jones? Hard to say and here's why: she did in fact receive
several salary increases after the incident. Whatever cheesy chicanery went
down in that hotel room it doesn't seem to have affected her wage-earning
ability. I also think that it undermines her case a tad that it seems to be so
much about the MONEY. Seven hundred thousand dollars? How'd they arrive at that
figure, what's that, a hundred K per inch ? You know something, theres a fair
to midland chance that old P.J. is a big-haired opportunist propped up by
small-minded politically thwarted enemies of the President. Now having said
that the sexual harassment charge might be suspicious; do I think that Paula
Jones might have been compromised by the clumsy, sophomoric sexual advances of
a presumptuous Huey not-so-Long type lording his power over a backwoods empire:
yes I do .

Do I think that Paula Jones could have been embarrassed by the
highest elected official in her state doing a Lurch impression with his Dockers
down around his ankles : yes I do. But I would say this to Paula Jones; the
next time a man drops his chinos in front of you, look him in the eye and say
Listen, you silly son of a bitch, pull your pants up and start thinking with
your big head for a change, OK pal? Look, nobody wants to make light of the
serious crime against women that men commit far too often; but isnt that what
frivolous complaints like Paula Jones are doing? We've gotta get clear with
each other on how our respective gender tribes wield sexuality in this culture.
Because some of this stuff should be a no-groiner.

Here are some guidelines: to the women who are ready to haul the bagboy at the

Safeway into court because he complimented you on your culottes , take the extra second and try to
differentiate the innocuous from the malicious. And all the men who don't get
the fact that when she says no she means no, well I'm telling you
Quest-for-Fire-boy, she means NO , OK? Its over. Pack up your encyclopedias and
go knock on the next fucking door . Let me also advance the following immodest
proposal so we can all get on with our goddamn lives: I think we should pour
all our time, energy, and know-how into genetically engineering a third sex
that we can both fuck indiscriminately and never feel the need to phone the
next morning. We could call them...recepticants! And they would heal the world.

And while this solution may seem silly, its no sillier than what were doing
now; which is a tentative sexual two-step in which neither partner wants to
lead, neither partner wants to follow, and everybody's feet are getting stepped

Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong


George W. Bush

The Russian Prime Minister has declared Space Station Mir too old and decrepit
to be useful anymore. Naturally, the space station will now begin confirmation
hearings to serve on George W. Bush's cabinet sometime next week.

Bush leaned on Donald Rumsfeld to take time off from writing his memoirs of the
Battle of Hastings to serve as Secretary of defense. Rumsfeld keeps pushing for
that Star Wars Catapult Defense System, because he's afraid the North Koreans
might have the crossbow.

And on Monday, movers went to the Governor's Mansion in Austin, Texas to
transfer Bush's belongings to Washington. The move itself took very little time
once workers discovered that Bush had nothing upstairs.

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but as a comedian, with George W.
Bush coming into office, I feel like the owner of a hardware store before a
hurricane. I hate to see it coming but I have to admit it's good for business.

I'll take my shots at Dubya, but I actually have high hopes for the next four
years. I see George W. Bush working hard to keep the ambitions of big business
and the military in check, and ensure that even the lowest job pays a dignified
wage. I believe he'll erase the animus that has divided Washington, and bring
both sides of the aisle together. I also happen to believe dogs can talk if you
touch them in the right spot, and everyone watching me is happy with their

As much as I'm willing to give Bush a chance, I'm a little nervous about his
intellectual capacity. I mean, at least Clinton had his dick to think with.

And Clinton did a lot of thinking. If I were Bush, the first day I took over,
I'd have a convoy of six Rug Doctor trucks come chugging through the main
entrance of the White House, park right in front of the TV cameras, and start
dragging their steam-cleaning hoses through the Oval Office door. Well, come
on. It's got to be like buying Bob Guccione's mattress at a yard sale.

You can say what you want about Bush, but he's going to surround himself with
people who are so experienced that they aren't gonna let him eat at the
grown-up table for a long time.

And you can't understand the great and powerful Bush without peeking behind the
curtain at the clever bald man pulling all the levers: Vice President Dick
"It's Probably Just Gas" Cheney. Now, Cheney's heartbeat skips more than
Richard Simmons on his way to a Ricky Martin concert. You know, the job of V.P.
doesn't give you that much to do, so it would be a shame if the very first
state funeral he attended was his own. But Cheney is also smart, crafty and
persuasive, so give George credit for putting him on the team. Most
presidential candidates try to pick a running mate who won't outshine them, but
who would that be for Bush? Maybe Wilson the volleyball from the movie "Cast

Let's put Bush's cabinet under the microscope, or, as he calls it, "the
little-stuff-to-big-stuff thingy."

Now, we do need to cut Bush some slack on Linda Chavez. How could he possibly
know the woman had a Guatemalan slave? Chavez got out quickly. I guess she felt
that if people had a hard time with the illegal alien maid, they might respond
even more negatively to the 30 Haitians assembling "Salad Shooters" in her

Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft will not be able to fill Janet Reno's
shoes, but then again neither could Shaquille ONeill. But what I don't
understand is how Ashcroft can be so pro-Death Penalty when he lost his last
election bid to Mel Carnahan, a dead guy. What's really scary is that most
people thought Carnahan won the debates, too.

National Security Advisor nominee Condoleezza Rice has often been described as
W.'s "foreign policy tutor". Oh, yeah, I love the sound of that. It's nice to
know we're signing our nuclear arsenal over to a man who needs after-school
help. Don't you think the fact that he needs a tutor ought to be raising more
eyebrows than Eminem teaching kindergarten on the planet Vulcan?

Secretary of Health and Human Services nominee Tommy Thompson says his top
priorities include overhauling social security and Medicare as well as fixing
his stupid name. Hey, what kinda guy makes it past forty with a "y" on the end
of his first name? Hey, Tommy Thompson, nice to meet you, you loser fuck, I'm
Denny Dennerson.

For Secretary of State, Bush chose Colin Powell. Okay, no complaints there.
Nice to see that Bush picked a minority. After all, a minority picked him.

All in all, George W. Bush has to have had the same reaction that I did after I
got the job on Monday Night Football. Hey, what in the hell happened here? I
only applied for the job because I never thought they would actually give it to
me. So my advice, George, is take your lumps and jump in there. For me it was
the best thing I ever did, next to this show on HBO of course. Man, it's hard
kissing two asses at once.

You know, in the end, it's hard to know what history will make of the second
Bush presidency. Will it be regarded as an aberration in the electoral process?
A surprisingly capable underdog effort? Maybe just a placeholder in the strange
but easy-to-remember Presidential sequence "Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton."
Whatever is to be, there's one thing we know: It's time for Daddy's little boy
to grow up. George W. Bush's seemingly endless supply of free passes is now
officially drier than any of the oilwells he once managed. Well, I, for one,
wish him the best.

Now, I don't pretend to know anything about the Machiavellian intricacies of
politics, the " one - hand - washes - the - other - that - scratches - the -
back - that - spanks - the - monkey - that - gives - the - reacharound - " to
whomever. All I know is, with the Nasdaq numbers acting like they're in a fight
scene from "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and the once-madly-thriving economy
now teetering like Forrest Whitaker in a pair of Jimmy Choo stilettos, if I
were Dubya, the first thing I'd do when I set foot in the White House, before I
unpacked the video golf game, before I started crank-calling my old frat
brothers, before I snuck up behind Dick Cheney and popped an inflated paper
bag, the first thing I'd do is get my ass on the phone and send Alan Greenspan
a four-year supply of Omaha fucking steaks.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


Al Gore

Well, tomorrow George W. Bush moves into the Oval Office and Bill and Hillary
tell the White House staff, "See you in four years." But what about Al?

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but Al Gore is about to leave not
only the White House but the flimsy IKEA lean-to that is the American
consciousness. He's about to sling his wobbly, too-tight high heels over his
shoulder and take the morning-after Walk of Shame out of the beer-and
sweat-stained frat house of Washington, D.C. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.

Tonight, I hope to answer the question, "Who is Al Gore and what are his core
beliefs?" So, Al, if you're watching out there, stick around, cause this'll all
be new to you.

Poor Gore. Desperate for approval, he violated the Number One rule in showbiz:
Work the shaft. Oh, I'm sorry, that's the number two rule. The number one rule
is: people hate flop sweat. It doesn't matter what color shirt your handlers
tell you to wear, Al. If the pits are darker than Ann Rice's dream journal,
you're in trouble.

Even the biggest Democratic apologist has to admit that Gore lacked something.
You'd think the guy who won the popular vote would be well, more popular. Hey,
everybody knows that winning the popular vote is sort of like winning a
People's Choice Award. Sure it feels good for a while knowing you've carried
the three - hundred - pounds - and - up turqoise-collector demographic, but it
doesn't mean shit if you don't back it up with the Oscar.

And let's all stop blaming the electoral college system. It's an essential part
of the democratic process specially designed to make sure that each candidate
is responsible for making false promises to every American, not just the ones
in highly populated urban areas.

So, how did Al Gore come to lose the presidential race? Simple. He ran. The
ability to come across as warm and genuine to the American public is simply not
in Al's Westworld wiring. "Al, you lost me at Hello."

And anybody who watched the debates knew this. It was like watching a pit bull
try to go duck hunting. He kept trotting back from the pond with nothing but a
mouth full of bloody feathers thinking he did a great job and not understanding
why everybody kept on petting the dumbass Texas Labrador with the bandanna tied
around his neck.

Al Gore is a supreme intellectual, there's probably nothing he doesn't know,
except perhaps who he truly is. The problem with Al Gore's intellectualism is,
he never lets us forget it. And though we value intelligence, nobody likes a
know-it-all. Sure, I enjoyed reading Proust in high school too, but at least I
was smart enough to lock myself in the bathroom and tell my parents I was

It was painful to watch Al try to emulate Bill Clinton's charming, personable
style while campaigning on the road. He gave it his best shot, but people got
the impression he wasn't really paying attention to them. Every time he'd try
to connect with some guy working in a factory or a waitress in a diner, he'd
end up nodding his head faster and faster and slowly inching away. His body
language always reminded me of somebody who's asked directions to the nearest
gas station, but can't actually listen to them because he's gotta whizz so

Try all he wants, Al Gore will never be Bill Clinton. A leader like Clinton
only comes calling once a generation. When Bill Clinton spoke to us, he looked
like he really cared what we were thinking, made us feel smart, made us feel
good about ourselves and made us think that he would always remember us. That's
a style that can only be honed by decades of trying to score strange tail in
cheap, roadside cocktail lounges.

When it comes to assigning blame for their recent loss of the White House, the
Democrats are going to be pointing more fingers than the Hindu god Vishnu at a
Dunkin' Donuts. But ultimately, the problem was simply this: Al Gore came
across as a phony, and George W. Bush came across as genuine. And after eight
years of being lied to by one of the smartest men on the planet, a lot of
people had decided they wanted a president with neither the inclination nor the
brains to mislead them.

I'll be honest, I like my presidents to be a little dim.The clever ones get
bored and try to tamper with my life. Give me a mildly clueless figurehead who
will meet with the Girl Scout who sold the most Thin Mints, telephone the
winning Super Bowl team in their lockerroom, fly abroad now and then to watch
funny foreigners dance funny dances, and most important of all, leave me the
fuck alone.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


English Language

Midge. Moose. Moose. Midge. You know, alliteration is just one of the quirky
little twists that one can use to augment the English language. English, for my
jingoistic dollar: still the creme de la creme of all languages.
Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but to listen to all the alarmist
intellectual Henny-Penny doom-mongers going on and on these days about the
imminent death of the English language, you'd think the English language was,
like, ya know, totally dying, or something. Whatever.

George Orwell warned that banalities in the English language reflect a
corrupted culture. "Banalities" without the "B" is analities. That's funny.

English is not just the language of Britain, Australia, Canada, and certain
parts of Kentucky. It's also the language of business, diplomacy, and

Now, when I say English, I'm talking about what we speak here in the States,
without the funny accent. Because I don't know what language working-class
Brits are speaking over there in England, but it isn't like anything I've ever
heard. I saw the movie "Snatch" over the weekend and I felt more out of it than
Liz Taylor at the Golden Globes.

I have always had a deep and abiding love for the English language, from early
on in life. I've always loved the flirtatious tango of consonants and vowels,
the sturdy dependability of nouns and the capricious whimsy of verbs, the
strutting pageantry of the adjective, and the flitting evanescence of the
adverb, all kept safe and orderly by those reliable little policemen,
punctuation marks. Wow. You think I got my ass kicked much in high school?

You can gauge the esteem in which we hold the English language simply by
telling someone you majored in it. Now, the first thing they do is mentally
subtract twenty grand off what they think you make. The second thing they do is
ask you to bring them a menu and tell them the soup of the day. And why not? In
school, English was the easiest subject to bullshit your way through. There are
no Cliff Notes for Physics. You can't bluff your way through a Calculus
discussion just by watching "Calculus: The Movie." But when it comes to essay
questions, well, you can fake it like a hooker being paid by the moan.

I understand that English is a protean, evolving language that must constantly
change in order to remain relevant. But let's not go out of our way to
appropriate words from other cultures simply to justify making something more
expensive. Hey, you can add all the Italian suffixes you want, you're not
fooling anybody over there at Starbucks. It's still just coffee. Now ring me
the fuck up, you frappaloser.

And Starbuccos is not the only cultural borrower. Doctors tend to lift most of
their phrases from Greek, which is only fitting since every time I go to see
one, he somehow feels the need to spend the afternoon spelunking around in my
ass. All I know is if Hippocrates had been born someplace other than Athens,
they would have come up with an easier way to check my prostate than drilling
me like theyre George Bush and my ass is Alaska.

I wouldn't be so worried about the fate of the English language if more of us
could speak it properly. Forget Stone Cold Steve Austin or the Rock, if you
want to see real wrestling, watch our newly elected president pronounce the
word "unilateral."

Love the guy or hate him, you have to admit that when Bush is speaking
unscripted, the English language disintegrates like cotton candy in a monsoon.
Even he looks like hes surprised at whats coming out of his mouth, kind of like
Malkovich when he had that puppeteer inside his head.

Folks, the English language is very much alive. From where I'm standing, our
mother tongue is kicking ass and taking names. It's large and in charge,
bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, full of piss and vinegar and ready to open up a
big ol can of whup-ass. It's calling the shots, it's bouncing and behaving,
it's all up in it, and it's all that and a bag of chips. For the love of God,
somebody please tell me what in the hell I'm talking about.

Now, while I have upon occasion been labeled the E.B. White of the word "fuck,"
you do have to admit that I went an entire football season without saying it.
Take it from a connoisseur, it should be used sparingly, like saffron in a
fucking paella.

See--the word "fuck" is a beauty, isn't it? From its fricative genesis,
blossoming into its ripe, rich middle until its cruelly truncated in its prime
by a merciless, glottal stop... In all of its earthy, salty, illicit
Anglo-Saxon glory, "fuck" is almost as satisfying to say as it is to do.

Now, some would say I contribute to the coarsening of the English language
through my casual use of profanity. To those critics, I would respond that my
discourse merely exemplifies the vaunted precedent of valorizing the oral
vernacular. I would further add that language is a living tissue, which must
occasionally suffer the rupture of subversion in order to convalesce with more
structural stability. So to those guardians of the linguistic gates who charge
that I shoehorn the F-word in wherever I can, merely to further a rather
tenuous career built entirely on a profane house of cards, well, why dont you
just go fuckerize yourselves.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


The Lure of Show Business

Hey, is there anybody nowadays who doesnt want to be on TV? Sometimes even on
two different shows in completely unrelated fields where his option has just
been picked up for two years in one unrelated field and hes shamelessly using
the other field to suck applause marrow out of the helpless behavior-mod rats
stuck in his studio audience only because they unluckily stumbled into a
Partridge Family bus outside Manns Chinese Theater?

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but while show business from the
outside may seem like a nonstop whirlwind of gorgeous people, fabulous clothes,
sparkling parties and spectacular homes, the reality is exactly that. Sorry,
folks. I wish I had some balm to soothe you, but I don't. It's fucking awesome.

From Balinese shadow plays to bullfighters in Madrid to the porn studios of the
San Fernando Valley to The Craig Kilborn Show, the only human desire more
universal than the urge to put on a show is the urge to get paid for it.

Show business is rife with paradox. It's brutally competitive and yet attracts
people with egos as fragile as Strom Thurmonds hip. There's no doubt about it,
show business lures the people who didn't get enough love, attention, or
approval early in life and have grown up to become bottomless, gaping vessels
of terrifying, abject need... Please laugh.

What draws the average person into a career in Show Business? Simple--they want
to get laid. Take any one of the Backstreet Boys or the kids from N Sync and
put them behind a deli counter with a paper hat and day old meat stains on
their apron, and the only spears they'd have their hands on would be Vlasic
Kosher Dills.

Sometimes I'll be flipping through the channels on my dish and I'll happen upon
this television show from Iraq called "The Chabab Abeeely Program." And this
guy Chabab Abeeely looks really self-satisfied, singing, dancing, giving away
the Chabab Abeeely home game to the Chabab Abeeely studio audience, and I
always wonder: Does Chabab Abeeely really think he, Chabab Abeeely, is in show
business? Do you, Chabab Abeeely?

Why did I want to get into show business? For the same reason Chabab Abeeely
did. In hopes of being immortalized by the no-frills
Raymond-Chandler-if-he-had-no-talent narrative of the E Channels
smoke-enshrouded A.J. Benza. Hey, A.J. Violation of the Peter Principle. Ain't
it a bitch?

In the early eighties, I worked comedy clubs across the country nearly every
week of the year. Many times I drove fifteen hundred miles at a time in a
rusted out AMC Pacer with tires balder than William Shatner fleeing his house
during a 3 AM earthquake, and a blinking dashboard warning-light that said "Hey
Asshole, Somethings On Fire And It's Not Your Career" All this just for the
privilege of sharing a skanky one-bedroom apartment-slash-gulag with two other
jerkoffs in skinny, crinkle ties, one of whom invariably had a cough so bad
that a Welsh coal miner would tell him to get it checked out, and the other of
whom was constantly bragging about getting laid by two different chicks every
week for the past six years and screamed like Lawrence of Arabia galloping into
Aqaba every time he tried to urinate.

And yet, being in show business has its drawbacks... The other day I was at one
of my favorite eateries, and I got interrupted in mid-bite by someone asking
me, "Are you" And I said, "Yes, I'm Dennis Miller. Can we do this later?" And
he said, "Do what later? I wanted to know: Are you finished with that ketchup?"
The point I'm making is, if you're in show business, the only thing worse than
getting interrupted for an autograph during a meal is not getting interrupted
for an autograph during a meal. And when you begin to have more uninterrupted
meals than Rudolf Hess in Spandau, it's time to consider another line of work.

Trust me, you don't want to overstay your welcome in this town. Because you
start to panic and everyone begins to see those rivulets of sweat running down
your forehead, dripping off your chin, and it unnerves them, because they are
then reminded of their own tenuous little toehold on the steep, shale cliffs of
success, so they'll take any opportunity to loosen your pitons, causing you to
plummet backwards onto the jagged rocks at the base of the Piedmont and impale
yourself on a stalagmite where the others still in the game can then watch the
carrion birds feast on your exposed, still-warm entrails. [SING] "Theres no
business like showbusiness!"

And in show business, it can take decades to become an overnight success, and
only moments to be considered a lifetime failure. Ask Vanilla Ice. If he'll
come out from under your car at Meineke.

And don't think you can sleep your way to the top, because I guarantee you,
somebodys going to try to fuck you while youre sleeping. And the casting couch?
A total myth! There is no couch. Trust me, it's never anything more comfortable
than a rented card table covered in head shots ... Or so I've heard.

Listen, I would recommend this business only if you absolutely must receive
constant attention to be happy and fulfilled and you have already proven
yourself unqualified for a more pleasant profession like being a medical test
subject. Yes, the highs can be dazzling, but the views they provide are often
straight to the bottom of the chasm ahead of you. I am sorry, young dreamer,
but I cannot encourage you to join me in this difficult, wearying life, because
I fear for your financial well-being, I am concerned about your mental health,
I tremble at the pain you might cause yourself and your family, and most
importantly, I sure as shit don't need any more competition.

Look, bottom line, no matter how glamorous it appears to be, show business will
always be a grueling and frequently humiliating industry. And you know what? I
don't care who you know, you never start out at the top, no matter what
business you're in. First you're given oil wells, then you're given a baseball
team, and then, and only then, are you given the White House.

Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.


The Age of Intolerance

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but this country's so intolerant
right now, they might as well change the plaque at the base of the Statue of
Liberty to read, "Go the fuck back to Fuckatania."

Listen, I will accept anyone's lifestyle, appearance, belief or idiosyncrasy
just as long as they don't ask me to pay for it or wanna sit next to me on a
plane and talk about it.

What I do object to are fringe groups who go beyond the notion of tolerance and
demand our approval. Sorry, but if you move in next door to me, and one day I
look out my window and see your wife cutting the lawn with her teeth because
she's a sheep, don't expect me to bring a covered dish over when you two
reaffirm your vows, okay?

Intolerance leads people to do strange things: go to war, burn books, riot at
soccer games, and eschew lactose, and there's never any logical reason. Most
arguments made by intolerant people have all the consistency of space shuttle
Thanksgiving gravy.

Why can't anyone just shut up and listen anymore? Whatever happened to the
genteel art of sitting back and letting someone go on and on thinking he's
right while you bask securely in the power of the knowledge that he or she is
completely full of shit?

Now, as mentioned earlier, today's poster boy for intolerance is Eminem. I
don't think there's really anything that damaging in Eminem's lyrics. He's no
more dangerous than a bleached-blond Chihuahua chewin' on an old dishrag.
Eminem doesn't upset me. You know why? Because he wants to upset me. Does his
rap instill hate and inspire intolerance? All I can say is, not in me. As a
matter of fact, it does the opposite. The more he talks about hating
homosexuals, the more I urge gay inclusion in all aspects of society. The more
crudely he rages against women, the more I crave their company and counsel. The
more he casts blame on corporate responsibility for global warming resulting in
the dangerous shrinking of the polar ice cap, the more I realize that you now
know that I'm totally full of shit and have never even listened to his music.

You see, the danger inherent in fighting intolerance is that often those
attempting to eradicate it end up practicing it, only in a mutated,
once-removed form. Liberals in particular are guilty of this supposedly
well-meaning recidivism. Honestly, it baffles me that the same people who blast
away at President Bush's selection of a religious conservative for Attorney
General won't give George W. any kudos for other cabinet choices which include
blacks, Jews, Asians, Hispanics and women. Does a fundamentalist Christian not
also represent a valued strand in our collective fabric? Who's really being
intolerant of other peoples differences here? And by the way, who cares if
Ashcroft's religion prohibits him from dancing? Who wants to see John Ashcroft
dancing anyway? After all, I hear he was born with two right feet.

And as far as Senator Teddy Kennedy's quavering voice of righteous indignation
constantly howling like a beagle at a Rick Wakeman concert at the prospect of a
right wing conservative holding sway over the countrys law enforcement
priorities... Give it a rest, Spam head. Let's not get into your view on womens
rights and the sanctity of human life, okay, because where those issues are
concerned, Teddy, you may not be, uh, shall we say, in control of your own
vehicle. Capice, Tay-o?

And let's not let conservatives off the hook, either. Especially the religious
right. Quick show of hands: if he came down and applied, how many here think
Jesus would actually be accepted into Bob Jones University? C'mon, they'd beat
the shit out of a long haired, peace-and-love hippy before he could turn the
first cheek.

I think the truth is that you can never make everyone happy. The same people
who scream about the freedom of choice for a woman to do what she wants with
her body are forcing people who want their body to have a cigarette out into
the streets to smoke. Some people who are against the death penalty are so
adamant that they would electrocute those who are for it, and some of those who
pray for the lives of the unborn also recite an extra "Our Father" when a
clinic is bombed.

Look, tolerance does not mean you agree with everything that other people say,
or that you subordinate your own best instincts to the tyranny of mass opinion.
It simply means you pretend not to know that everyone on the planet but you is
a total fucking moron.

The most unforgivable thing about intolerance is, by its inherent assumption
that one group, belief or lifestyle is superior to another, it fails to take
into account the ultimate truth which binds us all, black and white, gay and
straight, Republican and Democrat, Arab and Israeli, Hindu and Muslim, Catholic
and Protestant, Serb and Croat, Hutu and Tutsi: the fact that, at the end of
the day, we are all equal pains-in-the-ass, in the eyes of the Lord.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


Clintons' Goodbye

Boy, the Clintons' left Washington about as quietly as Kid Rock leaves a
Holiday Inn.

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here but like an infestation of
cockroaches, a drunken party guest or a super-virulent strain of
antibiotic-resistant clap, the
Clintons are proving almost impossible to get rid of. Hey, is there any way for
an entire nation to file a restraining order?

Since we first met them, Bill and Hillary's political relationship has been
defined by a series of scandals, providing their marriage a much-needed
distraction from ever having to actually stop and figure out how to extricate
themselves from their biggest predicament: each other. Let's face it. If the
Clintons' marriage were any more about convenience, they'd have to install a
Slurpee machine and a Slim-Jim rack.

We've all been watching in astonishment these last few weeks, as the Clintons
merrily parade their greed and corruption past us like a garish Mardi Gras
powered by the drivetrain of Bill Clinton's gargantuan sense of entitlement.
Hillary steers, while Bill sits on the top tossing pardons out to the crowd
like a
drunken Bacchus with a perpetual hard-on for a scepter.

And it turns out the Low Priest who shepherded many of the pardon petitioners
to the quid-pro-quo altar is none other than Hillary's currently
eight-and-a-half-months pregnant brother, Hugh Rodham. Hey, who could blame
Jabba the Hick for acting as a supersized go-between? How would you
like it if your sister was in the White House for eight years and you couldn't
even cash in on it because of stupid laws and shit?

And the Hugh-Rodham-sponsored pardons were small, and quickly eaten, potatoes
compared to the Marc Rich debacle. President Clinton has repeatedly
insisted his pardon of Marc Rich was the right thing to do. Which should
probably tip you off to just how wrong it undoubtedly was.

You almost have to admire the sheer audacity of granting pardons to two
tax-scamming billionaire fugitives named Rich and Green. If the symbolism were
any more obvious, Andrew Lloyd Weber would be writing music for it.

And speaking of vacuous songwriters, the Marc Rich pardon was facilitated by
his former wife, Denise Rich. Now why would a former wife go to the wall for
her ex-husband? Well, in this case, I can think of a couple of billion reasons.
You know, she couldn't be any more in her former husbands hip pocket if she
were a piece of lint. Think about it. Denise Rich is the perfect unwitting foil
to do the bidding of low-rent Machiavellis like her ex and Bill Clinton. Every
time I see that footage of her standing there on stage next to Clinton in her
strapless, fur-trimmed, hey-baby-give-it-up-you're-in-your-mid-fifties Escada
frock, smiling that lobotomized, open-mouth smile, all the while clapping her
mitts together like she's a trained seal cleaning erasers, just so thrilled to
be part of the action that all the naysayers once told her was way out of her
league, well, all I can think is, "Wow, she's not even aware of what an
incredible dupe she's being played for." You know, there's nothing sadder than
a star-fucker who thinks she's a patriot. And I like her.

To be fair, it's not like other outgoing presidents and first ladies haven't
been involved in sketchy pardons, taken gifts they weren't supposed to, or
profited from their positions. It's just that no one has ever done it in such
bulk, in so short a time, eliminating the mid-level operative and passing the
scandal right on to you, the consumer. Let's face it: the Clintons are the
Costco of Sleaze.

And all of the lying, cheating and stealing can't be good for either of the
Clintons' karma. At this point Hillary's coming back as a dung beetle with an
overdeveloped sense of smell, and Bill will come back as... uh... well, Bill.
Face it, this guy's smarter than God.

But you must never count Bill Clinton out. He is completely alone right now,
but this is when he's at his absolute best. When the whole world has turned
their back on him, when the baying hounds are confusing the scent of his blood
with someone else's who's about to take the fall for him... That is the precise
moment he has you exactly where he wants you.

Perhaps Bill Clinton didn't so much betray his allies as seduce them into
betraying themselves. From the women's rights groups who took Clinton's side
against all the women he victimized to all the liberal compadres he discarded
when it was politically expedient to do so, Clintons proffered deal has always
been the same: I will help you achieve your goals if you simply abandon the
ideals that made them worthwhile in the first place.

I guess what I'm saying, Bill, is, we're on to you, and it's over, understand?
We've awakened from our long nightmare of codependence and addiction and we've
found someone new. Maybe he's not as smart or as exciting as you, but he treats
us nice and makes us feel pretty. We don't need you anymore, Bill, okay? So
stop calling and stop driving past our house at night and stop looking at us
like that. Now get off the porch and get out of here before we change our

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.



And an article in USA Today this week reported an increase in the number of pet
owners taking their dogs to see psychiatrists. Hey, whatever happened to
yelling at your dog to get off the couch? You know, if I could lick my own
balls, I sure as hell couldn't need a shrink. Ah, who am I kidding? I can lick
my own balls. That's why I go to a shrink. I can't stop. Because I'm a human
being, with a bafflingly complex mind and a very stiff neck.

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but even the best psychiatrist is
like a blindfolded auto mechanic poking around under your hood with a giant
foam "We're #1" finger.

Though definitely a Western phenomenon, psychiatry hearkens back to
traditional, tribal forms of healing, in which the right combination of words
and potions would ease your tortured spirit. I can just picture an African
Bushman, lying on a dirt floor, anxiously telling his medicine man this
nightmare he keeps having about showing up at work fully clothed.

Even though it was invented in Europe, psychiatry could only become the
multi-million-dollar business it is today here in the United States. We're the
only people in the world who are stupid enough to actually want to know what's
going on inside our minds. Americans couldn't be more self-absorbed if they
were made of equal parts water and paper towel.

Another reason psychiatry has flourished in the US is that, in the 1970's,
Woody Allen helped popularize the idea that going to a shrink is normal and
healthy. And just look what its done for him and his family. He and his
daughter-slash-wife have never been happier.

Now, ever since the days of Freud, psychiatry has been strictly limited to the
realm of the middle- and- upper classes. sychoanalysis is expensive, which
isn't too surprising when you consider it was invented by a major cokehead.

For me, the difference between psychiatry and psychology is just one of those
little nagging things I can never remember. Like stalactite or stalagmite.
Alligator or crocodile. Nipple clamp or nipple restraint.

But I do know that psychosis falls into two major categories, manic-depression,
and schizophrenia. Being diagnosed as one or the other has two immediate
benefits. First, it automatically defines a set of effective treatments and
second, it tells you which side you'll play on in the annual Crazy Fucks
Softball Tournament.

Nowadays, rather than dwelling on childhood traumas and repressed sexuality,
modern psychiatry deals more with correcting chemical imbalances in the brain.
Kind of like what some people did back in college, except then it wasn't called
psychiatry, it was called "bong hits."

Therapists face the daunting task of taking chaotic, violent and unstable
people and molding them into well-rounded, secure and productive members of a
chaotic, violent and unstable society.

Now, I'm not saying we should return to the days of lobotomies and
electroshock, but I do feel the pendulum has swung too far the other way.
Today, everything is a disorder or a disease that deserves our understanding.
Nobody is held personally responsible for their actions. And that's gotta go. I
think a good first step would be to change "not guilty by reason of insanity"
to "guilty by reason of insanity."

Basically I'm a pretty normal guy when it comes to my mental health. I guess if
I have one little problem that makes me consider seeing a shrink, it's a
white-hot hatred for all humanity that burns so intensely it literally sears my
insides. Other than that, I'm feelin' pretty mellow these days.

All kidding aside, I know what my problem is. I'm what you call a self-loathing
paranoid. I don't think I'm worth the time and effort it would take for someone
to hunt me down.

I view my head in much the same way I view my TV set. When something isn't
working right, I can either bang it with my hand, or call a professional to fix
the damn thing. In fact, I even have my shrink wear a tool belt and a name tag,
and rip a big one at the start of every session.

The key is to find a therapist that you click with, someone that you trust
implicitly with the deep, dark secrets you wouldn't even tell your accountant.

Now, I've had some great therapists in my life, and I've also had some who left
me questioning their credentials. No doubt the worst was Doctor Cletus, a
Jungian in bib overalls who, while I poured out the most intimate details of my
very existence, would thumb through back-issues of "Guns & Ammo" magazine,
occasionally glancing over at me, giggling and muttering, "Man, that is some
weird-ass shit."

And the best input I ever got from a shrink? Well, when I was younger, I was
plagued by feelings of inadequacy. So I went to see a psychologist. And he told
me the reason I felt inadequate was because I was inadequate. Now that guy was
a fucking genius.

Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.



Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but why are Americans so in love
with credit? Simple: WE'RE AMERICANS. We want everything, we want it Bigger,
louder, shinier, faster, and we want it NOW. Instant gratification is as
American as drive-through microwave apple pie. Of course Tantric sex was
invented in India. Here, we want to fuck just to get it over with, so we can go
out and buy more stuff.

This country was founded on debt. Hey, right off the bat, we got ourselves into
hock to pay for the Revolutionary War. And then, in 1803, we purchased the
Louisiana Territory, and they only sent us the clear title for that three weeks

Historians often contrast our love of credit with the frugality and
practicality of our Puritan ancestors. But come on: How frugal is it to buy a
separate belt buckle just for your hat?

You can't begin to understand credit until you understand its boozy
counterpart, interest. Credit is like a friendly bartender, wrapping his arm
around your shoulder and telling you it's okay, just put this round on your
credit card and take care of it with your next paycheck. Interest is the surly
bouncer who hustles you head-first out of the warm tavern and face-first into
the urine-stained snow bank, all the while mercilessly punching you in the ribs
as he methodically goes through your pockets, until he gets back every last
penny that you owe him.

Even the most thrifty among us need credit at some point or another. When you
mortgage a house. When you buy a car. When you're on e-Bay and you see a
mint-condition ice-packed human kidney that's still throbbing and would go
perfectly in your collection ... But who would have a collection like that

The irony is that responsible people who pay as they go never build up a good
credit rating. And without one, you're considered a bad lending risk. Just try
applying for a car loan or a mortgage. Trust me, you'll be ignored like the
busboy at Hooters.

There is a whole generation out there who, between ATM cards and credit cards,
don't even know what cash looks like. You take out a wad of bills these days,
and you might as well be pulling out beaver pelts to pay for that pizza. I have
had cashiers take the twenty-dollar bill I've given them and write my drivers
license number on it. Of course, we'll always need cash for strip clubs. Nobody
wants to see a naked chick swipe a card.

Now, I myself know what it's like to have bad credit. When I was 19, credit
card companies would send me letters telling me I had been pre-approved for

Giving a teenager a credit card to teach them about money is like getting them
drunk and putting them behind the wheel of a car to teach them responsibility.
The interest rates on these cards make Tony Soprano look like George Bailey.

Bottom line: this country is more dependent on plastic than the casting
director for Pamela Anderson's "V.I.P." And true, while I appreciate the
convenience credit cards provide, what I really like are the cards themselves.
I like their size and weight and as a matter of fact, I have customized mine
with razor-sharp tungsten edges and balanced them for throwing with deadly
accuracy. I also took the liberty of having a graphic artist rework the little
holograms for me. My MasterCard shows a squirrel water-skiing, and my Visa
shows an old, fat couple fucking. My point is, credit can be fun if you just
let it.

If I have one bone to pick with the credit card companies, it's that they make
the place where you're supposed to put your signature on the back of the card
too small. And nobody ever checks the signature on the card anyway. When they
do, it's just for show; they're not really checking it. I know because, as an
experiment, on my most recent card, instead of signing it, I wrote, "Just ring
it up, shithead." So far, not a peep.

Now, one of the ways we judge which rung of the ladder you are perched on in
this society is by what color credit card you carry. For American Express, the
once-prestigious Green card can be replaced by the Gold card. Keep charging,
and you are eligible for the Platinum card, which can now be trumped by the
upper-echelon Black card. Soon you will be able to just have a bar code sewn
onto your ass, so that there's absolutely no way you can leave home without it.

In closing, let me say that today, I am fortunate, because I have the money to
pay off my credit cards at the end of each month -- but I choose not to. Why?
Well, my logic is that if a killer asteroid obliterates the earth, causing
tidal waves and cosmic fires that destroy every submicroscopic trace of life on
this planet as we know it, and I still owe three grand on my Visa, I win.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


The Need to be Cool

You know why Jack Kerouac was cool? Because he had no idea he was.

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but cool is a gift. It's having
eight pounds of hip in a five-pound bucket. It's not bought, bred or
bequeathed. Clinton lost it, Gore can't buy it and Bush thinks it's spelled
with a "k."

America's drive to be cool is like an endless game of "Follow the Leader," with
all of us in a dog-sled-train, struggling to keep up with the alpha male
trendsetter, when all we can make out are the hazy, glistening outlines of his
ice-flecked, rhythmically pumping butt cheeks. Sorry, I got a little carried
away, there. I'm still recovering from Gay Week on Animal Planet.

The United States is the birthplace of cool. If the world was a high school,
America would be making out in study hall with Sweden, picking on India, and
smoking in the U.N. restroom with France and Colombia.

Coolness appeals to us because it represents being free from the constraints of
society while still living within it, dropping in to give Richie and Chachi a
dose of hard-earned street wisdom, and then headin' off to Arnold's to grab a
shake and pound a free song out of the jukebox when the Cunningham scene gets a
little too "square." By the way, almost triggering a petite mal seizure by
doing the finger quotes thing - uncool.

Now, there are many types of cool. There's the classic, iconic, Bogart
approach: cryptic and unflappable, squinting through the smoke from the
cigarette dangling between your lips, never letting a trace of emotion show
except for an occasional sardonic half-smile at the foolish world around you
that you couldn't give a rat's ass about.

As a matter of fact, some celebrities reach a cool of such mythic proportions,
it transcends their physical being. Frank Sinatra is so cool, he hasn't
bothered to take a breath for years, and he could still kick the shit out of

Then there's the demographically researched, pop-media faux-cool, the type of
insouciance that bears the corporate patina of mass-marketed nonconformity.
This is shopping mall cool, easily attainable: You don't have to Harley to
Sturges; or Master the Guitar; or Trek through Nepal-- just plunk down your
Discover card and buy some threads at Urban Outfitters or a barbed-wire
bicep-tattoo at the Henna Hut, and not only will you enter the kingdom of cool,
you'll also get a valuable cash-back bonus that can be applied to cruise travel
or a Reader's Digest subscription.

I think some manufacturers may be trying a little too hard to envelop
everything with a hip aura. I was at a drug store and watched an old man spend
15 minutes trying to decide if he wanted his Ex-Lax in Extreme Orange or
Totally Wacked Wintermint.

There are certain places and situations where it's virtually impossible to put
up a cool front. For example, when your doctor gives you a prostate exam, or
when the supermarket cashier calls for a price check on super-small-size
condoms, or when the door man at the Vanity Fair Oscar party bitch-slaps you
for bursting into tears when he tells you he can't find your name on the guest
list, even though it should have been there it SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!! J-Lo, I
love you!

I guess the coolest I ever felt was when Carveys Church Lady was really taking
off on Saturday Night Live, and yet the entire nation was doing my George Bush
impersonation. Oh wait, that was Dana, too. Come to think of it, I've never
felt cool.

One of my favorite pastimes is to look around and try to determine who the
coolest person in the room is. For example the other day at Starbucks, as I
observed the 20-something counter jockey with the pierced prefrontal cortex and
the dust bunny on his chin, and the as-yet un-produced screenwriter sitting in
the corner staring at a four-year-old script-in-progress that still has fewer
words in it than his latte order, or the heavily perfumed walking designer rack
talking into her cell phone like she was trying to be heard over a fucking
chainsaw, I realized with some pride that I could honestly say I was the
coolest person in the immediate proximity, until I looked out the window and
caught the eye of the Guatemalan landscaper trimming the hedges outside,
obviously wondering what kind of schmuck I was to pay three dollars and seventy
five cents for a cup of coffee.

Let's bottom line this. For me, the only real cool people left are those who
don't buy into the coolness mystique. People who dont take themselves too
seriously and don't screw over other people and understand that life goes on,
the earth abideth forever, and what is cool today may not be cool tomorrow.
That's why it's best just to be yourself. You know, unless, of course, you're
an asshole.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


Extreme Sports

This weekend, ESPN is holding its first Extreme Sports awards. "Extreme
sports"? Hey, folks, let's call this what it is: weird shit invented by guys
who are willing to die to get laid.

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but our obsession with extreme
sports has people all over the country jumping off bridges, skyscrapers and
mountain cliffs, and some of them aren't even invested in the stock market.

The concept of extreme sports is yet another component in the vast conspiracy
contrived to make me feel like I'm aging faster than a tuna sandwich in the
glove compartment of a black car parked in Phoenix, Arizona.

Extreme sports are usually played by middle-class white kids, because the
equipment involved is expensive, the activities often require costly trips to
exotic locations and, let's face it, unfortunately, if you're growing up in an
inner-city housing project, the mere act of walking to school is no doubt
extreme enough.

Gen-X sports have been so successful for advertisers, they're now afraid to
market anything without them. I saw Charles Schwab on TV the other day, trying
to yell something about moderate-growth mutual funds while wakeboarding off the
North Shore of Oahu, with his knee joints poppin' like two M-80s goin' off in
an underground parking garage.

Hey, you only have to watch a minute of extreme sports to distill what is
really going on here: psychopaths enriching osteopaths.

Now, when it was first introduced, bungee jumping was seen as the peak of
extreme, a wild, daring pasttime only the boldest madmen would undertake. It
has today become so mainstream that all bungee jumping platforms are required
by law to be fully wheelchair- accessible.

Then there's BASE jumping, a high fatality activity which involves leaping off
buildings and bridges with a parachute. You know, when I was ten years old, I
climbed up on the roof of our neighbors garage and jumped off while holding an
open umbrella. Only it wasn't called BASE jumping back then, let's see, what
was it called ... oh yeah, "Being a Fucking Moron."

If you really want to screw with a BASE jumper's head, wait at the edge of the
cliff, and just before he's about to go, ask for his girlfriends phone number.

You know, when I watch one of these Eco Challenge events, I always wonder what
the local natives think when they see the civilized folk "roughing it" with all
the state-of-the-art clothing and equipment money can buy. Meanwhile, the
Sherpas are climbing Everest with nothing on their feet but Wonder Bread
bags,and their gods forbid the use of twist ties. And how about when these
hikers pull out their calorically calibrated protein bars, while the guide from
the tribe, who is naked except for the animal horn on his penis just digs into
a pile of elephant dung and pulls out an undigested peanut, and calls it
macaroni. [SING] Yankee Doody went to town

Extreme sports are fascinating to someone like me, who screams like Maria
Callas in late-stage labor if I merely drive over a pothole with an open coffee
container between my legs. In my defense, I may not be as adventurous as I used
to be, but given the right set of circumstances, I am as extreme as they come.
Like the other day, I'm making my famous cinnamon baked apples. But just for
the sheer adrenaline rush, I stick the cloves in with their spikey ends
pointing out. Balls to the wall, dude!

I think I speak for many of my fellow Los Angelenos when I say that I find
extreme sports rather redundant when I spend a good deal of my day just trying
to stay alive in traffic, while pinned between 4 stegasaurus-sized S.U.V.s,
each being driven by a psychotically aggressive, Palm-Pilot-wielding, 98-pound
woman with the blood sugar level of Lot's wife.

I view professional extreme athletes with, at worst, mild puzzlement and, at
best, genuine respect. But what pisses me off are the amateur extreme athletes,
who don't just risk their own lives -- they make some park ranger, fireman, or
cop risk his life to save them. Every time I see a soldier who enlisted so he
could defend his country, end up having to put his neck on the line, rappelling
off a helicopter to save some middle-aged hero-wannabe jagoff who skied 20
miles off the clearly marked trail just so he can have a better pickup line
than, "Hey, baby, your place or my moms?", I can't help but hope that just this
one time, the kid from the National Guard is going to change his mind and
chopper away to get a well-deserved beer, but not before getting just close
enough to shout, "Hey, asshole, Charles Darwin says hi."

Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.


Bush's 1st 83 Days

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but tonight I'd like to take a step
back and evaluate the former oilman who just 83 days ago took on the awesome
responsibility of running our huge, complicated nation. And, if we have time,
I'd also like to talk about President Bush.

Now, the rap on George W. Bush is that he's lazy, takes naps in the middle of
the day, and would rather be watching television than focusing on what average
Americans want for their lives. Hey, that is exactly what average Americans
want for their lives.

President Bush took office promising to change the tone of the White House.
Where Clinton looked presidential and acted like a kid, Bush looks like a kid
and so far -- acts presidential. And while he has turned off the wocka-wocka
70's porno guitar of the Clinton years, so far he has yet to replace it with
much more than the fuzzy hissing of a patriotic late-night sign-off on a local
television station.

You can't talk about George W. without addressing the strange Bilbo-Baginnian
language that spurts out from between his lips like melted marshmallows coming
out of a squirt gun.

As a matter of fact, when the words in Bush's throat see their colleagues
heading up to his lips, they react with all the giddy panic of teenagers
watching a horror movie: "Don't go out there, man! He'll butcher you!"

Bush may not be smart, but at least he's smart enough to know he's not smart.
The wisest thing he did in the China spy plane standoff was let someone else
handle it. By contrast, a hands-on, eager-to-look-tough, micro-manager like Al
Gore would have reacted with all the composure of a drag queen getting his wig
yanked off.

Bush had the foresight to surround himself with smart people the way a hole
surrounds itself with a doughnut. W.'s team of handlers has him so well
trained, they're thinking of entering him in the Westminster Kennel Club show
as a short-attention-spaniel.

Bush ran on a pledge to improve education, and I believe he's going to pull it
off. By the year 2012, the average high school senior should be able to name
the capitals of all 45 states that haven't yet been flooded by the melted polar
ice caps.

Now, arguably the only thing this president has in common with our last
president is the completely unabashed, unapologetic affinity for drilling the
shit out of everything on the planet.

It's not that I don't agree with the bottom line on many of Dubyas stands,
because I often do. Do I care about the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge? Sure,
I guess so. But the mere mention of drilling for oil in it doesn't cause me to
foam at the mouth like a rabid fruit bat blowing Mr. Bubble. Give me a fucking
break. Every other vehicle in this country is a Lincoln Navigator with an
"Earth First" bumper sticker on it. You simply cannot blame George W. Bush for
not being able to let you have it both ways. Besides, do you know how many
caribou it takes to pull the average four-door sedan at a steady 65 miles per
hour? Believe me, the 405 would be fucked.

Hey, let's face it. He got into college by the skin of his teeth and into the
Air National Guard the same way. He won the presidential election by a margin
narrower than John Ashcroft's mind. Really, Bush's greatest achievement in his
life up to this point has been to lower our expectations of him so that
practically anything he accomplishes in the Oval Office is bound to impress us.
So much so that, if he can just finish out his term without stickin' a Roman
candle up his ass on a dare from brother Jeb, he's probably gonna end up on
Mount Rushmore.

Truth be told, I like the fact that President Bush is not slick, that he
mangles the English language. I prefer a guy in there who knows what he wants
to say but can't quite say it, instead of someone who is very eloquent about
promises he has no intention of keeping. So far, Bush has kept his pledge to
the American people. He's surrounded himself with the best minds in Washington,
restored civility to the Oval Office, and made it clear that this is an
administration that believes in big business and a strong military, while
working like a motherfucker on that 1.6-trillion-dollar tax cut he guaranteed
us last year. Now you may not like these promises he's keeping, but maybe, in
the end, what this country needs, above all else, is someone who just keeps his
word, even if that word is "Ca-rum-u-bob-ulate-tion-ism."

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


Mind Your Own Business

God, Madonna is shameless about publicity, isn't she? Somehow, I find it hard
to sympathize too much with her when she calls a live, televised, webcast,
stereo-simulcast, distributed-by-satellite, available-on-properly-equipped
cellphones press conference to complain that the media doesn't respect her
privacy. You know, it seems to me that the only time Madonna doesn't draw a
crowd is the opening weekend of one of her films.

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but why is it that the only people
who are quiet and mind their own business nowadays are the serial killers?

Nobody minds their own business anymore. Americans stick their nose where it
doesn't belong more than Cyrano de Bergerac giving head.

We live in a nauseatingly confessional society. But it wasn't always that way.
There was a time when you wouldn't dream of telling a guy you just met that you
were an alcoholic. Unless, of course, you met the guy because you had driven
your car into his swimming pool.

True, thanks to our tight-lipped Puritan ancestors with their scarlet letters
and witch hunts, we've always been a nation obsessed with the doings of others.
In the past, however, we justified our pejorative meddling with some lame,
moralistic claptrap about "upholding community standards." Well, the fact is,
folks, community standards have now deteriorated like the relationship between
Brett Michaels and C.C. Deville on VH1's "Poison: Behind The Music." By the
way, I hear Poison is touring again. It's always nice to go see a retro-tour of
a hair band where the only drug they're now shooting up is Rogaine.

Hey, in our media-saturated culture, the border between news and entertainment
is crossed more often than a line in one of George W. Bushs coloring books.

The thing about the entertainment media's particular brand of voyeurism is,
we're so easily bored that, if somebody wants to keep our attention, they must
continually super-size the freak value. I was watching "Springer" the other day
and actually saw a couple get their marriage back on track by beating the shit
out of each other. I think Jerry's final thought was entitled, "I'm OK, You're
OK, Bitch."

Then there are the hapless casualties of voyeurism like Monica, Darva, and
Kato, forced to watch defenselessly as every nook and cranny of their personal
lives gets slurped into America's bottomless maw for other people's humiliation
-- all under the false rubric that a free and open society has the right to
know. At first fidgety, these quasi-luminaries ease into their new roles
quickly, seduced by the yodeling highs of celebrity that smudge the line
between the famous and the infamous, until there's no real point in their ever
saying goodbye. They turn into Abe Vigoda - you always think they're dead, and
yet, they're always RSVP'ing in the affirmative. It's sort of like Karmic
extortion. We wouldn't leave them alone, so now it's their turn. And in the
end, their fifteen minutes last longer than a cross-country airplane
conversation with a Jehovah's Witness who sells life insurance.

What I can't fathom are the people who auction off their privacy on the open
market. You can go online now and actually watch mutants and cybergeeks who
record every nanosecond of their lives - every snore, every burp, every
restraining order filed against them by William Shatner - and beam it out over
the Internet. It all raises the interesting philosophical question: How can you
broadcast your life when you don't have a life to begin with?

Do the media and the Internet feed this tendency, or merely reflect it? It's
hard to say. We're living in a time when personal boundaries are more blurred
than the camera lens in a Joan Collins photo shoot. You would think that this
would help to generate more openness between people, but all it seems to have
done is increase our mistrust. We feel perfectly comfortable spending hours
online, sharing our innermost thoughts and yearnings with complete strangers,
but we don't even meet the people living next door until there's a huge
earthquake and everyone's out on their lawns at one in the morning. As a matter
of fact, that's the scariest part of an earthquake - hearing your 58 year-old
neighbors Myrna and Leo explain how they had just strapped her into the
Vietnamese fuck basket, when all of a sudden, she started swinging back and
forth, like King Kong's balls on a hot day. "Well, thanks for the visual,
Myrna, I think I'm gonna go pick up a downed power line now, OK?"

One of the most disturbing trends in the demise of personal privacy is the
proliferation of hidden cameras. They're everywhere now. [POINTING AT CAMERA]
As a matter of fact, what's this? I just don't think that's right. When I'm by
myself, just like everyone else in this room, I do things that I would never do
if I knew I was being videotaped. I pick my nose. I scratch my nuts. I squeeze
blemishes. I work at my stubborn dandruff patch. I kick off my shoes and bite
my toenails. I use whatever's lying around to scrape my tongue. I pull nostril
hairs out and measure them with a small silver ruler I carry on a chain around
my neck and record their length in millimeters in an embossed spiral notebook.
I pinch my nipples until my eyes tear up, and I straddle things and yell
"giddy-up," while slapping myself on the ass with a Victorian carpet beater.
The point is, I should be able to pass my time waiting in line at the Post
Office any way I want to.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


The Stock Market

And on Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average took another 80-point nose
dive, before rallying today. You know, lately, the stock market's been
performing like a blind never know when she's going to hit

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but the stock market is Las Vegas
without the slots, the hookers or the dependable odds.

The market's so volatile these days, so dependent on so many minute indicators.
A $50 billion manufacturer of 16 different microprocessing components, each
indispensable to the computer industry, can see its stock price plummet by half
or more, solely on the rumor that Benny Kelso on the loading dock says it hurts
when he pees.

Now, two phrases you'll often hear are "Bull market" and "bear market." In case
you're wondering about the difference, a bear market is where I lose money
because my stocks are plummeting along with everybody else's, while a bull
market is where I lose money because my stocks are plummeting all by

Analysts are always telling us that the best way to invest in stocks is for the
long term. The only problem with that is, in an attention-deficit-disordered
America, the words "long term" indicate a time unit somewhere between the
career of a boy band and the bitch-slap of a hummingbird.

And now, with the advent of the Internet, an unholy alliance between the home
computer and the stock market has spawned the day-trader ? the kind of
proto-loser who is spotwelded into his Incredible Hulk underoos down in the
basement, his trembling, silver-Lotto-scratch-card dust-encrusted fingernails
frantically pounding "buy" and "sell" orders into his keyboard so loudly that
he can't even hear his mother upstairs crying out for the good old days when
all he did online was compulsively masturbate.

The widely-held gospel of Wall Street is "buy low and sell high." Thanks.
Thanks for the tip, Motley Fuck. That's like telling a bald guy "Getting laid's
easy...Just go to a bar and pick up Heidi Klum."

Now, I don't want to act like I'm a fiscal expert here. As a matter of fact,
when it comes to my own investments, I have only one question: What do all
those numbers mean? Seriously, what would I know about what things are actually
worth? I'm in show business, for chrissakes.

When the market began to tank last month, I couldn't get my broker on the
phone. Finally, his secretary admitted he had quit to take a job with Exxon,
but she couldn't quite remember which gas station it was.

I've learned some painful lessons about investing. In the future, when ending
conversations with an investment advisor, I will do so by saying, "I'm done
speaking with you now," instead of saying, "Bye-bye," which my former money
manager always mistook for an enthusiastic request to purchase shares in
whatever lean-to piece of shit-dot-com sham he was getting blowjobs and free
plane tickets to push that week.

Hey, there's no substitute for doing your homework before investing in a
company? good, solid, sound fiscal research. When I'm thinking of investing in a
retail chain, for example, what I do is go to one of their stores, and lock
myself in a bathroom stall. Then I curl up in a fetal ball on the floor and
emit a low, painful- sounding groan, and I time how long it takes one of the
assistant managers to come in and see if I'm okay. Wal-Mart? 3 minutes. Target?
Half hour. K-Mart? Kibbel the night janitor woke me up at three in the morning
and asked me if I had any rolling papers.

Hey, I know investing is a risky proposition, and I don't mind losing my shirt,
but can I have my pants back? Recently, let's say, over the past month, I've
put sixty-thousand dollars into Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Thank God I didn't buy
the stock.

And last year I bought Pets-dot-com at thirty. Two weeks later, it was dropping
faster than Al Roker on a greasy flagpole. You'd think I would have learned my
lesson, but instead I moved my remaining capital into something called e-Toys.
And last time I looked, that stock had broken through zero and was tunneling
into the molten magma at the core of our planet.

But the gloomy end of the unsurpassed bull market of the 90's did turn up some
unexpected bright spots. For one thing, remember that day-trading dilettante
prick neighbor of yours?the guy who threw a few lucky darts at the NASDAQ wheel
and showed up at every party for the next year in his Lincoln Navigator, downed
a few too many glasses of Turning Leaf Chardonnay and got all self-important,
going on and on like he was Warren Buffet with a soul patch talking about P/E
ratios and small-cap funds' place in the Keens-ian oeuvre and you figured,
"Well, he must know what he's talking about," and so you put ten grand in a
stock he recommended that collapsed like the Three Stooges' tent the following
week? You remember that guy? Well, right about now, he's replacing all the
deodorant cakes in the men's room urinals at Der Weinershnitzel before he
finishes off his shift standin' out front and handin' out half-off chili fry
coupons, dressed like a giant fuckin' bratwurst. I'd say karma is up about a
hundred points.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


Reality TV

And earlier today, Timothy McVeigh's execution was moved back to June 11th.
Ahhhhh. You know, I love a June execution.

Or better yet, let's forget June. Let's put it in sweeps week. Just imagine
what an ad would go for. You think I'm kidding? Trust me, if General Motors
thought it would move vehicles off its dealers' lots, they would sponsor a live
TV broadcast of Timothy McVeigh's execution. No doubt with some sort of
tasteful product tie-in: "Folks, if you thought that injection was lethal,
check-out the fuel injection in the all new 300-horsepower Cadillac Escalade"

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but what does it say about our
culture when the most escapist form of entertainment is currently called
"reality" television?

In the past, most networks tended to dabble delicately in the arena of reality
tv, but lately, they've been going for it like a hungry mutt on an ass-flavored

One of the longest-running reality shows is "Cops," every episode of which
poses the burning question: "Why is that morbidly obese man not wearing a
shirt?" At least digitally scramble his mantits, OK?

Then theres "The Real World." Based on the premise that living rent-free in a
fabulous house on the beach with a bunch of attractive young people all the
while being videotaped by an ever-present camera crew is in any way, shape or
form "real." However, "The Real World" does provide us with the valuable
insight that, like, when you buy, like, orange juice, you know, and somebody
else, like drinks it without, you know, like, asking, that's, like, a personal
violation? You know?

And I couldn't watch "Temptation Island" because from what I gather, it would
have reminded me of one of my vacations when I was single. Remember when you
planned to hit the island and fuck anything that movedand nothing moved?

"Survivor" is the gold standard of reality programming, and when this craze is
over, appropriately, it will probably be the last one standing. I caught the
season finale of "Survivor." Watching this poly-merized tribal ritual through
the smoky tiki-torch kerosene-scented haze, just one thought crossed my mind:
How come that Keith guy is 40 but looks like he's 90?

Now I realize that if I were to be a contestant on "Survivor," I would probably
be one of the first to be voted off -- if not for my tendency to openly hate
other people, then for the visual and emotional assault that is me in bicycle
pants crying all the time. But my plan would be simple. As soon as the votes
were tallied, and Jeff Probst gave me the bad news, saying, "The tribe has
spoken," I'd say, "Oh yeah? Well fuck the tribe. I'm a 'Survivor!'" and I'd
bolt into the jungle, only to emerge every night to pick the other contestants
off one by one with poison darts.
Then I'd start in on the crew.

The truth is that, although people see reality shows as their doorway to
instant television celebrity, it's probably much harder to beat out the 35,000
other applicants vying for a spot on "Survivor" than it was for me to beat out
the one other applicant trying to be the host of Dennis Miller Live. Though
believe me, Lynn Redgrave did not go down without a fight. That is one scrappy

Now they've started double-layering the reality shows. They've had everything
from "Dateline" stories on "Big Brother" to the "Survivor" cast on "The Weakest
Link." But you know something? I'm not sure they've taken it far enough. I
wouldn't mind seeing that frigid dwarf chick from "Weakest Link", caught in
nothing but her chainmail corset and size 2 jackboots, running down an alley
from an immigration officer on a Fox special called "When Untalented Foreigners
Get Hired."

But while I've got my bones to pick with it, I do think reality television has
a deserved place in the roster of our nightly entertainment. In fact, I myself
have several ideas for new shows in the genre. The first is called "You Gotta
Be Shittin' Me," and it involves simply mounting video cameras atop gasoline
pumps at stations throughout Southern California.

I'm also pitching an alternative to "When Good Pets Go Bad." It's called "Put
the Goddamn Video Camera Down, Edna, and Yank This Mongoose off my Nutsack."

To make a long story short, the key thing to remember about this evolutionary
stage in the television medium is that TV tends to eat its own. And in a
classic example of plagiaristic television logic, the geniuses at NBC noticed
that every successful reality show sparked its own catchphrase "Voted off the
island," "Is that your final answer?" and so they decided that all they needed
to make a hit out of "The Weakest Link" was to plaster the phrase "You are the
weakest link" over so many billboards and bus-stops that it is now permanently
burnt into my brain like that time I walked in on Star Jones at the Universal
Amphitheater VIP bathroom. But you know what? You cannot build an entire show
around a single, easily-remembered catch phrase, and assume that just because
you repeat it week after week, people will ultimately attach some sort of
profundity or wit to it, and clap like trained seals whenever they hear it.
People are not that stupid. They're not going to fall for it, and it's simply
not going to work.

Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.


The War on Tobacco

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but tobacco is so entwined with
the history of this country, the only reason the Statue of Liberty is not
holding up a lit cigarette is that her torch provides a better backdrop for
final showdowns in shitty action movies.

Now, if you ask most smokers whether or not they want to smoke they'd probably
tell you "no," they hate it. But nicotine couldn't be tougher to kick if Lucy
Van Pelt from "Peanuts" was holding it with her fingertip.

Los Angelenos have been some of the most outspoken advocates against smokers
exposing us to their second-hand smoke. Which is ironic, considering that
compared to L.A. air, second-hand smoke is like aromatherapy. I'm so paranoid
about getting sick I'm even worried about third-hand smoke -- the smoke coming
off a second-hand smoker. Where's the research on that?

Now, as everyone who saw "The Insider" will remember, Russell Crowe's
character, in trying to testify against the tobacco industry, was up against an
adversary that would do anything to stop him, from e-mailing him threats to
targeting his wife and child to forcing him to fight off man-eating lions on
the blood-drenched floor of the Coliseum.

Because, by definition, their best customers are the ones most likely to up and
die on them, tobacco companies must constantly look for fresh meat. As a
result, they must aim their laser sites on the only group of people who are
easy prey because they are so naive, so easily swayed by peer pressure, and so
unready to make their own decisions as mature adults: Southerners. Also,

And they start 'em off young. Remember candy cigarettes? I used to love those.
At first, I only enjoyed one with an occasional glass of Kool-Aid or, say,
after a wild and crazy Slip-and-Slide party at Ray Luigi's place, but pretty
soon I was up to three packs a day. I never went in for bubblegum cigars; they
always seemed a tad, I dunno, pretentious.

Our war on tobacco is a microcosm for a fundamental contradiction in the
American psyche. We see ourselves as independent,
livin'-my-life-without-the-government-on-my-back Marlboro men until something
goes wrong, whereupon we turn into whiny, litigious crybabies looking for
someone to foot the bill for our fuckups.

Currently there's a raft of ex-smokers suing tobacco companies because they got
sick, and I just don't think that's right. Sure, I hate tobacco companies and
think they sell a quintessentially evil product, and then lie insidiously
through their yellowed teeth, all the while trading in their venal,
profiteering souls for a lucrative paycheck in this life, knowing full well
they'll spend all of time having their flesh raked by the fiery claws of Hell,
while the cries of all their victims resonate in their ears for all eternity.
That being said, I hate lawyers even more.

Yes, I feel sorry for the people suffering the effects of years of smoking.
Yes, I think the tobacco companies should be punished for their deceptions and
subterfuge. But suing a tobacco company because youve developed a health
problem from smoking cigarettes is like suing McDonalds because they failed to
inform you that the hot coffee you ordered will scald your lap if you spill it
on yourself. Hmm, bad example.

OK, let's try this one. Suing a tobacco company because you've developed a
health problem from smoking cigarettes is like demanding an apology from the
"Members Only" jacket people for your not-getting-laid in the 80's.

It's pretty clear that President Bush isn't going to lead a fight against the
cigarette companies, as he has stated several times that he believes the answer
to the problem lies in opening up the Alaskan Wildlife Preserve for growing
more tobacco.

I believe that right now the tobacco companies are missing a perfect PR
opportunity to turn the tide of public opinion in their favor. I'm speaking, of
course, about the energy crisis and the surrounding environmental concerns. For
example, if the lights go out during an unexpected rolling blackout, who's
going to have a lighter to provide emergency illumination? The smoker. If we
experience increased pollution from unregulated power plants, who's going to
require less oxygen because of diminished lung capacity? The smoker. And if
ecosystems fall like dominoes, rendering the human race a mere band of
cannibalistic scavengers wandering through a barren wasteland, whose flesh will
possess the pleasant smoky taste of barbecue? Thank you, smokers.

Hey, America grows most of the world's tobacco. If I were president, I'd go on
national television and tell those jagoffs from OPEC, "Hey, you know what's
tougher to kick than cheap oil? Those Yankee Devil Marlboro 100's that you're
always lightin' off a burning American flag. Yeah, that's right, Sheik Octane,
you heard me. I don't see any tobacco plants sprouting up from that desert
shitbox of yours. Now I want to see premium gasoline going for fifty cents a
gallon again, or you guys are going to be up all night chain-sucking on
goat-flavored Jolly Ranchers."

Of course that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.



You remember Saturday morning cartoons? They're the two minutes of filler
between commercials for supersoakers and 16,000 forms of sugar. Including
salted sugar.

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but while I sometimes find
advertising misleading, I do think it is necessary, as it often imparts vital
information to the consumer. For example, paper towels with two plies are more
absorbent. Wider gaps in tire treads help prevent hydroplaning. Fluoride fights
tooth decay, and visiting foreign countries makes you shit yourself. And then
you're back to the two-ply thing.

Advertising is not merely a human phenomenon, but a biological impulse found
throughout the natural world. Peacocks attract the attention of a mate through
a multicolored feather display. Baboons signal their sexual readiness with a
pair of red, swollen buttock. And both the duck and gecko offer a broad range
of attractively priced supplemental car insurance packages.

TV commercials nowadays are unrecognizable from what they were 20 years ago.
Now you get these out-of-focus MTV jump cuts with a throbbing technosoundtrack
and writhing supermodels in tankinis having simulated lesbian sex in the rain
and a nun riding a yellow bike and a little barefoot kid in a Guatemalan
village, and it's an ad for fucking pretzels.

I just wish people who wrote catchy commercial jingles in the 70's had taught
at my high school -- I think I would've retained a lot more important, useful
knowledge. I don't remember anything about geometry, history or science, but I
do remember that when it says Libbie's Libbie's Libbie's on the label label
label, you will like it like it like it on your table table table. And I swear,
if I find myself alone in my car car car one more time singing, "Plop plop fizz
fizz/oh what a relief it is", I'm going to hunt down the mind-control fuckwad
who wrote that piece-of-shit Pavlovian haiku, and demand that he give me that
part of my brain back.

You know, I'm seeing a lot more ads for medicines now. They're pushing pills
for allergies that are followed by a list of side effects that read like a book
of witch's spells. Nosebleeds, dry mouth, insomnia, shortness of breath, liver
damage. You know what? Keep your allergy medicine. I'd rather reach for a
Kleenex than have a blue arc of electricity connecting my nipples. At the top
of my list of commercials I do like are the ones for the local stereo store
starring either the stereo store owner, or the heavily made-up stereo store
receptionist the stereo store owner is trying to bang.

You know which television commercial makes me laugh? The one with the kid
sitting in his car in the parking lot, dancing like a robot to "Mr. Roboto."
Genius. Absolutely no idea what it's selling.

Now, I'm all for sex in advertising, but I think it's gone too far. Steamy,
provocative magazine ads are fine, but I was at the beach recently, and there
was a prop plane going back and forth along the shoreline trailing a banner
that said: "ADD INCHES TO YOUR TINY COCKDENNIS" And then there's no phone

Recent advances in digital technology now allow dead celebrities to endorse
products that weren't even around when they were living. Just in case the heirs
to my estate are getting any funny ideas, I want to get it out of the way right
now: No matter what kind of cure for diarrhea they may discover in the year
2525, leave me out of it.

Now I might not be most objective guy to lecture you on the dangers of
pervasive consumerism, given my own occasional forays into the world of
advertising. But please believe me: I am just as concerned as any of you about
the omnipresence of advertising, and try and take my warnings tonight as a
desperately needed wake-up call... of up to 20 minutes for only 99 cents.

As a public person, I'm very picky about what I choose to endorse. A few years
back I got a call from some arms dealers. They wanted me to be the spokesman
for a Kalashnikov machine gun that they wanted to market to child soldiers in
Southeast Asia. I said, "What kind of sick fuck animal do you take me for? You
want Jon Lovitz."

You know, folks, it's inescapable. From the designer label on the protruding
elastic band of the immense size-52 underpants of the man in front of you in
the line at Dunkin' Donuts straining to point out the maple cruller on the
bottom rack of the display case - no, no, not that one, that one with the extra
frosting and the jimmies - to the drive to work where you are subjected to a
flashcard-like strobing of billboards that leaves your brain stamped with
subliminal impulses to fly United to Florida's Gulf Coast to take a Princess
Cruise to a Radisson Hotel in the Friendly Bahamas, where you'll drink Ronrico
White Rum and wear an oversized Tommy Hilfiger shirt, and Merrill hiking shoes,
while getting Lasik eye surgery, having your teeth whitened, getting approved
for a home loan over the phone and winning a large cash settlement for your
personal injury claim. And then the light changes, and you drive a second

As a matter of fact, life for me is just the downtime between Chevy "Like a
Rock" ads, which have now officially lasted longer than Bob Seeger's actual
career. Attention, Madison Avenue: I give up. You've won. Here's my wallet,
just get it over with and paint a milk mustache on the Statue of Liberty, OK?

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


Victims' Rights

Can you believe that there are actually people out there who want to portray
him as a victim? It's about time we put things right for the real victims of

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but given our scant attention to
victims' rights, sometimes they're better off if the criminal is never caught
in the first place. At least that way they only get fucked around once.

Maybe the problem is, we're a culture already saturated with victimization.
We're all so loud, shrill, and adept at playing the victim in inconsequential
situations that an actual bonafide victim stands about as much a chance of
being noticed as an unemployed guy with a laptop and a goatee at a Starbucks.

The sheer volume of cases presently deluging the courts pretty much guarantees
that no matter how heinous the crime, its victims are faceless entities, mere
numbers on a court docket who are accorded all the dignity of a ring girl at a

The entire legal system is bent on ensuring the rights of the accused. Victims
couldn't wield any less power if they were the California electrical grid. The
disparity between the victim's and the criminal's rights is most obvious when
it comes to representation. Criminals who can't afford a lawyer get one
appointed to them by the court, while victims who cant afford one are relegated
to hiring the cycloptic paralegal who advertises during "Mama's Family."

In order to avoid creating vigilantes, society takes the right of retribution
for a crime away from the victim and makes it a matter for "the people." Of
course, in America this means the solemn burden of justice is in the hands of
the same "people" who created the Chia Pet, order the "Backyard Wrestling"
tapes, and have demanded 7 distinct flavors of Corn-Nuts.

Come on, there's gotta be a way to protect the rights of victims as well as the
accused. For example, victims should have a right to know when the animal who
attacked them is going to get out of jail. They shouldn't have to read about it
in the papers, or find out their assailant took tax-payer-financed computer
courses in prison and has just been hired as their boss.

And how about white collar criminals who bilk people out of their life savings
and are then given a slap on the wrist-sentenced to house arrest? The solution
is simple: Sentence them to house arrest in their victim's house. Trust me,
they'll be beggin' for prison.

As for paying restitution... Well, many criminals don't have any money. What
they do have is unlimited time and limited space. I think they should have to
spend their entire sentence pedaling a stationary bike in their cell that
generates electricity and sends it to the homes of their victims. Take a big
chunk out of those monthly utility bills.

And I can't believe that there is any argument against rules requiring
convicted child molesters to announce their presence in neighborhoods. Hey,
fuck that. I think they should have to wear bells on their shoes and a bright
yellow windbreaker that says, "I am a convicted child molester" on the back.
But I do have a solution that should make everybody happy: Let's force paroled
child molesters to live in the same neighborhoods where all the ACLU attorneys

In the case of physical assault, the victim should have the right to choose his
assailant's cellmate. If done properly, this one easy step could serve the dual
purpose of making the victim feel empowered, and the criminal feel victimized.
Or, at the very least, sore.

In our increasingly vengeful society, guaranteeing crime victims their rights
is not just desirable. It's essential. It channels that need for vengeance away
from chaos and into socially acceptable expression. But if we continue to push
victims around, they may one day feel as if they have no choice but to take
back their rights in the only way they've seen work: by becoming defendants

Yes, we are all innocent until proven guilty, but when a self-confessed monster
like Timothy McVeigh can stall his execution because of a few misplaced boxes
of documents that only show how much more guilty he is, we need to hustle his
ass up onto that gurney faster than the time it will take for his scumbag
lawyers to sign their upcoming book deal.

I endorse the execution of McVeigh. But every now and then I feel a pang of
guilt, thinking, "Could he suffer more?" In my fantasy, we get a Port-A-John
that's brimming with shit, lock him in it, and put the whole thing on a pickup
truck driving slowly cross-country on badly paved roads.

Some anti-death penalty advocates say that McVeigh's execution won't bring
closure to the survivors of the bombing. Maybe not, but it will bring closure
to McVeigh's eyes, and frankly, that's all I need right now.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.



Good to see you can actually laugh at death. Usually, talking about death and
dying makes people feel about as comfortable as Shaquille O'Neal flying coach.

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but death is the price we pay for
life. Oh, by the way, I did see it much cheaper at Costco last weekend, so you
might want to shop around.

We have a lot of cute euphemisms for death: "croaked," "kicked the bucket,"
"bought the farm," "took a dirt nap," "met your maker," "cashed in your chips,"
"ordered-in from the dollar-an-item Mongolian Barbeque in the alley behind the
Gold-Chains-By-The-Inch stand downtown."

There is a school of thought, usually promulgated by the topaz-jewelry-wearing,
multiple-cat owning, ancient-Volvo-with-"Practice Random Kindness And Senseless
Acts Of Beauty"-bumpersticker-driving segment of our population, that says we
as a society need to remove the stigma from death and regard it as just another
part of life. These rainbow-and-unicorn simpletons ask, "Why do we insist on
portraying death as cruel?" Well, it's difficult to answer that question, but
if I had to hazard a guess, I would say, because it fucking kills us.

Other cultures, perhaps those with less material wealth but a far richer
spiritual heritage, embrace and celebrate death. But then, what do they have to
live for in the first place? Of course you're gonna have a big bash for Grandpa
Bo-ba-la, Bo-ba-la, Bo-ba-la[CLICK CLICK CLICK] when he goes, he doesn't have
to eat dingo shit off a flat rock anymore.

Another thing I don't get is when a society decides they need to keep the
remains of a beloved leader on display. That's great as long as they still
admire you, but look what happened to Vladimir Lenin. Now they've got him
standing up outside a Moscow restaurant, where parking valets pin car keys to
his face.

It's ironic that in our culture, everyone's biggest complaint is never having
enough time, yet nothing terrifies us more than the idea of eternity. In
America, we want to live forever, and a wide array of advanced cosmetic
surgeries now guarantees that at least certain parts of us will. In fact, an
increasing number of deceased bodies are now neither buried nor cremated, but
returned for a deposit. Experts say that over the past 20 years, there's been a
72-percent increase in the number of eulogies that end in the phrase "Nice

Everyone who survives a near-death experience reports the same phenomenon, that
being a bright light. You know what that light is? It's the doctor, trying to
detect any brain function by shining a flashlight into your pupils, you
almost-dead clueless jagoff.

Now, the second worst way to die has to be in an airplane crash. The worst way,
of course, is choking to death on an apricot pit after waving off the only guy
offering you the Heimlich because he was too good-looking, and you were afraid
he'd stir something in you that's best left dormant.

Some people feel the need to have very bizarre funerals, trying to be the life
of the party even when they're dead by insisting that everyone wear a Hawaiian
shirt. These are the same assholes who get married on roller coasters. You
know, it's only a matter of time before some octogenarian prankster rigs his
body to pop up out of the casket like Big Mouth Billy Bass and sing, "Don't
Worry -- Be Happy".

And the cost of dying is unbelievable. Because just like in life, in death we
can't resist having the latest and best of everything. I mean, a casket with
Internet hook-up? Give me a break. When I go, stuff my ass full of candy and
toys and let some little Mexican kid whack me with a bat. I don't give a shit;
I'm dead.

At my funeral, I want to have a TV screen showing the end of "The Beverly
Hillbillies," where they're all waving goodbye, but they have my face digitally
superimposed over Granny's.

Einstein said energy can't be created or destroyed. I agree with that. I
believe there is a spark inside each and every one of us that lives forever.
When we die, I believe that energy leaves the body and floats towards some new
vessel. Now if we can just find a way to capture that spark before it finds its
new repository, we could keep California's power grid up and running for most
of the upcoming summer.

I urge you to view your inevitable demise not with grief or fear but with
acceptance and perhaps even hope. Your death is an end to sadness and pain.
Your death is a passage to a better world. Your death is a moment of
unification with the sacredness of eternity. My death, on the other hand?
Greatest fuckin' tragedy in the history of mankind.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


Civil Disobedience

See? That's why we don't summer in Algeria any more: no right to protest.

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but, unlike in Algeria, the act of
civil disobedience is deeply woven into the fibers of our nation. From the
Boston Tea Party to the Beastie Boys' fight for your right to party, our
country has a proud history of civil disobedience.

It has been a part of American history ever since the aforementioned plucky
band of American colonists refused to pay a tax on tea, thereby paving the way
for a free, democratic nation that does not tax tea... except, of course, for a
local sales tax paid by the purchaser, an income tax paid by the seller, and
corporate taxes paid by the manufacturer... Civil disobedience is the greatest
engine for change the world has ever known.

However, all that today's so-called civil disobedient seems to be protesting is
boredom and guilt over having well-off parents, while killing time between Dave
Matthews concerts.

Throwing a chair through the window of Starbucks because you disapprove of
their treatment of coffee pickers in South America is juvenile. Throwing a
chair through the window of Starbucks because you asked for a grande latte
percent and they gave you a venti half-caf caramel macchiato, well, that?s just
basic common sense.

Do you know there are people who refuse to pay their federal income taxes
because they don't want their money going towards building weapons of mass
destruction? Now, while I applaud these citizens for their dedication to their
ideals and for having the courage to act on their personal conscience, I also
offer them one word of advice: move. It's a big world out there, Rainbow
McDolphin. If you don't feel like paying the cover charge at Club America, pack
up your Birkenstocks and find yourself another place to groove.

Many participate in acts of civil disobedience because it gives them an instant
community of like-minded brethren who keep them from having to spend their
evenings alone, perusing a three-year-old issue of "Mother Jones" magazine
under the flickering half-light of that cat-shit-powered lamp in their
hydroponic marijuana nursery, before crawling under their unbleached burlap
sheets for the unsatisfying solace of a non-gendered dildo carved out of a
cruelty-free handmade beeswax candle.

Give them this, though. Today's protesters are a lot more media-savvy than
their predecessors, striving to spend more time in front of the camera than a
lens cover. Sure, without a doubt, there are many people out there truly
sacrificing for a worthy cause. However, I opine that for every one of them,
there are many more who are in it for the publicity, the pussy or the buzz.

Come on: Al Sharpton on a hunger strike? Please. All he's doing is going on all
the diets he should have been on for the past 20 years, all at once.

I mean, look who's doing the protesting: garage band dropouts, the chronically
unemployed, limelight-whore politicians and B-list entertainers. People for
whom living up in the top of a tree for 3 years could only be considered a
lifestyle improvement.

Remember that girl in the redwood tree, huh? I think her name was Butterfly,
and she was living there to keep a timber company from cutting it down. She
stayed up in that tree for over a year through lightning storms and rain and
fires. And I have to say... I was inspired. So inspired, in fact, that about a
week after hearing about Butterfly, when the owner of a local shoe store
refused to give me a refund for what was obviously a defective pair of Ugg
Boots, well, I got a sleeping bag and some basic supplies and climbed up in the
green-striped canvas awning over the shoestore's front door. And I read a book,
took a nap, ate an olive-loaf sandwich, talked to some friends on my cell
phone... then an hour and a half later, climbed down and went home. I don't
think the shoe store owner ever even knew I was up there. But I knew it... and
a few people walking by knew it... and I... I just think sometimes you have to
take a nap in other people's awnings, that's all.

And a personal note to all the eco-zealots out there, inexplicably blocking the
roads to protest global warming: nobody loves this planet more than I do. I
live here, most of the time. But don't make me sit in traffic for six hours
because the only way Mother Earth will let you fuck her is if I stop using
hairspray, OK, Stinkbean?

You know, in 30 years, this country has gone from Vietnam protestors placing
rose petals down the barrels of National Guardsmen's rifles to tossing over
garbage cans and setting fire to police cars because we?re glad the Lakers won
the championship. I can't tell if we've grown soft or just lost our fucking

Ironically, nonviolent protest is at its most effective when it sparks the
authorities into violence, shaming them in the eyes of the world. So what I'm
saying is, if you're a cop, and some irate malcontent who's dressed up like a
sea-turtle is screaming in your face about globalization or multinational
corporations or whatever the latest codeword is for "my parents say I have to
be out of the house for at least four hours a day," well, pull out your billy
club and give him a good whack on that
so-many-piercings-you'd-think-it-was-a-fucking-tacklebox head of his. He'll be
getting exactly what he wants. And if not, well, at least I will.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


Energy and the Environment

You know, we have windmills here in California, but we use them for miniature
golf. Europeans seem to have little sympathy for our current energy woes. Hey,
who needs Europe, anyway. I always find it a little grating when Germany refers
to us as "power-hungry."

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but the debate between
environmentalists and energy advocates in this country shows no sign of
abating, and as a matter of fact, is only getting more confusing. I mean,
you've got to love the philosophical clusterfuck that is a bicycle rack on a
Lincoln Navigator.

And this battle will no doubt be waged for years and years to come, largely
because it's fuelled by America's most plentiful natural resource:
narrow-minded self-righteous indignation.

The state of California is currently bearing the brunt of the energy crisis,
with rolling blackouts across the state affecting vital services like
hospitals, resulting in countless lopsided boob jobs. For the love of God, will
the horror never end???????

Our problem is, we don't have enough power plants in our state because with
every site allotted for one, someone finds a reason to stop it. Hey, you want
to block a power plant because it might interfere with a migratory path for
albino duck gerbils? I simply can't go along with that. We have to prioritize
and decide what's really important here, people. You want to see animals thrive
in their natural habitat? Go to the San Diego Zoo. I'm trying to microwave some
popcorn over here.

I mean, maybe I'm in the minority with this, but my ideal vision of the world
is where the only remaining species are somewhat literate human beings and
small, well-mannered Beagles wearing little top hats and bow ties.

Let's cut to the chase. The oil companies want to drill in the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge. But the environmentalists say it places in jeopardy a prime
breeding ground for Alaskan Caribou. Great, so now I have to pay four dollars a
gallon just so Donner and Blitzen can get their rocks off. I say we don't touch
the oil reserves and just invent a car that runs on endangered species. Yeah,
put a tiger in your tank. Literally.

If we are to maintain our position as a world power, we must dedicate ourselves
to finding acceptable alternatives to fossil fuels. Wind power and solar power
are clean, cheap, safe, renewable sources of energy, which, I believe, will be
widely utilized as soon as someone figures out how to establish a price-gouging
monopoly on them.

All kidding aside, I'm actually a big proponent of using alternative energy. As
a matter of fact, at this very moment, every single watt of electricity in my
home is being provided by an alternative energy source: a low-cost, underground
shunt-wire that my brother-in-law David has tapped into my next door neighbor's

Now we're supposed to buy disposable diapers that are environmentally friendly,
diapers that break down more readily when placed in landfills. Hey, should
there ever come a time when I'm wearing a disposable diaper, fuck you, fuck the
planet, fuck everything.

As I've said, at my house, everyone is aware of the energy crisis, and we all
pitch in to do our part. For example, I never use the twin Boeing 747 engines I
bought to run my Dancing Waters Lagoon while running my Bumper Boats at the
same time. That just wouldn't be fair to others.

Another way I do my part is going down to the ride-share station in my
neighborhood and inviting a complete stranger to get inside my car, so we can
qualify for the carpool lane. It shaves about forty-five minutes off my
commute, and sometimes, if I'm lucky, the stranger will hold a gun to my head
and force me to blow him. You see? Saving the planet doesn't have to be all

You know, I may pretend not to care about what happens thousands of miles away
in a place I'll probably never see. But I know that all of life is deeply
interconnected and interdependent in a symbiotic, primal dance. That a
butterfly beating its wings in the African bush can dislodge a particle of dust
that makes a monkey sneeze, which startles a herd of gazelle into stampeding,
causing a rockslide down a hill which dams up a stream and floods it, creating
moisture which evaporates and cools the air, which rushes into the hot air
above it, becoming a cyclone, which whirls out to sea and joins up with other
storm clouds, forming an enormous raging squall that travels thousands of miles
across the ocean, disrupting electromagnetic fields and making my cell phone
cut out. Fuckin' butterflies.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.



Interestingly enough, "anxiety" comes from an old Greek word that means "Dennis

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but to me, anxiety makes sense. I
see it as a reasonable response to the frightening clusterfuck that is our
increasingly stressful world. The people who creep me out are the ones who
don't seem to be bothered by anything. My theory is that anybody who has it
completely together in times like these is either stupid, crazy or evil. I'm on
to you, Dr. Phil.

Mental health professionals believe that anxiety stems from not facing your
true emotional needs. That's why psychiatrists advise you to uncover those
hidden fears you dare not name-because then, and only then, can you can stop
being anxious and start being completely fucking insane, and that's where you
make the real money.

Over the last decade, pagers, cellphones and personal data assistants have
marionetted us into a Sysyphean existence where we are perpetually ten minutes
late for our next appointment. The only reason we're living longer is because
we can't fit death into our schedules anymore. Anybody remember a simpler time
when "Palm Pilot" was just a nickname your friends gave you when you hit

Youth-obsessed, money-hungry power-grabbing Los Angeles is Ground Xanax for
anxiety. You see it right there in the clenched jaw of the high-strung B-movie
producer who's wrestling his Humvee into the handicapped parking spot so he can
get to his meditation class on time.

Anxiety can lead to certain phobias such as fear of strangers, fear of
elevators, fear of airplanes, fear of heights, fear of speaking in public, and
fear of parties. Got it, got it, need it, got it, need it, got it.

Some guys suffer from urination anxiety: the presence of other men acts like a
psychological truck parking on top of their personal garden hose. Now, I have
the reverse: I can only pee when somebody else is watching. So if you ever run
into me in a rest room and I've got a sock puppet over my free hand saying,
(SQUEAKY VOICE) "I can see your wee wee, Dennis!" I'm not a freak or anything.
That is a prescription sock puppet.

Then there is sexual performance anxiety. Always having the fear that your cock
is too big, or you'll last too long or after a night in bed with you, the woman
won't find any other man satisfying and she'll fall into a deep depression. Of
course, that was never my problem. NEVER. NEVER ONCE.

I suppose I have one of the odder anxiety triggers, I plunge into panic when
Stone Philips wears earth tones.

Many people find the most disturbing thing about panic attacks is you never
know when they're going to strike, which in itself becomes a source of anxiety.
But I'm lucky. I'm in a constant state, so there's really never any surprises.
Guess I'm just blessed. (DARTING LOOK OVER SHOULDER)

People deal with anxiety in many different ways: some take yoga, some take tai
chi, others work it off in the gym. Me? Well, once a month or so, I take off
all my clothes, get on my candy-apple-red moped, and drive really fast into a
field of corn. As the stalks and ears of caressing maize batter my exposed
flesh, I suddenly feel my other problems melting away. Sure, it means coming
home in the back of a police car with a blanket around my head and shoulders,
but sorry kids. Daddy needs his "Me Time."

Hey, if you suffer from chronic anxiety, repeated panic attacks, obsessions,
compulsions or social phobias, take my advice, forget therapy and don't even
think about drugs. I know it sounds crazy, but my sanctuary has always been...
well... the Laundromat. Think about it. You can immerse yourself in the calming
hum of the washing machines, the familiar warmth emanating from the dryers, the
comforting smell of soap and the soothing snap and pleasant pop of loving
mothers folding clean sheets. Relax in the uncompetitive, undemanding realm of
vending machines that feature off-brand sodas and Circus Peanuts.
Self-conscious about your appearance? Just take a look around. By comparison,
you are a prince. Socially awkward? Well, anything short of flinging fecal
matter at the change lady, and you're a charmer in this quirky little kingdom.
Obsessive compulsive? Hey, go ahead. Count quarters until your fingers bleed.
Sexually frustrated? Well, just collect the thick wads of lint from all the
dryers and fashion them into a large lifelike doll, lean it up against a
washing machine during the spin cycle and start grinding your pelvis against
her-but be gentle. You don't want to cause Dusty Lady any anxiety.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.



Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but bureaucracy is out of control.
Bureaucracy is out of control. Bureaucracy is out of control. They told me I
had to give you that in triplicate. We live in a society where it's easier to
climb back into the birth canal than it is to get a copy of a certificate to
prove you were actually born.

Bureaucracy. Just take a look at the word itself. How come there's no "O"? It
sounds like there should be an "O", but instead there's an "E", an "A" and a
"U". Of course, the sensible thing to do would be to eliminate those
unnecessary letters and just replace them with the "O", but it can't be done
because "E" has tenure, "A" is the union shop steward and "U" is married to the
boss' accountant's son.

Truthfully, I'd be perfectly fine with all the rules and red tape if we didn't
have to wait in line for so long that the people in the line eventually develop
their own distinctive regional dialect. Hey, is it any coincidence that
government offices have the birth and death registries in the same room?

I can't even clean up after my dog now without first getting an environmental
impact statement from the Army Corps of Engineers. It's gotten so bad, I demand
to see three different forms of ID before I'll let me pleasure myself in the

And is there any welter of perdition more soul-destroying than the Department
of Motor Vehicles? People go in whistling like Andy Griffith skipping rocks and
leave more pissed off than Gary Condit's wife. In exchange for the privilege of
operating an automobile, you have to embark on a Hieronymus-Bosch-like odyssey
through the dingy, institutional-green, cinderblock-lined bowels of the System
at its most wearisome. First you find the line for the people who have
appointments, then you wait for them to call your name, then you get in another
line for people with your blood type and birth date, then the clerk who's been
taking people in your line goes to lunch, so you have to line up at another
window, then after several evolutionary epochs, during which innumerable
species have arisen, roamed the earth and then succumbed to eventual
extinction, you finally reach the front of the line where the whole process
culminates in you challenging Death to a chess match.

I discovered one of the more frustrating strains of bureaucracy recently when I
applied for a mortgage. Hey, all I want is to borrow some money and pay you
back five times the amount over the next 30 years. If I don't pay it back you
keep the house and my money. And let me get this straight-- you're trying to
stop me?

What is particularly exasperating about bureaucracy is you can never put a face
or a name to the logjam. That's because the genius of bureaucracy is it's never
one person's fault -- it's everyone's. It's ineptitude in its most socialistic
form. Whenever you walk into a store that proudly stresses teamwork, save
yourself some time and money and just back your naked ass up to the

The reason bureaucracies metastasize the way they do nowadays is that when you
go to fire someone, they automatically sue you. So it is now easier to just
give them a desk, and say, "Don't touch anything," and then tell everyone what
a great job they're doing, in the hopes that your competitor will eventually
steal them away from you.

Ah, the bureaucrat. A murky figure, smelling slightly of fax toner, for whom
you must constantly tack back and forth between sympathy and white-hot
antipathy. Sure, there are plenty of them out there who are hard-working and
conscientious and friendly. But there are just as many who have used their
Vanilla extract-sized drop of power to build a tiny administrative empire out
of policies and waiting lists and access to files, so that -- for the 2-4 hours
a day they're actually working -- they may bestride the rest of us like some
kind of Cubicle Colossus, bellowing, "I am Ozymandias, Clerk of Clerks! Look on
my files, ye mighty, and despair!"

Let's face it: We might complain bitterly about bureaucracy and red tape, but
at least they give us something to blame when our lives don't go exactly the
way we want them to. There is something admittedly soothing about the
abdication of responsibility, the Zen-like moment when you give up and see the
poetry in the ticket agent telling you not only does your flight reservation
not exist, you're going to be charged for the ticket anyway; the college
admissions board notifying you that your grade-point average is too high to
qualify for a scholarship; or the VA official who tells you to your face that
you died in combat over 30 years ago. Lose yourself in the arcane maze of
nonsensical rules, delight in the Lewis Carroll anarchy of the organizational
world. In other words, relax and take it easy, because if you do flip out and
have to be committed to the nuthouse, you would not believe the fuckin'
paperwork involved.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


The Institution of Marriage

The White House is looking into a plan that would allow illegal immigrants to
stay in the United States. The plan calls for a million Mexicans to marry a
million of our ugliest citizens.

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but no matter how much it has
changed, marriage is a vital cog in our societal machine. Dating's fine, living
together is great, but anyone who's truly in love eventually looks at their
partner and thinks, "I want to cut down on having sex with this person and get
on their insurance plan."

Are marriages failing, or are people simply living longer and finding that they
can't stay with the same person for that long? The answer is, marriages are
failing. You know your marriage is in trouble when your wife starts wearing the
wedding ring on her middle finger. Here in Hollywood you can actually get a
marriage license printed on an etch-a-sketch.

Until recently, television was notorious for romanticizing bachelor-hood, while
making vague insinuations about the sexuality of the "unattached woman."
Magnum, P.I., got more different ass than a rental car, while Laverne actually
had an 'L' sewn onto her sweater.

Seems like every wedding nowadays has to be a "themed" wedding. There's
period-costume weddings. Elvis weddings. Fairy Tale weddings. Weddings so
unbelievably complicated and elaborate, the only way you can tell who's
actually getting married is to find the couple that's fucking in the coatroom
and ask them who they're the Best Man and Maid of Honor for.

If you want to truly understand how complex marriage has become, simply ask the
people on the front lines: the ones who make up the wedding invitations. They
are constantly trying to skirt around the gender, age and parental issues and
still get paid: "Mona Johnson and her life partner Brianne invite you to the
wedding of their son Lars and his lover Oswaldo, with the blessing of their
surrogate daughter Quan, where they will be married by their Shaman, Ali Ben
Shapiro, in Carlsbad Caverns on the eve of the Summer Solstice, to be followed
by an all-Vegan Luau, featuring the music of two members of Kansas. Dress:
Casual Friday meets 80's disco. No furs. The couple is registered at Nordstrom
and Zach's House of Knobby Dildoes."

While straight couples have been breaking their vows for years, gay couples are
still fighting to gain that right. Gay unions are now legal in a state like
Vermont, but they are not having much luck in the South, where there are strict
rules, which forbid getting married unless you are heterosexual, fourteen or
"kin". Hey, folks, truth be told, gays have been getting married for a long,
long time... Just not to each other.

I once went to a lesbian wedding ceremony between my wife's former hair
stylist, a lovely thirty-year-old woman, and her partner, a very hot dental
hygienist in her mid-twenties. The wedding itself was small and simple. The
reception was warm and friendly. And from what I could see from my surveillance
hammock in the branches of a tree high outside the third floor of the Laguna
Beach Hilton, the wedding night was not nearly kinky enough.

Never ever discount the idea of marriage. Sure, someone might tell you that
marriage is just a piece of paper. Well, so is money, and what's more
life-affirming than cold, hard cash?

The difficult thing about marriage for men is that they know they shouldn't get
married unless they're mature, but they feel they can't become mature unless
they get married. I'm not sure I know what the answer is, other than, I would
caution you to not fuck the stripper at your bachelor party.

But guys should never whine about marriage, because guys are no prize,
especially when we get older. I was at the post office last week, and standing
in front of me was some guy in his mid-seventies. He was wearing a powder blue
polyester shirt more pilled than a nightstand at Graceland, and dusted with so
much dandruff, I was torn between gagging and placing "Christmas Village"
figurines on his shoulders. He was also wearing a nylon mesh ball cap with the
phrase "Ask Me About My Prostate" on it and off-white slacks with a white belt
and a large pee spot somehow near the knee. And you wanna know the most
shocking part of his ensemble? He was wearing a wedding ring. The one that I
placed on his finger a scant two years ago. I love you, pappy!

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


Sex and Washington, D.C.

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but if they didn't want Washington
to be a hotbed of sexual activity, they shouldn't have named it after the guy
who fathered the entire country. I mean, what else can you expect from a town
that's famed for its cherry blossoms?

Sex has served as the you-don't-want-to-know-where-it's-been coin of the realm
in American politics, long before the Clintons and Condits came along. Thomas
Jefferson is said to have sired a child by one of his slaves, and, like I said,
I wouldn't be surprised if the original George W. left a set of those wooden
teeth on the wrong nightstand now and then.

Let's face it: there's constant groping going on in our nation's capital even
when George Bush isn't trying to find the right word.

Do I think power corrupted Gary Condit? No. You can't blame Congress for
turning him into something he already was. Gary Condit is simply a skeevy hound
using the illusion of power to get laid. An everyman, as it were. If Condit
wasn't a congressman, he'd be working as a car salesman who appears in his own
TV commercials somewhere in central California, trying to nail female customers
with the same mix of low-rent celebrity and bullshit power by telling them he's
John Davidson's half-brother and he can "do something" for them on the

Hey, at least if Condit had spent more time in California, he could've gotten
some decent plastic surgery. Oedipus Rex had a better eye job. Looks like this
guy had his crow's feet dermabraded out by some piercing pagoda flunky in
Silver Spring, Maryland, who gave him a great rate but unfortunately ensured
that good old Gary would spend the rest of his life looking like Lee Harvey
Oswald in the nanosecond he spotted Jack Ruby lurching towards him.

Oh, by the way. I don't think Condit had anything to do with Chandra Levy's
disappearance. Because I believe he was too busy at the time arranging for the
death of Robert Blake's wife.

You know, it's guys like Condit who make me usually side with the women in
these libidinal conflagrations. Everyone criticized Monica Lewinsky for being
so indiscreet about blowing the President, but come on: What's the point of
blowing the President if you can't tell everyone about it? I mean, there've
only been 42 of those cocks and you had one lodged in your noggin. Why not take
out an ad in the trades?

Now, I don't believe there's any danger of a sex scandal with our current
administration. President Bush not only appears to be deeply in love with his
wife, he thinks "fetish" is something you crumble on top of a Greek salad. And
as for Dick Cheney, well, his team of doctors has cautioned him to not even
look at a Sears bra ad, much less fuck.

More disturbing than the sex scandals that emanate from Washington, DC, is the
realization that they are merely the tip of the vice-berg. The elective process
in our nation is like a recipe for kink: Take some jagoff in a clip-on tie who,
under any other circumstances, couldn't get laid if his penis had its own
vagina; send him far away from his bowling-trophy wife for months at a time;
stir in a little power and influence, and fold it all into a town that has more
over-used escorts than a Budget rent-a-car lot. Add to that thousands of
wide-eyed young acolytes flooding into the Below-the-Beltway each year, giving
off a heady fer-a-moan brew of ambition and naivete that an aging political
billy goat can smell a mile away. Christ, Washington is like Club Med for
doughy, old, unattractive white guys. The crew from "Cocoon" would be
considered the Rat Pack in DC. You think I'm exaggerating the way it works down
there, folks? I don't think so. Let's put it this way: Newt Gingrich was
getting laid. OK? Nuff said.

Henry Kissinger once said, "Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac." He was right
because no one got more primo skirt than Hank Kissinger in the 70's, and this
guy looked like a troll doll hanging from the rearview mirror of a Volkswagen

What trips up politicians is never the actual sex itself. We know they have
sex. We expect them to have sex. What we hate is the arrogance that accompanies
the inevitable exposure of the sex as unfailingly as seagulls trailing chum.
Somehow, Mr. Smith-Comes-On-Washington starts to assume that the American
public is just as gullible as the 20-year-old kid that he's been bending over
his desk on alternate Wednesday evenings for the last two years. Full of
pry-appic swagger, when the rumors of hanky-panky start percolating, he runs
his hand through his blow-dried Bobby Goldsboro helmet-cut coif, then maybe he
sprays a shot of Binaca in his mouth, shoots his cuffs, and goes in front of
the news cameras and denies everything. Practically insists that Wolf Blitzer
hook his nuts up to a polygraph. And he just keeps on smiling that "Fuck you,
you can't touch me, I'm bulletproof cause I got my constituents a plow museum
built last year" grin. Come on, give us more credit than that. We know you're
fucking around. Just cop to it. We read you like the top line of an eye chart.
We know why Strom Thurmond keeps going to work everyday. Because of the very
good possibility that one day soon, he's gonna get lucky with some hot, young

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.



One thing I bet the [Clinton's] book won't say is, "I was wrong. I'm sorry."
For eight years, he felt everything... except for guilt. But why should he? In
our therapeutic society, "guilt" has become a dirty word.

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but guilt is simply God's way of
letting you know that you're having too good a time.

In the elaborate wardrobe of human emotions, guilt is the itchy wool turtleneck
that's three sizes too small. Guilt may be difficult to articulate, but when it
surfaces, it's as unwelcome and distinct as Jethro Bodine in the lobby of an
Ian Shraeger hotel.

What is guilt? Guilt is the pledge drive constantly hammering in our heads that
keeps us from fully enjoying the show. Guilt is the reason they put the
articles in Playboy.

Some experience guilt as the voice of their better natures, while for others,
it's the voice of an authority figure like a parent or a teacher. For me, the
voice of guilt, interestingly enough, is Jimmie Walker with a slight head cold.

Contributing our recurrent feelings of guilt is the fact that, in our
day-to-day lives, we consistently overcommit ourselves, so there is always
something we're failing to do. The average American's dayplanner has fewer
holes in it than Ray Charles's dartboard. It's gotten to the point where I
don't even have time to feel guilty, unless I multi-task by also using that
time to feel vaguely lackadaisical and kind of twitchy.

It's harder to hide guilt than it is to hide an order of bananas flambee from
Al Roker when he's wearing infrared goggles. And I think the reason is, people
secretly want to be caught, chastised and punished, in order to subconsciously
prove to themselves that there is indeed an order to the universe that
transcends their flawed, limited selves -- or at least, so you can pull down a
cool million spouting that line of bullshit in the book you're plugging on

There are many different types of guilt: healthy guilt, unhealthy guilt,
Catholic guilt, and, of course, the newest entry, Condit guilt...
Representative Gary Condit is a good example of a person who should be racked
with guilt about impeding the investigation of a missing woman. But he is
somehow able to speed by the photographers with a smile so big, you would think
he was attending his movie premiere at Mann's Chinese Theater. Hey, Gary, make
sure to keep that smile on down there when Mephistopheles is rammin' that
pitchfork handle up your ass for the rest of eternity.

Ironically, guilt is most likely to visit the people who deserve it the least.
Trust me, the only thing that keeps Slobodan Milosevic awake at night is
puzzlement over why nobody's nominating him for sainthood, but I can't look at
my dog Mr. Tingles without cringing at the time two years ago, when I
accidentally stepped on his tail just as he was leaping at a Frisbee, and he
screamed like a Backstreet Boy taking a polo mallet to the nuts.

There are some people so predisposed to guilt, when they're born, the first
thing that comes out of their mouth after being slapped by the doctor is
"Harder! Harder!"

I still feel pangs of remorse over an insidious habit I've had since I was a
teenager. About three times a week, I attend estate auctions and make
insulting, lowball bids for prized heirlooms until I'm asked to leave. Point me
to the shower, I'm a baaaaaad man.

Many people feel guilty about masturbating. I celebrate it. I say, "Harder!
Harder!" What's there to feel guilty about? It's a natural way to relieve
stress. Okay, maybe not when someone cuts in front of you in line at the
supermarket, but certainly when you get back out to your car.

I've actually written a book about guilt, entitled "Fuck You, I'm Sorry."

Hey, for a long time, I felt tremendously guilty about things that were not in
any way my fault, but with the help of an excellent therapist, I have finally
accepted that there are things beyond my control. Now I simply breathe deep,
release them into the cosmos, and move on. Poverty in distant lands, injustices
that were committed long before I was born, that brand new Mercedes that I
rammed repeatedly while trying to wedge my massive, gas-guzzling SUV into a
handicapped parking space - Dennis just can't be held responsible for the
entire world.

Invented by religion, enforced by the state, and cashed in on by the
psychiatric community, guilt is what keeps society from completely unraveling.
Yet our culture is rife with politically correct apologists telling us to let
go of the shame that binds us, and to treat our mistakes as learning
experiences that we have to "heal" from and "put behind us" as quickly as we
can. Well, that's just bullshit. If you do something wrong, you should feel
guilty about it. Guilt is the pruning shears that society developed to prevent
you from growing into an even bigger asshole than you already are. Sorry, I
feel bad that I said that.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


Air Travel

Now I don't want to get off an a rant here, but flying in this country
has turned into an amazingly arduous process, especially boarding the
plane, which has now become this tedious Bataan death march with American
Tourister overnight bags. I get stuck behind this one guy, who takes
forever to get situated. He's clogging the aisle like a piece of human
cholesterol jammed in the passengerial artery. You just want to get that
soft drink cart and flush his ass out the back door. He's folding that
sport jacket like he's in the color guard at Arlington National Cemetery.

Or else I get stuck behind a wizard who wants to beat the system by
gaffer-taping a twine handle onto a refrigerator-freezer box and calling
it "carry on." Wedging it into the overhead with hydraulic jacks. It's
like trying to get Pavarotti into a wet suit, for Christ's sake.

And exactly when did stewardesses in this country get so fucking cranky?
I know it's a tough job. There's got to be a thousand different ways to
tie that neckerchief but why piss on me, huh? You know the worst thing
about it is they don't even come clean with you and tell you much they
hate you. They treat you with that highly contrived air of mock civility,
that tight, pursed-lip grin where they nod agreement with everything you
say. You know right behind that face plate they barely tolerate your very
existence. I'd rather they just come out in the open and say, "Hey,
listen asshole. When I was eighteen years old, I made a horrible
vocational error, all right? I turned my entire adult life in for cheap
airfare to Barbados. Now I've got hair with the tensile strength of Elsa
Lanchester in 'Bride of Frankenstein.' I haven't met Mr. Right. I'm a
waitress in a bad restaurant at thirty thousand feet. Jam your Diet Slice
up your ass, all right?" At least show me something. Come down the aisle
like the old broad in 'From Russia with Love' with the knife point coming
out of her shoe. "Peanuts, Mr. Bond?"

What about when you leave the plane and they've got them propped by the
front door in that complete android catatonic stupor where they look like
the Yul Bryner robot from 'Westworld' when he blew a headpipe and iced
Marcus Welby's assistant. "Bye. Bye. Bye. Bye." It's like your
stockbroker on Thorazine or something.

And am I the only one who likes to get on a plane and unwind with a good
book? Sit there in a little peace and quiet. I'm constantly in
conversation with complete strangers - always being approached by these
overly ebullient Jonathan Livingston Human types. This eighteen-year-old
kid who's on his way back from Aruba and wants to show me this skull bong
he purchased there that's carved out of volcanic rock. You know he's
always got a dream he wants me to interpret for him. What am I, Queequeg?
And you're afraid to not talk to him. You never know who the fucking
terrorist is on the plane. I'd hate to alienate anybody who's looking
for a prom date to Valhalla.

There's a lot of terrorism in the air, but you know when you walk through
the air terminal and see the crack security people manning the perimeter,
I think we all sleep the sleep of angels. Came into Phoenix the other
day, the woman working the X-ray machine had the attention span of Boo
Radley. She's sitting there like Captain Pike from "Star Trek." She had
a channel flicker. She's watching baggage from other airports, for
Christ's sake.

You think pilots make fun of those guys who bring them the last ten feet
into the terminal with those cone flashlights? "Well, thank you, Vasco
da Gamma. I kited in from Malaysia, you're going to take me the last
furlong, Captain Eveready. I hope you don't blow a D-cell. I'd hate to
be stuck out here in the Bermuda Tarmac for the rest of my life."

What about those masks that drop down in the event of decompression?
That's a pretty flimsy-looking apparatus, isn't it? Doesn't this look
remarkably like a Parkay margarine cup on the end of an enema bag or
something? They always have these bizarre instructions to start the flow
of oxygen. "Tug down lightly on the cord." Yeah, you know when I'm
shoulder-rolling at seven hundred miles per hour, "lightly" just isn't in
my fucking vocabulary, all right? You know people are going to be
Conaning those things right off the bulkhead. Something intrinsically
cruel having the last forty seconds of your life turn into a "Lucy" skit.

I think instead of oxygen, they ought to pump in nitrous oxide. This way,
if the plane does wreck - that first rescue team comes onto the scene -
you're up in a tree still strapped in your seat just laughing your ass
off. Guys say, "Bobby, get over here. Look how hip this guy is. I mean,
he's naked, he's blue, he's howling. This cat is centered, huh?"

You know what I hate is when you're sitting in coach class and they pull
that curtain on first class. Oh, I see, they paid and extra forty dollars
and I'm a fucking leper. I always get the feeling that if the plane's
about to wreck, the front compartment breaks off into a little Goldfinger
miniplane. They're on their way to Rio and I'm a charcoal briquette on
the ground.

You know who I feel sorry for in the whole air-travel scenario? It's the
poor bastard who has to drive the jetway. You know that little accordion
tentacle that weaves its way out to meet the plane? Everybody else is
Waldo Pepperin' around in their Bobby Lansing leather bomber jackets, the
right stuff coursing through their veins as they push the outside of the
envelope. Your job is to drive the building.

A lot of qualifications to sit next to that exit door, huh? When did that
happen? I've been a physical klutz for years. I'm like Clouseau.
Nobody's ever said a word. All of a sudden they want me to be a fucking
Navy SEAL. I guess they want to be sure the person sitting there doesn't
panic in the event that the plane goes down in water. Item number 8 on
the qualification list was "You must not be Ted Kennedy."

The Music Industry

Did you guys see the Grammys the other night? Christ, there are more
subcategories than Larry Flynt's home video library. I think somebody actually
won for "Best Silence."

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but the music industry is in more
trouble than a late-shift radar operator in Baghdad.

Hey, lets put our cards on the obsolete turntable. The Music Industry has
nothing to do with music. What you hear on the radio today is one-half
marketing, one-half public relations and two-thirds timing. And if that math
makes sense to you, you probably work in the Royalties Department at any one of
the major labels.

Now, I watched the Grammy Awards on Wednesday, and all I kept thinking was,
"Hey, where's a rolling blackout when you really need one?" I couldn't help but
be struck by the fact that, while our founding fathers guaranteed us all the
right to freedom of speech, they never said anything about singing, OK? A lot
of this stuff is just @#%$, and unwrapping the CD is often more complex than
the thought that went into the music.

I love music. It gives you something to listen to while you're watching videos.
And make no mistake, the music industry has turned itself into a visual medium
and, that being the case, I feel I'm within my rights to respectfully request
that the members of Steely Dan never be allowed to appear on a prime-time
telecast ever again. For Christ's sake, for a second there, I thought I was
watching "The X-Files." Is it just me, or do the two guys in Steely Dan look
like Ben & Jerry coming out of rehab? The only reason Steely Dans latest album
is selling so well is that 50-year-olds don't know how to download it for free.

You know why Eminem showed up at the Grammy's? Because it sells. Eminem isn't
about freedom of speech as much as he is about the freedom to make a buck. He
isn't peddling his songs underground to get his point across; he needs
controversy to keep him famous because of his unfortunate dearth of talent. He
stops selling records, and no one gives a @#%$ about his freedom of speech
anymore. You think Gino Vanelli stopped making records because he gave up the
right to his freedom of speech? You know what? I like Eminem. Not because he's
funny, or because I like his music. I just like what he has to say about women
and gays ... Wait, I don't mean that. That's just an ironic character I'm
playing, casting light on our society's new wave of political correctness.
Before you focus too much of your time and energy of loathing Eminem for his
music, let me spin this little scenario for you. Marilyn Manson spent Wednesday
night watching the Grammys on a 13-inch black-and-white television set with a
coat hanger for an antenna, at a Grange Hall in Bismark, North Dakota, after
unveiling his apocalyptic vision for the future to fifty or so pasty-faced Goth
losers who left during the encore so they could get home and watch "Temptation
Island." And trust me, Manson was so depressed that he is no longer in the
crosshairs of the hate-rock controversy, he could barely wriggle out of his
fake vagina suit.

People like Eminem get all the attention, but the music industry is still very
much alive, pulsating with vibrant, unique, and indeed weltanschauung-shaping
musicians. Beck's "Midnite Vultures" offers a fiery, eclectic mingling of
genres that we've not witnessed since "Exile On Mainstreet." Radiohead's "Kid
A" has picked up Pink Floyd's torch to help illuminate the cringing fears of a
lurching generation unable to shake their parents post-Kerouacian haze. 'N
Sync's silvery, almost symphonic harmonies pick up where early Hanson left off,
suggesting optimistic redemption with dulcet choruses that say you may not love
me now, but I can try, try, try.

Pop music has a rich legacy of ripping people off. First, the white musicians
stole from the blacks. Then, the producers stole from the performers. Then, the
performers and the producers formed an alliance to steal from us by charging 19
dollars for a CD with only one halfway decent song on it. So I for one salute
Napster, because it's high time the public finally had an opportunity to horn
in on a piece of the action. Considering how badly you get @#%$ every time you
go into a record store, I have to assume Richard Branson was trying to be
ironic when he named the place Virgin.

Now, industry people will tell you that Napster is unfair, and denies musicians
of their rightful, hard-earned cash. But musicians are going to waste their
hard-earned cash anyway, OK? They're musicians. Napster will only be a serious
problem for the industry when it starts cutting into a musician's anonymous
backstage blowjob residuals. Hey, the bottom line on Napster is, it means no
more paying for overpriced CD's and putting money into the pockets of the
bloated, corrupt media conglomerates. All you need is a computer with a
high-speed modem, extra memory, a CD-ROM attachment, an extra phone line,
Internet access, a CD burner, blank CD's, a how-to manual, and NO @#%$ LIFE.

You know what-the music industry has always been about the coin. If they'd been
invented at the time, Mozart would've sold t-shirts in the back of the hall.
And Ticketmaestro would've skimmed their 20% off the top. While the sounds of
U2 might be music to our ears, all the music industry hears is the soothing
chime of the cash register. But the one thing you have to say about the music
business is, for the artists, if the product is great, it'll also be timeless.
All you have to do is look at the Billboard charts to see that The Beatles are
just as popular today as they were when Yoko broke them up. Not that I dwell on
that. And Yoko, by the way, if you're out there listening tonight, why dont you
level your karma and start dating one of the Baha Men, OK?

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


Free Speech

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but after September 11th, freedom
of speech in America has become a topic that's touchier than a Vatican summer

Our Founding Fathers were supreme champions of freedom of speech. But we should
never forget that Alexander Hamilton was shot over something he said. Because
in their infinite wisdom our Founding Fathers also gave us the second
amendment, the right to bear arms, which is a reminder that while we can pretty
much do and say whatever we want-you better watch it, asshole.

The free-speechers always argue the slippery-slope: if you muzzle free speech,
before you know it, we're living in 1984 and Big Brother is picking out our
ties. Those seeking to control free speech, on the other hand, argue that if we
allow Johnny Soulpatch to burn the flag, before you know it, we're living in
"Lord of the Flies" and Piggy is fighting for his life. But there is a middle
ground between government rule and mob rule. A place where only those who can
make obscure references to literature, art and pop culture on their weekly
cable show will be allowed to speak freely. A utopia... if you will.

Our enemies see our diversity of opinion as evidence that we are weak and
divided, but it is the very presence of a vibrant marketplace of ideas that
ensures our continued survival. That, and the high-tech weapons that can lock
in on the glint off a scimitar from five thousand miles away.

As much as I believe that our leaders have followed exactly the right course in
wiping out the Taliban assholes who gave safe haven to the murderers of my
fellow citizens, I recognize that the dissenters to the war and the verbal
defenders of our enemies fulfill a vital function in our democracy.
Specifically, they give me somebody to hate whose name I can actually

As much as we don't like to admit it, you gotta say, the freedom to bash the
U.S. government is a unique and beautiful phenomenon...... When done with a
certain degree of panache! I've noticed that in the Middle East when they burn
the American Flag, they aren't even using real flags. They are just using flags
painted onto sheets. This really pisses me off because there are hard working
kids in Taiwan who make our flags who can use every penny they can get.

As a matter of fact, at this point, the only thing that galls me about someone
burning the American flag is how unoriginal it is. I mean if you're going to
pull the Freedom-of-speech card, don't be a hack, come up with something
interesting. Fashion Old Glory into a wisecracking puppet and blister the
system with a scathing ventriloquism act, or better yet, drape the flag over
your head and desecrate it with a large caliber bullet hole.

Once hotbeds of free speech, college campuses across the country have engaged
in an arms race to see who can craft the most restrictive speech code. Years of
Political Correctness, binge drinking, and dropping bing cherries out of your
ass into a shotglass have bred a backlash now, where anyone who dares to stray
outside the conventional school of wisdom is ostracized, slapped with the mark
of Cain, and, worst of all, made to forfeit their Student Activity Fee discount
to see Dave Mathews jam, and, more importantly, inspire, during Spring Fling on
the Quad.

Whatever happened to the notion that college was a place where the best minds
in the nation vigorously debated all sides of an issue, while the rest of us
went back to the dorm and got laid? Usually by ourselves.

I have no problem with people who respond to what they don't agree with. I
enjoy the drama of a toppled podium and the sound of microphone feedback as
much as the next guy. What I do have a problem with are the people who fail to
see the glaring hypocrisy of screaming the words "shut up" into a bullhorn.

Why should even the most repugnant ideas receive the same freedom of expression
as more accepted ones? Because the American system is less a "free marketplace"
of ideas than it is a playground. And the best way to dispense with unpopular
ideas is to let them roam free, so they can have their asses kicked up and down
the jungle gym by the cool ideas.

The ability to be critical of our government is what makes this country great.
Thanks to these freedoms, we get the hip irreverence of Art Buchwald, the
folksy yet politically incisive song stylings of Mark Russell, and the
pun-tastic parodies of The Capital Steps. And it is for these reasons alone, we
must squash free speech immediately and become a police state.

We need to let those who repulse us have their say alongside those whose
speeches make us rise to our feet in applause. How else will the shiny pearl of
wisdom stick out against the black velvet of stupidity? It's better to just let
the Ku Klux Klan march through your town than it is to waste your time and
money trying to stop them. Instead of challenging their right to free speech,
use your energy to point out to your children the irony of the fat guys in the
pointy hats and the pee-stained bed sheets, spouting forth all sorts of
mono-syllabic eugenic claptrap, and all the while, claiming to be the master

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.



Now I dont want to get off on a rant here but...You know, there used to be two
parties- Democrat and Republican, and, separate from that, two schools of
political thought. Anybody remember liberal Republicans like Nelson Rockefeller
and George Romney? Today, a liberal Republican is one who thinks a condemned
man getting death by injection should be laid out on a comfy mattress.

The word "liberal" has replaced "Communist" as the red flag neo-conservatives
wave in your face to denote what's wrong in this country. People are even
making me out a liberal, when I'm actually a pragmatist, which means I think
everybody is an asshole but me.

With the threat of communism gone, the power elite no longer has to be on its
best behavior. And right now, you have as good a chance of seeing tolerance
from them as you do Newt Gingrich dirty dancing with Harvey Fierstein.

Remember Mario Cuomo's speech at the '84 Democratic Convention? It was a
stunning bolt of lightning that, if only for a brief moment, galvanized the
American spirit in the hearts and minds of its people. It was electrifying
prose fueled by brains, guts, and compassion, and it made you proud to be an
American. Now compare that to the only memorable Republican speech of the last
decade- Pat Buchanan's derisive, petty, hate-filled diatribe at the '92 GOP
convention. There may not be a member of the current crop of American
conservatives who could match Cuomo's speech. I think they lack the compassion.
Their consience doesn't seem to bother them enough.

So, as far as the nuts-and-bolts legislative details are concerned, liberalism
is probably dead, and it doesn't look like a whole lot of us are going to be at
that wake. But when it comes to the ongoing battle over reshaping this ethereal
thing we call the American spirit, well, liberalism had better be very much
alive and breathing fire, or we have truly lost our way as a nation.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


The Religious Right

 I don't want to get off on a rant here but don't these radical religious
right leaders scare you a little? I'm not talking about good simple religious
folk here. I empathize with you people. I know you're frightened. It looks like
the bad guys are winning. And I know you want to do the good Christian thing
and save some of the bad guys, but you're probably preaching to the
unconvertible. This is a long trail ride, and occasionally a satanic heifer or
two is gonna head over the ridge and go off on their own. Let them go. Quit
trying to set God up on blind dates with people he has nothing in common with.
Well, anyway, you're good people and I got no quarrel with you, Atticus. I'm
talking about the overzealous ones. The ones with that bloodless, glazed-over
"Prophets of the Caribbean" look. You know, the ones who look like the guys who
kept Howard Hughes alive those last three years. Let's run down our roster of
modern-day Pharisees:

Jerry Falwell, with his big hillbilly grin concealing his hatred for you and
the fun you can have with your nasty little genitals.

Then we've got Pat Robertson, the Dixie charlatan who contends he held counsel
with God, saw Jesus, and has it on good authority from the Holy Ghost that
"Cuber" has an arsenal of nuke-you-ler weapons aimed at the United States.

And our good friend Ollie North, who quivers with religious fervor while
conveniently forgetting he was a belligerent liar who abused the authority of
his position. You know I have no doubt that God will forgive Lieutenant Colonel
North one day. I just don't our courts should have.

These modern-day Torquemadas can't wait to seize the reins and begin
slaughtering the nonbelievers. And if you don't think they'll do it--if you
don't think you'll be on the short list for a public roasting a la Joan of Arc,
well, you better stop dancing around the pagan Maypole and think again,

Now I am sure to many of those in the Radical Right, I probably appear to be a
bitter, cranky pragmatist with the mouth of a stevedore, and the soul of a
heretic. But I do, believe it or not, consider myself to be a Christian--and
I'm sorry, you just don't go shooting doctors. If a judgment's to be made, God
gets to make it. Not you. Him. You are Barney Fife. Keep your bullet in your
shirt pocket. All right?

You know, God is Andy Taylor. If abortion is wrong, and I believe in many cases
it is, somewhere down the line God's gonna let you know about it. And believe
me, God paybacks are an eternal bitch. Somebody else's abortion is none of your
business. And listen, if you really believe that your God is telling you to
kill an abortionist in his name, then you've got to crush some tinfoil on your
antenna, pal, because you're gettin' some heavy interference.

And you know, while I'm at it, I don't care what arcane passage you pull out of
the Old Testament and run through your Jeremiah-begat-Jedediah Decoder Ring,
one of the definitive tenets of Christianity is tolerance. Trust me, there's no
version of the Bible that says Love thy neighbor unless he's a Peter Allen fan.
Any supposedly Christian doctrine must have at the core a belief in the concept
of unqualified love for your fellow man. Unless of course he proves himself to
be a total asshole. Then you can ditch him. Sure, God understands that, who do
you think booked Satan's flight? What he can't understand is turning against
someone because you don't happen to agree with their sexual preference. Forget
your linear, biblical interpretation that tells you to ostracize gays, and
follow your heart. It's like when your driving test instructor would tell you
to run the stop sign. And you would, and then he'd flunk you. And you'd say,
"But you told me to." And he'd say, "Sorry, but you never run a stop sign." And
you never carpet bomb a group of people with hate because they're different
from you. Case closed, Tailgunner Joe.

And tolerance should extend to ideas as well. A schoolbook cannot corrupt your
child, especially one whose main characters are a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, and a
Cowardly Lion. And if you truly think your kid's character depends on prayer,
then damn it, pray with your kid--at home! Stop fobbing off on the public
school system your responsibilities as a parent. The school's are there to
teach your kids to read, write, and add--skills they will need if they are
going to apply for and wisely invest their unemployment checks one day.

And if you're sold on prayer as a diving board into the day, get up a few
minutes early, forgo the trip to the 7-Eleven for a jeroboam of Colombian
blend, sit down with your kids you profess to love so much, and lead them in

Look, I realize this is America--everybody has the right to organize. The
Democratic Party should try it sometime. But you know something, the members of
the Radical Religious Right have to get it through their skulls: Separation of
Church and State. Separate. Not together. Apart. Like Burt and Loni. One here
and one there. The founding fathers set it up like hat because back home in
merry old England they witnessed scenes of theocratic horror that would have
made even Quentin Tarantino puke.

I can only hope the Radical Right's grab for political power will eventually
prove to be their Holy Waterloo.

I know we don't like to vote--marking your ballot nowadays is like choosing
between the 3 A.M. showing on Beastmaster on Showtime and the 3 A.M. showing of
Beastmaster 2 on Cinemax.

But the less we involve ourselves in the political process, the more special
interest groups and fanatics move in.

So vote, and remember this when you're alone in the booth with just you and
your lever. The Radical Right believes the word "Right" does not simply denote
their placement on the political spectrum, but also their sanctimoniously smug
assertion that "right" is exactly what they are on any and all issues. Amen.

Of course that is just my opinion...I could be wrong!



You watch, they're gonna go after Clinton for duck hunting now you watch. You
know Clinton is criticized for his health plan, his tax plan, his choice of
tie, everything. His haircut, his wife, you name it some snippy bystander has
an opinion and sure he or she is entitled to their opinion, but it's gotten to
the point where people who criticize actually believe their opinion should have
an effect, even if it's only that of bird shit hitting the drivers side
windshield at 60 miles an hour. You know, I don't want to get off on a rant
here but why is it...
why is it that every single activity in our lives is subject to a mean spirited
critique. Who wants to listen to some unqualified blowhard, having convinced
himself that his uninformed opinion is somehow relevant, yarble through an
insufferable long winded bullshit laden rant? Or not.
Okay I'm guilty here too but having copped to that I must say we truly are a
nation of critics sniping from lazy boys at a few active individuals struggling
to effect political change, make a movie, write a book, tell a joke, design a
better faucet... Okay that guy is an asshole alright! The faucets are fine stop
fucking with them alright! The ones in the airport are like science projects
with electronic eyes and motion sensors. Faucet guy STOP IT!

Look, we used to keep this need to criticize bottled up in the art swamp where
it caromed harmlessly off of giant soup cans, blank verse, and untalented
exhibitionists smearing themselves with chocolate and cramming yams up their
ass. But now it's spilled over the media flood wall and into every activity of
our lives. Sports, pet training, home repair, snow removal, you name it
somewhere there's a cable show dedicated to ripping it. And I'm not saying
there isn't a place for solid intelligent constructive criticism but when was
the last time you read a review of something, a movie, a play, a book, that
gave you a real feel or what the author was trying to say. Probably been a
while huh? Because nowadays you can only make a name for yourself as a critic
if you pass out blow jobs like Madonna at the NBA all star game, or... or if
you're a spiteful crank heaping scorn on everything he sees, the kind of poison
tongued lard encased asshole who refuses to review anything he enjoys because
his praise mechanism was broken when his father wouldn't buy him an easy bake
oven for his tenth birthday(applause). Now I don't have any personal axe to
grind here, bad reviews don't affect me that much. I'm not the kind of guy who
names names, in fact I don't even know the name of the slimy fuckwad from
Entertainment Weekly. I feel so cleansed.

The key thing to remember about all critics is that they remain dependent on
the innovator, the person doing the real work of creating. And because they
just sit on the sidelines of life, never the hunter, they are doomed to be
forgotten. But it's not all their fault I mean, we give them their chance when
we rely too much on critics to make our choices for us. We give them the power
because the sheer speed of existence has rattled our already fragile confidence
when it comes to things artistic. We think we need help sorting out artsy
things, that somehow we don't have all the facts. But you know something, we
don't need help. You like the Red Skelton painting, buy the Red Skelton
painting alright. You like Home Improvement, tape it and go over it like the
Zabruder film. It's your living room, it's your life, go nuts. Enjoy the world
on your terms, follow your own heart and take what critics say with a fifty
pound bag of salt because at best a critic is just another human being, like
yourself, fumbling around in the dark trying to separate the artistic wheat
from the wonderbread.

So the next time you see Roger Ebert sitting on his titanium reinforced love
seat pissing off on the work of some you person who doesn't quite have it yet
but might be on their way to having it some day, remember the time Roger
decided to dive into the deep end of the creative pool. He wrote the Russ Meyer
film "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls." And, if you'll pardon me for putting on
the critics hat for a second myself, I must tell you that was a huge repulsive,
quasi radioactive, spectacularly inept, borderline troglodytic, pile of high
density, low brow, can't get it our of your mind or off your shoe DOGSHIT!

Of course that is just my opinion...I could be wrong!



Why is it in America that going somewhere, buying something, calling someone-
just about any transaction that you can name in America is about as
nerve-racking as a Bosnian grocery run? Why is it that seemingly everyone with
a job along the great service highway is an uninterested sociopath with the
interpersonal skills of a wolverine?

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but why is it that I can't seem to
go through the simplest procedures without a major hassle? For example, I
recently subscribed to a magazine, and after paying for it they sent me another
bill. So I called them up to rectify the situation, and they assured me they'd
correct the problem. I then started receiving two copies of the magazine each
week, one addressed to "Dennis Miller" and the other addressed to "Denise
Miller." Now, I want to know two things: One, how can they not know they're
sending two magazines to the same address, and two, how did they find out about
my cross-dressing?

You know, nowadays, half the people you ask for help say, "It's not my job,
man." And the other half don't have a clue about how in the hell to do their
job. See if this sounds familiar: Hotel clerks who, even though you requested a
nonsmoking room, give you a suite that smells like Denis Leary's index finger;
maids who don't give a shit about the "Do Not Disturb" sign and come through
the door like Pete Wilson raiding the kitchen for green cards at El Pollo Loco;
movie ushers who constantly ask you to remove your feet from the seat in front
of you, but refuse to even shine their flashlight on the gang-initiation golden
shower taking place during "The Lion King".

In trendy restaurants from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to West Hollywood
the one dish you can be sure about on the menu is ATTITUDE. Now I know all
these waiters and waitresses have the talent to be the next Luke Perry. Or the
next Luke Perry. Couldn't think of anybody else that bad. And excuse me for
wandering into your restaurant in a quest for sustenance to jam in my pie hole.
But from the time you strap on the Buford Pusser pepper mill to the time you
drop your last check, do all of us hungry patrons a favor and use your sense
memory to portray a wait-person who gives a shit about the customer they're
serving even though that customer rudely insists on not being Mike Ovitz. Okay?

And it's not like I don't sympathize. I've been in the vast service gulag.
After I graduated from college, one of my first jobs was as an ice cream scoop
at a Village Dairy in Pittsburgh. I'm standing there at age twenty-one in a
paper hat with my two fellow employees asking me if they're gonna find the
driving test hard and the prettiest girl from my five years ago senior class
walks in to order a cone. She recognizes me, and tries to cover her discomfort
by making small talk about sugar versus cake, as I think, "Yeah, I'll get laid
on this planet...sure."

And once I had a job cleaning toilets for a living--on the night shift, for
chrissakes. Got that? I didn't even rate cleaning toilets during the DAY. My
bosses actually thought to themselves, "Yeah, Miller's good, he's REAL good.
He's just not ready for The Show yet."

I know jobs can be unrewarding, but I'd like to go on vacation for a week, call
the paper boy, and ask him to suspend delivery during that time and not come
back to nine newspapers sitting outside my doorstep, screaming to every lowlife
in the area, "Yoohoo! Over Here! Nobody Home!"

I'd like my groceries in a bag that will actually contain what I purchased, and
not open up like the bomb-bay doors on the "Enola Gay" as soon as my pickle
jars are over the cement driveway; I'd like the universal remote I bought to
change the channels on my TV and not shut off my neighbor's home dialysis

And you know, while we are on the subject of inefficiency, why doesn't somebody
warn you that the "stay hard cream" will short circuit the "auto-suck"? Are you
with me on that? A little too specific. All right, let go, walk away from it,
it never happened.

More important, I've had it up to here with corporations pushing the fucking
unions around. You know that if you haven't been laid off by now, you're
working overtime. Companies are lean and mean. And so is the service they give
you: lean and mean.

Still, a lot of the blame falls on us. There seems to be this notion that good,
honest, hard work is something to be viewed down our collective snout. That
doesn't make the workers at the bottom of the pole feel very good. Does it?

If you want better service, the next time you see one of those workers in an
"employee of the month" photo in a fast-food restaurant, suppress your urge to
make your friends laugh by ridiculing the guy as a dork loser with a bad
haircut. Instead, why not seek out the guy who actually took pride in doing his
job the way it was supposed to be done and thank him for dotting the i's and
crossing the t's and making sure there is toilet paper in the stall, and
ketchup in the dispenser. Make that person feel good because he is the last
thin blue collar line between a frayed but still functioning society and
full-blown "We'll be there anytime between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. or maybe we won't
even show up at all, assface" anarchy. All right?

And let's grab the reins as customers. Don't stay on hold forever. "What's
that? I should press one if I am calling from a touch-tone phone? Hey Hal, I'm
pressing flash, 'cause I'm hanging up now and taking my business to a human
operator!" Don't settle for fish nugget and the green spooge, turn the car
around, go back, and demand the goddamn cheeseburger you ordered!

And lastly, let's get out pride together, go to the whip, and regain our
position at the head of the socioeconomic pack! How about less billions spent
on getting the war machine cherry, and a few more billions on tightening up our
educational system. Forget the "moment of silence" in the morning. Let's shoot
for a moment of SCIENCE, okay?

It's time we stopped looking up Japan's ass, and you know why?

Because that is definitely "not our job, man."

Of course that is just my opinion...I could be wrong!



 We are a nation of procrastinators, aren't we? Activism in the midst of a
passive period, and that's a shame because activists, throughout the years,
have been able to alter the course of history. They advanced civil rights for
African Americans, they protected the rights of the worker, they saved the
whales from being extinct, and they once kept "Spencer for Hire" on for a whole
extra season. And, I'm a "big" Bobby Urich fan.

I don't want to get off on a rant here, but it seems the activism times they
are a changing. Increasingly, we've become such a nation of self-obsessed "me"
monkeys that most of us feel like we've done our good deed for the day if we
pull over and make a complete stop when an ambulance passes. And also the tone
of present-day activism seems to have turned for the worst. There's nothing
more unbecoming than somebody who's pathologically rabid about an issue that,
in the long run, is cosmically inconsequential. To the overzealous I say, "Stop
being so selfish and work your rage out in your personal relationships like the
rest of us, okay?" I'll be honest with you. There are times I'd like to shout,
"Shut the fuck up and stop blocking traffic with your 'Save the Headlights'
rally, asshole!" Sometimes . . . Sometimes it's hard not to think, "Hey, could
I please just eat my Cherry Garcia without some aging Vermont ice cream hippies
constantly reminding me how bad the rain forests are doing?" "Hey, boys, as far
as the rain forest goes, does a bear give a shit in the woods, okay?"

But every time I go to turn my back on activism I remember that in the sixties
a bunch of college kids brought about the end of a profane war and helped boot
out a corrupt President. Activism got results. People felt empowered. The '60s
were the "Us Generation." The '70s, however, were the "Me Generation." And the
'80s? Well, the '80s were the "Me-Me-Me generation" where cruel got confused
with hip, serious with smart, attitude with belief, and the Mercedes emblem
with the Peace sign.

Now it's the '90s. We've gone from the Red Cross handing out coffee at floods
to Ricki Lake and the freak patrol blitzing Karl Lagerfeld's office and
chaining themselves to the Poland Spring dispenser. When did minks become more
important than people? I've watched individuals in New York City step over
fellow human beings laying in their own piss to spit on somebody who's wearing
chinchilla. And now they pretend to spit on you if you wear fake fur.

How far are we going to go with this bullshit, kids? Now the mink is
everybody's precious cause celebre. The Jack Henry Abbot of forest creatures.
How hard could a mink's life be? He's wearing fucking mink! Trust me, if the
roles were reversed, he'd be wearing your pelt, okay? ] So when you hit your
knees tonight, thank your walking, upright god it played out the way it did.

Now to me, Paul Newman does activism the right way. Makes delicious popcorn,
salad dressing, marinara sauce, and then he mentions it in small print that the
profits from this enterprise are going to charity. He sneaks it by you instead
of ramming it down your throat, running his whole operation with a truly cool

Remember, there's a fine line between activism and just being a pain in the
ass. But trying too hard is probably preferable to not trying at all. Believe
me, we're all guilty of laying in the hammock, myself included. I'm about as
societally active as J. D. Salinger during hay fever season because, quite
frankly, it's a tad dangerous to get involved nowadays. There are forces of
evil out there--powerful politicians, multi-national corporations, Dick
Clark--that would love that would love for us to become complacent. The
complacent, blond, Illiacuriarcan tribe from H. G. Wells' "Time Machine."

And does activism even make a difference at the end of the day? Is there a
happy ending? Well, hey, I'm one of the more pessimistic cats on the planet. I
make Van Gogh look like a fucking rodeo clown, and with reluctance, I will say
this: When you get involved, most probably it'll suck for awhile. It'll be hard
work with unclear results. But you know something? So what. That's life in all
its glory. Life is not a movie. The right thing to do is to simply get in the
game. The price of apathy is too high to pay. Remember "We Are the World?" You
want to see Dan Akroyd singing again? If only to prevent something like that
from ever, ever recurring, please, get up off your ass, put some goddamn
underwear on, and go do something.

Of course that is just my opinion...I could be wrong!



Power is living in a mansion for 30 years and never really knowing where the
kitchen is.
Power is walking around with your fly open, and everybody thinking you're a
fashion trend-setter.

Power is the most sought after, addictive, seductive, abused drug there is.
Compared to Power, crack is Fruitopia.

You know, I don't want to get off on a rant here:

But I'll wager that human beings fantasize about power than they do any- thing

Wealth, fame, making the winning play for their favorite team, leg- wrestling
Rue Mclannahan while her strong support stocking calves pressing firmly against
my......I'm sorry...where were we?

Oh right. Power.

Ok. Let's talk about Power. How to get it, what to do with it, when to use it,
and most importantly where to store it and at what temperature. because make no
mistake my friends, Power is a perishable good.

Now I may currently appear to have power, but, if you really think about it,
I'm a mindless fuckchimp for HBO. At any moment they could back up a costume
van, pull out the Pillsbury dough boy suit and order me to get into it. And
then what?

Well...nothing says good lovin' like something from the oven!

heeeeheeee....that's what!

At the end of the day I've got all the power of that highway construction
worker who can't be trusted with any moving-part machinery because he took a
crane hook to the temple in 1989, and they changed his name to Slappy and now
he has to stand there all day with a reversible sign that says stop & go, until
the weekend where his friends invite him to parties and make him dance by
shooting pelletguns at his feet.

Little autobiographical note

So while I obviously don't have power who does? Well, let's define the
different degrations of power.
First, there's real power. The tornado ripping up 100 year old oak tree and
picking it's teeth with it.
Then there's real human power. High grade political power. At the top of this
heap it's a pure uncut china Whitehouse jolt right into the arm that has it's
finger on the button.

Do you think Bill Clinton doesn't like the power of being President? Do you
think he doesn't sit there in the oval office for hours saying to himself:
"This is the finger that could blow up the world, and it's the same finger I
use to scratch my ass?"

Next, you have midrange corporate power. That flawless cynergistic weaving of
money and clout that allows a select few to meet in smoke filled back rooms and
literally change the course of human history while the rest of us are waiting
in line for a kid to ask: "Do you want fries with that"?

And Finally there's pretend power. The supposed ability of a person to lead a
flock of sheep to new heights where there unfortunately usually they find a
shearing pen.

Who has this power? Jimmy Swagart, Amway, Dionne Warwick, Barney, Rush.

How'd they get it? Well you gave it to them for Christ's sake! Stop doing that.
Go to Starbuck's, get a quadra'late' and wake the fuck up!

So those are the different kinds of power. The only other thing you need to
know is that we all crave power. Whether it's heading a major entertainment
company, or just spraying that cockroach in your kitchen with a steady stream
of raid and pretending you're Red Adaire on a blazing oil platform in the
middle of the Caspian Sea.

Face it, we all get off on power. Even if we only have a little of it. Do you
think that clerk at the DMV doesn't enjoy looking at that serpentine line and
thinking I gotta be here 8 hours...Fuck're here for 8 hours!

Power is the nutritional source that feeds the ego and of course we all know
that the ego is the ugly little troll that lives under the bridge between your
mind and you heart. You keep a stranglehold on that fact.

I don't the that the desire for power is necessarily a bad thing. I'd say it's
encoded into our DNA for a damned good reason.

After all, in the prehistoric days, when we humans dwelled in caves, and the
neighbor's pet raptor got off it's leash and shit on your yard and ate your
cave-son, you sure as hell needed a big stick. You couldn't go running to
Johnny Rochran or whatever they called the neighborhood ultra- smooth bullshit
artist back then.

So, to all you out there who are constantly whining about how to get power, you
can start by not giving away any of yours. Don't send 20 bucks to some
porcelain eye liner junkie who claims she can get you into heaven. That chick
can't even get you into Cosco. There's only on guy who can get you into heaven
and that's god, or Buddha, or Eisner, or whatever the hell he's called himself
these days.

Of course that is just my opinion...I could be wrong!



God knows the world of sports could use a shot in the arm, couldn't it? I
bought a newspaper the other day, I was gonna flip to the Sports section when I
realized - I just can't make the Mark Belanger-like throw from the hole
anymore. I...I just don't want to read about vicious brawls, random drug
testing, salary squabbles or venomous court proceedings. For Christ's sake,
it's enough to make you want to turn to the front page.
You know, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but I can remember as a kid
thinking sports were played by heroes on a field of honor. We played on our
little neighborhood sandlots in hopes of someday becoming the noblest of all
warriors - a ballplayer. Today, I can see ballplayers for what they are just
young men with a bag of faults covering the whole spectrum of human frailty.

On the baseball cards of my youth (collected assiduously and filed in an empty
Converse sneaker box) the "boys of summer" smiled white smiles, their eyes
clear and happy with the sense of purpose that comes from honorable pursuits.
They were our team. They stayed with us through good and bad, and they didn't
hold out for more money, and we didn't withhold our adulation.

There was a predictability then that was in one word, comforting. The plotline
read as simply as a Spy vs. Spy comic strip: young man works hard, plays fair,
becomes hero, gives back to fans and rides off into the sunset. Nowadays, young
man squirts bleach at reporters, throws firecrackers at kids, becomes felon,
and drives Porsche off into sunset.

You know, the equation doesn't work anymore. The math now dictates that Bonnie
Blair trains hard, keeps her mouth shut, wins five gold medals, FIVE... and she
can't get a headband endorsement. Nancy Kerrigan comes in second - once, tells
Mickey Mouse to go fuck himself, and she strikes the mother lode. You know,
just like in all other walks of society, sports fame has become a matter of
smile over substance, and you know it's all sports: in football it's Jerry
Jones' swelled head, in basketball it's Dennis Rodman's "mood ring head", in
boxing it's Don King's troll-doll head, and in tennis it's Andre Agassi's
balding head (aside) yeah, we noticed Andy. Ehhh, well you know something? I
say, off with their heads! They're our games and we want them back.

We are being cheated the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are not Stuldreyer,
Miller, Crowley and Leydon, but rather Greed, Ego, Arbitration and
Steinbrenner. The Elyssian athletic fields of my youth have been turned into
the Pullan Weed-Eater Dust Bowls of today. The true poetry of Sport has been
corroded, and we are left with nothing but broken verse.

It looked extremely rocky for the L.A. nine that day --
The score stood 2-to-4 with but an inning left to play.
So when DeShields died at second and Butler did the same,
Bad Karma clouded the blue-blockers of the patrons of the game.

A few got up to do some blow, leaving there the rest
With that hope that springs eternal, within the siliconed breast.
For they thought if only Darryl could get a whack at that
They just might put their sushi down with Strawberry at the bat.

But Piazza preceded Strawman, and likewise so did Wallach
And the former was still three years shy of arbitration and the latter
was a five-and-ten man who was contractually guaranteed final approval of the
teams he could be traded to.

So on that earthquake, brushfire, mudslide, riot-torn Angeline billboard
stricken crowd, a deathlike silence sat

For there seemed but little chance of Darryl getting to the bat.

But Piazza let drive a triple, to the wonderment of all
And the inconsistent Wallach took a slider in the balls.
And after his obligatory charge to the mound to make his feelings heard,
There was Wallach safe at first, and Piazza huggin' third.

Then from the jaded multitude went up a wine-spritzer soaked yell
It rumbled off the 405, and the Hollywood sign, as well
It struck off Spago's windows, which shook like liposuctioned fat
For Darryl, flighty Darryl, was advancing to the bat.

There was disease (LaSorda would say "weakness") in Darryl's manner as he
twelve-stepped into place
There was pride in Darryl's bearing, and some white stuff on his face.
Sixty thousand and one eyes were on him
(okay, Peter Falk was there, it's Hollywood)
as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Thirty thousand folks applauded, dripping Dove Bars on their shirts.

Now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the smog and Darryl stood
a'watching in a self-indulgent fog.
Close by the usesless batsman, the ball, unheeded, sped
"I've seen better orbs in strip clubs" said Darryl...
"Strike One!" the umpire said.

From skyboxes stuffed with Armani suits there went up a muffled roar
Like the whacking-off of perverts in that park by the Santa Monica shore [ I
was looking for a rhyme.]
"Kill him! Kill the ump!" shouted Kevorkian in the stands
And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Darryl raised his spouse-abusing
He signalled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew -
But Darryl had nearly nodded off, and the umpire said, "Strike Two!"

"You suck, you worthless piece of shit!" cried the maddened thousands clustered
around my four-year old son and me.
And then the echo answered back,
"?Tu chupas, tu bueno penado pedaso de mierda!"
But one scornful look from Darryl, and the fans' inner-child anger cleared.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, like the day he smacked that homeless
guy for looking at him weird.

Then they heard him whining about his 4-million-per-annum strain
And they knew the chances were two in ten that he would not let that ball go by

And now the obscenely overpaid 8-and-13 pitcher holds the ball and now he lets
it go.
And now the shitty L.A. air is shattered by the farce of Darryl's blow.

Oh, somewhere in this troubled land the sun is shining bright
The Eagles have reunited, and somewhere hearts are light
Somewhere men are laughing and somewhere children shout
But there is no joy in Mudville -- mighty Darryl is strung out.

Of course that is just my opinion...I could be wrong!


America the Touchy

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but that's the problem with
America. You can't tease anybody. I read now that gay people don't even want to
be called gay anymore. They now wish to be referred to as Asian.

"Hey, what's Dennis saying there, man? Is Dennis saying all Asians are gay? Is
Dennis saying all gays are Asian?" You know what I'm saying . . . all Asians
are gay.

Now somewhere out there, there's an Asian person talking pen to paper in
protest. And I want you to hear me out . . . put the pen down, it was a joke.
Walk away from it. Let it go. It never happened. It was a comment on how
pathetically neurotic we've all become over our own little piece of turf.
Obviously, you know don't believe that all Asians are gay. For Christ's sake
there's a billion of you, I know somebody's fucking out there, okay?

And yet this is what it's come to. This is what it's come to in contemporary
America. Everybody's broken off into these petulant little Travis Bickle
tribes. Everybody walks the perimeter of their own damaged esteem ever-vigilant
against an incursion by They, Them. The Other Guys. Everybody's touchy and
everybody's encouraged to be touchy, everybody that is . . . except me: the
White Anglo-Saxon male. I'm everybody's asshole. Black people think I'm
oppressive and physically deficient. Women think I'm oafish and horny. Gay
people think I'm overly macho and latently homosexual. And Asians think I'm
lazy and stupid. Hey, you think you've got an ax to grind? I'm fuckin' Paul
Bunyan over here, okay, folks?

And if I'm expected to be genial, there's a principle of reciprocity here, I
expect you to do the same. Why are we so hung up on the name calling? We are
all such overgrown babies. As it turns out adult life is just a tall grade
school: "You suck," "With your mouth," "Hi, my mouth," "Hi, me." It's
embarrassing. I can't believe it, the playground is way back there in the mist.
We've got to let it go and get on with it. Why do you think we get hung up on
all the little bullshit?

I have a theory: I think we're far less evolved ourselves. I know we consider
ourselves to be very nineties creatures, we take it all in, we deal with it . .
. we put it back out. We are just the hippest little creatures, but you know
something? I think in a deep gut level we're scared shitless. We live in a
madhouse and it's brought into our living rooms on a day-to-day level via CNN.
And we see things that we probably aren't equipped to even vaguely get our head
around. Children in Somalia . . . the atrocities in
Bosnia--Cal-a-frag-a-listic-ex-pee-al-a-docious. I think all this shit comes
down and we think, "Christ, it really is out of control."

So what we do is we take all the little bullshit things, we trump it up into
something bigger than it actually is, something we can mold and handle, and in
some vague pathetic way keep our feet tethered to the planet.

And that's why this entire country has turned into Gladys Kravitz from

Of course that is just my opinion...I could be wrong!



I can't believe people are even upset by this. Feigning outrage in our present
climate of rudeness is just hilarious to me. Has anybody else noticed that
courtesy and civility in this culture are disappearing faster than a pack of
smokes at an AA meeting. And you know it appears as if we've given up even
trying to preserve it. Most people seem to accept this disintegration of
manners as a fait accompli and have simply lined the borders of their personal
space with razor wire.

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here but we've devolved over the last few
decades from a Barry Lyndon gentility to a bunch of thunder domed mooks.
Nowadays thoughtless clods all across this once great land of ours do
everything from clipping their fingernails at a funeral to checking themselves
for polyps in the buffet line.

As a matter of fact you can't go anywhere without suffering intrusive
inconsiderate incivility. You go to the mall to pick up a smokey linked gouda
combo gift set at Hickory Farms you come out, your car's been keyed and some
societal fringe player has left a flyer on you windshield for 10% off on all
gay porn films at Dicks Video Shack. You go to the supermarket, you wind up in
a line that's clearly marked 10 items or less cash only, you're waiting behind
some ninja drifter with no ID who's attempting to pay for 14 cartons of pudding
pops with a personal check from the bank of Tehran.

People no longer understand the basic rules of courtesy.

Rule number 1: You must wait and let people get off the elevator before you can
get on the elevator O.K.!

Rule number 2 Rule number 2: You call somebody at 3:15 in the morning and get
the wrong number don't just say "oh this isn't Charlene" click. Say, "I'm very
sorry to have pestered you, I am an assface.

And Rule number 3: Turn your god damn car stereo down! Did you ever think that
maybe I don't want to hear the bass line to Baby Got Back resonating in the
deepest part of my skull?

And even when I try to escape the cold rude world and isolate myself in a
darkened movie theater for 2 hours of unencumbered escapism I get stuck behind
some idiot faux Trufeau who's gonna cliffnote the entire fucking film for me
then I miss the flick because I'm trying to decide whether to ignore him or
bludgeon him to death with my Anna Nicole Smith size box of milk duds. But you
know the fountain head of all this bad behavior has got to be the day time talk
shows. What an intergalactic fucking freak show these are. You tell me what
Rusty the Bailiff fan club meeting did they go to to harvest these losers huh?
Ricki Lake, Richard Bey, Jerry Springer, these people shouldn't be allowed to
own a TV for Christ sake much less be on it. And you know their guests not only
aren't ashamed of their asinine antics they positively revel in their own grand
mal shitheadedness. Screaming in peoples faces, screaming at the audience, the
audience screaming back, you know it's enough to make me want to bag this whole
scene, pack up some jerky and go time share with Jeremiah Johnson.

Look, I'm not some tie dyed carma maitre'd trying to seat everybody in the no
conflict section. As far as I'm concerned the new age goal of perpetual smiling
bliss would be a far worse hell than anything imagined by Quentin Tarantino on
window pane. I don't want some vacant headed defanged Quaker land that's not
civility, that's banality. And I'm not talking Amy Vanderbilt civility either,
where there's nine god damned forks arranged around your dinner plate like some
cutlery stone henge and if you choose the wrong one you are sent away to become
Edwin Newmans personal sex toy. But you know I am saying that when civility
breaks down the fall of civilization is close behind. Is it surprising to
anyone that the least courteous of all countries has 222 million guns. The fact
is that it's gotten so weird out there that we've all turned inward and in the
process we seem to have forgotten there are other human beings schlepping
around the pebble. That's where civility comes in. Civility is acknowledging
that we don't live in a solusisitc universe. We do share this planet with each
other and we should strive to coexist in some civilized respectful manner. And
so to all of you out there who don't cover your mouth, who don't have the money
ready when you get to the toll booth, who do burp so loudly in public that
others wonder where the epicenter was. To all of you dwelling out there on the
crassy knoll if you don't want to come and join the rest of us in this noble
pursuit of good manners we all cordially invite you to please go fuck yourself.

Of course that is just my opinion...I could be wrong!


War on Drugs

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but the war on drugs is a more
frustrating stalemate than a tug-of-war on ice. While DEA seizures are higher
than ever, so is anyone who wants to be.

The drug war has apparently worked to some degree, as both casual use and
addiction have fallen in recent years. But at what cost? Now, instead of
junkies, cokeheads and glue sniffers, we have coffee-addled super-achievers
who'd sooner mow you down in the mall parking lot with their sport utility
dreadnoughts than drop the speedometer below 70. Say what you will about drug
addicts, at least they move slowly.
It's time to change our way of thinking and take the war on drugs out of the
political hot button campaign topics. There is a percentage of our society that
will always be addicted to something. Whether it's cocaine, pills, beer,
cigarettes, or that new car smell.

Countries like Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia produce and export drugs because
their only other economic alternatives do not bring in nearly enough money.
That means if we really want to stem the tide of drugs from south of the
border, there is only one painful but necessary course of action: We as a
nation must resolve to dramatically increase our consumption of wooden donkey
carvings and armadillo-shaped pi?atas.

I don't know what the answer is. But I would like to ask the people of Colombia
something. Between marijuana, coffee and cocaine do you think it might be
possible to grow a crop that doesn't delude people into believing they actually
have something interesting to say?

Drug traffickers are consummate businessmen. They have identified a demand,
efficiently routed their infrastructure to fulfill it, and profited by
exploiting the gap between cheap production and materials and high retail
premiums. Their methodology is indistinguishable from that of a successful U.S.
Corporation, except for, in this day and age, being a bit more ethical.

Every generation has had their drugs of choice. In the 60's, it was pot and
LSD. In the disco era, it was coke. The 80's had crack and in the 90's we had
crystal meth and Ecstasy. And nowadays? Well, now we have pot, LSD, coke,
crack, crystal meth and Ecstasy.

And cocaine still plays an enormous part in our culture. Without it, stock
traders could not put in 75 hour work weeks, and interstate truckers would
deliver a lot more spoiled fruit. More importantly, there would be no second
act segment in those E True Hollywood stories.

There are a lot of campaigns out there trying to prevent young people from
getting into drugs in the first place. Unfortunately, teens tend to view these
groups as uptight Puritans who haven't had fun since they outlawed witch
trials. The zero-tolerance people are the same ones who tell you not to listen
to hip-hop, play violent video games, and remain a virgin until after you're
married. Anyone who believes that the average teenager will sit for that is on
better weed than their kids.

The Anti-Drug campaigns have attacked the airwaves with images of frying eggs
and terrorist bombings. Everything I need to know about drugs I learned from a
poignant, 15-second PSA where the guy from "Yes Dear" pulls up a chair and sits
in it, backward style. By the way, that's when you know they're leveling with
you, kids. When they turn the chair around.

Hey, here's a thought, maybe you should get someone in on these campaigns who
actually understands children. Kids want to be bad. You need Little Jimmy to
stop smoking pot? Show him the picture of his 8th grade history teacher
prancing around a Dead concert in a tie-dye loincloth. He'll never look at
marijuana the same way again. Or the War of 1812, for that matter.

You can make a reasonable case that we shouldn't legalize the most deadly and
addictive of the world's narcotics, but how can you possibly justify arresting
elderly women smoking marijuana to ease their glaucoma, or even more
desperately ill patients smoking it to ease their final days? My wish for the
politicians who put their own careers ahead of the quality of life of ill and
dying human beings is that some day, when they go to receive their final
judgement, the first words out of God's mouth are "Dude, way harsh."

I say if you really want to discourage people from doing drugs, legalize
everything for a year and encourage people to experiment. The smart people will
sit back and barricade themselves in their homes, while all the
drink-the-bongwater burnouts go to town, mixing industrial grade sealant and
horse tranquilizers into a hookah and smoking it. I guarantee you, before the
year is up, we'll dramatically thin the herd and who knows? Maybe some of the
more demented stoners will mix so many weird chemicals, they'll stumble onto a
cure for cancer in their pursuit of a buzz that could win the Nobel Peace Pipe.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.



Speaking of aliens, why are Americans so reluctant to welcome anybody from
Mexico and so enamored, witness the grosses for Independence Day, of the idea
of encountering creatures from another planet?
Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but it seems like nowadays you
can't throw a rock without hitting somebody . . . who'll claim it was a UFO. As
life on this planet swirls in an ever-increasing speed down the crapper, is it
any wonder that we've become more and more fixated with this notion of life

All began in the 50s when we saw an astronomical increase in the number of UFO
sightings. In fact, before 1947 there were next to no reports of UFOs. Is it
just a coincidence that everyone began to see flying saucers about the same
time everyone began seeing Communists? World War II was over and we needed
something new to fear.

In 1947 something crashed in Roswell, New Mexico. Some believe four aliens were
discovered at the sight and that their remains, as well as the flying saucer,
are being held in an Air Force installation 100 miles north of Las Vegas in an
area known as Area 51. UFO-ologists insist that the four aliens and manager,
Brian Epstein, accidentally crashed their own flying saucer. Yeah, because they
can travel 350 million light years dodging black holes, asteroids and comets,
but those New Mexico telephone wires are a real bitch! I think two of the four
aliens might have survived the wreck, escaped from Area 51 and made it to Vegas
where they have been doing nine shows a week under the name Siegfried and Roy!

Now, true believers say that Area 51 is definitely hiding something because if
you go there, they won't let you in and they won't tell you what they have
there. You know why that is? Because it's a fucking military installation, all
right! What, do you think that if you go to Areas 1 through 50 you're gonna get
a Chardonnay and some gouda? No, you're not! You're gonna get turned away
faster than Roger Clinton trying to get backstage at a Marilyn Manson concert!

Now some believe that there is an authentic film of an autopsy on one of the
Roswell aliens. I saw the film on Fox. I believe it was sandwiched between a
very special "Martin" and a special "Party of Five." And, I thought the autopsy
was as authentic as a piece of total bullshit can be. By the way, you know what
they found at the autopsy? Traces of O.J.'s blood.

Now, in addition to the Area 51 freaks, there are those who legitimize the
existence of aliens vis-α-vis the appearance of crop patterns that resemble the
symbol that Prince uses as his name etched into an okra field outside of Mount
Pilot. All right, occasionally bizarre patterns can be seen if you and Mike,
the crop duster who dated Bee Benadara's lesbian daughter, Bobby Jo, fly over
the fields out back of the Shady Rest. Some say it's a landing marker for
aliens; I say it's Uncle Joe with an IV drip of grain alcohol and a Weedwacker.

Another core-ingredient of UFO studies is the abduction by aliens. Under
hypnosis the abductees recollections all share the same characteristics; long
stretches of time unaccounted for, strange bruises on the body, a suspicion of
sexual violation. Is it just me or does alien abduction sound amazingly like
spring break?

Listen, it's a natural tendency to look skyward for the next shiny thing to
answer our prayers. That's why people flock to UFO conventions; in the hope
that when the inevitable mass landing does happen the star gods will first want
to get in touch with the mentally unstable among us.

The purist defining event of the UFO culture has got to be the Star Trek
convention. Not since the Pope and Cardinal O'Connor spoke to a symposium of
nuns catered by the Amish has so little sexual experience been assembled in one

Hey look, I'd be the first one to tell you I would welcome aliens, because
quite frankly, I'm running out of people to despise on this planet.

Despite the barnacles of cynicism which resolutely encrust my hull, I do
believe that there is life other than ours somewhere other than Earth. I just
don't think they're coming here! I don't know who they are or what they drive,
but I assume that they, like I, stick to the tenet that the less you have to do
with your neighbors, the better off it is for everyone involved.

To an extraterrestrial, Planet Earth at best would be like the Vince Lombardi
rest stop along the Jersey Turnpike. Chances are they stop off here once to try
to stretch their tiny, gray limbs, pick up a nut log and take a leak out of one
of their 47 penises. But, on the off-chance that there are super-advanced alien
beings out there tonight interpreting this signal: First of all, thank you for
watching. And now, I want you to listen up, Caldar of Ramoula-Five! When you do
come here and abduct one of us, invariably, might I add, one of us from a rural
address, please... Stay out of our asses, okay! There's nothing in our asses
that will help you and your dying planet! Life is tough enough out there in
Grow Country without you proctonauts downing a couple cases of Zima and getting
your moon rocks off checking on Jethro's oil, okay.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.



Boy, what ever happened to the separation of church and hate? Everybody take it
easy. I'm pretty sure God's registered as an independent.
Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but it's amazing how, in an
election year, God's name gets thrown around like the drunken dwarf at a biker
rally. Personally, when I try to picture what God looks like, I always see some
guy wearing a white robe and frantically working a huge panel of switches and
knobs while answering prayers like a hopped-up Larry King taking phone calls.
Columbia, South Carolina, go ahead--how many times do I have to tell you, take
that Goddamn flag down. Now!

Every religion has its own concept of God, and every religion is wrong. They
have to be. We're talking about the ultimate totality here, and no one creed
can have absolute dominion over its definition. Man, I wish I'd said that
sophomore year when I was trying to do Brenda Wilkins. I had Dark Side Of The
Moon playing, we were splitting a bottle of Mateus, talking existentialism. If
I had this pseudo-philosophical bullshit down back then, I would have gotten
laid like Mothra's egg.

Western religions tend to imagine God as either a burning bush or Wilford
Brimley with a beard and dreadlocks. In the East, you get a little more leeway:
one God is a bare-breasted woman with six arms, another is a man with the head
of an elephant. There is no doubt in my mind as to who has the better weed.

What happens to gods when people cease to worship them? Do they sit lonely on
Mount Olympus wondering what the fuck Harry Hamlin was doing in Clash Of The
Titans, or do they simply fade away? Or do they instead descend to earth and
take jobs as wisecracking hosts of live late-night cable talk shows? Whoops,
I've saideth too much.

The concept of God lets us imagine there's something more, that when you die
you stumble out of this demented funhouse and there's someone there to explain
what the hell you just went through, like the epilogue on a Quinn Martin show.
That's all I want--I want everything clarified, you hear me Lord? Everything. I
want a perfectly logical reason for all the wars, shootings, tortures, rapes,
murders, cruelty and pain. And when You're done with that, can you please
explain the frogs in MAGNOLIA to me?

You know what else I've realized about God? Even though Jesus once admonished,
"Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's," God and commerce do frequently overlap.
Did you ever notice the phrase "In God We Trust" only appears on the lesser
denominations of our currency? You get up around the $1000 bill, and it just
says "God, I Think I Can Take It From Here."

I don't think there's any doubt that people often yell, "Oh God" during sex
because He wants to be appreciated for his best invention. If you don't shout
His name when smelling a rose, well, that's OK. Not really bowled over by the
sight of a glorious sunset? Fair enough. But if you don't give Him props for
orgasms that make your toes curl like frying bacon, well, you're about to feel
the awesome wrath of the Almighty's lightning-bolt enema.

Yes, some of God's handiwork is flawed. There are rivers that overflow,
volcanoes that aren't quite sealed and tectonic plates that tend to crack over
time. But isn't it comforting to know that even God has trouble finding a
reliable contractor?

And for someone who is so great and all-powerful, Yahweh's got an awful lot of
people talking for him these days, doesn't he? God's got more phonies claiming
to know His will than Howard Hughes. Jerry Falwell says homosexuality and
abortion are sins. Yeah, well, so is gluttony, Jerry. So why don't you drop
about 50 or so and then talk to me about what people should or shouldn't be
doing with their bodies. OK?

Don't get me wrong. People are certainly entitled to worship as they see fit,
but don't go using God as a convenient template for your petty, bigoted views.
If you want to ban interracial dating at your college because your father once
caught you masturbating to a picture of Pam Grier and punished you by making
you paint the house, and now every time you smell wet DuPont Latex Exterior it
makes you think of Foxy Brown and you get all confused and horny and humiliated
at the same time, and you want to make someone pay, just fucking say so. Don't
put it on God, OK Jonesy?

Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.


Alternative Medicine

For those of you who don't know what yohimbe is, join the club. I'm only
familiar with ginkgo biloba, which I believe is the name of that city in Spain
with the weird new art museum.

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but is alternative medicine really
the key to understanding the human body, or is it just a chance to get scammed
by some loser who had to go into the herbal remedy business because he wasn't
smart enough to snag the hair-scrunchy franchise at the local mall?

Well, one major tenet of alternative medicine is "natural is good," while
"synthetic is bad." This kind of thinking is more simplistic than the B plot on
an episode of "Nash Bridges". Come on, if you've got nonspecific urethritis,
isn't it better to just take some Tetracycline than it is to stick your penis
in a hornet's nest? While I don't believe that traditional medicine has all the
answers, it must be pretty frustrating for a Harvard-trained M.D. to be losing
customers to a guy whose sole medical credentials consist of preferring to sit
on the floor. As for me, I divide medical practitioners into two camps: Those
who will give me a prescription for Vicodin over the phone, and those who

I have to admit that as cynical and untrusting by nature as I might be, I am
becoming more open to experimenting with alternative medicines. I don't mean
taking them myself, I mean pretending I've taken them with great success and
recommending them to friends and neighbors so they'll take them, and I can see
if they really do work.

Sure, in college, my roommates and I experimented with alternative
medicines--one guy would say, "Howzabout some aromatherapy?" and then fart, and
the other guy would say, "Howzabout some reflexology?" and give him the finger.
And trust me, all the chicks really dug it when we'd wink and ask them if
they'd like to come up to our dorm room for a little "cock-u-pressure."

Since then, I've learned there are many different kinds of alternative
medicine, each based on different theories. For example, there's acupuncture,
which works on the principle of distraction. You're not going to feel the
arthritis in your knee when someone's ramming a butterfly specimen needle into
the nape of your neck. It's the same reason your nose never itches when your
ankle is caught in a bear trap.

Another theory says that the key to good health is colonic irrigation. You know
what a colonic is. It's when a trained professional puts eight quarters into
the coin slot of a car-wash pressure wand and details your interior. I decided
I would give it a try, but then my wife came home early and caught me
power-squatting over her bidet like an orang-utan with osteoporosis, and I had
to sleep downstairs in the rec room until she got that picture out of her head.

Anyway, maybe that's all made me a tad skeptical about alternative medicine. If
I'm seeking treatment for something, I want documentation of my improvement. I
want a guy in a lab coat showing me before-and-after x-rays and test results
charted on graph paper. What I don't want is my specialist basing his
conclusion that I'm cured on the fact that his step-cousin, Bobby Wasabi, saw
two doves fucking in a dream.

Like I said, I don't think that Western culture has all the answers, but it
sure does seem like people in India flock to the Red Cross in droves whenever
that tent pops up. Hey, maybe that's their alternative medicine (wink, wink).
Sorry folks, the understated stuff hasn't been working lately. Had to go to the
Buford Pusser stick with you.

Bottom line, the human body is a mysterious thing, my friends, and there's
absolutely nothing wrong with exploring all the options available. Just
remember, every once in a while, the untutored maverick whom the medical
establishment assumes doesn't know what he's talking about actually doesn't
know what he's talking about.

Look, we're Americans: optimistic, addicted to the quick fix, constantly on the
hunt for the new and exotic. It's much easier for us to accept a guy with a big
white beard hawking his own custom blend of saw palmetto and squirrel dandruff
than it is to hear a real doctor telling us to lay off the Big Macs, get off
our fat asses and take a walk every decade or so.

If alternative medicine is so much better than mainstream science, then tell me
this, Nick Natural: Where is your alternative medicine's magical tincture that
allows me to stroll through a pollen-laden field of dandelions and still feel
like I'm walking on sunshine? Where's your shark cartilage that allows me to
start each morning with a stick of butter, a half dozen cinnabons and a pot of
espresso, without four o'clock rollin' around and me trying to figure out if
I've just got gas or if it really is checkout time? And where's your enchanted
cedar bark that makes my dick harder than a lasting Middle East peace? Well,
I'll tell you where it is, Vishnu. Traditional, mainstream, corporate-funded,
evil Western medicine, that's where the fuck it is.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


The Afterlife

Colonel Tom Parker passed away this week, age 87. So. Elvis? If you can hear
me, get ready to give up half the strings on your harp, my friend. 87. Had a
good run. And eventually, we all have to leave the building, don't we? It's
just, "What's out there?!" aura. I don't want to get off on a rant here, but as
more and more aging Baby Boomers peer through their bifocals at the haggard
Lance Hendrixian face of their own mortality, one question seems to occur with
numbing frequency, where do we go after last call at Bistro Earth?
As a forty-three year old man I am starting to ponder concepts like my own end
game, not so much in a Dionne Warwick way, but as a means with which to
acclimate myself to facing the inevitable. I know people say life begins at
forty. Yeah, if you're the fucking Highlander. But, you know, the rest of us
are trying to make sense out of the indecipherable babble of everyone else's
best guess as to what awaits us behind door number 3 in Monty's death jar.

Do we go on a journey into something more magnificent, or do we merely get
buried and remade into bridge-mix for worms? Well, you know, we just don't
know, and that question often tugs on us like harder than Newt Gingrich trying
to water ski. Death haunts us because the only guarantee that comes with the
gift of life is that sooner or later you're gonna have to return that gift to
whatever cosmic Nordstrom's we inhabit.

The afterlife is a subject that's inspired more speculation than how Melissa
Ethridge's girlfriend got pregnant. You know, I would like to believe that when
I get to the Pearly Gates I will be greeted by St. Peter, and he'll say that
he's a big fan of the show, and I don't have to queue up with the rest of the
dead losers, and then a big doorman with a headset halo and black leather wings
unhitches the velvet rope and waves me in. That's what I'd like to believe, but
for all I know, St. Pete is just another pissed off DMV zombie who makes you go
to the end of the stooge line behind the guy who had one Tai Chi lesson and
went into a biker bar to test it out. He's standing in front of you there in
the crane position with a pool cue sticking out of his ass, blunt side in.

Then the next thing in the eternal life is you get to review all the moments of
your life. Oh, that's great. Having to watch daily's of all the stuff you'd
rather forget from your earlier days. Scenes like the time you figured out how
to fuck your toy cement mixer when you were twelve. How about the time you ate
a castanata size portion of buttons at a college party and thought your
roommate was a giant suck locust so you ran nude through a mall with a Doors'
45 stuck on your penis to warn the villagers?

So, while we can all pretty much agree on what heaven must be like, hell, like
Winston Smith's rat cage, is a subjective thing; it's what you find most
loathsome and frightening in your heart of hearts and it is forever. It's
sitting in the Clockwork Orange chair through an ever repeating double feature
of Showgirls and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. It's being stuck in a never-ending
traffic jam in mid-August with no air conditioning and a radio that only gets
the "All Rosie Perez-All the Time" station.

Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once said, "Hell is other people," and he should
know because he lived in France. About the only evidence we have to go on as
far as the afterlife is concerned is the testimony of people who have had
near-death experiences, and they all describe the same phenomenon: rushing at
break-neck speed through a long dark tunnel towards a bright light at the end.
Hey, you call it a "near death experience," I call it "riding on Amtrak," okay?
Poe-tay-toe, pa-ta-toe, dee-rail-lo, dee-ral-low.

But, near-death isn't enough, is it? What we really need to do is to talk to
somebody with a cellular on the other side whose got meta-physical roam. Now,
when I was a kid we got a Ouija board and we proceeded to convince ourselves
that we had discovered a direct connection to the world of the unseen. I
realized that may be it wasn't that precise a device when we lost the sliding
thing and replaced it with a Cool-Whip lid with a thumbtack in it. I was
getting suspicious anyway when I noticed that all of the spirits we contacted
misspelled the exact same words that my brother did.

Now, the later day Ouija boards are the channelers, and channelers for a hefty
fee will sit you down at a table, back light a crystal, turn on some Tesh at
Red Rocks bootleg tape, and then pop in and out of characters so paper-thin
that they couldn't get passed the Table Read at "Renegade." And this stuff is
rife in LA. I mean, I would remind you that most people in Hollywood barely
have one person inside of them, let alone 200, okay? Simply put, if there were
no money to be made from summoning the dead, channeling would be about as
popular as Marla Maples at a benefit screening for the First Wives' Club, okay?

So, if much of man's dabblings in the afterlife distill down into nonsense, why
does it hold so much fascination for us? And for the answer to that question,
we must go to the afterlife's PR firm, organized religion, promising us eternal
bliss and threatening us with hell and damnation are the bullwhip and the chair
that keep us from trying to maul our trainer. Well, it's ironic that an
argument about finality could just go on and on. But, that about sums it up.

So, let's just leave it at this: Your Big-3 brand name creeds all agreed on one
thing: Sammy Hagar was a mistake. But they also believe in a judgment day, when
the world comes to an end. The dead shall rise and judgment will be pronounced
on the deeds of all those who inhabited the planet. And folks, even Johnny
Cochran won't be able to bullshit his way out of that one.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

On Abortion

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, because basically tonight's topic
is a minefield - Abortion. I couldn't be anymore on tiptoes if the show was
being produced by George Balanchine. This is the Big Debate, and I'm talking
bigger than who was the better Darren on Bewitched. Abortion is our nation's
"Final Jeopardy," and I'll wager, Alex, that if our nation fights another Civil
War, it will be about this. And I would remind you that this all from my
perspective, the male perspective, a one-step-removed perspective, because I
will obviously never have to decide on whether or not I should have an
abortion. And by the way, my belief is that if men were the ones getting
pregnant, abortions would be easier to get than food poisoning in Moscow.
Having men decide the fate of a woman's reproductive system makes about as much
sense as asking Quentin Crisp to coach the Raiders.
All right, enough qualifying, let's get on with it. There's no doubt that
passions run high on both sides, and this issue has created a divide in this
country not seen since Carly Simon last yawned in public. The prevailing
opinions on a woman's freedom to choose are going further to the right than a
Greg Norman tee shot.

Pro-life activists attempt to paint anyone pro-choice as having no morals. On
the other side of the ledger, pro-choicers are tagging pro-lifers as crazed and
backward bible-thumpers bent on running the lives of the people who disagree
with them. The truth, as always, is, the case of human endeavors lies somewhere
in between. As much as the advance scouts on either side of this issue might
not want to admit it, good people do get abortions and other good people are
pained by their decision to get one.

Where do I stand? Well, I'm like most of you, I presume, I think there are far
too many abortions performed in this country. And I also believe that at the
end of the day, as much as I might disapprove, none of them are really any of
my business. Look, there are always going to be arguments on this issue. The
debate will rage until the end of time no matter what the whim of the Papal
infallibility or the politics of the decade. But the simple truth is, that such
a passionate and personal decision dictates that the choice be left to the
individual. And you know, that's really all we can do, because we're just human
beings, stumbling around in the dark, trying to get to the bathroom and kicking
the shit out of our shins on the way there.

Now there's some things all right-minded human beings should agree on. We
should all agree that abortions should be legal in the case of rape, incest and
when the mother's life is at risk -- that's just common sense. But excluding
that obvious assumption, everything else in the abortion arena is "in play."
There are many quagmires complicating this issue. Religion. Now it seems that
religion is most often the backboard for every bank shot put up by someone
making it their business to get into your business. Roman Catholic doctrine
forbids abortion. Fine. Take that into consideration when you make your
decision. Right-to-life proponents contend that abortion is immoral. Fine. Take
that into consideration when you make your decision. Another pothole on the
road to a sensible resolution to abortion is "when does life begin?" At
conception? When a heartbeat is detected? At the first drawn breath? You know,
for me it wasn't until last Tuesday. Until then I was just a sperm with an
accountant! Okay, so those are the variables, and there are obviously millions
more variables that make each individual case unique. But the more you think
about it, and the more it makes your head spin, and the more confused you get
trying to figure out someone else's life for them, it becomes increasingly
apparent that it has to be the call of the individual who is pregnant, because
the collective, one way or another, won't have to suffer the consequences of
that most personal of all decisions.

My fellow Americans, it is time to suck it up. Look deep into your immortal
soul (if you believe you have one) and do the right thing. Have the courage and
strength to live your own life, by your own standards, and stop trying to call
the shots for everyone else. We all live with glaring inconsistencies, and
sometimes, when you see something going on right in front of you that offends
you to the very core of your being, sometimes the best thing you can do is walk
away, because you know that's exactly what you would want them to do for you.
There's only one judge on all this and that's God. And you don't get to meet
him until you go backstage after the play is over. And believe me, you do not
want to get a "thumbs down" from the guy who created thumbs, all right? In the
interim, everybody has got to tend their own garden vis-a-vis abortion. And
remember, when it comes to your body, only you wear the robes, and only you
carry the gavel.

Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

The Fate of the Presidency - January 8, 1999

Poor Bill Clinton. Well it’s his fault. Who the hell would want that job anyway? You know what the problem with the presidency is? We only pay the guy $250,000 bucks a year. You know even NBA white guys make more than that. Now I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but what is to become of our beloved presidency? And I don’t mean the Clinton presidency, because you know he’s gonna survive this. Clinton’s ass is 90% super-ball. OK. And the harder he falls on it, the higher he bounces. Christ, even Jason looks at Clinton and says, "I can’t believe this son-of-a-bitch is still alive." President Clinton’s popularity is through the roof. All right, some of it is stuck on the ceiling. But it is through the roof. Partly because we like the job he’s doing, and partly because most Americans view those numb nuts in the Senate and the glass House of Representatives like they’re the uptight frat guys from Animal House.

To me, the most interesting revelation to come out of this whole affair is that after a year in which the entire executive branch was supposedly hamstrung, the American people have gotten along very nicely without it thank you. Our founding fathers could never have predicted the absolute stability of this rudderless ship of state. Oh and by the way, we have to stop viewing the presidency through the rose garden colored glasses of the constitution, OK. Quit beating me over the head with this rolled up 200-year-old things-to-do list. Yeah, some of its great and some of its just antiquated bullshit, OK. Listen, if Thomas Jefferson were alive today and you drove him out to Washington National Airport in a BMW 700 Series and put him on the Concord and gave him a laptop and a cell phone to fool around with for the three and one half hour flight to Europe. And then told him we were still running the country strictly according to the precepts that he and his friends scribbled on a cocktail napkin once at a party in 1787. Well do you think Jefferson wouldn’t look at you in disbelief and say, "What the fuck are you thinking?" Flip it over. See it says right there "feel free to change this every couple of centuries or so asshole."

Look the office of the president has always functioned much like a frilly toothpick on a deli sandwich. It serves no nutritional purpose, but it looks good and holds things together. For better or for worse, a president embodies the sentiment and spirit of his time. And Clinton? Yeah, OK, compared to Clinton, eels are Velcro. But, reprehensible as he is, we identify with him. Clinton’s insatiable need to be loved, constantly undermined by his own self-destructive tendencies, is a larger-than-life parallel to our own inner turmoil. Ironically enough it’s now we who feel his pain. In the near term what will happen to the presidency depends on who we put into office. If we elect Al Gore, the president will be a dull ineffectual figurehead from Tennessee. On the other hand, if we elect George Bush, Jr. the president will be a dull ineffectual figurehead from Texas. See that’s why it’s so vitally important that you vote. Because the letters after the T in the state they come from start to get different. Hey, the presidency is not supposed to be a Crisco orgy. But it’s also not a platform for canonization either, OK. It’s a job. And up until recently, it was one job that respectable public servants might aspire to. And until we stop putting the chief executives personal life under more scrutiny than Tyra Banks in a tybo class, the prospective pool of qualified applicants is going to be shallower than Jennifer Love Hewitt reciting some of her own poetry at the Virgin Mega Store Cafι alright.

Look folks, I hate to burst anybody’s patriotic bubble, but there are no heroes anymore. The times we live in won’ t allow them. The very process of running for the presidency is so debasing its guaranteed to squash whatever noble or idealistic impulses a candidate is naοve enough to entertain in the first place. I look at presidents the same way I look at the guy who trims my hedges. All I ask is that he does his job, doesn’t rip me off or stare too long at my wife, that’s it OK. I think if the next president is to learn anything from this whole episode, its that he should be totally forthcoming with whatever dark secret he harbors thereby completely defanging the rabid pack of partisan watchdogs nipping at his heels. You know, at this point, I really believe that our entire nation actually would deify the first president who steps up to a podium, looks dead into a television camera and says, "Folks, she blew me. As a matter of fact, she’s blowin’ me right now. But enough about me, let’s talk about cutting yo…uh…eh…uh…you’re taxes." Of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.



ABC spent an full hour of primetime talking to [Michael and Lisa Marie Jackson]. Why does something completely inane like that fascinate us? Our culture has gone from GE College Bowl to the guy on Wheel of Fortune who asks, "Is there an ‘F,’ as in pharoh?" Is intelligence a liability nowadays? I think we can answer that with one word: "Duh!" America has never been what you would call highbrow, but these days it seems our collective cranial ridge is sloping like the shoulders of the bar boy at the Kennedy compound.

Now, I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but we live in an era and a time where calling someone an Einstein is considered to be somewhat of an insult. Morons are out there in force making left-hand turns from right-hand lanes, trying to pay for drive-thru tacos with a fucking check, calling 411 to get the number for information, and in most of our fine metropoli, the reposed "Fuck off!" will get you a seat at the local Algonquin round table. What happened? I’ll tell you what happened.

First and foremost, as a matter of fact, numbers 1, 2, and . . . what come after 2, we didn’t pay enough attention to our education system. We gotta stop paying teachers like the kid who delivers grit! For Christ’s sake, these are the people who will lead us and our children into the century and they can’t even afford real Yodels, okay? They have to get those 144 count price-club steamer trunk size of Little Debby’s, the equivalent.

High school kids are entering the job market with an education that barely qualifies them to run the Tilt-A-Whirl at the traveling carnival. Even those fortunate enough to graduate from Ivy-League schools, well, they go to write movie scripts about, guess what . . . stupid people.

And that brings us to our next reason. Let’s face facts, the TV beast ate us whole quicker than a dog on a Dreamsicle, all right? Most talk shows are bimbomercials. Connie Chung actually hosted a network news show for a year, and many sitcoms need two longshoremen with a pipe wrench to twist the canned laughter dial. Bright people whom I really used to respect now stay home to watch "Beverly Hills, 90210." Why bother? You just know that every week Brandon and Dillon are gonna let Kelly jerk ‘em around for a while and Dawn and Ray are gonna be having yet another abusive spat at the Peach, but, oh, I hate Ray!! T.V. producers say Americans enjoy the stupid shit. But, hey, it’s the same reason Eskimos enjoy blubber; it’s the only fucking thing available at the Arctic buffet, okay? Pop culture has turned the brain into the body’s new appendix; no real function and it could quite possible blow up and kill you. As organs go, you just don’t need your brain anymore. As a matter of fact, I’m certain in the very near future people will go to the hospital, or should I say, turn on the hospital channel, and get their brain taken out just as a precaution.

Indeed, in the business of television brightness can often be taken from you and used as a semitarn to cleave your occupational head off. Our guest tonight, Jon Stewart, ran a pretty tight, and might I add, pretty intelligent little Keebler tree over there till it was chopped down last week. Now there are many reasons for the cancellation of a television show. I’m pretty sure Jon will tell you that the copability flow chart on the demise of his show read like the genealogy of the kid on the porch in "Deliverance." But, I’m reasonable sure it had something to do with Jon use of words like "genealogy," which I think most Americans believe to be when Barbara Eden visits her OB-GYN.

America, we are at a fork in the road. To the left you’ve got books, and to the right, the never-ending horizon of the new technology. I, myself, am taking a hard left because if they talk you into hanging that rico, the new technology is only gonna make it worse. Now they tell you it’s gonna make it better, but if you notice the voice they tell you that in is always the computer generated one and it’s digitally synthesized too. That means less expected from us, less striving, less brainwork, more stupid, and eventually the king will be the one who just doesn’t shit himself. You know, our reliance on technology is making us soft and if we’re not careful it will only get worse.

Scientists estimate that by the end of this century, via the means of Virtual Reality, a man will be able to assimilate making love to any women he wants to through his television set. You know, folks, the day an unemployed ironworker can lay in his Bark-a-lounger with a Fosters in one hand and a channel flicker in the other and fuck Claudia Schiffer for $19.95, it’s gonna make crack look like Sanka, all right?!

Of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.


Feminism In The ‘90’s

A Million Women’s March is being planned for mid-June here in Los Angeles, and I think that’s a great idea. And hey, ladies. While you’re all up, could you get us a beer?

Ahh, feminism in the ‘90’s. What a "What is yours and what is mine?" field. Okay, this subject is touchier than an Apple Computer stockholder who forgot to take a Xanax. I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but the feminist movement of the ‘90’s is going off in more directions than Don King’s hair in an electrical storm.

You know, to be an oubberfrow in the ‘90’s is to be as confused as Al D’Amato on Celebrity Jeopardy! Current day feminists are slapped with more labels than a telephone pole in front of a coffee house at Welsley and draw more enmity than Linda McCartney at a Tony Roama’s. They’re stereotypically portrayed as humorless, multiple cat owning, beragous, wearing shapeless home tie-dyed dresses, and car-lofting around in Doc Martins while hosting their own public access cable show called "The No Fly Zone" which is unfair because, despite the Janet Reno size strides over the past twenty years, there are still gender inequities in our society that are more glaring than a freshly buffed diamond tiara on the Bonevian Salt Flats at high noon.

Having drinks bought for you and being able to cry your way out of a speeding ticket don’t make up for lower wages, date rape, pick-up trucks with naked women silouhetted on the mud flaps, no affordable child care, happy handed boss, not being called on in class even when you know the answer, and having to take most of the responsibility for birth control.

Recently, we’re seeing women’s rights violated in places as dispert as a condo in Brentwood, California, and a Mistubishi plant in Normal, Illinois. Hey, listen. Everybody has got a right to work at their job without being bullied and humiliated. And as long as there are people out there who are so threatened, so consumed with hatred and fear that they have to use what little power they have to take those rights away from women, well you can bet your sensible boots there’s gonna be a woman’s movement. And there will always be men who are threatened by that movement.

Feminism in the ‘90’s has left in its wake a gaggle of men more flustered than Les Nesman reporting live from the MTV Malibu Beach House. And no man, no man, is more threatened than Rush Limbaugh, who is the quintessential male anti-feminist. Now, anybody who hasn’t even seen his dick in the past ten years is bound to be anti-woman.

But, while it has been slow in coming, men are, they are, finally in the process of divesting themselves of much of their undeserved and unwarranted power. Guys, we had to give it up. It was time to share the power because we were ruining everything. For the survival of out species on our planet, evolution reclaimed our crown and made us share it, because quite frankly, leaving Planet Earth in the hands of only men is like asking Moe Howard to baby-sit a colicky infant.

Anyway, while I agree with the majority of feminists causes and I admire their passion and commitment, often times their approach leaves much to be desired. But before the Earth gets a S.W.A.T. Team that comes and takes me away to the reprogramming camp for the estrogen impaired where I’ll learn to become a more nurturing, sensitive man with a developed feminine side who can bake bread and then perform foreplay for five hours at a pop, before that happens, may I put forth the following suggestions:

    1. If you want your message heard, leave the rage to Alanis Morisette, okay?

Because when you’re strident, you remind us of our mums yelling at us when we do what we did to them; we ignore you.

    2. Opposed as I am of violence against women, would someone ask Oddjob to please take Camiel Powe and her leopard trim Humvee out to the junkyard and place them in the compactor?

This woman is so insane, she makes Cochran’s summation speech sound like Al Gore reading his grocery list.

    And 3. Sisters, let’s be more inclusive of different approaches to this thing.

Many of today’s younger women have become alienated from the feminist movement because of the extreme messages being sent by its more vociferous leaders. No one likes to be told they’re a traitor because they quit their job to stay home with the baby, or like to wear high heels and make-up. You can’t spend every nanosecond of life trying to elevate the gender. There has to be room for compromise for allowing for differences between women. We need to respect Shannon Faulkner and Shannon Tweed.

Now look, I’m not trying to sell you a carton of Virginia Slims here, but listen to me. Yes, women still find doors shut tighter than a Jehovah’s Witness approaching Mark Furman’s house. And yes, yes, most corporate headquarters have more glass ceilings than Carl Sagan’s townhouse. But for women to fixate only on what they haven’t accomplished without stepping back to marvel at how quickly and far they have advanced in the past twenty years is gonna make them feel more fucked over than lining up for two hours to see a taping of Mike and Maddy to only discover that Maddy’s been sidelined by the flu.

You know what I want? I want to live in a world where women are allowed to fail as badly as men and then get a better job and a raise just like men. And I’m hoping you’ll remember that I said that and I was always on your side ‘cause I don’t wanna be hurt in the coming revolution.

And by the way, don’t you all look sexy in your little uniforms?

Of course, that’s just my wife’s opinion. I could be wrong.


O. J.

OJ Simpson - on his way to England to speak. He said "England is very similar to America except they have their low-speed chases on the other side of the road over there." Things are a little bit different over there: Trucks are ‘Lorreys’ , elevators are ‘Lifts’, and OJ Simpson ....’is a double murderer’.

Now I don’t want to get off on a rant here but it’s about time to put the bronco in reverse and take a long slow look back at the trial of the century. Since October 3rd, 1995 the verdict in the OJ Simpson trial has reverberated in America’s consciousness like the last cord of "A day in the life" played on a perpetual tape loop inside a squash court. No amount of psychic sorbet seems to be able to be able to cleanse our collective palate of the nasty taste left by L’affair Simpson. It lingers as stubbornly and unpleasantly as a drunken party guest, passed out on the couch, with an open bottle of Hi-Karate in his pocket. The questions that it’s raised nag at us like Norman Bates’ mom on a rainy sunday. The Simpson jury didn’t really hand down their decision, more like it pulled its pin and lobbed it at us. When the verdict was read people did more double-takes than professor Irwin Corey at a Hawaiin Tropic competition.

And what have we learned from the trial? Now that we’ve chewed it over like Bob Dole gumming a wad of month-old salt water taffy? Well, we’ve learned that the only way you’ll ever get at trial by a jury of your peers in this country is if you happen to be ill-informed and pre-disposed. I think some of these people made their minds up before the murder even happened! We also learned that if you’re a black lawyer and you take a case prosecuting a black man for a crime that you know in your heart that he commited, well that automatically makes you a sellout to your race. And we learned that if you’re convicted wife-beater it’s OK to disgrace your dead spouse’s memory by giving sworn testimony in a deposition where you say (use whining tone of voice) "She hit me first". We also learned that empirical evidence doesn’t seem to matter anymore. The sea of blood on the killer’s hands and bronco was so deep that it had its own undertow. The evidence was more overwhelming that a New York City taxi in August with all the windows shut. And how did ‘team OJ’ combat this K2 sized mountain of proof ? Well, the defense’s stradegy involved more smoke and mirrors than a tire fire in a brothel.

Well, you know something - they DIDN’T convince me because even if you martinize away all the blood, you’re still left with a womanizing, wife-beating, egotistical, drug-using, posessive bully and just for that I think he should be locked away tighter than Gordon Elliot’s cumberbund at the 37th annual daytime emmy awards!

You know, I blame alot of what happened at the trial on Lance Ito.

A judge is supposed to control a trial, but Ito had about as much control of the room as Kathie Lee Gifford singing "You Light Up My Life" at the Apollo Theater ! Oh well, it’s gone, Ito’s gone, there’s a new ringmaster now. The circus has died down but hasn’t completely pulled out of the station. OJ Simpson is currently embroiled in a wrongful death civil suit which could eat up whatever money he’s got left from the last trial that his jackals for the defense didn’t make off with. The videotape he was hawking netted about as much as the Philly cheese steak concession at a K.D. Lange concert. His lame attempts at reviving his lagging career and his destroyed credibility are as transparent as a Vargas girl’s nightgown. And so , what’s an OJ to do? Hey, that book he wrote where he was supposed to answer people’s questions did pretty well, maybe he could write an advice column called "Dear Stabby". You know, at this point it almost doesn’t seem to matter to anyone anymore that OJ did it - it’s become just another punch line. He plotted it, he planned it, he worked out all the timing, his escape route, his alibi, and the only unscheduled stumbling blocks he had to improvise around were Kato wanting to go talk to the big clown, and Ron Goldman wanting not to die! But like he once did with linebackers who stood between him and the end-zone OJ got by them. In the words of the NFL films announcer: "On that warm June day a fierce warrior had a mission. That warrior was Orenthal James Simpson. A man possesed, a man who was not to be denied. He pulled a fancy stutter-step on Kato then he squared his shoulders and ran right over Ron Goldman. Penalty flags were thrown, but upon further review the referees in black & white striped shirts turned out to be referees in white shirts and referees in black shirts."

I freely admit to feeling cheated that OJ Simpson didn’t get life for his crimes. That he probably will never be brought to his arthritic knees. I assauage my anger by reassuring myself that he will never again elicit the respect and admiration of reasonable people. That he’ll always be whispered about like some latter-day Hester Prynne wearing an "M" instead of an "A". And that he will always be surrounded by back-slappers, sycophants, ass-kissing golfing buddies, and coke whores who are looking to thrill-fuck a murderer. Hey, you know what folks? I think he DID get life. Yeah he did. You’re our "bitch" now OJ. Of course that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong........

But of course he’s not. And that’s MY opinion !


TRANSCRIPT: Dennis Miller on 'The Tonight Show With Jay Leno'' Feb. 25, 2003

Jay Leno: Let me ask you, war inevitable, what do you got?

Dennis Miller: Listen, we have got to do it soon, just — we've got to mark
our turf. I think Iraq is like East Korea. I think you got to send a message to
these people over there, and I think this build-up to the war is why we're
having all this controversy.

Because the last one, is it just me or did it seem to happen just like that.
Was watching CNN one night, the first Gulf War, they are sitting around in the
Baghdad hotel, the No Roof Inn or something, and they're watching "the
Bachelor," and it's a little harder for the bachelor over there because it's
tough to tell who's hot under the Burqua. They had just ordered some hummuus
and smores from room service and all of a sudden a gallaga game broke out. The
sky was full.

We waited so long here, of course you'll hear a lot of controversy. I think
it's time to go in. You think the Elite Republican Guard is really going to
stop us? Anybody remember these guys from the last battle? They warned us, you
don't want to run into the Elite Republican Guard, they're killing machines. We
got 20 miles away from them, all we saw is Roadrunner clouds running off into
the distance. They were in Vegas last week opening for Robert Goulet.

I think it's time to start the war. My favorite Afghani war story is the Al
Qaeda fighter who is crushed to death by the dissenting humanitarian food
pallet. Everybody sitting around in the next life at the Psychotic Algonquin
Roundtable swapping tales. What happened to you, Khalid? I saw a shadow, looked
up, Del Monte cling peaches coming right at my head. I didn't even have the
Kevlar turban on that day.

Listen, it's time to do something. For God's sake, Saddam Hussein is — well,
it kills me that so many people are thinking this man — I hear this
revisionist stuff now, that he doesn't deserve
to be attacked. It's unbelievable to me. I saw Ed Harris one night speaking at
a pro-choice — pro-choice rally. Ed Harris the actor said we shouldn't go to
war. I was thinking if you can't get your head around the war, why don't you
just think of it as choosing to abort Saddam Hussein. Wouldn't that be a
rationale that you could possibly —

Listen, we got to take care of ourselves now. I mean who going to protect us?
I'm not saying we have to be trigger happy, but let's not be trigger sad
either. Who are we going to bank on. You going to rely on the Germans? For
god's sake, with the Germans you never know if they're not signing on because
they don't believe in it or it's just not on a grand enough scale, you know.
The Germans, it's like when Alfred Nobel started giving the peace prize. You
know where he made his fortune, dynamite, he invented dynamite. He was so
haunted he was going to go to hell, he said at the end, here's 9 million, give
out the peace award. That's what the Germans do. They know they've got the
skankiest track record on the planet earth so now they'll be obstinate about
being pacifists.

Even with bad guys, the Russians, I don't know, I think Putin is on a tight
leash right now because of that nerve gas disaster they had in Moscow. Really
stop to think about it, if they could take out that many friedlies liberating
an opera house, do you really want them flying off your wing in a real war? You
know something? The Belgians, you knew they'd waffle?

That brings us to... well, you know where that brings us, to the French. The
French, you might as well gas up the dinghy and go fishing with Fredo because
you are dead to me, okay. You know something? These pricks are now putting —
they're putting swastikas on our flag in France. You've got all those boys
buried in Normandy. And after we had the good taste to chisel the
armpit hair off the Statue of Liberty you gave us, you know something, I —
always thought that tint was oxdized copper. Little did I know it was green
with envy.

You know something, I say we don't let these guys on the war train now. They
don't want to be involved, fine. I say the train pulls out, leave them on the
platform and say listen you're not allowed to fight with us now. You guys want
to get your hands dirty at this late date, you'll have to run them through your
own hair.

You know something, everybody's talking about post-liberation Iraq and who
should take care of it. Listen, you know they need the oil and you know there's
a lot of dirty paper on the French providing reactor parts that we're going to
unearth. I'd have a back channel call from Bush to Chirac and I'd tell him,
listen, pal, you know who's going to handle the day-to-day necessities of the
noble Iraqi, it's you, my friend. Consierge is a French word, isn't it?

You know something, if they couldn't — I say we invade Iraq and then invade
Chirac. You run a pipe -- you run a pipe from the oilfield right over this
Eiffel Tower, shoot it up and have the world's biggest oil derrick. We got a
picture of it right here. Yeah. Listen, I would call the French scum bags, but
that, of course, would be a disservice to bags filled with scum.

I'm just saying listen, I'dlike to have allies too. What's happening in this
world right now, we have a competency chasm. We are getting real good at what
we do and the whole world is going to hell in a handbasket. As that gap gets
wider, they'll hate us more and more and more. We are simultaneously the most
hated, feared, loved and admired planet — nation on this planet. In short, we
are Frank Sinatra and you know something, the Chairman didn't get to be the
Chairman lying down for punks outside the

Now listen, I don't know what I think of George W. Bush when he first got in,
but I've grown fond of the man, and maybe it's the times we live in. They say
he's not an environmentalist. But every time I see his ranch on tv, it looks
pretty nice. You know something, if we all took care of our own, we'd have a
great environment.

I think he ought to take Saddam Hussein on this debate, I like that idea.
Because we can't find the guy anyway. Maybe this is a way to flush him out,
huh? He can say... — I hate to go back to the Godfather again, but we just
sit Bush down and say, listen, we know where the debate is. Halfway through the
opening remarks you say you got to take a pee, go into the bathroom, Rumsfeld
will tape a gun up under the flusher. You come out, make sure it's there.
Rumsfeld, I don't want my president walking out of there with just his dick in
his hand. You put two shots into Hussein's head, you drop the gun and walk out
of the restaurant. You do not run.

Listen, I do not need a time of war to see peace protestors — and that's
fine, peace is fine, dissident is fine, that's the American way, but the Nazi
signs have got to stop. If you're in a peace march and the guy next to you has
a sign that says Bush is Hitler, forget the peace thing for a second and beat
his ass, because he is not Hitler.

You know something, this is — this stuff has got to stop, somebody's got to
say something good in this community about this man. I'm starting a new web
sit, pro-Bush, called www dot w. And you know something, if you're watching
tonight, President Bush, and I'm not sure you are because I got a feeling you
watch the national network reruns of "BJ and The Bear," but if you're watching,
I want to just say, I think you're doing a hell of a job and I'm proud that
you're my president. I want to thank you and wish you Godspeed because you got
a tough deal of the cards. I think there are a lot more people out here on your
side than you would think.

You know, Jay, I used to be a liberal. You look at what happens in the State of
California with untethered liberalism. Everybody in this state in charge now is
a Democrat. It's no longer the Andreas Fault, it's Gray Davis's fault. This is
what happens when you elect lawyers. Shakespeare said first kill all the
lawyers. I've been doing some some thinking, I think we could get away with it
because if you kill all of them, at our murder trial, we wouldn't have adequate

Monologue from 4/19

Amtrak is overhauling its East Coast fleet, replacing the 50 year old sleeper cars and putting a TV in every room. Now you can watch the reports of your derailment on CNN from your own cabin.

The state of Arkansas is trying to teach its police to distinguish between sign language for the deaf and gang signing as part of an effort to prevent police from accidentally shooting deaf people, or talking really loudly to gang members.

Andrew and Fergie are finally getting divorced. As part of the settlement, the Royal Family decided that Fergie would no longer be able to use the title "Her Royal Highness." Her new title is "The Other Slut We’re Done With."

L.A. District Attorney Gil Garcetti recently hailed the Menendez verdict as "justice." Yeah, well don’t start patting yourself on the back, Gilberto. These morons confessed and it still took you two trials to convict them.

Pope Paul II was criticized by an Italian Cardinal who accused the pontiff of elevating too many people to sainthood. The Pope disagreed with the Cardinal, then made him a saint.

Madonna is pregnant and at this point she says she doesn’t know if it’s a boy or a girl. The father, that is. The baby is due sometime this winter. I smell pay per view.

A bishop in Lincoln, Nebraska, is getting tough with Catholics in his diocese who belong to abortion rights and church-reform groups. Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz says that if parishioners don’t resign from targeted groups by May 5, they’ll be excommunicated. And if they still haven’t resigned by June 5, no more bingo.


Monologue from 4/26

Friends of the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski say he was a friendly, Mr. fix it type. Especially if you were having trouble with your bombs.

Bob Dole has finally admitted that Congress will have to surrender to political realities and consider raising the minimum wage. Dole said he’s always fought such raises throughout his career, even the first one when it went from two rocks to a sharp stick.

Leaders of the National Rifle Association threw their organization’s full support behind Bob Dole, and called Bill Clinton the most anti-gun president in U. S. history... unless of course you count the ones that were shot.

F. Lee Bailey claims that he spent 44 days in prison, partly because of the nation’s bias against O.J. Simpson. But mostly because of the fact that he’s a fat, drunk thief who needed to be locked up. Just look at it this way F. Lee, somebody had to pay for what he did.

Residents in Middlefield, Ohio are complaining about the boom boxes that some rebellious Amish teenagers have blaring from their horse-drawn carriages. But even more alarming have been the rash of recent buggy-jackings and trot-by shootings.

Here in Los Angeles, Bank of America has a new policy. Now if you even so much as think about your bank account, you owe them two dollars .

The 31st Academy of Country Music Awards were on NBC last week. The big winners... people who didn’t watch.

A Rhode Island janitor has come forward as the winner of a 17 million dollar lottery prize. The janitor said he didn’t know what he’d do with the money, but a day later Sotheby’s received an anonymous bid of one hundred thousand dollars for Jackie O’s mop.

FBI agents says that a search of Theodore Kaczynski’s cabin has unveiled a bomber’s workshop including: trigger switches, detonators and the original screenplay for "Showgirls".

Two weeks ago Monday was April 15 and the deadline to file your taxes. I had a tough year. The only thing I was able to deduct was that OJ killed his ex-wife and a male companion.


Monologue from 5/3

After passing laws governing safety in the workplace, Congress now finds it must also comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Congress was exempt before because it was not considered a place where people work.

One hundred KKK demonstrators were shouted down by nearly two hundred anti-Klan protesters at a rally in Indiana last week. A spokesman for the Klan said that it’s hard to get your message of intellectual superiority across when you’re out-numbered three to one like that.


Monologue from 5/10

This past Sunday was the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo and in a confused and misguided attempt to take part in the celebration, President Clinton ate five large jars of mayonnaise.

The Unabomber’s cabin has been moved from its original location by the FBI. The 10 x 12 cabin has been moved to Manhattan, where it will be subdivided into two 5 x 6 studio apartments.

During a photo shoot for TV Guide, Fran Drescher accidentally spilled hot coffee on her hand and now she’s suing them. TV Guide says they’ll settle out of court just so they don’t have to listen to Drescher testify.

O.J. Simpson is in England this week. He says England is very similar to America except they have their low speed chases on the other side of the road. You know, things are a little different in England, trucks are ‘lorries’, elevators are ‘lifts’ and O.J. is a double murderer.


Monologue from 5/24

Seeking to defuse a Republican effort to make gay rights a campaign issue, the White House said that President Clinton is against same-sex marriages. Unless, of course, it’s two really hot chicks.

A new study shows people burn more calories on treadmills than any other exercise machine. The study also says treadmills hold the most clothes.

A poll conducted to find out how kids today feel about their school shows many of the same problems from earlier generations. Kids don’t like math, cafeteria food, and assemblies, and prefer the balance of a Beretta over the firepower of the Glock 9 Millimeter.

A "Million Woman March" is being planned for mid-June in Los Angeles and I think that’s a great idea. And hey ladies, while you’re all up, can you get us a beer?


Monologue from 5/31

Republican presidential hopeful Bob Dole is campaigning full-force and claiming the moral high ground. Of course he needed oxygen halfway up the slope to the moral high ground. Wow, wrestling the moral high ground away from Bill Clinton, what a coup. They’re gonna spend a week just picking up all the pizza boxes and condom wrappers.

On a campaign visit to the Russian city of Ufa, Boris Yeltsin surprised everyone by getting up and dancing to rock music. What was especially surprising was he was attending a funeral at the time.

Two hikers accused of starting a sixteen thousand acre fire in New Mexico by failing to douse their campfire will be billed 8.5 million dollars for the fire fighting costs. When asked to comment the hikers said, "Yeah, that’s why we’re camping, because we have 8.5 million dollars.

Bogus hundred dollar bills are being passed in West Virginia. The redesigned hundreds have several anti-counterfeit measures built in, but none of them came into play once people found out you could fool convenience store clerks by drawing an extra zero on a ten.


Monologue from 6/7

The word from the campaign trail is that Bob Dole is trying to dispel the perceptions that he’s stiff, humorless and mean. Dole says he plans on doing this by being less stiff, humorless and mean.

In Philadelphia last week firefighters were called on to rescue a three-year old boy who was accidentally locked in a bank safe. The boy was rescued successfully and then for some reason Bank of America charged him a two dollar fee.

Members of the Rolling Stones were in the news this week. First, guitarist Keith Richards became a grandfather when his son had a baby girl, and then bassist Bill Wyman married her.

Labor activists charged that Michael Jordan’s line of Nike sneakers are made by eleven year olds in Indonesia earning fourteen cents an hour. The report was put together by six year old Haitian girls earning seven cents an hour.



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