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November 30, 2003

Lost Weekends and Other Special Occasions

If you're still looking for that perfect Thanksgiving movie to share with your loved ones, but want to avoid the cliché-ridden dysfunctional families who populate big-studio releases, I wholeheartedly recommend the indie effort Blood Freak.

It's the heartwarming story of a lone biker who, on Thanksgiving Eve, meets some pushers. Though the biker is a stranger, the pushers invite him into their home, and offer him a heaping platter of homemade PCP. But the biker isn't grateful for what he's been given, and refuses to empty his plate -- even though the world is full of starving children who would be happy to take his place.

The biker gets his just desserts when he grows a giant turkey head. Then, as a mutant turkey, he's forced to eat people for Thanksgiving! However, the mutant turkey still has the brain of a lone biker, so he stays literate. Furthermore, he finds redemption when he discovers the true meaning of Thanksgiving, and writes thank-you notes to the families of the victims who have provided his bounty.

No matter who you are, the film has a heartwarming lesson for you. Even if you're a mutant turkey, the movie can show you how not to be a cold turkey.

Many people view Alzheimer's as a disease. I view it as an opportunity.

One symptom of Alzheimer's is the inability to do simple math. This is an excellent reason not to tip your waiter. And it bears the FDA stamp of approval -- as the recommended way to keep pace with the rising cost of prescription drugs.

Another Alzheimer's symptom is the tendency to wander around in the street. This is an excellent opportunity to regain your lost youth. If, back in '23, you were hot enough to stop traffic -- you can do so again! Or, even if you weren't -- you can finally do what your mama told you and go play in traffic. Whether you play Kick The Can, or kick the bucket -- it's all an adventure.

Or, if you always wanted to be a rebel but never figured out how to express your contempt for societal norms, here's your chance. Mama always told you never to accept rides from strangers. But now, thanks to Alzheimer's, everyone is a stranger -- and every destination is unknown. The romance of the road awaits you!

Last and most important -- Alzheimer's is the best reason to stop treating your family members as loved ones, and see them for what they really are: meddling, condescending strangers who want to take everything away from you.

It may be hard to drop the kindly grandmother act. But it's essential that you start screaming and throwing things at people who protest that they love you, that they're your son or daughter or whoever and that they only assumed power of attorney for your own good. You see -- in this new, post-9/11 world, we cannot afford the luxury of innocence. We must face some unpleasant truths. It may hard to accept the fact that your so-called loved ones are terrorists -- but your willingness to give them the benefit of the doubt is precisely what makes them so dangerous.

Luckily, our current administration has recognized this threat and taken firm steps to deal with it. Against all odds, they corralled those flighty fillies in Congress, and made them pass the Patriarch Act into law. They may not realize it, but it was for their own good -- and yours too.

Under the new law, the only man who can assume power of attorney for you is the Attorney General. Anyone else who tries to do so is undermining your homeland security and taking away your freedom of choice. So heed the voice of Papa Ashcroft. Turn your family in. Stand up on your own two walkers and become your own primary caregiver. You literally can't afford not to.

November 13, 2003

Where There's a Landfill, There's a Way

Ask me a question, and I'll give you the right answer. It won't always be the real answer. But trust me. You won't miss a thing.

For all my carrying on and huggermuggery in my last post about Lost In Translation, I forgot to say what really I wanted to say about it. Here it is.

A contemporary of J.S. Bach's, I think, said that Bach could play the pipe organ better with his feet than other organists could play with their hands. You could make the same claim for Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray. They manage to say more with their feet than other actors say with their whole bodies. Watch the movie and you'll see what I mean. (Although having bodies to go along with their feet does add emotional credibility to their performances).

I've ragged too much on Japan. Sure, the Japanese have strange fixations, like the filthiness of feet. If they accidentally throw their socks in the regular clothes washer, it's contaminated and they have to buy a new one. With universally accepted social stigmas like that, it's almost easier just to knit a hair shirt for your feet and walk from town to town, denying the flesh by offering to help people move their furniture and then dropping it on your toes. But me! I have cleanliness issues that put Japanese hoofers to shame.

I realized this during last weekend's total lunar eclipse. As I watched the Earth's shadow creep across the moon, it occurred to me that here was firsthand evidence of Earth doing something I've suspected it of doing all along. Now I know -- Earth leaves a big brown stain on the universe.

You'd think that for the billions of stars in each of the billions of galaxies out there, SETI -- the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence -- would have picked up some signals. Interstellar ultimata for us humans to stop splitting atoms before we split the universe, maybe. But no, nothing. All SETI hears are military satellites chatting up the orbiting remains of Timothy Leary. What went wrong?

Here's my theory. Any broadcasts would be made by technologically advanced societies. By their progressive nature, these societies produce lots of garbage. After just one century of human progress, think of all the landfills choked with now-useless IBM XT computers and Loverboy albums. Now for the aliens, multiply that century of progress by a thousand -- and imagine all that's come and gone. All the fads that were popular just two millennia ago, like putting on the tentacle-warmers and power-flaggellating to Richard Simmons, are out of style. Really, all those self-help books were fine while the Hive-Mind was in its larval stage -- but now they're useless to a perfect group consciousness. Alan Bloom is so much more sophisticated, don't you think? So into the collective wastebasket they go.

It's easy to see that any civilization capable of broadcasting powerful signals across thousands of light-years has already drowned in its own refuse.

Either that, or the alien garbage itself becomes the most successful life-form on the planet. Maybe that's why UFOs only abduct white trash.