Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Updated Funny Article Links


At Science Creative Quarterly:

Querying Tips For Aspiring Writers

1. E-mails can get lost in the Internet. When you query, always call at least three times to verify that the agent received it.

2. Thank you notes are appropriate whenever you get a form-rejection or an out-of-office autoreply.  Always send several thank you notes, in case one gets lost in the Internet.  Call to make sure they arrive.

3. If you query by regular-mail, put some granulated sugar in the envelope. This lets the agent know that your book is a sweet read

4. Literary agents are busy people, and it can be hard to get them on the phone. Sometimes, you need to wait outside their houses.

5.  If you have an idea for a book, but you don't have the time to write it, you should call agents to see if they want to buy the proposal for someone else to write. But don't tell anyone what the idea is, because they might steal it.  Ask them to sign a nondisclosure agreement.

6. The rules of grammar aren't really rules. They are more like guidelines for people who like to think inside the box.

7.  If someone tells you your writing is incomprehensible, it is because they are too stupid to understand it.

8.  Always stand up for yourself. Let every craven dumbass who rejects you know that they've made a mistake they'll regret forever

9.  J.K. Rowling got, like, five rejections. You got fifty, so that means your work is ten times more groundbreaking and threatening to the bourgeois establishment!

10. If your book is about spies, you should write your query in code. Agents will have so much fun decrypting it. 

11.  Make sure to tell agents that you have registered your manuscript with the copyright office. That lets them know you're serious.

12.  Don't let anything stand between you and your dream of being an author. Especially not your learning disability or your functional illiteracy.

13.  Don't let anyone tell you that your writing is "bad." "Bad" is just a word, and great authors don't care at all about words.

14.  There is no such thing as a bad writer or a bad book. There are only bad agents, bad editors, bad bookstores, bad critics and bad readers.

15.  Every story is a sacred jewel that deserves to be treasured. Some jewels are transparently racist.  Some jewels are full of cliches and stilted dialog. Some jewels don't make any sense. But they're still jewels, dammit.

16.If you are writing about a common topic like vampires, try to put a unique twist on it. Like, maybe the vampire falls in love

Monday, March 14, 2011

Paltrow Pornos: A List

I like "head" and I like "box." Yet the end of "Se7en" doesn't arouse me.
1. Country Schlong

2. Iron Man-Bits

3. Shallow Hole

4. Sky Captain and the World of Fellatio

5. Se7en Inches

6. Shakespeare In Lust

7. The Talented Mr. Winky

8. The Pole-Bearer

9. The Royal Perineums

10. Great Ejaculations

Gwyneth was also in "Duets," "Hard Eight," "Austin Powers in
Goldmember," "Two Lovers" and "Bounce."  But those titles are already
so suffused with innuendo as to be essentially immune to parody.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Charlie Sheen is Winning

Adonis DNA. Blood of a tiger.
Charlie Sheen is the guy everyone is talking about lately.  Apparently, he's gone completely nuts, aided by unfathomable quantities of drugs. He's cavorting with multiple women simultaneously, some of whom are prostitutes and porn-stars.  He's made bizarre proclamations of his greatness and specialness on television and radio.

And Sheen's long-time publicist just quit as the star made the rounds on radio and TV talk shows to boast his unusual theories about addiction, and to spout his inspirational quotes about WINNING.

Porn-Star Capri Anderson, who Charlie Sheen had sex with
Everyone enjoys watching a celebrity meltdown, and Sheen's bizarre behavior has eclipsed even the continuing collapse of the once-promising Lindsay Lohan, who is about to go to prison for stealing jewelry.

But is Sheen really collapsing?  I'm not so sure.

For the past eight years, Charlie Sheen has been primarily occupied with a CBS television show called "Two and-a-Half Men."  This is a show about a womanizing bachelor, played by and based on Sheen, who has to change his life when his brother moves into his house and brings his kid.

 Denise Richards, an ex-wife Sheen had sex with.
"Two and-a-Half Men" is awful.  It's not funny.  It's not interesting.  It doesn't explore anything pressing.  It doesn't delve into the souls of its characters.  It just pitches shabby, uninspired one-liners at an indulgent studio audience, and manages to sanitize Sheen's persona enough that the audience can enjoy something a little transgressive without any risk that they might see anything inappropriate for children or offensive to mainstream sensibilities. 

This is the most popular show on network television, for reasons I can't understand.  This is a show that is so far from the interests of my desirable young educated white-male demographic I don't even know anyone who watches it. Critics hate the show.  If you ask me, the main difference between Charlie Sheen on TMZ or 20/20 and Charlie Sheen on "Two and-a-Half Men" is that the Sheen on TMZ says things that are funny.  

The show's creator, Chuck Lorre, is the mastermind behind a number of hit television shows that have been detested by critics and people like me.  He's responsible for "Dharma and Greg," "Mike and Molly," and "Big Bang Theory," or, as you might know them, "A Corporate Guy Marries a Hippie," "A Couple Falls In Love, But They're Fat," and "A Hot Chick Lives Near Some Science Nerds."   

Ex-wife Brooke Mueller. Guess why he's smiling
All these shows are awful, and all of them are hits.  I don't understand what strange alchemy allows Lorre to connect with audiences.  I don't understand why audiences watch Lorre's programs while disdaining shows like "Community," and "30 Rock" which are superior by any conceivable measure. Whatever people like, it certainly isn't the writing.  Lorre's shows are relentlessly unfunny.  His "vanity cards," which are "uncensored" personal screeds he flashes up briefly at the end of each episode, tend to be rambling and incoherent.  These brief glimpses are a window into the mind of a shitty writer.

Sheen's partnership with Lorre has been very remunerative for eight years; Sheen was the highest-paid actor on television.  But any TV show begins to wear out after a hundred and fifty episodes, and the end was in sight.  Sheen must have been considering his post "Men" future.

Historically, stars of hit sitcoms have struggled to reach those peaks again; that teary May-sweeps finale is like a gold watch at the end of a career, after which audiences move onto something new and relevant.  Maybe Charlie Sheen doesn't want to dodder off to be a TV elder-statesman.  I mean, not even Matt LeBlanc wants to be Matt LeBlanc anymore.

Better than a clip-show retrospective.
Maybe Charlie Sheen wants to be a movie star again.  He's been in films made by Clint Eastwood, Oliver Stone and Spike Jonze, so maybe he doesn't want Chuck Lorre to be in the lead paragraph of his obituary. But hot film-directors aren't into multicamera sitcoms, and the CBS audience isn't driving the theater box-office.  The biggest risk to Charlie Sheen's future career isn't cocaine; it's Chuck Lorre.  And Sheen just quit that habit, cold-turkey.  

Sure, he's walking away from an enormous paycheck, but the casts of "Seinfeld" and "Friends" did the same thing.  All Sheen has done here is improve upon Seinfeld's "leave on a high-note" mantra.  He's walking out with a goddamn explosion behind him instead of a smattering of polite applause.
Yeah, this dude clearly needs to get his shit together.
Let's look at the real consequences of Sheen's meltdown:  he hasn't gotten himself arrested.  He hasn't caused himself any serious health problems.  He hasn't been photographed passed out in a car, or staggering around confused.

Instead, Sheen's process of unraveling has mostly been a parade of glamorous, enviable hedonism: suitcases full of cocaine, trashed suites at luxury hotels, private jets, beach houses, $3,000 call girls.  A man who spent the last eight years on CBS is suddenly edgy and dangerous again.  The star of a show people were getting sick of is suddenly the guy everyone wants to look at and talk about.  Charlie Sheen may not be blowing smoke when he says he's got a plan

Now, he's making the TV rounds, taking drug tests to prove that he's cleaned himself up with the power of his mind.  The stuff he's saying is a little bit kooky, but it's also endlessly quotable and kind of awesome.  Which is why, when Charlie Sheen signed up for Twitter, he picked up a million followers in less than 24 hours.  In the last week, Charlie Sheen has said more things I would laugh at, retweet or forward to my friends than Chuck Lorre has come up with in his entire unfunny, lowest-common-denominator career.  

Movie stars can be weird.  Movie stars can be crazy.  Movie stars survive stories about sex and drugs and debauchery.  What Hollywood can't handle is lameness, dullness and blandness.  Chuck Lorre and CBS have been sanitized Charlie Sheen into something that's palatable for sitcom viewers who find NBC too offensive.

The money has been good, and Sheen's spent almost a decade dining at that trough, but, if he wants to salvage his badass credentials, now is a good time for him to insult the chef and ditch the check.

I think that's what they call "Winning."