The Academy

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Thursday, March 27, 2003
The real Bush

Move over Victoria's Secret, check out these beauties!

I Raq and I Roll

This song by Clint Black reminds me of why I never liked country music. (Bluegrass, of course, is an exception.)


My friend Ben sent me this interview with Ringo Starr, which has mellowed me out completely. I even cried a little when I read it. Completely unrelated, of course, but boy is it sweet.

Sodomy and Kindergarten Teachers

You know, it is I suppose a perfectly reasonable legal question that was posed by the Chief Justice. Would a ruling in Lawrence's favor preclude states from prohibiting gays from teaching kindergarten? Interesting to sort of think about as though it were a crossword puzzle. So why does it make me so insanely angry? Because it just seems so out of touch with the world I live in? Because it calls upon those considering the question to weigh a baseless stereotype in deciding a completely unrelated issue? Or maybe because we're winning the "culture war" Scalia goes on and on about in his Romer dissent, which renders questions implying a gay person's unfitness for a job involving access to *shudder* YOUNG CHILDREN as offensive as legal arguments in favor of "separate but equal" education?

Whatever it is it just reminds me that the constitutionality of a particular law has nothing to do with whether that law is good or bad. This is something that liberals are perhaps more guilty of than conservatives. We tend to think good=Constitutional, while bad=unconstitutional. Under current equal protection law, a statute prohibiting homosexuals from working as kindergarten teachers in the public schools may well be constitutional. If you can stomach what the state would offer as "rational basis," then I guess it might be. But I don't have any doubt that it would be a bad, bad, bad law that violates basic human principles. If I may evoke that handy spectre of evil, the Nazis enacted lots of laws within the parameters of the German constitution. But they were awfully bad.

Philosophizing about good and bad laws aside, I don't like one of the most powerful people in our country making people I love feel marginalized. I think that's more likely what pisses me off about it.



"JUSTICE SCALIA Yes, yes. Do you think there's public approval of it?

MR. ROSENTHAL Of homosexuals, but not of homosexuality activity."

This phrase "homosexuality activity" causes me concern. I am perplexed that the Texas statute outlaws same sex (i) mouth on genitals, and (ii) genitals in anus, but doesn't outlaw mouth on an anus, or mutual masturbation. Is it just me, or is Texas a fan of RIMMING and HOT MAN ON MAN J/O sessions? I have bad news for Texas... first quickie hookups for same-sexers usually involve more rimming and jacking each other off than anal sex. And, as far as the blowjobs go, everyone should be able to suck anything they want. I am not including any links in this post because they might frighten the masses!

I mean, who are you to tell me that I can have only one wife, you blue-nosed bigot?

I've been trying not to get my hopes up about Lawrence v. Texas. But Linda Greenhouse has me all excited. Here's some local coverage as well. And here's an article by Andrew Sullivan who reminds us that we're all sodomites.

I read the brief excerpt of oral argument first and I have a question: is it Texas' common practice to send the district attorney to argue cases that go up to the Supreme Court? Or did they send poor Mr. Rosenthal, who is clearly out of his depth, as some sort of sacrificial lamb?

Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Iraqi Blog

The only known Iraqi to be writing about the war from within Baghdad maintains this weblog: Dear Raed on Blogger. This is a must read.

A U.S. soldier is also blogging at this address.

And this blog is a good comprehensive site for recent developments.

But its Yellow, Just Like the French

Mustard is the latest food-related anti-French expression. Or, rather, the latest food product to be empassionately reaffirmed as a purely American consumable. You would think that the mustard companies would be one of the industries benefitting from the anti-French backlash. Yuppies will think twice before choosing some hoity-toity Dijon variety these days, after all. But, then you'd be forgetting the brand name of America's favorite yellow mustard.

In other news, here's a fantastic use of verb tense in a news headline.

Monday, March 24, 2003
Well, Shut My Mouth

No really. Try.

Most of my predictions turned out wrong. I had kind of eliminated Roman Polanski from consideration. I did this because I foolishly imposed a CONVICTED CHILD-RAPIST qualifier on my predictions, which was not shared by the members of that Other Academy. Well, fine.

In other news, I just received the funniest missive yet from an internet merchant. Here it is:

Mindy -

Thanks for your order with CD Baby!

Qty Description Price Total
=== =========== ===== =====
1 RIVINGTON: happy on a sliding scale $10.00 $10.00
1 PAUL SCHNEIDER: escape velocity $10.00 $10.00

Sub Total $20.00
Shipping $3.50
Grand Total $23.50

Your CDs have been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with
sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CDs and polished them to make
sure they were in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over
the crowd as he put your CDs into the finest gold-lined box that
money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party
marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of
Portland waved 'Bon Voyage!' to your package, on its way to you, in
our private CD Baby jet on this day, Monday, March 24th.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did.
Your picture is on our wall as "Customer of the Year". We're all
exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you once again,

Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby
the little CD store with the best new independent music
phone: 1-800-448-6369 email:

This email serves as one of the many reasons I really, really don't want to move away from Portland. I urge all of you to go to that website right now and buy something. If I were you, I'd buy what I bought. But then, I did.

Sunday, March 23, 2003
Oscar Predictions!

Perhaps its a bit late, but I thought I should weigh in with my Oscar predictions before its too late. Despite the similarity in our names, this site is actually not affiliated with The Academy, or the little gold statuettes that it hands out, or any of that. I hope that disclaimer is sufficient to avoid litigation. I think those OSCAR (TM) people tend to voraciously protect that trademark.

Prediction Number One: Renee Zellweger will win everything.

I mean it! She will win Best Actress. She will win Best Editing. She will win Best Art Direction. "But she's not nominated!" you exclaim. That means nothing! . Sadly, actually Nicole Kidman will win Best Actress. Why? Because in Hollywood, putty noses demonstrate the ultimate sacrifice for your art. What I really mean is: Renee Zellweger *should* win everything. She really is World's Greatest Celebrity. Her Golden Globes speech rocked the house. She's blonde, she's from Texas, and she is actually that sweet. She's the Anti-Me, really, in almost every conceivable way. She's Bizarro-Me. I'm just like her -- except I weigh at least as much as three of her and I'm evil. Evil, evil, evil. Or just nowhere near as genuinely sweet as she is.

OK, here's where I tell my Renee Zellweger story. Some years ago, I was an actress who had some success. As an actress, "success" occurs when someone gives you more than subway fare to pretend to be someone else. I had real live jobs and real live people whose job it was (supposedly) to get me more jobs. So, I thought I was something else. Plus, I also thought that my limited success would lead to more success. Turns out not true. But at the time, I was feeling pretty good about myself. I went home to Texas to visit and met this really sweet girl who was a friend of my little sister's. This Very Sweet Girl was acting also, but in Texas. We had a nice conversation about what it was like to be a "real" actress, with me cast in the role of "real" and her cast in the role of (I guess) "fake" actress. She thought she might end up in California eventually, but for now she was taking small parts in commercials and stuff like that. I was very encouraging. I'm sure it was that very encouragement that caused her to BECOME A HUGE FREAKING STAR. Therefore, I would appreciate a nod tonight during her acceptance speech.

I think it was my mom who told me that Renee had landed the role in Jerry Maguire that made the whole world fall in love with her. At the time, I had a day job as a private investigator. I think I had not had an audition in about six months or so. I had a desk in a very small hallway. A HALLWAY. The irony was not lost on me.

Prediction Number 2: I will cry.

I will cry basically at the very beginning of the show and I will not stop until the end. This is what I do. Even while wondering why they're having the damn ceremony at all, I'll cry. This is IT for these people, man. Art directors, costume designers, whatever. This is DA BOMB for them. Every one of them has been writing their acceptance speech in their heads since they were itty bitty. No matter how ANNOYING these speeches will be -- I will cry, cry, cry. The only speeches in recent memory that have been too annoying to make me cry were (a) Gwyneth Paltrow's in 1999, during which she cried enough for both of us ("I'd like to thank my Dad (gulp, sob), my Mom (gulp, sob), Harvey Weinstein (gulp, sob), my dog Otis who died when I was nine (gulp sob)"); and (b) Halle Berry's last year, during which she said a lot of stuff she should have let other people say (Memo to Halle: You are not Rosa Parks). Those kept things pretty dry in the tear duct area.

If Renee Zellweger wins and thanks Sims Ellison again, like she did at the Golden Globes, I might cry so much that I need to go to the emergency room for rehydration. Just a warning.

Prediction Number 3: The Speeches will be More Annoying This Year Than Ever Before

Mark my words on this one. Applying an objective test, a reasonable person will find this year's speeches more annoying than in any previous year. I don't need to explain. I'm telling you, in the light of world events we are in for some especially maddening celebrity moments. Will we hear anything as idiotic as Matt Damon's comments to Barbara Walters about September 11? ("If I hadn't have become an actor, I could have been there working that day.") Maybe not. But I won't be surprised at the level of celebrity absurdity we might be forced to endure. The only nominee who is allowed to give a speech with a political bent is Michael Moore, because that's what he legitimately does. The rest of them need to hush. But guess what? They won't.

Come to think of it, Prediction Number Three might have some effect on whether Prediction Number Two pans out.

Prediction Number 4: The Rivers Family Will Get Drunk

Joan and Melissa Rivers, crushed that their nasty fashion parade is preempted on network by hostilities in Iraq, will get drunk and yell at each other. They are on E! but its just not the same. And they're having to act like its not the biggest deal ever in the whole world. They're in a little room, too, not out chatting people up, which must sting.

Prediction Number 5: Despite Prediction Number 1, The Following People Will Win The Major Awards

The one who will win appears first, followed by who should win.

Best Actor : Jack Nicholson (Michael Caine)
Best Actress: Julianne Moore ('Nuff Said)
Best Supporting Actor: John C. Reilly (Chris Cooper)
Best Supporting Actress: Meryl Streep (Meryl Streep)
Best Picture: Chicago (Chicago)
Best Director: Rob Marshall (Martin Scorcese -- Not cuz GONY's so good, but just cause they've screwed him so much. It'd be like the year Al Pacino won for the "Hoo-hah" movie.)

Note the time of posting, friends, and marvel at my wisdom.