"I guess I have a lot of problems, so many that I don't have time to go into them all in detail. Suffice it to say I'm anal, obsessive, vain, quick to temper, overly introspective, lazy, judgmental, insecure, and self-righteous. Probably the most annoying thing about me is that I'm hugely opinionated. But I kind of make up for that by always being right."

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Another Reason I'll Burn in Hell

Years ago, in college, I studied philosophy. Those were the glory days of my intellect. In school I read and discussed and ranted. In bed profound truths taunted me from just outside my grasp. Invariably, on those long, frustrating nights, I turned to something within my grasp for comfort.

Today, of course, I'm not nearly as wise as I was then. Age has a way of unraveling the ties we once had to certainty. Wisdom, like my hair, abandoned me somewhere in my late thirties, leaving behind only a few paltry wisps of arrogance. Where once I was lean and sharp, I'm now dull and plump. With every pound I've added to my hulking frame, I seem to have shaved a point or two off my IQ.

Today, notions such as "an objective criteria for evaluating art," "proof of the existence of a benign being," and "getting out of this shit-hole before the skank wakes up" no longer crowd my mind. With nothing left to ponder, and no one to ponder it with, I'm free to pursue the mundane.

I've memorized the prime time TV schedule, for example, and am trying to solve all of the over 30,000 FreeCell games on my computer (I'm currently on #18,445). I've also compiled a dictionary of scatological terms, but have yet to find a publisher who gives a crap.

I have to admit, though, it has taken me some time to get used to no longer being attractive to the fairer sex. And so I turn to the one useful skill I mastered in college. That's right -- in these days of confusion and uncertainty, masturbation has become my anchor. It tethers me to the coastline of normalcy. It steadies me when buffeted by the winds of fate. And for a few, precious moments, it makes me forget that I'm a fat, bald retard.

Monday, October 24, 2005

If Men Are Dogs, What Does that Make Women?

I just got through watching a movie in which an older man had an affair with a younger woman. Toward the end of the film, the man's wife helped him come to the realization that the affair was a pathetic attempt to recapture his lost youth.


Men have affairs with younger women for the same reason dogs lick their balls. Because they can. If I could lick my balls, do you think I'd take the time out to write this stupid article? Hell, I'd hardly have time to eat.

Firm breasts, smooth skin, silky hair, taut butts. These are the things men find sexy in women. Are they drawn to smart women, women with talent and senses of humor? Of course they are. But those aren't the things men fantasize about. Whether that's because of the media's fixation on youth, or because of our basic nature, or both, for better or worse, that's the case.

Women also find men's bodies sexy, especially young, toned bodies. But they're also attracted to men's strength, their self assurance, their power. These are qualities that don't necessarily fade with age. So, as women remain sexually attracted to their men longer, they look at all of the older men screwing younger women, and they say that men are dogs.

I look at all of the younger women screwing older men, and I say that people are people.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Babies, Bad Breath and Barf

I have two boys, aged 12 and 14. And though I love eveything about them, I miss the babies they used to be. I miss holding them, kissing their impossibly soft cheeks, their toothless smiles.

Do I remember the day their cute, green poop turned brown and took on the stench of death? Yes, I do. Do I recall the countless nights their wailing drove me crazy with anger and despair? Unfortunately, yes. Do I admit that they drained the spirit from my marriage and drove a stake through my once romantic heart? In all honesty, yes. Yes I do.

But I miss them still.

When watching TV or a movie, there are three images that always evoke within me a very strong visceral reaction. The first is a hypodermic needle being plunged into a plump, blue vein. This sight invariably gives me the willies, forcing me to avert my eyes from the screen.

The second image is of two people kissing before they've had a chance to brush their teeth in the morning. This sight invariably gives me the heebie-jeebies, making me want to race into my bathroom and floss until my gums bleed.

The third image to evoke this kind of visceral reaction is the innocent face of a baby. For some reason tears spring to my eyes every time I see one on screen. Not only that, but I'm compelled to speak to the two-dimensional infant as if it could actually hear me. Even worse, speak to it in baby talk. This causes my grown kids to roll their eyes and call me an idiot. The little bastards.

By the way, I used to be bothered by scenes of people throwing up. They would see something disturbing, then turn their backs and evacuate. As the viewing public grew more sophisticated, they began to evacuate on camera. Today, of course, it's common to see close-ups of actors spewing curdled chunks toward the camera itself.

Which brings me back to the magic of babies. See, it never bothered me when one of my sons spit up on me. It was natural. No big deal. But if Cameron Diaz threw up on me, that'd just be gross. And I certainly wouldn't kiss her afterwards. Until she brushed her teeth, that is.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Is This Offensive?

Over the course of my life I've met some people who are offended by the word "retard." Some very much so. It's one of those words like "Oriental" or "midget" that slipped into the Offensive column without any kind of notice being sent out. It's a little like when tipping moved from 15 to 20 percent. How's a person to know?

I've always wondered if retards themselves are offended by this term. In the first place, do retards know they're retards? Secondly, do they have the wherewithal to understand that being called one is offensive? And thirdly, do they care? Also, if they know they are and have the wherewithal to be offended, did they figure this out by themselves, or did some well-meaning acquaintance point it out to them?

I hate the idea of some poor, mentally-challenged person being made fun of. You should never call anybody stupid, least of all a stupid person. That's why I'm suggesting we now start calling retards "midgets." It may well confuse them, but, let's face it, they're confused much of the time anyway.

And while we're on the subject, how is "little people" any less offensive than "midgets?" I have the feeling that if the Disney movie had been called "Darby O'Gill and the Midgets," there wouldn't be such a hubbub over this issue. And as for "Oriental," I've always found the word very exotic. Which is more alluring: "She's from the Orient" or "She's from some whorehouse in Hong Kong?"

This may all seem a bit callous, but trust me, I know what it's like to be stereotyped. I know how labels like "tall" and "white" can make people assume certain things about you. How labels such as "talented" and "great in bed" can haunt you all of your life. I'm just asking my retarded, midget, Oriental friends to realize, as I have, that life is too short to fret over such things. You've got to grab life by the balls -- which for you midgets should be easy, 'cause they're right there in your face -- and realize that the only person who can hurt you is you. Which is why retards should always wear protective helmets.

Anyway, I think you get my point. In the final analysis we're all just one big family. Except, of course, for the Orientals.

Monday, October 10, 2005

If Ann Landers Was Your Own Subconscious

Dear Ann:

A couple of years ago I discovered that my wife was haviing an affair. We broke up and I was devastated. Two of the people who helped me through this rough time were a young couple who lived next door. They would sit for hours and listen to my self-pitying tirades. That they did this without yawning or rolling their eyes is a testament both to their patience, and their good will.

Sadly, this couple recently broke up themselves, and it was my turn to comfort them. And though I only had one long talk with the husband, I had many such talks with his wife, who still lived next door. She was beside herself with grief and confusion. Over time I developed feelings for this sweet, injured woman, and we began to hang out as "just friends."

One night I took her out to dinner. She had put on makeup and was more "dressed up" than I had ever seen her. She looked great. On the way to the restaurant I began to feel as though we were on a real date, and that maybe there was a chance she could be attracted to me despite our age difference. Over dinner, though, she said, "I wonder if people think I'm your trophy wife. That you're this rich, older man with a cute, younger woman." I felt like a complete idiot.

After that I decided to stop hanging out with her, so that my feelings wouldn't deepen, eventually causing me pain and her embarrassment. She kept calling, though, and even wanted us to take a dance class together. Finally I wrote her a letter, telling her I couldn't see her any more, and explaining why. Now I find myself missing her companionship. Did I do the right thing?

Confused in California

Dear Confused:

You fucking piece of shit! When I think of some middle-aged, cradle-robbing pervert lusting after this poor, vulnerable girl, it makes me want to vomit! You shoud be ashamed of yourself. Why don't you try meeting women at funeral homes while you're at it? Or maybe there's a grade school in your neighborhood you could hang out at. God forbid you find a woman your own age who might challenge you intellectually. Do us all a favor -- die and rot in hell for eternity!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bland People, Mysterious Forces

Years ago, before embarking on a lackluster career in show business, I was a TV critic for a newspaper in my home town of Portland, Oregon. It was a job well-suited to me because I love TV and I have a college education -- two things most TV critics apparently lack. Though I'm no longer a critic, I do have this blog, and a lot of opinions about the new TV season, so, even though no one asked....

One of my favorite TV series when I was a kid was "Night Stalker." Not only was it scary, its main character, Carl Kolchak (played by Darren McGavin) was offbeat, funny and incorrigible. In this season's updated version of that show, they decided to take these characteristics away from Kolchak, and replace them with... nothing. Really, can anybody who's seen this series describe the main character to me? Yes, he's physically attractive, but what else, besides boring and predictable, could you possibly say about the guy?

Last season there were two break-out hits, "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost." Network executives immediately took this as a sign that people wanted more shows about slutty women and people surrounded by mysterious forces (it's no wonder they thought this, as these are the two main ingredients found in their own lives).

What they failed to realize is that people liked these shows because they have quirky, interesting characters. Look at the show that now immediately follows "Lost." It's called "Invasion," and it, too, is about people surrounded by mysterious forces. Unfortunately, it's about bland people surrounded by mysterious forces. Which is surprising, given that it was created -- and is often written -- by Shaun Cassidy, who we all remember from his cutting-edge work in the field of Rock & Roll.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Man's Bloodthirstiest Friend

Here in California there has been a rash of pit bull attacks. And though my heart goes out to the victims of these unfortunate accidents, I urge restraint to those who would outlaw this loving breed of animal. Mine may be only one story, but I'm sure it represents countless others -- stories of ordinary people like me, who love their devoted pit bulls the way I loved my cherished Gouger.

Gouger came to our family in my twelfth year, and I have to say, he fit right in. He even got along with our cat, Fluffy... until that time she got a little too close to his food bowl. But even after that, he refused to let go of their bond, using her as a play toy until she just got too gamy. And it didn't end there. Overcome by his loss, he would dig her up from time to time and roll around in her grave, just to keep her memory alive.

He gave so much to our family. Just ask my brother, Mike, who used the scars on his neck to break the ice with many a sultry barfly. If you ask me, three weeks in the hospital, a series of shots in the stomach and 17 transfusions is a small price to pay for love.

Is it Gouger's fault that he was bred to fight? Is it his fault that whenever I yelled, "Fetch," or "Sit," or "Roll over," all he heard was, "Kill!!?" Does anybody even stop to consider that maybe some of the blame lies with the people who were "attacked?" Did they look directly into the dog's eyes, a surefire threat to any proud pit bull? Did they try to pet the animal, offering a plump, succulent arm to this natural predator? Did they fail to build a ten-foot high fence around their yard?

All I'm saying is let's not rush to judgment. After all, who's to say you can't be a bloodthirsty killer and man's best friend at the same time?