Volcano Of Insecurity

It erupts
Shaking the stability of this place
It corrupts
Taking its toll on my face
It disrupts
The fluid nature of my thoughts
It interrupts
The flow of fantastical plots

It sucks
Out the pleasure of my days
It mucks
About in such infuriating ways
It tucks
Itself in places that are hard to reach
It fucks
With my identity like an insatiable leech

It times
Its attack with the peak of my joy
It slimes
Its way through me knowing how best to annoy
It climbs
To the top of my most vulnerable point
It chimes
Through loudly never ceasing to disappoint

It shows
Me that perfection is an impossible goal
It snows
Me into thinking I have no soul
It flows
Through my conscience like a slithering beast
It grows
On the promise of no release

It depletes
The energy on which I depend 
It deletes
The courage to confide in a friend
It reheats
The anger that refuses to disappear
It defeats
The purpose of living without fear

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, May 29, 2011
10:12 p.m.

Published in: on May 29, 2011 at 10:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Peace In Your Time

Sixty-seven minutes
Two damaged lives
One flowing with hatred
The other survives
Unmistakable loathing
Coated in rage
One has moved on
The other can’t turn the page

Years have passed
But the fear remains
One act of torture
Has taken the reigns
But the grip is loosening
With the development of tools
To combat the relentlessness
Of transparent fools

He can’t be held forever
In his prison cell
And the memories of his actions
She cannot quell
It’s hard to fathom
Such a monstrous act
Committed in front of loved ones
As a matter of fact

He will have to endure
The full absence of her trust
Forever shredded
In a endless pile of dust
Never again
Will they live as one
Permanently separate
Irredeemably broken

As she restores the essence
Of her violated spirit
Spare her your plea
She doesn’t want to hear it
You ruined everything
With one poor decision
The sole cause
Of this angry division

While he boils away
In his cauldron of hate
She refuses to linger
In that traumatic state
His mysogyny did produce
One much needed break
From a lifetime of ambivalence
Brought on by those who take

Despite the future threat
His release will likely bring
She’s long past the notion
Of being his puppet on a string
She’s free to pursue
The totality of her heart’s desires
She’s exhausted but determined
To reignite her internal fires

She is learning how to replenish
The soul she thought she lost
To so many selfish invaders
Whose paths she unfortunately crossed
No more settling down
For less than she deserves
She’s through with vindictive creeps
And unrepentant pervs

Long shackled by the horrors
That derailed her in the past
She now pines for true love
Her leading man has yet to be cast
My hope for her is this
That despite the invasiveness of his crime
You will be stronger than ever
And find peace in your time

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, May 29, 2011
2:26 p.m.

Published in: on May 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm  Comments (4)  

Ginnifer Goodwin, I’m Here For You

People Magazine has reported the sad news.  Your engagement is off.  According to an anonymous inside source, it happened less than a month ago.  I’m sure you’re greatly disappointed.

Ginnifer Goodwin, I’m here for you.  Why go through this difficult time alone when there’s a smitten Canadian just waiting to cheer you up?  Sure, I’m a neurotic Gentile who leads a double life as a totem pole but you’d be in good hands.  Comfortable and less unhappy.

It’s clear, judging by what I’ve read about you, that in the long run, we don’t want the same things.  (You’re more than eager to get married and procreate.  I’d rather just have a girlfriend.)  So, why don’t we put those pesky differences aside and just have fun together?  I could be your rebound, eh?

I’m sure you have tons of inside stories about your thriving acting career.  (Congratulations on that, by the way.)  I’d love to know about your experience on Big Love, a show we could watch together since I’ve never seen a single episode.  (What’s your view on polygamy?  I’m against it.) 

You were hilarious and sexy in the otherwise uneven Win A Date With Tad Hamilton!, the first time I’ve ever took notice of your abilities.  If I were in your ex Topher Grace’s shoes, as lovely and sweet as Kate Bosworth is in that movie, I would’ve chosen you instead.  Your character seemed a lot more fun and confident.  Similiar to the real you, I wonder?

What characters did you voice on Robot Chicken?  (What’s your relationship like with your sister, Melissa, who is an animator on that show?)  Any aspirations to do feature-length animated movies?  It might be a lucrative way to branch out beyond romantic comedies.

Speaking of that, I’m curious about what you thought of He’s Just Not That Into You, a film I disliked intensely.  Last year, I wrote a review of it in this space and wondered why you got saddled with such an unappealing character to play.  Even your natural charm couldn’t compensate for such a poorly written role.  You and everybody else in that disaster deserved better.  The only positive thing about it was that it made money and gave you a higher profile.  Without it, you’d probably wouldn’t be where you are today, right?

If talking about the biz and your career in particular aren’t your bag (understandable since you probably talk about it every day), why don’t we bond over our health issues?  I didn’t know you struggled with obesity in your youth.  (How did Weight Watchers help you with balance and limits?)  I have had the opposite problem.  I’m too thin.  Blame my numerous food intolerances.  How come the vegetarian thing didn’t work out?  I’ve always wondered whether I could do that.  I’m guessing, like you, I wouldn’t be able to stick it out as you admitted to Jimmy Kimmel.

Speaking of all of that, what was your experience like being the spokeswoman for Adopt-A-Turkey, a program put together by the 25-year-old animal rights organization, Farm Sanctuary?  How many turkeys did you actually adopt and do you still have them?  Bet you have entertaining stories about all of that.

Regardless of what you decide, young lady, I hope you will be okay despite not going through with your original plans.  You’re a total shiksa, a talented actor, and I wish you nothing but success in your future endeavours.  (I hope you have a happy birthday tomorrow, too.)

And with that, I offer you this:

When hoping for relief from someone new
Ginnifer Goodwin, I’m here for you

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, May 21, 2011
4:18 p.m.

CORRECTION:  It must be the heat.  It was actually one year ago, not two, that I posted my review of He’s Just Not That Into You.  Therefore, “Two years ago” has been replaced with “Last year”.  Also, I’ve added a hyperlink to the original review in the text.  I regret the error.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, May 21, 2011
8:52 p.m.

Published in: on May 21, 2011 at 4:18 pm  Comments (1)  

A Tribute To Randy Savage

A sad day for the world of professional wrestling.  Randy Savage has died

The 58-year-old superstar was driving with his second wife when, according to his brother, Lanny Poffo, he suddenly suffered a massive heart attack.  As a result, the 2009 Jeep Wrangler he was operating “crossed a raised concrete median and drove through oncoming traffic before hitting a tree” on the Florida Highway.  He later died in hospital while Barbara Poffo survived with less severe injuries.  They had only been married a year.  TMZ reports an autopsy is to be performed tomorrow which will ultimately determine the real cause of his death.

Although he hadn’t been active in the ring for half a decade, Savage’s legacy as a dynamic, influential performer has remained strong.  Two years ago, the WWE put together a fine collection of his matches and promos on the 3-disc Macho Madness DVD set.  (Another box set featuring even rarer stuff would be nice.)  And just recently, Savage’s image was used in the latest WWE video game, WWE All Stars (the concept involves pitting legends from the 80s and 90s against today’s top wrestlers) and he signed a deal with Mattel to have his first action figure in years as part of their WWE Defining Moments series.

When I became a wrestling fan in the summer of 1985, Savage debuted in the World Wrestling Federation.  On the Macho Madness DVD, you can see his first Madison Square Garden encounter.  There’s no Pomp & Circumstance entrance music, no Elizabeth (his first wife who became his loyal manager during this period) and his ring attire was not yet super sparkly.

But he did have the psychology, an element so important to telling stories effectively in the ring.  Savage was the master of stalling, a tactic he perfected while working for Jerry Lawler in Memphis.  In this MSG match with the late Quick Draw Rick McGraw, he delays a lot much to the great annoyance of the New York crowd who were more than eager to boo him and throw crap at him. 

When the match does get going, Savage performs unusual moves like a vertical suplex outside the ring, a rarely seen bump in that era, and, of course, his patented flying double ax handle off the top turnbuckle which no one was executing.  The match ends like a lot of Macho Man matches ended with a flying elbow off the top rope followed by a 3-count for the pin.  (Shawn Michaels would adopt the move as his own in the 1990s.)

Within just a few months of arriving and after being put over in squash match after squash match, Savage entered his first program with Hulk Hogan, then on his first WWF title run.  It was a remarkable show of confidence on the part of the company to put this recent arrival (Savage had wrestled outside the WWF under various gimmicks for 12 years up to that point) into a major storyline.  Hogan made Savage a credible challenger while The Macho Man committed to selling The Hulkster’s limited repertoire.  They had many engaging battles.

Then came George Steele.  During an episode of Tuesday Night Titans, Vince McMahon Jr.’s version of The Tonight Show, Elizabeth, his surprise choice for a manager (before her arrival, The Macho Man was billed as the number one free agent in wrestling), was given flowers mixed with turnbuckle stuffing, The Animal’s way of delivering a personal message of love to her.  Savage was outraged and ripped up the roses Steele had sent.

The two would battle it out well into 1986.  But a new wrinkle was added to the storyline after a Boston Garden house show on February 8.  Tito Santana was on his second and final Intercontinental Championship run and Savage was deemed number one challenger.

The finish of the match was one Savage had used during an early encounter with Ricky Steamboat at The Wrestling Classic the previous summer and would be recycled on numerous other occasions.  After refusing to submit to Santana’s figure four leglock, Savage gets to the ropes and ultimately makes his way to the apron.  He reaches into his yellow star trunks to pull out a foreign object. 

As Santana comes closer he tries to hit him with it but the champion ducks.  While being back suplexed into the ring (the set-up is a little clunky), Savage finally connects, gets the 3-count and when the ref’s attention is elsewhere he quickly throws it away where it’s retrieved by a ringside photographer. 

When Savage resumed his entertaining, silly program with The Animal, his newly won Intercontinental Title was put on the line.  The champion survived every encounter including bouts on Saturday Night’s Main Event and Wrestlemania 2.

Savage also challenged Hulk Hogan again for the World championship but despite occasional victories by count-out and disqualification, The Macho Man always came up short.  (The Intercontinental title was never on the line.)

Meanwhile, Savage retained his title not always by ethical means in a series of rematches with Santana and fought off another challenger, former 2-time World Champion Bruno Sammartino.

By the end of the year, Savage would lock horns again with Ricky The Dragon Steamboat who was more than ready for a title run of his own.  During their famous TV match for the Intercontinental belt, Savage attacks Steamboat’s throat by leaping off the top rope with the timekeeper’s bell.  After draping Steamboat over the steel barricade he would climb up and perform one of his patented double ax handles.  Steamboat sold it all so beautifully and Savage continued to add to his already impressive rep as a nasty heel, an in-ring rulebreaker and a control freak who rarely treated Elizabeth with respect.

It all culminated in one of the greatest matches ever, a rematch for the belt at WrestleMania III.  I remember seeing it live on closed circuit at Copps Coliseum on a Sunday afternoon.  It was unlike any match booked in the WWF at the time.  The intensity of the bumps, the constant near falls, and the possibility that Savage might actually survive as champion once again was all too much for an 11-year-old mark to take.  It also appeared to take a heavy toll on referee Dave Hebner who looked sweaty and out of breath for the whole match.

With Steele in his corner, Steamboat had the secret weapon for victory.  As Savage tries once again to nail his opponent with that timekeeper’s bell, The Animal pushes The Macho Man right off the top turnbuckle.  Hebner comes to (he was “knocked out” just moments earlier like in the earlier TV match-up), Savage briefly sells a back injury as he attempts to slam The Dragon but Steamboat rolls him up in a small package and finally gets the win.  Awesome.

I must’ve seen this match at least a dozen times over the decades including several times in recent months.  It has held up remarkably well.  On his own DVD, Steamboat noted that all the wrestlers backstage congratulated him and Savage for a job well done.  Andre The Giant and Hulk Hogan, who wrestled in the much-hyped main event, did not receive the same warm reception.

After failing to regain the title (which he held for almost 14 months) in a series of house show cage matches, it was time for Savage to become a good guy.  When Steamboat was refused some time off to become a dad by McMahon, he had to drop the belt sooner than planned.  When The Natural Butch Reed was a no-show at a TV taping in Buffalo, Hulk Hogan suggested his buddy, The Honky Tonk Man, as his replacement.

It turned out to be a brilliant move.  When Honky started declaring himself as the greatest Intercontinental champion of all time, former champion Savage took exception and challenged him for the title.  No more booing, no more disrespecting Liz.

That led to a famous Saturday Night’s Main Event battle in October 1987.  Shortly after the interference of Bret Hart (which causes the DQ) and a three-on-one beatdown, Elizabeth gets shoved to the mat by Honky who proceeds to level The Macho Man in the head with an acoustic guitar.  (She initially saved him on Honky’s first attempt.)  After running backstage, Elizabeth returns with the last person you’d expect to help out Savage.

After clearing the ring of Honky and The Hart Foundation, Hulk Hogan and The Macho Man have a stare down before Savage offers his hand.  When Hulk shakes it, it’s the next phase of a program that will last off and on for the rest of the decade.

At WrestleMania IV, Savage had to wrestle four times to be declared World Champion.  After disposing of Reed, Greg Valentine and the One Man Gang, The Macho Man battled Ted Dibiase in the final match of the championship tournament.  At a key moment, Andre, the former champion, gets too involved in the proceedings.  Savage instructs Elizabeth to get The Hulk.

In the earlier round two Andre-Hulk match-up that same night, Dibiase nailed Hogan with a steel chair as he was about to slam The Giant which ultimately led to a double DQ when the two big men used the chair on each other.  In the match with Savage, Hulk returned the favour without being seen by the ref.  The flying elbow did the rest.

Interestingly, the moment Savage was pushed as World Champion I knew immediately what the plan was for WrestleMania V.  Hulk vs. Macho for the title with the former champ ready for his second run.

And indeed, that’s exactly what happened.  But along the way, the whole MegaPowers storyline kept things very entertaining as we see Savage gradually become more and more jealous of Hulk’s actions with Liz, something that was reportedly based on real events and likely led to the end of The Macho Man’s first marriage in 1992 and put considerable strain on his friendship with Hogan.  The live broadcast of the tag team match pitting The Powers against The Twin Towers did as good a job at selling a predictable WrestleMania main event as any I’ve ever seen.

Savage’s second heel run had some other great moments.  Long after he beat Jim Duggan for the silly King gimmick, he started battling The Ultimate Warrior.  At the 1991 Royal Rumble, while the new World Champion was defending against Sgt. Slaughter, The Macho King and his new valet, Sensational Sherri (who we lost in 2007) hilariously interfere a couple of times.  My favourite involves Sherri suckering The Warrior in to chasing her down the entranceway to the ring where a waiting Savage proceeds to pummel him.  The funniest moment of the attack?  Macho Man nearly falls over himself as he attempts to level Warrior with a nearby TV light.  Slaughter gets put over after Warrior gets beaned by Savage’s royal sceptre.

At WrestleMania VII, Savage and Warrior had a retirement match with the loser forced to hang up their trunks.  It was an amazing battle with an even better post-match angle.  Pissed that her man lost, Sherri starts kicking Savage which leads Elizabeth, who had been conveniently seated near the entranceway, to haul ass and throw her out of the ring.

It leads to a lovely bit of theatre.  When The Macho Man realizes what actually happened he embraces his soon-to-be ex-wife and the crowd goes nuts.  Bobby Heenan’s commentary during this entire moment is priceless.  Just a few months later, despite the deterioration of their marriage in real-life, Savage proposes during a TV taping and the most ironic fake wedding in wrestling history takes place at SummerSlam.  After what had to be a much-needed break, Savage ends up being reinstated to feud with Jake The Snake Roberts (who offered a snake as a wedding present and later attacked him with a devenomized cobra) and later, Ric Flair who he beats for his second and final WWF World title at WrestleMania VIII.

Another solid bout with The Warrior would take place at the famous 1992 SummerSlam in Wembley Stadium.  Everybody talks about the Davey Boy Smith-Bret Hart Intercontinental epic, a near half-hour match-up that ended the show, but The Warrior-Savage match (which was supposed to see the challenger turn heel) has just as much good stuff in it.  They later became a tag team known as The Ultimate Maniacs.

Sadly, as the decade wore on, Savage would rarely wrestle full-time much to his annoyance.  McMahon wanted him colour commentating instead.  And although he took the job (and certainly did some good work despite lacking the consistency of Bobby Heenan and Jesse Ventura), he still felt he could wrestle.  In 1994, Savage made the jump to WCW and once again tangled with old frenemy Hulk Hogan who he later aligned with in the infamous New World Order gang.  Four more World championships came his way.  He left the company in 1999.

Five years later, Savage briefly worked for TNA, when it had that silly six-sided ring.  He eventually retired in 2005.

Besides his solid wrestling chops, Savage was kind of a mad genius on the microphone.  On the Macho Madness DVD, there are a number of entertaining promos, not all of which make perfect sense.  My personal favourite:  “The Macho Man is more addictive than sex.”  (Oh yeah!)  There was another great one (it might have been from WrestleMania VII) when he talks about someone doing “a somersault in the tummy tuck position”.  I wish I could remember the whole thing but that one line made me absolutely roar back in 2004 when I rescreened it for the first time in well over a decade.  I was reminded all over again how funny he could be.

Savage was that rare talent in wrestling.  Technically skilled, daringly inventive, an immensely entertaining talker (even though he always sounded like his spandex was on too tight) and equally good as a heel and a hero.  His larger than life personality led to other ventures outside wrestling like his famous Slim Jim ad campaign and my personal favourite, his awesome cameo as Bonesaw, Spider-Man’s first opponent in the overrated Spider-Man.  (Interesting bit of trivia according to Wikipedia:  In 1973, the year he started his career, Savage’s first gimmick was portraying a masked man named The Spider Friend.  That was during his pale skin, pre-Steroid days.)

In later years, he seemed a bit too obsessed with his hatred of Hulk Hogan which led to, of all things, a rap album which I’ve never heard.  According to this TMZ story, after nearly a decade of silence, they actually started talking again and became friendly, yet another reason to mourn his loss today.

I had the pleasure of seeing Savage wrestle in person numerous times at Copps Coliseum.  He wrestled twice at the very first house show there on July 13, 1986.  He lost the battle royal that ended the night which incidentally was won by the same guy he wrestled earlier in a non-title match, King Tonga.  The Macho Man won that one by count-out.

In a match that was taped and included on one of those Best Of The WWF Coliseum Videos, he defended the Intercontinental title against “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, a December 1986 encounter I haven’t seen in more than 20 years.  The only thing I recall is that they battle it out in the entranceway near the end.

The last time I saw him grapple was January 1989 when he defended the World Title against Bad News Brown.  The following house show on March 5 was supposed to feature the two men in a steel cage but because Savage turned against Hogan, the match and the program were cancelled.  My dad was so mad we never went to another WWF live event again.

Predeceased by his father, legendary heel Angelo Poffo (who died just two months ago), ex-wife Elizabeth (who died of a drug overdose in 2003) and survived by second wife, Barbara, and brother Lanny (AKA Leaping Lanny Poffo, The Genius), despite dying at a relatively young age, the flamboyant (and childless) Randy Poffo lived a full life. 

And to think, what he really wanted to be was a baseball player.  Funny how things work out when your first dream is a bust. 

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Friday, May 20, 2011
8:48 p.m.

CORRECTION:  Savage actually did win his non-title match against King Tonga in his first Copps Coliseum appearance back in July 1986.  I originally wrote that The Macho Man lost.  The correction replaces the mistake in the original piece.  I regret the error.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, May 21, 2011
3:19 p.m.

Published in: on May 20, 2011 at 8:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Schwarzenegger Revelation Temporarily Spares Us From More Bad Movies

He knocked up the maid and now the whole world knows about it.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is probably wishing right now that he possessed a lot more self-control than he did back in the late 1990s.  The already overcovered story has repeatedly detailed a pretty embarrassing secret. 

While his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver, was pregnant with their youngest son (now in his early teens), their married housekeeper, Mildred Patty Baena, was also carrying his offspring.  Both kids were born within a week of each other.  (The invaluable TMZ has more on Baena here.)

During the 2003 California recall election, Schwarzenegger’s bad reputation with women became a minor campaign issue.  (The Austrian action star swatted it all away at the time as “old news” and was elected Governor anyway.)  But somehow, his infidelity and subsequent paternity remained concealed.

No longer.  According to the equally invaluable RadarOnline, Maria’s suspicions about her longtime employee led to a confession from her husband.  A week before the story broke, Shriver and Schwarzenegger announced their separation.  Despite consulting a divorce attorney, the former First Lady of California and longtime reporter hasn’t taken the next logical step.  I would be personally surprised if she didn’t.

In the grand scheme of things, does any of this really matter to the rest of us?  No.  It’s just a salicious story for cable news to drone on and on about while comedians hungry for fresh material now have plenty to goof on for quite some time.

What does matter is that Schwarzenegger, who announced his return to show business just three months ago, is pulling a Tiger Woods.  (And yes, there are other mistresses.)  Instead of moving forward with new projects (including a cartoon series called The Governator), he’s taking a break.  (We all know how well that turned out for the golfer.)

To which I say, good.  Let’s face facts here.  In July, the Austrian actor turns 64.  The last good movie he was in was Eraser, released all the way back in the summer of 1996.  With the exception of last year’s The Expendables (in which he makes a cameo appearance) and Jingle All The Way (which broke even), every film he’s appeared in since then has also been a domestic commercial flop (internationally, he remains a top draw), which limits his options in his adopted homeland. 

Like Sylvester Stallone, Schwarzenegger is long past his prime as a reliable hitmaker.  Even if he were to do follow-ups to some of his old hits, the likelihood of them being as entertaining and successful here as the originals are pretty slim.  (Maybe a move overseas is in order.)

At some point, you have to look yourself in the mirror and realize that the party’s over.  You have to accept the reality that the audience has moved on and attempting to relive those glory days as an old man are just plain sad.

In the 1980s and early 90s, Schwarzenegger made several solid action pictures.  Commando, The Running Man, Predator, Total Recall, the first two Terminators, the flawed but skillful True Lies and the aforementioned Eraser.  His quick wit in those early hits led to fine comedic work in Kindergarten Cop, Junior and the underrated action/comedy hybrid, the unfairly maligned Last Action Hero.

But beginning with Jingle All The Way in late 1996, he lost the golden touch.  That awful Christmas comedy led to an uninspiring turn as Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin.  The decade ended with the silly thriller, End Of Days.  Then came the inferior Total Recall retread, The 6th Day, and the lacklustre Collateral Damage.  By the time he returned as the good cyborg in T3, it was obvious his formerly sharp instincts for selecting good escapist material had become extremely rusty. 

And on top of all of this, now he has an image problem (although I imagine more reasonable film fans, like myself, could care less about his indescretions when it comes down to the simple acts of watching him kick ass and quip on screen).  True, Mel Gibson is in worse shape because of his poor judgment but he can always turn to producing and directing.  Schwarzenegger hasn’t done the former in 10 years and the latter in nearly 20.

So while his wife and kids fume at his betrayal, the rest of us can breathe a sigh of relief.  For the time being, Schwarzenegger won’t be returning to a theatre any time soon.  And he won’t be adding any more forgettable junk to his already horrendous slump.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Friday, May 20, 2011
1:46 a.m.

Published in: on May 20, 2011 at 1:46 am  Leave a Comment  

The Real Reason Von Trier Should’ve Apologized

Another day, another stupid comment by a public figure.  This time the fool is Lars Von Trier, the controversial Danish filmmaker who wasted my time with Dancer In The Dark.  While at the Cannes Film Festival promoting his latest movie, Melancholia, at a press conference he said the following:

“The only thing I can tell you is that I thought I was a Jew for a long time and was very happy being a Jew, then later on came [Danish and Jewish director] Susanne Bier, and suddenly I wasn’t so happy about being a Jew. That was a joke. Sorry. But it turned out that I was not a Jew. If I’d been a Jew, then I would be a second-wave Jew, a kind of a new-wave Jew, but anyway, I really wanted to be a Jew and then I found out that I was really a Nazi, because my family is German. And that also gave me some pleasure. So, I, what can I say? I understand Hitler. I think he did some wrong things but I can see him sitting in his bunker. I’m saying that I think I understand the man. He is not what we could call a good guy, but yeah, I understand much about him and I sympathize with him … But come on! I’m not for the Second World War. And I’m not against Jews. No, not even Susanne Bier. I am very much for them. As much as Israelis are a pain in the ass. How do I get out of this sentence? Okay, I am a Nazi. As for the art, I’m for Speer. Albert Speer I liked. He was also one of God’s best children. He has a talent that … Okay, enough.”

Enough, indeed.  But it wasn’t.  When a reporter asked him about the possibility of making a movie that’s even more involved than his current offering, he responded thusly:

“Yeah, that’s what we Nazis … we have a tendency to try to do things on a greater scale. Yeah, maybe you could persuade me.”

There’s actually more (something about a “final solution” for journalists) but you get the idea.  Unsurprisingly, the reliably offended made their voices heard and Von Trier offered a quick, traditional non-apology

But a question needs to be asked here.  How can anyone of reason be offended by what he actually said?  Honestly, I defy anyone to read that first quotation again and expect any semblance of coherence.  (Paula Abdul makes more sense.)  It’s a long, rambling mess with an abundance of contradictory statements.  Foolishly taken at face value, many media outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter, have run with the false premise that Von Trier has “admitted” he’s a Nazi.

Clearly, he’s done no such thing.  In fact, all you have to do is click here to realize that it’s not the first time he’s said something similiar and even then, he was far from serious.

What is more than abundantly clear is that Von Trier was making a painful, pitiful attempt at improvisational humour, something he’s done for years, which he basically confirmed to the Associated Press.  Absurdly, it’s been reported he was actually getting laughs for what he said. 

Which brings me back to that phony apology.  Instead of being insincerely contrite for supposedly offending Holocaust survivors (have any actually been quoted?), how about a real “I’m sorry” for being such a suck-ass comedian?  I mean, really.  Repeating the word “Jew” several times then sequeing into conflicting views about Hitler?  That’s the best you’ve got?  Even Kenny Banya thinks you’re a hack.

Because anything involving film awards is political unfortunately, Von Trier’s foolishness could convince those on this year’s Cannes jury to overlook Melancholia which has received some strong reviews.  If the movie is that good (look for it this fall in theatres), then its merits alone should deem it worthy.  Passing it over because the guy who made it has the stand-up instincts of Michael Richards looks awfully petty and hypocritical.  Besides, far worse human beings have been rewarded time and time again for their work despite their well-documented behavioural deficiencies.  (*cough*  Charlie Sheen *cough*)

All this silliness reminds me of that great Seinfeld episode where Jerry’s dentist converts to Judaism purely for the jokes.  When the priest asks Jerry if he’s offended as a Jew because of this, he wisely replies, “No, I’m offended as a comedian!”.

Von Trier’s lack of on-the-spot comedic talent is the only reason he needed to be sorry.  The embarrassing truth about all of this?  It won’t be the last time he attempts to be funny.  If only there was a way to permanently discourage this.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, May 19, 2011
12:07 a.m.

UPDATE:  And now he’s been banned from Cannes.  Ridiculous.  More here.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, May 19, 2011
5:47 p.m.

Published in: on May 19, 2011 at 12:07 am  Comments (2)  

The Slump

It’s been nearly six years
Since I last took part
Decades of waiting
For an important start
Feeling relief
When it all began
An afternoon of pleasure
Helped me understand

The journey to that moment
Was long and elusive
It was always easier
To remain so reclusive
But she melted the ice
That was spreading inside
And replaced it with a passion
Too contagious to hide

Our time was too brief
I had so much more to learn
But our agendas were different
And we can’t return
Since that wonderful time
Others have appeared
But no real intimacy was shared
Just as I feared

I cling to those days
So I won’t lose touch
But the flood of memories
Have become a crutch
Resigned to the state
I find myself in
Flustered by the shattering
Of my confidence within

It doesn’t help matters
That I’m so damn shy
And firmly believe
I’ll always be that guy
Who passes the time
While remaining the same
Encased in cement
My stubbornness a crippling shame

Why is it so hard
To find that connection?
An inspiring spirit
From a vast selection
Whenever I try
It’s all for naught
A severe lesson
I’m routinely taught

Yet somewhere in there
Is a sliver of hope
A case to be made
That allows me to cope
She can be thin
Or she can be plump
I just want a decent someone
To end the slump

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
9:25 p.m.

Published in: on May 11, 2011 at 9:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Quicksand Of Indecency

He hypnotizes the masses
It gets easier as time passes
A few eloquent words
Transform them into gullable asses

Blinded by his megawatt smile
It cloaks an oppressive style
Penetrate beyond the facade
And discover a mind drenched in guile

He promised to be more open and clear
But his actions haven’t improved the atmosphere
His fanciful phrases distract you
From his devotion to spreading the fear

He knew the reality before he ran
Yet he proceeded to push a phony plan
He was never serious about reversing
The decline caused by the previous man

Now he oversees an ongoing wretched mess
And continues to pull fast ones over a lenient press
But do his other supporters doubt much of what he says?
Take a wild, educated guess

Ignore the crumbling, he’s winning rave reviews
For the sudden announcement of his stunning good news
Can’t wait for the pitchforks and flaming torches
That await the unfortunate who offer opposing views

The cheering and the bloodlust has gotten out of hand
All because of a mob hit on an unarmed man
The target was no saint
But he deserved to be prosecuted by the laws of this land

And now the fallout begins
With the proverbial changing winds
We’re drowning in a quicksand of indecency
And no one wins

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
7:20 p.m.

Published in: on May 3, 2011 at 7:20 pm  Comments (2)