Archive - Jan 2009

January 16th

Dorks Calling Orson

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Memo to Big Hollywood: YOU GOT A WEEK.

I've been good. Really I have. To the extent I understand my readership at all, I know the last thing you want to see is for You Are Dumb Dot Net to turn into the All Big Hollywood, All The Time channel. But try to look at it from my perspective. Here I sit, having spent five years cataloguing the most astonishing excesses of right-wing punditry, and along comes Andrew Breitbart performing his version of the Iraq War, drawing all the people I've been fighting, all over the Internet, into one convenient location. I'm mocking them there so that I don't have to mock them over here.

And I'm not even talking about the 30% of Big Hollywood articles that are just transplanted wingnuttery. Articles that have nothing to do with Hollywood at all, and are just the usual idiots saying the usual idiotic things. Even after you discount that, there's so much more. There's Debbie Schlussel haranguing the director of "Defiance" for not following up his Nazis Are Bad movie with an identical Muslims Are Bad movie. There's Greg Gutfeld's hilarious call for a right-wing "War of the Worlds" which we'll probably discuss sometime next week. And there's Orson Bean.

Dear god. Orson Bean. I could almost turn this website into Orson Bean Is Dumb. Something I didn't know the last time I mentioned Orson, when he criticized Hollywood for not making movies about underdogs winning against the odds, is that he got the gig at Big Hollywood in classic right-wing affirmative action style. He's Andrew Breitbart's father-in-law. Go Team Nepotism! Anyway, Orson has continued in his role as Big Hollywood's wingnut version of Andy Rooney, writing rambling missives about how those damn kids keep leaving their liberal ideas all over his lawn.

He wrote one column completely misunderstanding the idea of blacklisting, but that's actually a common Big Hollywood theme that will probably get addressed as soon as I can get away with it. And then there's "An Emptiness Only The Holy Spirit Can Fill", which is either the world's most genius piece of satirical performance art, or a symphony of cluelessness. Here, because I cannot bring myself to cut a single word, is how the piece opens. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Why do people do the things they do? Gary Larson could have gone on using his old Far Side cartoons to make calendars forever. People like me would have kept buying them. But this year, he apparently decided he had enough dough and pulled the plug. (God provided: I found an even better calendar: Cats That Look Like Hitler).

Why did Larson give up all that free money? Why did Madoff think he could get away with his Ponzi thing? What made Mickey Rourke become a wrestler? Strange are the ways of human behavior.

Why did I decide to write a book about becoming a Christian? Don’t I have enough trouble? Last year, I was guesting on a TV show, sitting on my canvas chair between takes, reading a C.S. Lewis book called MERE CHRISTIANITY. I can’t tell you how many people, cast and crew alike, came over to ask me about it. There seems to be a hunger out there, even in the vast, atheistic wasteland called Hollywood."

Feel free to sit down, close your eyes, and breathe deeply for a while. I know it's overwhelming. That first paragraph, in which an old man bemoans his inability to tell what day it is without a decades-old cow cartoon to lighten his load, until ALMIGHTY FUCKING JEHOVAH, knowing of this plight, caused a bunch of cats to be born who resembled mankind's greatest genocidal maniac? Genius.

And then there's the premise. There is a hunger for Jesus in all of us. It's in atheistic (not really) Hollywood, and it makes people politely ask the guest star about the book he's reading. It's in Gary Larson, and it made him stop selling calendars full of retread cartoons only fourteen short years after he stopped making comics. It's in Orson Bean, and it made him write a book about his faith. It's in Bernie Madoff, and it made him steal 50 billion dollars from charities. And it's in Mickey Rourke, and it made him "become" a wrestler. Who knew Orson Fucking Bean was a Method-ist?

Three paragraphs in, and we're already at the point where we're trying to find a polite way out of the conversation the crazy old guy struck up with you in the coffee aisle of the supermarket. And that's when it gets creepy.

"I believe there’s an emptiness in all of us that only the Holy Spirit can fill. Good sex does a pretty good job of plugging it up, but not for long. Cocaine and booze work for a while, too. Fame and money aren’t bad, either. That’s why so many people move to Hollywood. But when they’ve used up all these things, they’re still left with a hole in the middle of them that the Creator stuck there, knowing that eventually they’d feel the urge to fill it and do what they had to do to seek Him out."

OK, first of all, DEAR GOD WHO ART NOT ACTUALLY REAL, PLEASE STOP ORSON BEAN FROM EVER TYPING "GOOD SEX" AGAIN. Now that we've gotten that futile prayer out of the way, let's think upon the theological implications of what Orson Bean says. God, in his infinite wisdom, created a spiritual emptiness in all of his creations, forcing them to suffer until they embrace him. Which is a pretty fucking cruel thing to do, and seems to imply a level of insecurity unbefitting omnipotence. But there you have it. Spiritual void, only God can fill.

Well, only God can fill permanently. Because the Creator, in his infinite wisdom, also created the orgasm, and made it so that orgasms could fill that hole for a little while. Oh, and he also created the coca plant and the process of fermentation, the products of which ALSO fill that hole for a little while. And while he may not have created fame and money, he certainly built within us all the capacity for greed and the ability to indiscriminately worship, and apparently THOSE fill the spiritual hole, too.

The only logical conclusion from Orson Bean's beliefs is that God is an idiot, an asshole, or both. But Orson doesn't see it that way. He sees it as wonderful. More wonderful than stupid old science, with its crazy idea that the universe "just happened", without someone behind it manipulating us into getting high, fucking, and feeling miserable afterwards. Orson Bean sees the beauty of Creation. His hole is well and truly filled. And for this, he is PERSECUTED.

"God is being siphoned out of the public arena. People don’t even say God bless you when you sneeze anymore. I want to be able to lay a Merry Christmas on someone without its feeling like a political statement."

Um, first of all, people say "God bless you" all the fucking time when other people sneeze. I don't know why they're not saying it to Orson Bean. Maybe Orson's not covering his mouth in the coffee aisle of the supermarket, and people are too busy wiping Bean Dip off of their faces to hope that his invisible sky buddy cures his rhino virus through magic. I don't know.

And Orson? It wasn't us who made "Merry Christmas" a political statement. That was Bill O'Reilly, who has a hole in his soul that he fills with money, falafel, and the ratings numbers from old coots like you who believe the shit he spews because, like the Bible, it makes more sense to you than the truth. Not my fault, not my problem. But please, keep writing for your son-in-law's shitty website. I have a hole in my column that I have to fill five days a week, after all.