Archive - Oct 10, 2005

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Memo to America's entertainment journalists: THIS SHIT STOPS NOW.

Just because we all know you suck doesn't mean you have to kick it into overdrive. And just because you're jealous of the high-class whores that report on hurricanes and press conferences while you slave away on red carpets and LA restaurants doesn't mean you have to create an elaborate fantasy world for yourself.

Because that way lies Variety. And nobody wants that. Variety has lived with its inferiority complex for so long that it's taken to actually rearranging the English language just so it can seem special. And this goes beyond he infamous headlines. Lately, they've taken to calling a TV series or season a "skein", a bit of etymylogical gymnastics that should have snapped the spine of every editor in the building the first time it was typed.

And this kind of thing has creeped into the more mainstream media, with disastrous results. I will admit to some small culpability in this. Every single time a new example of this monstrosity has presented itself, I have considered mentioning it here, but each time, I was silent. But I can be silent no more.

Concatenate one more celebrity couple's names, and I will hunt you all down where you live and set fire to your heads.

It started with the then-awful, but now mild-by-comparison, "Bennifer", for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. It was awful, but it seemed like a passing thing, a weird affectation limited entirely to that pair. Then Gigli happened. Then Jersey Girl happened. And then Ben stopped banging Jennifer, and started banging... JENNIFER. So people kept using "Bennifer" for Affleck and Garner.

But I still wasn't concerned. It seemed like force of habit. "Hey, we can keep saying that! Let's!". Harmless, and still limited strictly to Ben Affleck and any Jennifers he may penetrate in the future. And then there was Bradifer.

Despite his best efforts, Affleck was unable to date every Jennifer in Hollywood, so when Pitt-Aniston started to go sour, the entertainment media realized that its success adding man-names to "Jennifer" could be extended into a whole new venue. The virus was mutating, but it was, to my eyes, still metaphorically limited to the monkey population. Patient Zero was not getting out all that much.

It wasn't until I saw "Spederline" in the wild that I started to panic. I remembered Tom Ridge's advice, stocked up on duct tape and plastic sheeting, and had half the apartment sealed off before I came to my senses. Unable to combine Britney and Kevin in a phonetically pleasing and non-confusing way, they went with LAST NAMES to create "Spederline". Which sounds like the most unpleasant pasta shape ever. A turd with devil horns, formed entirely out of semolina. Always served with store-brand Prego-knockoff "meat sauce" and canned cheez dust.

But it was with "TomKat" I realized we'd lost the battle before we even knew it was starting. Scientology and Neology smash headlong into each other to create a word that, just like the concept it represents, horrifies and disgusts all who gaze upon it. It's the extra capital letter that really twists the knife, I think. It signals that all bets are off. There are no rules anymore. Any syllable can be glued to any otber syllable to signify the latest short-term sweaty celluloid union. Nobody is safe.

We will not discuss "TomKitten" headlines from the pregnancy. We will not. We are still denying that exists. La la la la we cannot hear you. Nobody ever wrote it, Google is lying to you, and I refuse to believe otherwise for fear of the earth cracking open and swallowing what remains of my sanity.

At the very least, we need to quarantine off the entertainment industry. This cannot be allowed to extend into "hard" news, sports, or the general dear sweet fuck no population. I don't want to hear the President and First Lady referred to as "Geora". I don't want to see football players' names attached to their teams when they get traded. And every single person that sees me, or any of my readers, in real life should take note now. Do this to you and your spouse's name and you will get smacked. Possibly upside your head. But a smacking you will be due, and a smacking you will receive. This shall not pass.

As for Variety and their "skeins", that's a lost cause. Let's just wait for them to come up with an entire new language, and they can fight it out with the Esperanto people.