Saturday, November 5, 2011

“Men treat childbirth as though it’s something icky.” –Someone who wishes to remain anonymous

"It is something icky. Nobody tells you to boil water and find towels for a sanitary event. This is a woman screaming at the top of her lungs as her vagina is ripped asunder by a pinkened lump of potential humanity. There’s the possibility she’ll break his hand if he holds hers. There’s the possibility she’ll lose control of her bowels. She will spill fluids he’s never seen in his life. Then there’s the umbilicus and placenta, which frankly look like a giant tapeworm eating a tumor. Beyond all of the revolting things that may exit this beautiful woman, it is also the only time when the goal is to make a baby cry. It’s gross and it’s scary and even if she gets an epidural, you’re still going to have to figure out how to pay its college tuition. God have mercy on your souls."

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: Demake


Come 2013, demakes are going to be the thing in Hollywood. It’s empirical fact that uncreativity is much easier than creativity. Sequels, series, spinoffs, prequels and remakes were all bold ideas. Demakes will take the cycle of uncreativity into the future by way of the past with STANLEY’S KUBRICK’S TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.

We can all agree that the second Transformers movie sucked. But imagine if the male lead wasn’t onscreen so much, and he wasn’t played by SHIA LABEOUF. Instead, he was a brooding JAMES DEAN. His lady love? A freshly-minted blonde MARILYN MONROE. Onscreen chemistry unlike anything you’ve ever seen, built from what you’ve already seen.

Using cutting edge computer synthetics, the thousands of words dead actors spoke in dozens of moods will be recycled into millions of possible performances. And using both stock footage and CGI modeling, their likenesses can be pasted into new scenarios. How far can we take it? I’ll give you the future in one sentence.

MARLON BRANDO is OPTIMUS PRIME.

Our favorite part is that simulating the low-definition stock of old film will cover all CGI. BluRay has taught us that the better the picture, the faker-looking the Autobot. In black and white, you won’t be able to tell the real INGRID BERGMAN from the purely green-screened MEGATRON.

That’s our favorite part. But your favorite part? Demakes are guaranteed to not suck. With the hindsight of which contemporary movies are shoddily written, and a love of classic film, demade movies will not only strip away bad acting and shiny CG: they’ll apply actually solid scripts written deliberately for people who are proven to be able to act. LUCILLE BALL and JACK LEMMON will turn in performances literally designed for their roles, which in turn will be literally designed for them based on scientific breakdowns and focus tests of their strengths. If the technology pulls through, AI recreations of FRITZ LANG and ALFRED HITCHCOCK will soon direct demakes of GREEN LANTERN and DADDY DAY CAMP. It’s foolproof.

We’re opening up conservatively, demaking the second movie in a series. That packages it with a guaranteed prequel (TRANSFORMERS) and sequel (TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON). Just fathom it, Hollywood: a sequel demake, likely directed by an artificial intelligence of STANLEY KUBRICK himself.

If that doesn’t get you wet, we’ll toss this in: HUMPHREY BOGART will cameo to provide BUMBLEBEE’s one spoken line.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: Dog Thoughts

Oh my God give it to me please give it to me I know I've chased the ball like six hundred times and my teeth marks are all over it but if you just throw the ball one more time I'll be happy for the rest of my life you don't even have to throw it directly to me you don't even have to throw it in my direction you can throw it in the river you can throw it into the pitbull's yard I don't care just please throw the ball so I can taste it one more time I know how it tastes I've tasted it six hundred times but I know if I taste it just one more time right now it'll be awesome and I know you're going to throw but the eternal question is when but the eternal question is will I catch it this time but the eternal question is for God's sakes why haven't you thrown the ball?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: Nothing Happened to My Marriage

Nothing happened. Stop. Please, stop. I’m telling you, Mom: nothing happened. Lisa wanted babies, and then it turned out I’m shooting blanks. So nothing happened. And my lot got pulled and I went over to Iraq for two years. I bought her three separate plane tickets. She never used one of them. So nothing happened. My time came up, and I got home, and waited for her to pick me up on the curb. Nothing happened and I had to catch a cab. We fought about nothing. We argued in fine circles of inconsequence. One night I got so angry I almost threw a lamp at her. I didn’t pick it up, instead walking out of the apartment so nothing would happen. Half the mornings I’d wake up and find her half of the bed empty. We went to a therapist, and she wouldn’t open up about what I’d done wrong, and was very aggressive about me not opening up about things that weren’t there, and so we paid for six weeks of nothing happening until I just didn’t bother driving up there anymore. We don’t have a kid. We don’t own a house. She doesn’t have a career, and I’ll be damned if I’m to blame. So when I say “Nothing happened,” please stop asking.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: Halloween Exposition

"Are you still pouting about the costume? Because I'm not going as a sexy vampiress. My nipples will freeze off."

"It's not that."

"Then what? Reese's doesn't make vegan peanut butter cups."

"It's not that either."

"Move over. You've been getting grumpier every day all month. I thought you were going to turn into a pumpkin for a while."

"I haven't been entirely honest about Halloween."

"You don't say."

"I have a sister."

"I met your whole family. You don't have a sister. Or is this Halloween roleplaying?"

"You met almost my whole family."

"So you haven't been entirely honest about Halloween or your family."

"We don't talk about her much."

"Mark, that is messed up."

"Well, she's got issues."

"You look down on her for some psychological problems? I thought you were better than that."

"Every Halloween she tries to kill me."

"I might look down on her for that."

"It started when she turned thirteen. She got her period on Halloween night, and put on this mask, and-- please stop laughing."

"I'm sorry, just, really? Do you have a hidden camera in here? Am I being punked?"

"She killed my two best friends."

"Oh, Mark."

"We only found them two days later. I think she was coming after me, and they just got in the way. Her fingerprints were everywhere. All over the bodies. She used a machete, where she didn't use her hands."

"Honey. Come here."

"I'm not saying it for sympathy. Randi disappeared the next morning. We didn't find a trace of her until the next year. I was at a party, at a friend's house. I wanted to be around as many people as possible. There were so many that nobody noticed that Zach was gone."

"No."

"I went down to the basement for more wine. He was propped up against the racks. She was waiting down there for me."

"Where is she now?"

"This house doesn't have a basement, does it?"

"I'm not kidding, Mark."

"I killed her the next Halloween. That was nineteen-ninety-nine. Slept with a gun under my bed every night for the next year, never really thinking what I'd do with it. She came in through my window at midnight, and it just seemed... apparent. It was too obvious, what to do. And then she came back the next year."

"You said you killed her."

"Three in the chest, one in her green witch mask. The next year, she wore the same mask so I could see the holes. That year I just got in the car and drove. I didn't stop going until November second. Cops found me asleep on the wheel. She doesn't come after me on the first, though. She only comes on this day. And she's never stopped coming, no matter what I do. I've slept in churches, gotten locked up in police stations, even rented a fallout shelter. The only thing that's ever worked is to keep moving. To keep driving. She keeps chasing me; I've seen her in the woods, or just standing out in the dessert, her head following my car. In two-thousand-six, I lingered too long in a rest stop up. I saw her around the side of the pumps."

"You could have told me sooner."

"I wanted to. I mean it. I was just afraid, you know. That you'd think I was crazy."

"You should have told me sooner. Then I could have gassed up this morning."

"What?"

"Maybe you are crazy, Mark. But you're paying for drive-thru either way. This'll beat dressing up like a sexy vampiress."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: “I’ve always wanted to die. Always.” –Natalie Cortez, The Seventh Victim (1943)

Click the triangle to hear it. Click this text to download it.


I’ve always wanted to die. What could be grander than to pull away the veil? There are other grand things. Earning your first dollar, getting married, fighting on the side that wins the war – but those all pale in personal comparison to the end. You can’t top the end. Nothing gets to follow it.

It wouldn’t be a noose for me, though. No sitting the garage with the motor running. It’d be a waste of my only demise.

I took one of those tours of the Empire State Building. Went up near the top, to the wide room with all the windows. My plan was to find a door outside and leap into the world’s most famous skyline.

The skyline was my undoing. Or, my death’s undoing. Because you know what you see from the top of the Empire State Building? Story upon story of people’s work. Cement, brick and steel laid so men could deal, sell and swindle. The sheer quantity of life that goes on in just one adjacent building is intimidating. And I realized that no matter how many feet I fell per second, my impact would be negligible. All those active lives would keep marching towards much bigger deaths than mine. All mine would have over theirs was flash. I hate flash.

No, suicide simply wouldn’t do for me. It was too closed a circuit. Too petty for a grand thing. Nor could I hire someone to kill me. Then it’d be a two-person affair, still too closed a circuit. No, I wanted to die a real death, and since death is the end of life, I had to live a full one in order to receive a grand demise.

So I earned my first dollar. It’s still in my wallet, and will remain there when I hit the floor. I got married to a wonderful woman. We got divorced, which is understandable because Unitarians have always been too much for me, but being too much for me was the same reason I married her. And I got married a second time. I worked at the steel plant that supplied our military in three wars that we won. You can say we didn’t, but the privilege of being American is we always doing enough damage to feel like we couldn’t have lost.

And I bought a piece of the Berlin Wall on eBay. I was in Ohio when gay marriage was legalized, and actually held the camera for one of the first couples that proposed. I watched the last NASA space shuttle launch with my granddaughter.

She probably won’t be there when it comes. I don’t want to be surrounded by mourners who’ll leach the emotion. My death is going to be all mine. But it’s going to be amazing, not because of how many feet per second I fall, but because of how high I lived. How I cannot wait for it.
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