Things To Avoid:
Movies starring Steven Seagal, Brian Bosworth, Warren Beatty or Casper Van Diem.
People Who Should Just Shut Up:
Anyone who argues over whether Castro has cancer: the deniers, like his brother, his Spanish doctor or Hugo Chavez, or any of the anonymous, moronic US government nitwits (I know, redundant) who keep suggesting that he does. The guy's going to die soon; it doesn't matter how, unless you're the one holding the insurance policy. Shut the fuck up and go bitch about a US invasion that will never happen (Chavez) or the price of $12,000 screwdrivers (US government nitwit).
Terrell Owens: the bone-headed receiver who takes his inexorable, unflappable whine with him to whatever team tolerates his shit for a year, complains when he doesn't catch a pass on every third play, bitches that he is being underutilized, then complains when the media writes he's whiny. Here's a secret tip to all you aspiring media people: stop interviewing the imbecile, stop printing his bullshit attitudinal rants, and ignore him. He's one semi-talented athlete in a team game, and he'll never be a part of a real winning team because he puts himself ahead of the team. Move on, already, and let us stop wasting on our time with this stain on a pair of tidy whities. Start focusing on Ladanian Tomlinson of the Chargers, Brian Urlacher of the Bears or some other exceptional athlete who doesn't warrant a swift kick in the head from a guy wearing rusty spikes.
Robin Williams: I love him, but I recently -- unfortunately -- sat through about ten minutes of Comic Relief 2006, and once I got past Billy Crystal's Animatronics-meets-House of Wax appearance, all I got was turbo, high-speed squawk from Mr. Williams. He's got to make up his mind; either he's a serious actor who's accomplished an incredible amount (both in terms of quantity and quality) since Mork and Mindy, including Good Will Hunting and Awakenings, or he's the oddball, goofy, over-the-top coked-out freak he was when he managed to be possessed by seven different personalities -- simultaneously -- while Whoopi and Billy watched, semi-bemused. Let's put it this way -- when the Comic Relief folks cut to Emeril Lagasse in New Orleans (yes, Emeril live on stage at Comic Relief -- not cooking but just standing there looking all Dom Deluise-y); I was actually relieved. I don't mind watching Emeril -- although he's rapidly approaching being included all on his own in an upcoming "People Who Should Just Go Away" list -- I would rather have him float around onstage in his chef's coat than listen to Robin Williams fire staccato bursts of noise my way.
Cab Drivers during Christmas Season: NYC is known for its relatively hospitable cab-drivers -- that is, if you've ever actually been in one, as opposed to watched movies featuring NYC cab drivers. More often than not, you're either in the back seat behind an angry young black guy listening to Farrakhan preaching race war or some Eastern European guy who has BO and muslim stickers on his dash. But occasionally, especially during the holidays, cab drivers apparently learn to speak heavily-accented English and discuss the weather and anything else to invoke the possibility of bringing up the holiday season. Traffic -- it's because of the holidays. The weather -- it's winter, you know...holiday season. The music on the semi-garbled AM station which features seemingly every language but English -- that sounds like music of the holiday season. Overly-friendly cab drivers -- who aren't fully preoccupied with setting up drug buys in foreign languages on their earpiece-equipped cellphones -- seemingly abound this time of year. Some people don't give a shit about the weather, the music, the traffic, the tourists or Farrakhan's prediction of an all-black race of tree-people by 2014. Of those people, I'd be at the head of the line.
People Lamenting James Brown: Celebs always die in threes, and as Kaia pointed out, Peter Boyle (last week) and Gerald Ford (this evening) bookended James Brown's death. Inasmuch as James Brown was a guy who literally changed the face of American pop music and morphed it into soul and funk -- spawning countless other facets and offshoots of those two forms of music -- was a great, great man in the realm of music history. He indeed was a significant factor in even modern hip-hop, rap and house music -- and that's only scratching the surface. On the downside, however, he was a piece of shit who abused women, drugs and everyone with whom he came in contact. All the media stories about how great a guy he was, all the little stories about how he was really a good man deep down -- they're all bullshit. I don't mean to kick the guy when he's down and out -- and taking the ol' dirt nap pretty much qualifies him as being down and out -- but he was an awful human being. He was a great musician, singer and arranger -- but in the people skills, he shit the bed. Even in death, he abused his "widow" -- a woman half his age (he was 73, she's 36) whom he impregnated than locked out of his house. She's probably better off; but any woman who would let a 73-year-old guy no one can understand and who is well-known (and has a prison record) for his abuse of women impregnate her probably was looking to pull an Anna Nicole wedding-vows-on-her-back move. That didn't work because even in death, James Brown is a shit. Sorry, James -- it's a man's world. Stay out of prison in the next life and keep your hands off of women; start swinging at guys like Mr. T, Mean Joe Greene or anyone who participates in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and then come talk to me. And speak English, dammit.
Finally, I'd like to hit the permanent mute button on Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Tara Reid, Jessica Simpson and Pamela Anderson. As a guy, I'm sure many readers would question my motives. My motives are simple: with the exception of Paris Hilton, all of the above-listed women are attractive, and all of them -- especially Paris Hilton -- have no real talent other than willingly partially (or fully) disrobing for mild-to-wild mens' magazines, be they Maxim, Stuff or Playboy. All of these women are fairly stupid, to varying degrees; none of them have any real redeeming qualities beyond their looks; and each of them takes being themselves -- ie being stupid -- in public to a new low. Britney's non-panties; Paris Hilton's sex video; Tara Reid's droopy, scabby boob at the Diddy-Do; Pamela Anderson's revolving door Playboy shoot/divorce record (she does one shoot for Playboy each time she gets married, divorced, or has a thought); Lindsey Lohan's need for AA before she's of legal drinking age; Jessica Simpson embodying dumb in The Dukes of Hazzard and making a stupid film that much dumber. They each manage to outdo each other by doing more ridiculous shit than the next without any thought whatsoever.
And back to my motives; it bothers me that young women of today have these plasticated, air-brushed, air-headed morons as role models. My other half is yummy, has a brain, and is someone I want to talk to all the time; she's her own person, has her own life and deserves respect. These women, beyond their looks, are stupid, devoid of interpersonal skills (unless fellatio is a form of communication), spend their time in expensive (accident-prone) vehicles going to bars, clubs and openings (their legs notwithstanding), and are punchlines -- unless you're a college intern at Maxim or another of the aforementioned jack-mags.
It's time to take out the trash and move ahead into 2007 with some new blood. I'll delve into that soon -- unless Paris Hilton comes by with a pair of Britney's panties, Tara's used implants and a video camera.