Monday, July 24, 2006

Take a Walk!

Color me skeptical, but I refuse to believe a nation that allows the coexistence of Bill O'Reilly, Howard Stern, Ann Coulter, Sarah Silverman, Nancy Grace, Kevin Federline, Kelly Osborne, Gallagher, John Waters, John Gibson and Rob Schneider can really be populated by so many thin-skinned ninnies. Even so, there appears to be a minor outbreak of chest-puffing walkouts.

First, we had "Good Morning, America" movie critic and official Michael Medved fluffer Joel Siegel staging a very public walkout on Kevin Smith's latest smut-laden, pottymouthed talkfest, Clerks 2. The breaking point for Jonathan Livingston Siegel apparently came at a New York press screening for Clerks 2, when a character in the movie hires a woman to perform oral sex on a donkey (I know, I know, as if a donkey ever would have to pay for it). The onscreen exchange prompted the mustachioed film critic to jump out of his seat and shriek, "Time to go! First movie I've walked out of in 30 fucking years!"

The outburst prompted Smith to open a can of whup-ass on the director's blog:

"I can’t fault Mr. Siegel for feeling 'revolted' (his producer’s description of Joel’s reaction) by our flick; in truth, there is a donkey show in it, and I recognize that brand of whimsy might not be for everybody. Film appreciation is very subjective, and maybe Joel just isn’t into ass-to-mouth conversations.

"However, I CAN fault him for the manner in which he left the screening.

"Apparently, rather than quietly exit, both Joel and his Cum-Catcher (my slang for the fancy kind of mustache he sports) made a big stink about walking out, calling as much attention to himself as possible, and being generally pretty disruptive.


"Never mind the fact that when you’re paid to watch movies for a living and the only tasks required of you are to a) sit through said movies and b) write your thoughts about them before your deadline, walking out before a movie’s over is pretty unprofessional. Never mind the fact that the scene he was offended by (the ordering of the donkey show), with its (misleading) crude references is only the set-up to a third act pay-off that is a true bait-and-switch from where Joel’s imagination went (and if you’ve already seen the flick, you KNOW what I’m talking about) ..."

Incidentally, YouTube has a terrific Kevin Smith-crafted trailer for Clerks 2, in which he wrings some more mileage out of the Siegel affair.

But Siegel had barely made it safely back home for a Disney movie marathon and Flubber self-love before the former vice president of the United States, Dan Quayle, announced to the media that he had walked out on a recent John Mellencamp concert near Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

Evidently, Quayle -- who at least deserves credit for having known how to spell Mellencamp (unless, of course, the ex-veep had meant to attend some melon-eating festival) -- was pissed when the singer dedicated a song to "all the poor people who've been ignored by the current administration."

AP reports:

"Quayle, who was in town for a celebrity golf tournament, then made his exit, deciding 'enough was enough,' his spokesman, Craig Whitney, told the Los Angeles Times. 'He wasn't going to sit there and listen to this.'"

No doubt the former Indiana National Guard hero would've smacked Mellencamp with a potatoe if he'd had the foresight to take one. Why was Quayle so peeved? Did he feel the Bush-Quayle administration wasn't getting its props for having ignored its share of poor people, too?

Joel Siegel and Dan Quayle: What a pair of prissy crybabies.

Back in 1985, I made it through a more-than-challenging Butthole Surfers gig in a Los Angeles club. The band knew how to put on a memorable show. Gibby Haynes and company resolved to make each song, from "X-Ray of a Girl Passing Gas" to "The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave," excruciatingly loud, droning and interminable. The B-H Surfers succeeded brilliantly in that regard, turning the entire concert into a sort of endurance contest.

On stage, a morbidly obese woman painted lime green from head to toe -- oh, did I mention she was nekkid? -- rocked and swayed to the music (It was the only time I actually witnessed the phenomenon of horny teenage boys screaming for a naked woman to "put it back on"). In back of the green goblin and the band, a huge rear-screen projection showcased grainy footage of a shark attack, car crashes and, most grotesque of all, a no-holds-barred sex-change operation. A guy standing near me actually vomited -- although, in retrospect, his reaction might have been drug-induced more than it had to do with images of a penis being ... well, you get the idea.

The Butthole Surfers, circa 1984. Just say no, kids.

But damned if I didn't sit through all three hours of that hideous show.

And you know what? I was a better person for having done so.

Later that night, a friend and I were mugged by two knife-wielding Crips as we were coming out of a coffeeshop in south-central L.A. As the muggers remained in the area even after taking our money -- and after a passerby had phoned the police -- the guys were arrested and eventually tried. They were acquitted, it turned out, largely because my friend and I turned out to be such tremendously lousy trial witnesses (note to self: Next time, do not laugh at one's own inarticulate testimony until leaving witness stand).

Anyway, if I had given into my impulses earlier that night and left the Butthole Surfers show when my stomach was telling me to, I would have been deprived an eye-opening education of criminal justice in Los Angeles County.


At 4:18 PM, Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

Joel Siegel is simply a tool .. and that cum catcher line was just great!

At 4:50 PM, Anonymous turtle said...

Quayle must be dumber than we thought if John Mellencamp's politics are not obvious to him by this point. Hmmmm, let's see, was it his refusal to let Ronnie Reagan use Little Pink Houses as a campaign song back in the 80s, or maybe doing all those Farm Aid shows since, that failed to clue Quayle in on which side of the proverbial political fence Mr. Mellecamp's sympathies lie?

That would be like me going to a Toby Kieth concert and suddenly becoming offended that I was in the middle of a jingoist, patriotic wank-a-thon.


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