Lesson No. 4678 in How to Option Your New Novel For Big Bucks and Then Some: Write a "complicated" multi-character narrative about Hollywood evils, and then go on the Huffington Post talking about how the book is utterly unfilmable and you never, ever, want to direct.
I had my Hollywood moment. It's not that I would turn down an opportunity to be adapted (there are a couple of stories by me optioned at the moment), but I don't need it. It's just icing on the cake. As I said in 1997, movies are a particularly good billboard for a book. Movies need fiction and literature more than vice versa, because literature is where most of the genuine takes place. I don't want more fame, power, or influence. I sort of get uncomfortable with that kind of thing. I just want to be able to keep writing.
Posted on September 14, 2005 at 08:30 AM | Permalink
I'm not a fan of obits for people -- or worlds -- that haven't died. When it's time to rebuild, reorganize, and resurrect, a celebration goes a long way. But this month's most inadvertent New Orleans spirit machine may also be one of the year's best documentaries -- and that has nothing to do with its curious timing. In "Make It Funky," which recently opened in L.A. and will appear on VH1 soon, director Michael Murphy, who also lost his New Orleans home, celebrates, with profound humanism, the multigenre gumbo of music that made New Orleans cuture what it is. And that the film's just coming out now could be fate. See it.
Posted on September 10, 2005 at 08:04 AM | Permalink
It's been some time since we contributed an original O.C. political report, and even though it would please us at GS headquarters as much as the next Seth Cohen-wannabe to mock the oh-so-subtle "switch to Cingular" message present in the first ad campaign for Motorola's iTunes phone** (which conveniently ran during The O.C. premiere's first commercial break), we couldn't exactly let all of Josh Schwartz's hidden political messages go. So much has changed, after all, since Seth embodied the Bush presidency's feelings about people who make less than $100,000 a year by announcing to fresh-faced Summer: "I just can't be friends with you!"
Posted on September 08, 2005 at 09:03 PM | Permalink
Posted on September 06, 2005 at 07:14 AM | Permalink
I just don't know what to write -- or blog -- about the situation now that everyone in my blogosphere has done such a good, mindful job about spreading the word about how to give, help, and care. I read the coverage, watch the video, donate, and can only ask you to do the same.
Posted on September 02, 2005 at 11:32 AM | Permalink
I accept that Dr. Phil exists, and thrives, in an America that can reelect the president it reelected (and don't tell me W.'s approval rating is down -- nothing's more American that electing someone who doesn't deserve it and then getting down on him when you refuse to take responsibility for your choice). And what's more Bush-like, after all, than suggesting a stick-it-out-and-learn-to-love-again-strategy to a loveless married couple of unadventurous scaredy cats that admits they only got together out of convenience in the first place. But what drives me batty about Dr. Phil--and I actually have stopped watching him to nurture my rage; I only ocassionally catch him now when a certain psych Ph.D. forces me to watch with her--is his son, Jay. Jay McGraw, author of books meant to mindfuck teens out of bullying, overeating, and just generally being "Bad," is the Youth Example: the oh-so-hip voice of reason that can speak to kids at their level about how to get through life in this terribly complicated, sense-bereft country that his parents have helped build, you know? The question is: What qualitative behavorial decision has Dr. Phil Jr. made now that we kids should follow? Why don't just get rich and famous off your dad's ability to manipulate red-state America. And don't just marry a Playboy playmate who's latest film appearance was a movie called "Nudity Required." Marry one of a set of identical triplet playmates who apparently don't mind "bad-touching" each other onscreen for money. Who says America's in trouble when you can write a book about child psychology without a Ph.D., ride the coattails of your celebrity father, and then buy yourself a shiny new girl-robot (with two anatomically identical backups to replace her if the first one, um, breaks) with which to indulge all your American Dream fantasies? That, my friends--not a feeling of "warmth" or "wholeness" or "community"--is what stopping the bullyin' and bingin' will get ya. So get on the train. Stop telling Jimmy and Johnny they're fat and stupid. Get writin'. Move to L.A. And by all means, when Hef invites you to the grotto for a little R&R after a gratis "motivation talk," do NOT say no.
Bonus *glassShallot game: Which one of these new toys is Jay's? (Answer below)
(Answer: Does it matter?)
Posted on August 31, 2005 at 09:29 AM | Permalink
The answer may be yes, I'm afraid. Confused? Unaware of the word "baxter"? I was too until recently, when I read my own Radar Magazine discussion about lame American presidents and why bad romantic comedies are good with Michael Showalter ("The State," "Wet Hot American Summer"). Find it on Radar's new Web site, or check the text after the jump.
Posted on August 23, 2005 at 09:20 AM | Permalink
I would be doing every *glassShallot reader a disservice by not linking to Dan Halpern's illuminating and deliciously funny profile of Kinky Friedman, a Jewish musician/cowboy/mystery writer from Texas making a run for--yep, you guessed it--governor.
Posted on August 20, 2005 at 09:00 AM | Permalink
if there's one thing that teaching the younger generation has taught me recently, it's that i've got to keep up on the slang. calling my blinged-out homeys "pimps" just doesn't seem to cut it anymore, y'feel me? if only l.a. mag could have spent a little time with the real trendsetters, we'd actually have had this interesting article about the popularization of the aforementioned word back when it was timely.
Posted on April 18, 2005 at 08:36 AM | Permalink
So I've observed all the intriguing and hilarious random movie quotes from "About Last Night's" Our Girl In Chicago and "The Rest Is Noise's" Alex Ross, and now I have a new game: Let's quote our five favorite TV quotes that come to mind without thinking. Here are mine (please keep in mind each springs to life five or more from the same source, but I'm only choosing one from each show for reasons of diversity). Read 'em after the jump. Respect.
Posted on March 05, 2005 at 01:30 PM | Permalink
1. On Chris Rock and his oh-so-hard-hitting political humor: Um, it wasn't. And how was it going to be? How many censors and sponsors had to read it over with a comb before giving the OK? And why would a comedian who's generally regarded as the funniest working stand-up in America (one with terrible box-office sales and no acting talent) fuck with our oh-so-openminded nation and the Hollywood schlock-producers who feed it (and him)? Rock's monologue was safe (insert his stretch of a joke about how if W. worked at the Gap his register would be short, and that he'd start a war with Banana Republic), and that's the end of it. Apparently -- hold onto your seats! -- America wears khakis and won't be offended if you make mild jokes about the president that relate to our daily hunt-and-gathering sessions in the mall. Holla.
2. Best song? Why is there a category called "Best Song"? Why has it existed all these years except to make more money for Hollywood and the music industry? I may have only taken a few years of film classes, but since when does writing a song to be placed in the middle of a movie have anything to do with, you know, movie making production standards? Is it me, or have some movies just incorporated songs from time to time? I.E. Those produced by Disney or Pixar execs who decide to hire Sting or Celine Dion (or now lovely Beyonce) to cant about love over smooth synthesized love melodies ("A whole new world...") that will play at big-hair Staten Island weddings next year. Next year, let's ax "Best Song" and include a category for "Best Soundtrack." If original movie music is in as much of a slump as it is, why not also honor the art of picking and mixing pre-produced music to speak for your film's emotional climate?
3. And on the issue of movie music: Why was the evertalented composer Michael Giacchino of "The Incredibles" (as well as "Lost" and "Alias") robbed of a nomination? So John Williams could score yet another unwinnable nominee appearance with tunes for an unoriginal sequel (i.e. the latest incarnation of Harry Potter)?
4. Scorcese, and I love him, shouldn't fret. Did he really think that those eyebrows were cute enough to woo Hollywood hardliners away from tall, steely Clint and his General Motors pickup trucks? Also, the Aviator may have deserved Best Picture from a technical standpoint, but even Marty admitted in the NY Times that it wasn't a labor of love project but merely an assignment.
5. Swankified: If I hear one more comment about a trailer-trash girl making good, I'm going to absolutely lose it. Fine the girl can act but she snarls. Why -- despite her red-state appeal -- is she so beloved by Hollywood? (Ok, maybe yet another hypothetical question wasn't the best way to state this.)
6. I won my Oscar pool because I picked smartly in the categories of Best Documentary and Short Film (live action), among other things. I didn't see any of the movies but how could a movie about sex slaves ("Born Into Brothels") and one called "Wasp" not intrigue the valueriffic Academy?
7. Scarlett Johanssen (and, yes, she is a gorgeous ditz) hosted the science and technical awards. No, really! Watch the madness here and see why she already beat SNL to the punch. No parodies necessary here. Has anyone ever thought of casting her highness in something comedic?
Posted on February 28, 2005 at 08:30 AM | Permalink
Today, in my L.A. Times review of Itzhak Perlman's recent Disney Hall recital -- see the post-continuation below to read the text -- I take note of a certain Perlman quality that has kept him both more marketable and memorable than any other violin recitalist of his generation (Gidon Kremer, aside). The quality is powerful character, and I'm not just talking about his mensch-y charm or lame music-teacher humor ("I asked Beethoven why he hadn't written in a while; he told me he was 'decomposing'"). I'm talking about his very real ability to comfort people. To provide charismatic leadership. The gift became supremely evident Monday night. For some reason or another -- Perlman later found out it had something to do with the rain pummeling Frank Gehry's "masterpiece" -- a frighteningly blaring emergency alarm sounded during Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata. Expectedly Perlman stopped playing, and audience members rose to their feet, looking to each other for cues on whether or not to evacuate. Then many eyes returned to Perlman, who sat firmly in his chair, smiled calmly, and personified solidity. As the people seated behind me uttered comments like, "Oh god, It's another 9/11," Perlman held them still with a steady glance and sturdy posture. He wasn't going anywhere, and neither were you. It was at this moment that I remembered how Israeli Perlman is. How used to random trauma he is. To unrest. To standing strong in the face of it. Of course the concert eventually continued. But not because a member of the Disney Hall staff calmed things down. No. Perlman willed everyone to relax alone. Silently. Then he went on playing. He'd later joke about the experience, the rain, how silly L.A. can be. But I didn't forget how serious he had turned some thirty minutes before. How people look to him for more than smaltzy showpieces. How the most exceptional artists must be a leaders -- even when the music stops. [See the review below.]
Posted on January 12, 2005 at 08:08 AM | Permalink
Very glad I brough the LA Weekly to the airport yesterday. Here's some end-of-the-year wit worth your time.
Call me Nostradamus, by ALEC HANLEY BEMIS
Surviving the Holidays at Your Republican Parents' Home, by KERRY MADDEN
Random Acts of Stupidity, by STEVEN MIKULAN
6 Bush Scandals To Come, by DAVID CORN
Happy New Year!
Posted on December 28, 2004 at 09:33 AM | Permalink
Yesterday, while I was driving from northern Malibu to eastern Los Angeles, and therefore ridiculously engraged at the traffic that I was encountering at a normally traffic-free time, Lina (Our New York Observer) tipped me off to this news story about a woman in Kansas who killed a pregnant Internet buddy and literally carved the fetus out of her body, a prize she'd later display at a restaurant.
Granted, I was not in a state to toss the disturbing news off, but what struck me as more upsetting was a quote in the AP story that Lina had read. In the process of giving a witness-at-the-scene quote, the Kansas woman who owned the restaurant uttered the moronic lines, "You read about this stuff... It blows you away when it's here. This stuff is supposed to be in New York City or Los Angeles."
Alright, fine. Idiots in the middle of the country (and by this I mean, idiots, not most people) think things like this about my two favorite cities, where you're infinitely more likely to be victim of a simple mugging, car theft, or white-collar crime than something so ridiculously evil and Heartland-trash spooky as demented makeshift murder-surgeries. But what's more upsetting about this quote is that it appeared in an article written by an A.P. reporter. Who, I might add, is writing and reporting for the nation.
Sure, this is what one of the most important witnesses said when questioned. So I guess a responsible reporter could validate its inclusion. But it's this mentality that has our country so divided. Why, in the land of corn, beef, and bizarre homicides, do people think New York and Los Angeles is the original home of the criminally insane? In this case I think responsible journalism dictated this quote killed before it ever saw the light of day. If Americans respond to one thing it's the power of subtle suggestion, and the national publication of tasty divisive little comments like these is not an antidote to our political differences.
Posted on December 19, 2004 at 08:41 AM | Permalink
If only (wannabe) scary people like Mel Gibson and the side of America he represents could read Frank Rich's most recent column under a different byline, in a different paper (Guideposts, anyone?), and in some way have it tied to their personal lives (Mel, you know you wish one of your offspring marries Jewish and then that you actually end up liking the poor kid). I'm not the biggest Rich fan -- though I'm glad he took Gibson to task this past year, even if he, himself, got a bit evangelical about his role in the war -- but today's piece has too many nuggets of brilliance to ignore. Which, of course, is what the people who need to understand and consider his arguments will most likely do.
Two meaty but worthy paragraphs to quote:
The power of this minority within the Christian majority comes from its exaggerated claims on the Bush election victory. It is enhanced further by a news culture, especially on television, that gives the Mel Gibson wing of Christianity more say than other Christian voices and that usually ignores minority religions altogether. This is not just a Fox phenomenon. Something is off when NBC's "Meet the Press" and ABC's "This Week," mainstream TV shows both, invite religious leaders to discuss "values" in the aftermath of the election and limit that discussion to all-male panels composed exclusively of either evangelical ministers or politicians with pseudo-spiritual credentials. Does Mr. Falwell, who after 9/11 blamed Al Qaeda's attack partly on "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians," speak for any sizable group of American Christians? Does the Rev. Al Sharpton, booked on TV as a "balance" to Mr. Falwell, do so either? Mr. Sharpton doesn't even have a congregation; like Mr. Falwell, he is a politician first, a religious leader second (or maybe fourth or fifth).
Even more important than inflated notions of the fundamentalists' power may be their entertainment value. As Ms. Kissling points out, the 50 million Americans who belong to progressive religious organizations are rarely represented on television because "progressive religious leaders are so tolerant that they don't make good TV." The Rev. Bob Chase of the United Church of Christ agrees: "We're not exciting guests." His church's recent ad trumpeting its inclusion of gay couples was rejected by the same networks that routinely give a forum to the far more dramatic anti-gay views of Mr. Falwell. Ms. Kissling laments that contemporary progressive Christians lack an intellectual star to rival Reinhold Niebuhr or William Sloane Coffin, but adds that today "Jesus Christ would have a tough time getting covered by TV if he didn't get arrested."
Now, come on, Mel: If you'd read this in the National Review (make us feel better by lying that you read something), you would have thought twice about your stance on political life, right?
Posted on December 19, 2004 at 08:25 AM | Permalink
You'd think that given his obsession with constantly seeming exciting and "outside-the-box," Trump would have hired the blonde laywer with fire and creativity on last night's "Apprentice 2" live season finale, filmed in, of all places, Alice Tully Hall. But step back, young FBLA officers. Could you really imagine both Trump and all his crazy conservative CEO friends selling the idea of a possibly liberal lawyer from San Francisco over the prospect of a rigid, order-taking military man (see the oh-so-chiseled Kelly pictured above)? I would have chosen Kelly myself had I been Trump. If I'm Trump, I'm in the game too; I'm a contestant on the show, and I don't want to hire someone to work for me who poses a threat. I want a kiss-ass worker bee with just enough creativity to get his tasks done and perpetuate the branding myth that is me and my corporation. Jen, honey, don't sweat it (and I don't think you will, to be fair). We all know a real business leader wouldn't think twice about working for Trump any more than you already have -- all he's worth is the exposure you've already received, after all. Better to let the "consistent" foot soldiers of the world stomach his crap and go nowhere (like lovely Carolyn pictured above). But wait: there was an upside to the live debacle hosted cheekily by Trump handmaiden Regis Philbin: As his assignment Kelly chose to work on New York's Trump Place, the monstrosity that's ruining the West Side of New York above Columbus Circle. The rub? That he'll probably crunch his numbers so carefully traffic around the nouveau-riche real-estate nightmare might actually prove bearable in 10 years.
This week's mailbag is packed with the same concern: Why no "O.C." political report in response to last week's show? Well just as Josh Schwartz can let one of his writers flaunt the biggest homage to W. yet... Just as he can let this writer create the most asinine coincidence of issues in order to divert attention from the anemic quality of the second season's scripts -- making both "Wheeler" women (Ryan's new girlfriend and Caleb's bribe target) part of the same, surprise clan -- I can, uh, um, you see... OK, FINE, you're right: I have no right to find an excuse for not posting an O.C. political report. You got me! It's just that I was so affected, so influenced, by the arresting nature of last week's "values" episode, I began to believe we were in this coincidence for the right reasons. What, we weren't? Those Wheeler women seemed to be truly related to each other -- they do both sport reddish hair. Oh, my. And now we're giving them all our support, innocent to the smokescreen their cronies have unleashed to keep us quiet while they figure out how to pull all the details together, to make the reason we're there actually believable. Thank God for Iraq, no? I mean, without it we might not have decent primetime soaps written about chracters that, one year into their television lives, seem, in certain writers' hands, to have absolutely nowhere to go.
Oh did the bipartisanship roar last night on our favorite exemplar of SoCal excess: A conniving but uneducated floozy found a way to run her "company" (company, nation, what's the difference) without having to actually learn anything about, you know, running a company. The young democrat actually learned he prefers punk doms over needy elephants, and the street kid with an increasingly right-wing tendency towards traditionalist "values" ended up falling for a mirror image of himself -- as if we couldn't already see these two hard luck cases studying their physics equations and eventually digging themselves out of the gutter so beautifully well that a vote for the W.'s of the world would only reinforce their own ideas about the so-called "American Dream." Fox, you are, like, so perceptive. Go, you!
Ok, so I was just having a little fun last week when I went digging for political conspiracy theory in The O.C.'s plot. Or was I? If last night's appointment of Julie Cooper to the "figurehead position" of C.E.O. wasn't the most prescient interpretation of the Condi Rice saga, I don't know what was (of course Julie Cooper is conniving and potentially volatile as opposed to being a blind-eyed brown-noser, but who's really getting that detailed?). Sadly, no, I don't think The O.C.'s writers were that prescient. It's just that American politics is so substantive, so free from bullshit, that it's reflected in our pop culture. Um, right?
"I Can Raise Money: Perhaps the most vital requirement for a
party chairman is the ability to fundraise. I have a plan to make
Democratic contributors feel more valued. I don't want to say too much,
but it involves free keychains.
I Can Appeal to the Evangelical Vote: Except for brief periods
in college, and the nights of February 16 to 18 of last year when I was
at a bachelor party, Jesus and I have always been on friendly terms. I
will demonstrate that the Democratic Party has the utmost respect for
crazy religious types.
I Am Internet Savvy: In the wake of Howard Dean's web-fueled
candidacy, political analysts were quick to point out the power of the
Internet as a campaign weapon. As chairman, I will utilize the web's
ability to energize and engage voters. I will do this by sending out
"I Can Raise Money: Perhaps the most vital requirement for a party chairman is the ability to fundraise. I have a plan to make Democratic contributors feel more valued. I don't want to say too much, but it involves free keychains.
I Can Appeal to the Evangelical Vote: Except for brief periods in college, and the nights of February 16 to 18 of last year when I was at a bachelor party, Jesus and I have always been on friendly terms. I will demonstrate that the Democratic Party has the utmost respect for crazy religious types.
I Am Internet Savvy: In the wake of Howard Dean's web-fueled
candidacy, political analysts were quick to point out the power of the
Internet as a campaign weapon. As chairman, I will utilize the web's
ability to energize and engage voters. I will do this by sending out
Think overblown rappers and male twentysomethings who blog are the only two populations obsessed with Scarface's Tony Montana? Check these corrollaries and tell me they don't get you thinking about the only U.S. President ever to come close to admitting that he doesn't believe in the neccesity of a thinking Secretary of State.
Tony Montana: "I always tell the truth. Even when I lie."
W.: "With the campaign over, Americans are expecting a bipartisan effort and results. I'll reach out to everyone who shares our goals."
Tony Montana: "In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women."
W.: ""I think we're making progress. We understand where the power of this country lay. It lays in the hearts and souls of Americans. It must lay in our pocketbooks. It lays in the willingness for people to work hard. But as importantly, it lays in the fact that we've got citizens from all walks of life, all political parties, that are willing to say, I want to love my neighbor. "
Tony Montana: "Amigo, the only thing in this world that gives orders is balls. Balls. You got that?"
W.: "I don't think you give timelines to dictators."
Tony Montana: "This is paradise, I'm tellin' ya. This town like a great big pussy jus' waitin' to get fucked."
W.: "Iraq is no diversion. It is a place where civilization is taking a decisive stand against chaos and terror, we must not waver."
Tony Montana: ""Say 'ello to my little friend!"
W.: "The Secretary of State is America’s face to the world, and in Dr. Rice the world will see the strength, grace and decency of our country."
Posted on November 17, 2004 at 07:12 AM | Permalink
Intellectual elites composing much of Kerry's base. According to the Education State Rankings, a Morgan Quitno Press survey of U.S. public schools, Massachussetts is the smartest state in the Union with Cali coming up right behind it in the respectable slot of #43. Dude, I knew it was more fun here for a reason.
It must truly get tiring following overgrown infants like Mike Ovitz all the way to hotspot Delaware, listening to Leno ramble about how he's not a right-wing robot, and translating cryptic e-mail from New York Times insiders leaking who's about to jump. And thank God. Because LA Weekly's prescient media wit Nikke Finke gets her column all to herself this week with a brilliant guide to how "how current series, midseason
replacements and next fall’s pilots will more 'accurately' reflect the
supposed religious and right-wing mood of America."
My favorite prediction:
"No Sex and the City: Four Seventh-day Adventist
gal pals live in Manhattan, earn millions on Wall Street, tithe to the
Republican Party and swoon over Ron Silver and Stephen Baldwin. The
star is Carrie, who has an on-again, off-again, relationship with the
adulterous Mr. Big, played by Rudolph Giuliani, until she finally
becomes his Trophy Wife No. 3."
Media moguls, hit the beach for Thanksgiving. We don't care about you when we claw over each other every Thursday to snag a peek at "Deadline Hollywood."
Sometimes the most enlightened ideas emerge from the most unlikeliest of sources. From Chris Matthews on this morning's "Hardball" after having interviewed a Chicago reporter about voter proclivities in the suburban heartland: "Maybe we have to start covering America like foreign correspondents [i.e. maybe we have to start considering suburban middle and southern America to be the influential land worth careful and perpetual study it has always deserved to be considered]."
Anyone impressed with W.'s excitement to spend his newly won "political capital" (is Shopping the Commander in Chief's true religion? that would explain a lot) might have scraped all the pomade off their purposely tousled hair-strands during last night's premiere of "The O.C.'s" second season.
See, amid all the bikinis and bare-chested construction workers, the home renovations and forced Misha Barton howls (just look pretty, hon; don't speak), the show was a political parable. Don't believe me? Consider Seth's expatriation from Newport Beach and subsequent holding-his-family-hostage-until-ambassador-Ryan-could-create-for-him- the-proper-environment-for a-return-to-office. Consider father Sandy's smiley manipulation of the Chino runaway Ryan who just wants to be a father to his knocked-up Ex. Can you say Rumsfeld in hippie clothes? The eyebrow king is even wearing a more Republican haircut and sporting more conservative suits. I couldn't be sure if we were supposed to be learning about soap-opera excess or the power struggle for the Middle East. Brilliant, Fox. And not at all derivative of your purposely self-derivative lines from Season One. Who wants original drama and comedy when you can keep mocking your own previous attempts at self-mockery? Political, Proustian, and no ugly people, even among the dorks. I'm proud (sic) to be an addict.
Posted on November 05, 2004 at 08:17 AM | Permalink
When Slate's William Saletan writes that what the Democrats needed and what W possessed in abundance was simplicity, he was right. But by suggesting that John Edwards was a better choice than Kerry, he fails to realize one vital notion: Edwards may be simpler than Kerry but he's a slick toy soldier. The way he flicks those thumbs up, over and over, wannabe-style, are not the mark of a man committed to something beyond free will. He is not who the Democrats should look to in 08. W. may be the devil but he's born-again. He's committed. Is he phony about what he says in regards to wanting to bring the country together? Probably. But if bringing us together on his worldview constitutes being a uniter, then I'm sure he's 100% genuine. This is a man who believes in ideologies -- most comically in that which he uses to mythologize himself. It's a scary notion but the Democrats don't just need someone simple in 08; they need a committed Christian idealogue who, like W, can claim to have learnt the nature of America on the plains of Texas and believe himself.
Posted on November 04, 2004 at 11:33 AM | Permalink
It begins here. On November 3, 2004. The day I begin to write about politics. Or rather about how our society works. It has been stifling up until now. It has been assignments on this or that, on music or tech, on a cruiseship or a gadget. I've ocassionally written about life as it appears in art: an opera, a movie, a comedy show. But journalism -- paying journalism -- has yet to offer me a viable, satsifying way to fuse these worlds. And because I've been a slave to, well, supporting myself, I have denied myself the nurturing benefits of such activities. Which brings us to today. It's not just that's it's been sad. It's that it's been alienating. Few agnostic New York Jews who grew up playing classical music in a classical music household feel sewn into the fabric of America at large. I never did, personally. But I never felt as alienated from the powers that run our nation as I did today. Hearing W. thank Karl Rove ('The Architect') had an awfully Hitlerish air to it, the squint he flaunted as Cheney introduced him irrevocably play-doh-molded. I lost it, however, when he began to discuss how good his conversation with Kerry had went. How he now wants to earn the trust of those who voted for his opponent. Who could care less about such issues than W? Who has ever seemed less concerned with the feelings of his opponent's supporters? It's clear he only repeated such written comments in an effort to begin the bronzing of his historical record. It was as if he could see how the speech would read in the digital pages of a 7th-grader's virtual history book, published in 2089. Will that 7th grader also have access to the archives of a blog like this? Will he ever know how evil this president was? One thing W. has on Hitler: he knows how to cover his tracks. Or at least how to hire people who do.