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Monday, March 29, 1999


Lies, lies, lies. Merriam-Webster defines a lie as both of the following: "to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive" and "to create a false or misleading impression". I'm not going to blather on like I normally do about how much everyone lies. But looking at this definition, wouldn't you say that there are a lot more people who lie than you thought before you read this?

[|Got an opinion? What is it?]


Well, Melissa, the evil virus has zipped about the internet causing all sorts of havoc. Including enough havoc to force Microsoft to shut down their email servers. HA! Well, for all of Melissa's cleverness she's not quite the girl the media makes her out to be. First off, once the word gets out that all of her subject headers read "important message from". EVERYbody knows that any email with THAT in it's subject header knows well that it is most likely SPAM and therefore trash-worthy. And do most people just open files that suddenly appear in their attachment folder without knowing what they are? If you're a moron you do. I don't - I don't care if it does end up being cool - better safe than sorry. Just delete the damn thing, period the end. That's how you deal with ALL viri. So there - take that Mr. Norton. SHEESH!

[|What do you think?]


As IF!

BOTH of ABC's "hits" are nothing of the sort.

They did well in their opening night because of NAME recognition and THAT'S IT! "It's Like, You Know" was over-hyped as an LA version of "Seinfeld". But why do you think "Seinfeld" went off the air? THEY RAN OUT OF GAGS. And so will "It's Like, You Know", only much sooner, unless they start ripping off old Seinfeld scripts. Which they will have to do because LA is not THAT interesting a place - I should know, I live here.

AS for "The Norm Show" - oh please, this show is the pits! It's jokes were flat and stupid. Laurie Metcalf is TOTALLY wasted on this show. Norm McDonald is one of the best straight men around and what does the pilot script have him do? Crack jokes left and right instead of being the dry, sarcastic guy we liked on SNL. Mark my words, both shows ratings will drop like rocks because after watching the first episodes of each show, viewers know just how incredibly crappy they are. Just watch - the ratings not these shows.

[|Have you seen them? What did you think?]


I drove past a protest recently - a group of people held signs up high in the air that read: "KOSOVO=VIETNAM". I wasn't alive when the whole Vietnam-thing started, so I'm not sure how I can comment on that, but I must say that we do have damn good reasons to be there. I read an article on a couple of days before that. It was about day three of the NATO bombing raids when reports were coming in that thousands of women and children were streaming across the border into Macedonia.

JUST women and children.

It seemed as though there were NO men between the ages of 16 and 60. Not one. I think it's pretty safe to assume that the Serbs hadn't exactly recruited them to serve in the Serbian army. We are staring down the nose of another Hitler. This guy is evil as sin and he's got to be stopped. What's worse about the whole thing is that it's not about religion. It's about culture.

Think of it like this - the blokes in the next town over from you have a rivalry with your football team. Theirs is better and to prove it, they're going to kill you. From what I've read, it appears that the disputes are that simple. What do you do when you see a 5 year-old beating up on his sister? If we are to listen to the protesters I drove by, I'd have to assume that they would have us just stand by and let the boy kill his sister. It's none of our business, right? We are all siblings on this planet. If you want to stand by, more interested in your own petty little problems, like smog, and drug abuse, fine. Just remember, people in what used to be Yugoslavia don't give a crap about you either - they're too busy ducking.

[|What do you think?]

Sunday, March 21, 1999


As you may be able to tell by reading this page (or almost anything else by me), I live and work in Hollywood. A lot of people look at me funny and ask how I can admit to being part of this heinous crap-machine that is the Entertainment Industry? I agree that this place is one of the largest purveyors of fine, steaming loads of buffalo dung and believe it or not, THAT'S why I'm here. No, it's not so that I can lend my buttocks to the great drive to create more methane that the planet can support.

The reason I am here is simple. I really, truly, honestly believe that I can (at least start to) change the way this industry works. I have, in many ways, adopted something that MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 creator JOEL HODGESON once said about the jokes he had on his show.

"We don't worry if people will get the jokes, we know that the right people will get the jokes."

Here's how I apply this sentiment to my life. When I am in a position to have reasonable control over a project I am working on, I will tell the story I think needs to be told the way I think it needs to be told. I won't worry about ratings or censors or sponsors or anyone/thing else.

Alas, I am not in that position yet.

Until I am, I will do my best to exert my will on any projects I work on, but dealing with people as schizophrenic as the folks are here, sometimes, compromise is a necessary evil in order to keep working. Once I get fairly stable, then I will start to really push the envelope. I will NOT get all conservative and protective of the wealth and reputation I have obtained, as almost ALL of the people in this town have done.

The idea of life is to push beyond boundaries. But I strongly believe that you can't change the rules until you prove to the establishment that you can follow them. Besides, it's much easier to create a new building if you quietly slide in to the old building un-noticed. Once inside, you then work on gaining the present owners trust, so when you tell them you want to tear it down and put up a new one, they won't be as resistant. Just my theory.

[|Got an opinion? What is it?]


Well, HP strikes again!

Last spring I had to replace the HP 500C desk jet printer that had served me so well since my father gave it to me back in 1993. I figured five years was a pretty good shelf life so, I decided I would buy Hewlett Packard again. I spent substantially less than my father spent in 1993 (I think he spent around $400 and I spent $250 in 1998) and boy did I get a lot less of a printer!

For a while it printed beautifully - but after about two months it started getting a bit flaky. Streaks began appearing on the text, making them look as though the letters had been put in a wind tunnel. Now, I had problems with my HP PC (which I eventually returned) and I didn't want to go through the same crap I did last year with them, so I've put off calling them up. But at this point I think I will, just to yell. I mean, how can they do this? How can they put out a machine that churns out CRAP???

How am I supposed to use this thing for work if every script I print out has ink streaks all over it?

I really do think we humans are our own worst enemy. HP claims to be really good about customer service. I am beginning to believe that only PR people at HP and victims of HP propaganda share this sentiment because THEY SUCK! If you buy anything computer-ish, DON'T BUY HP!

[|What do you think?]


I have a friend, etc, etc, who got my girlfriend and I in to see one of the press screenings of THE MATRIX this past weekend and I must say it was both what I expected and not. It was loud, fun, at times silly at other times (and fewer times) positively mind-bending in a good way. I'd recommend it as a Saturday afternoon matinee deal where you don't pay full price. It was visually stunning and best seen on the best screen in the best theater you can get to.

However, it was very long (pushing 2 hours 30 minutes) and although some of the visuals were VERY impressive, some could have been cut. The plot is complex and interesting until its complexities begin to weigh down the pace. About halfway through I had figured out how things were going to go and started getting really bored waiting for them to happen. Overall, see it - it was visually stunning and has some fairly kick ass fight sequences, just don't pay full price.

[|Have you seen it? What did you think? If not, do you think it will be good?]


As I type this, the Academy Awards are being held - I am NOT watching them.

It's just who I am. The reason this is who I am, is material for another bitch entirely. My point in mentioning this is that I don't know if SAVING PRIVATE RYAN is getting any awards. I am curious - should it get awards at all? Should we reward a film that displays human death in a way never seen before on the silver screen? Yes, the images in this film are incredibly powerful. But that's all that were powerful.

The images.

Men disintegrating, being stabbed slowly to death, being engulfed in flame, etc. THIS is what we took away from this movie that was unique from any other film. Did the film give us an incredibly realistic depiction of war?

If it did, does this mean it was a well made film?

I thought films that won for "Best Picture" were supposed to be good films. Where EVERYTHING in the movie was well done. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN fell short on so many levels in regards to the actual making of a good film. Sure, it made the point that war is hell, but was it too much to ask of Mr. Spielberg to give us a good story, too? And why is the point that war is hell in such need of being made? Haven't ten or fifteen films in the past been able to say the same thing?

[|What do you think]

Sunday, March 14, 1999


If you happened by the Funnies Page, here at, you may have read my comic strip "Alien Boy" where Alien Boy is literally surrounded by Monica Lewinsky's presence in today's media.

There's the obvious, her new book. There's the almost as obvious, her massive interview on ABC TV. Then, there's the less than obvious. Monica Lewinsky has inspired more than a few web sites. Most of them seem to be sarcastic in nature, which I generally don't have a problem with. It's not that I don't think she deserves it - Monica is a vacuous, self-important, immature little girl in the body of a 24 year-old woman. But at this point, the fun is over. The President of our fine country hung her out to dry, she got him back (inadvertently, granted) but now, IT'S OVER.

She's no longer letting Clinton stick cigars or anything else where the sun don't shine (or anywhere else!). I think people who pick on Monica are SERIOUSLY wasting their time. I mean - look around us - there are SO MANY MORE DESERVING TARGETS!! I mean, let's target the true trouble spots, let's not waste our time, energy and wit on this silly little person who went to the same high school as Brandon and Dylan on Beverly Hills, 90210. Let's move on, SHALL WE? Got an opinion? [|What is it?]


Recently, CNN asked the riveting question "Will the Net kill network TV?". Can you hear the musical sting?

Like this is the question on every netizens' mind.

Woooo, might there be a day soon when the best shows will be on the web instead of the TV?

Well, honestly, that doesn't require much of a stretch of the imagination looking at the glut of crap on the air. And hey - no worries about ratings on the net, right? Producing stuff for the web is infinitely cheaper than for TV or even cable TV!


Let's remove the power from the almighty Nielsen Families who have robbed us of many WONDERFUL programs thanks to the IDIOTS out there watching MARRIED WITH CHILDREN or THAT 70s SHOW. Will TV be replaced by the 'Net? It may seem like an unimportant question, but if the answer is yes, do you realize that even YOU could have your own show?
[|What do you think?]


Well, already I am getting annoyed with all of the Awards crap.

By this I don't mean just the Academy Awards. OH, I'm annoyed with the Oscars, but I am also annoyed with the glut of other awards floating around this time of year. There are Awards honoring everything from the best films to the worst. Mostly, each one of these awards claims to be used as a barometer for the Oscars. So, if an actor gets a Screen Actors Guild Award it's SUPPOSEDLY a good bet that that actor will get an Oscar. But what if another actor gets a best actor award from the Golden Globes? The Golden Globes people ALSO claim to be a barometer for the Oscars. So WHO to believe?


I mean, HOW can an industry that makes SO much money hold awards ceremonies for itself? I mean, sure, Hollywood is Narcissism Central, but all this is getting to be too much! And that's not where it ends - we also have the shows ABOUT the awards shows. ENOUGH WITH ALL THIS CRAP!! DON'T we have something BETTER to do with our lives? [|What do you think?]


It still doesn't have a very cool name, but the International Space Station may be getting a crew earlier than was originally thought. Apparently NASA and Russian decision-makers are thinking about sending a crew up to the station in an attempt to get the whole manned portion of the overall mission rolling. To which I say THANK YOU!! And FINALLY!!

Sheesh! I mean, the late, great Stanley Kubrick and the not late, but still great Arthur C. Clarke expected space stations in regular usage by this year almost forty years ago. Believe it or not, we HAD a space station up there during the 70s but it was primitive and was eventually left to burn up as it entered the Earth's atmosphere. What took us so long to get another one up there? General lack of interest? Mostly that, it sure isn't the money. As I've pointed out before, Bill Gates has enough money to build his own space fleet, but for some reason he'd rather try to put Netscape out of business.

But finally, an international contingent of space-faring nations has "gotten together" and is mounting an attempt to venture into space (or at least orbit) with an organizational style and sense of commitment that rivals that of my friends and I when we get together to watch a video. When is private industry going to get into the game? THAT'S when you'll start to see REAL leaps from this world. [|What do you think?]

Sunday, March 7, 1999


Well, after hearing about the death of a guy who spent his life sorta taking his time in making his various brilliant movies who suddenly died before finishing his latest film, I realize how fleeting life is. I've got a lot of other stuff to do right now - I GOTTA GO!!

[|Got an opinion? What is it?]


Why is it that in order to really know your computer inside and out - to really get it to do what you want, you have to be some sort of scientist or software expert?

There is nothing more frustrating than watching your machine do things that you have no control over. I still have this ridiculous problem where at random moments my machine will lock up. It seems to happen only when I am scrolling down a web page that is loading. But not every time. I've run all sorts of scan disk applications and consulted with IBM and Kensington (the makers of my track ball) Hewlett Packard and a few other companies only to discover that they have no clue.

Sure, they suggest that I reFORMAT my entire hard drive and slowly reinstall all of my apps, but that's just insane. I would have to quit my job and devote 24 hours a day for a WEEK to get that done. So what's the big deal? Why does a computer NEED to be so complex? Sure, I am quite happy and downright excited with some of the things my computer can do, but somethings are TOTALLY useless! I don't need a good number of things my computer can do and for all of those things, there are many things I'd RATHER it do that seem a bit more convenient. But that's a whole different bitch. For now, I just would like my machine to WORK properly.

I mean, when's the last time your VCR just conked out on you? Sure, it happens, but once every FIVE YEARS instead of THREE-TO-TEN TIMES DAILY!!! Has your blender ever rebelled against you because there was a "program conflict" with some of the fruit you put in? NO! So here's a rather polite message from me to Bill Gates (PARTICULARLY polite considering it's from me): LOSE THE COMPLEXITY - LEARN FROM THE COMMON HOUSEHOLD BLENDER!
[|What do you think?]


The best filmmaker of all time has died.

Stanley Kubrick passed away thanks to "natural causes". These days though, I'm not sure if there is such a thing when you're ONLY 70 YEARS-OLD! I mean, come on, does his family think we're idiots? I don't mean to seem disrespectful to one of the true artists in the 20th century, but I think certain artists DO have a responsibility to those whose lives they have changed. All I need to know is specifically how he died. Heart Attack? Aneurysm? WHAT?

I don't honestly believe it was either of those and it is possible that it wasn't natural causes that did it to him either. I think it could be more than just a coincidence that he died while in the middle of (by some accounts) of post-production on the film he had spent his life (supposedly) wanting to do.

Seriously - men - artists - like Kubrick don't die at the age of 70. When you've got so much to do and you are so uncompromising, you tend to stay around longer than most. John Huston lived to be 81, Alfred Hitchcock was 81 as well when he died. So what's the deal? It's 1999 and this guy couldn't live two more years to see what the year 2001 would really be like? Didn't Kubrick ever go to the doctor??? He was one of the few filmmakers whose films I would see at the drop of a hat if they were playing on the big screen someplace. I don't own any of his films because he, more than any other filmmaker seemed to understand what making a FILM was all about and how to take FULL advantage of the big screen. I remember seeing "2001" on video as a teenager and finding it dull, slow and uninteresting. Then, I saw it on the big screen here in Hollywood a decade later. I was blown away. This was the only way this film should and can properly be viewed.

Damn it Kubrick, I wanted more than one more film out of you. If you sit down and close your eyes, ignore all the noise of cars driving by and neighbors being loud and listen only for the sounds of true creativity, today, you will find only silence. Another great director has passed. Time is our greatest enemy. Man I'm depressed. [|What do you think?]


Well, it's not true, but I can hope, can't I???

I mean, come ON! She does that ridiculous Barbara Walters interview, where Barbara seemed only interested in getting through the questions and Monica seemed to think she was at Starbucks talking about her ex-boyfriend with one of her girl friends as opposed to talking about the MARRIED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES with the TOP NEWS WOMAN ON TELEVISION TODAY!

Did she really think the world watching her giggle her way through an interview would HELP her credibility? I used to have a small amount of sympathy for this person, but NO LONGER. She's a six year-old in the body of a twenty-four-year-old.


I bet she views this whole thing as being roughly equivalent to that time in high school where she broke up with her boyfriend and then talked about how good he was in bed with her friends. WHAT a DINK! And to top it all off, she's even going to a much publicized Oscar Party at the invitation of a VANITY FAIR photographer. I'll be boycotting THAT magazine from now on! Any magazine that hires a guy who wants to use the magazine's notoriety to give a little moron (Monica) air time for her face and opinions should be THROROUGHLY IGNORED!

Here's a little message for Monica (if you happen to know her, feel free to pass it on to her): SHUT UP, SIT DOWN AND LET HISTORY GET BACK TO RECORDING THE IMPORTANT STUFF! OH AND ANYONE WHO SPENDS $25 ON YOUR DAMN BOOK SHOULD BE CASTRATED!! (We don't need anyone THAT STUPID reproducing, do we?) [|What do you think?]

Monday, March 1, 1999


Last week, [|I said] I would do my best to keep track of ALL the lies I told during the week that just passed.

Well, I wasn't able to.

I discovered that the little lies (like telling people I'm doing fine in my day or that an actor friend's performance was good, even though I hated the whole damn show) were so ingrained into my psyche and regular habits that I don't even notice.

At the end of each day last week, I would take a tally of just how many lies I told that day. Most of the time I felt like I hadn't said any at all. I can only assume that I did (I could remember the examples above) but I can't be sure. It's caused me some concern, so much so that I'll really be paying attention to my lies. I really do want to figure out where this natural instinct to lie comes from.

Sure, some of it could be called "politeness", but isn't it just encouraging others to feign concern for your day in the first place? I'll post any future conclusions that I come to, right here in this section. [|Why do you think we lie?]


While I'm [|on the topic], I realize just how much photocopying of plots actually goes on in Hollywood. I feel like I, myself am stuck in GROUNDHOG DAY.

I look at movies, TV shows (ESPECIALLY STAR TREK) and see the same old plots OVER AND OVER again. Let's take last December's holiday hit YOU'VE GOT MAIL. That movie was based on an old musical. That musical was based on an older movie. Ironically, YOU'VE GOT MAIL seemed pretty similar to the last film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan which was also directed Nora Ephron, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE. Now, when I saw SLEEPLESS, I thought it was an awful lot like WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. So, let's take a look at this. YOU'VE GOT MAIL is similar if not directly based on FIVE DIFFERENT MOVIES!!

Now sure I can hear you unoriginal writers out there thinking to yourselves: "Okay, so my script has a similar premise to this movie or that movie but what I've done is make it different in a really neat way!"


I am so confused as to why writers EVERYWHERE seem to ENJOY telling OTHER PEOPLE'S STORIES!!!

But what REALLY ticks me off is when GOOD shows or movies rip off from CRAPPY SOURCES!! I mean come on! An HOUR SHOW like the X-FILES ripping off a 23 minute episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE from forty years ago? I mean, sure, X-FILES is a modern day TWILIGHT ZONE and THE TWILIGHT ZONE is a GREAT show - but this premise is a simple one. You give it any longer than 22 minutes and you're really starting to bore your audience, but then I don't think anybody on the Fox Network cares about that.

Just take a look at the HORDES of "reality" clip shows they run. The more I learn about the Hollywood Industry, the more I want to become a novelist and live in the mountains of Colorado. But back to the point, Hollywood seems to be copying more and more ideas everyday. WHEN WILL THIS MADNESS STOP? IT'S A MADHOUSE!! A MADHOUSE!!! By the way, did I mention that they're working on a remake of PLANET OF THE APES?

[|What do you think?]


UGH! What does a classic episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, GROUNDHOG DAY, an episode of UPN's stupid-ass scifi show 7 DAYS, at least six episodes of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and this week's X-FILES episode have in common?

The same damn plot. The TWILIGHT ZONE episode concerned the story of a man on trial for murder. He is convinced he'll get sentenced and put to death and when he executed, he wakes up the morning of his trial and relives the entire experience again. The episode ends with him stuck in the loop. Just in case you didn't see GROUNDHOG DAY, it followed the adventures of a smarmy weatherman who is forced to relive the same day until he can get Andie McDowell to go out with him.

The episode of UPN's 7 DAYS had some sort of glitch occur in the lead character's time machine. He gets stuck in a loop until he can avoid something - I don't remember what. Then in one of at least six episodes of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, Picard and crew must relive the same event over and over until they can figure out how to send themselves a message to avoid some time/space anomaly.

AND FINALLY in this week's episode of the X-FILES, a strange woman is forced to relive the events leading up to her boyfriend blowing up Mulder, Scully and the bank he is trying to hold up until something can happen differently - namely - the strange woman. For no real reason this woman is forced to live the same day over and over. For no real reason, Mulder is able to figure this out but fails to change things until the woman catches a bullet for Mulder. She dies, ending the circle. (Similar to an episode of DEEP SPACE NINE.)

Now, can we PLEASE not do ANY MORE stories where someone is forced to live the same events over and over PLEASE!?!?!

[|What do you think?]


On February 28, 1999, two young men were arrested under suspicion of spray painting on a wall smack-dab in the middle of an area of Venice Beach known as "The Spray Pit". I've roller bladed down there on a couple occasions and it's graffitti-ed out the wazoo. It's kind of cool looking, actually.

Now, I'm not condoning graffiti - but when it's common place and completely accepted as part of the local landscape, it seems a bit odd to arrest somebody for dumping sand on the beach.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who felt this way. There was a community-organized hip-hop oriented event going on in the same area and many of the attendees of this event started speaking out against the arrest of the two men. Things escalated and the next thing anyone knew, police in riot gear appeared and began clearing the Spray Pit. Anyone who didn't leave immediately was forced out through physical means. After a while, some locals began tagging police cars and news vans with graffiti, it was after police saw this behavior when they began clearing all of Venice Beach.

People who simply sat on the beach, refusing to leave, but refusing to use any physical force against the police were threatened with physical violence. In the face of that, they left the beach. There was one man on a pay phone who wasn't even given the opportunity to hang up when he was yanked from it. When he tried to hang on to the receiver, a police officer shoved him to the ground and pressed his knee into the man's back. I assume the man was arrested.

So what the hell happened here? Why were police with riot gear called in? Were the police finding it difficult to get two kids into a cop car with other kids screaming obscenities at them? Was their any physical violence that would properly warrant RIOT GEAR?!? Cops have GUNS and NIGHTSTICKS and supposedly they work for us. I guess not. So much for living in a free country.

[|What do you think?]