Occupation

Your violence speaks loudest
In the eyes of the dead
Nobel Peace Prize winner?
The whole world shakes its head
Is it the system or the man?
What’s the root of this decay?
Who is truly responsible
For this heartwrenching display?

We know you can’t keep a promise
It’s against your constitution
Can this growing movement
Really improve this corrupt institution?
Or maybe it should be replaced
With a system more humane
Anything is preferable
To being ruled by the insane

As the bodies pile up
Your back remains turned
Nothing to see here, folks
No hard lessons to be learned
So the madness continues
And the suffering drags on
If real justice existed
You’d already be gone

Turfed from your ivory perch
Disgraced from here on out
Instead you live in denial
While the millions begin to shout
Like the innocents abroad
Oppression rules this land
The anger is rising, though
We’re finally taking a stand

The elites condemn our actions
But we will not stop
The media demean our intentions
But we will not drop
The rich laugh in our faces
But we will not flinch
The law invades our public places
But we won’t move an inch

No amount of pressure
Can successfully push us back
The bubble has finally burst
Get used to the flack
Mass silence didn’t work
Neither did following the rules
What’s the point of working hard
And graduating from good schools?

They’ve rigged the playing field
You didn’t plant the seed
But you’ve done absolutely nothing
To stop their tidal wave of greed
This is the time for doubt
With no time for grieving
This is the time to commit
We wouldn’t think of leaving

The seasons are changing
And the days will grow colder
But our resilience will remain firm
You’ll still look over your shoulder
We want to see improvements
After decades of rot
No more handouts for the wealthy
No more civilians getting shot

We are raw potential
We are seething energy
We are banding against
Your growing synergy
With the ridiculously rich
And the crooks you’ve protected
It’s continuously unfair
As we’ve long suspected

We’re counting down the days
Until you come to your senses
We’re all patiently waiting
For you to drop your pretenses
The empire is crumbling
Our reputation has gone sour
It’s only a matter of time
Before we take back the power

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, November 26, 2011
1:36 a.m.

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Published in: on November 26, 2011 at 1:36 am  Comments (2)  

The Cozy Journalist

You have nothing to fear
I won’t hold you to account
I sold my soul for access
It was a staggering amount
These questions I ask
Won’t make you lose sleep
Neither of us has a conscience
We’re just not that deep

Give me enough time
And I’ll make you a deal
I’ll pretend to be tough
You pretend to be real
Then, later down the line
We’ll do it all again
I don’t care about the truth
I just want to be your friend

Say whatever you’d like
I won’t doubt you at all
Who cares if it’s irresponsible?
I hope you always take my call
No matter how much you complain
About anything I ask
You have nothing to worry about
I’ll never take you to task

I’ll never push you to reveal
What you really think
And risk alienating our relationship?
That would truly stink
I promise to always let you
Keep on passing the buck
Comforting the afflicted?
Who gives a flying fuck?

I’m tired of all the criticism
Flung in my direction
Just because I interview you
While nursing this huge erection
They can hate me all they want
They can continously sob
Keeping you honest?
That’s just not my job

I’d rather chill with you
And attend those hilarious dinners
Why represent the public
When I can hang with a group of winners?
But my favourite time of year
The occasion that’s truly out of sight
Is the moment we pull out our pistols
And have an awesome water fight

So continue to misuse your power
And keep on lying
Keep supporting the super-rich
And illegal spying
Keep cutting our benefits
And poisoning our air
I’ll never confront you on these issues
That just wouldn’t be fair

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Saturday, November 26, 2011
1:17 a.m.

Published in: on November 26, 2011 at 1:17 am  Comments (1)  

Begin The Reconstruction

No more self-destruction
No more painful lies
Begin the reconstruction
And end these mournful cries

Now a shadow of a man
After years of being a pillar
You haven’t done all you can
To stop feeling like a space filler

Leave behind your resignation
About a life that’s come undone
Pick a new designation
And start having some fun

Focus on all the good things
That give you immeasurable joy
Forget what misery brings
And stop acting like a frightened boy

You’ve extended your teen years
About as far as they can go
Time to work on your careers
And teach others what you know

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, November 21, 2011
2:02 p.m.

Published in: on November 21, 2011 at 2:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

My Penis Doesn’t Mind

She sweeps through the room like a summer breeze
Her smile alone could end the deepest freeze
All eyes are upon her whenever she passes
If only she could control her unbearable gasses
She blasts away to her heart’s content
It immediately hits you like a block of cement
When she makes me an offer it should be declined
My nostrils are appalled but my penis doesn’t mind

I met another beauty just the other day
Frolicking in a bikini that bordered on risque
Oozing sexuality from her every sweaty pore
But when she opened her mouth, what an incredible bore
She looked so beautiful not far from where I stood
But when she talked I thought I was listening to Margaret Atwood
She’ll cure your insomnia but what a behind
My brain’s falling asleep but my penis doesn’t mind

The world is filled with goddesses who pass you on the street
Like the mysterious brunette I was very happy to meet
She was lost in the city and hadn’t a clue where she was going
I was too preoccupied with the massive cleavage she was showing
Yet I helped her find her way and she gave me her number
Her personality didn’t put me into a really deep slumber
In just a short while, she had me clamouring for more
This instant physical attraction was becoming hardcore

We soon made arrangements to meet for a drink
As hard as I tried, I couldn’t detect a stink
She was friendly and flirty and loved to sneak a touch
Peppering the conversation with innuendos and such
She convinced me to join her for fun at her place
I never seemed to question the quickening pace
Within seconds of arriving, off came our clothes
She was exquisite perfection from her head to her toes

The sex was so good, I had an incredible sleep
For once, I didn’t feel like an unwanted creep
But when I awoke the next morning, I soon felt ill
She was nowhere in sight and had stuck me with the bill
She seduced me in a fog and I couldn’t call it
I discovered I was the owner of an empty wallet
How could I have been so unbelievably blind?
My pride is hurting but my penis doesn’t mind

Just when I thought I was all out of luck
A smoldering redhead helped me get unstuck
She was sweet and sympathetic to my tales of woe
She was in no hurry, she was happy to take things slow
We went out for dinner and were having a marvellous time
Until she started bragging about her life of crime
Breaking and entering, assault and battery
Yet I couldn’t resist her constant flattery

When the meal was concluded and all was said and done
She grabbed me by the hand and we were on the run
Mortified yet exhilarated within the same breath
I was absolutely certain this would all lead to my death
Whenever I was frightened she would reduce me to a puddle
A hardened criminal, I was surprised she liked to cuddle
But reality would catch up with us sooner or later
Life was so much easier when I was just a masturbator

Being a first-time offender I thought I would get off easy
But a fateful interrogation would soon make me queasy
Did she admit to all her transgressions?  Oh, quite the contrary
She pinned it all on me as she sang like a canary
She once was a sweetheart who made me feel strong
Now I was just a patsy she was looking for all along
As I’m doing time, I still long for her grind
My life is over but my penis doesn’t mind

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Monday, November 21, 2011
1:03 a.m.

Published in: on November 21, 2011 at 1:03 am  Comments (2)  

Demi Moore, I’m Here For You

It didn’t work out with Emilio Estevez.  (Your engagement to him was called off.)  Your first marriage to singer Freddy Moore only lasted 5 years.  (Curious how you kept his last name, though.)  After more than a decade together, you had a much better run with Bruce Willis.  (That union produced three daughters.)  Now marriage number three is kaput.

Forget about that bearded loser who can’t make a good movie to save his life.  Forget about that immature assclown who can’t stay faithful to you.  Forget about his stupid TV shows.  Demi Moore, I’m here for you.  I don’t play elaborate pranks, I don’t cheat and I never liked Two And A Half Men.

Have you ever gone target shooting?  We could blow up big pictures of your soon-to-be ex and blast away for hours.  It would be a great way for you to blow off steam over his remarkable stupidity and I’d finally get my revenge for suffering through Just Married and My Boss’ Daughter.

I’m a big Red Hot Chili Peppers fan and I’d love to know if you knew Anthony Kiedis and Flea particularly well when you all attended Fairfax High School together in Hollywood.  I understand Timothy Hutton and Bryon Allen were also schoolmates.  What were they like back then?  Is it true that Nastassja Kinski convinced you to leave well before graduation at age 16?  Any regrets about that?

Despite the difficult time you’ve been going through lately, it’s nice to see you’re back acting full-time again.  That’ll give you plenty of time to focus on something that gives you more pleasure.  As a teen, I really enjoyed seeing you on the big screen during your most successful period.  You did a nice job in A Few Good Men playing a character that was originally male.  I really liked Mortal Thoughts, an underrated who-dun-it? thriller told in flashbacks about the murder of nasty, goateed Bruce Willis.  (Glenne Headley and Harvey Keitel gave you good support in that one).

I also enjoyed The Hunchback Of Notre Dame cartoon Walt Disney Pictures released as a musical in 1996.  Despite seeing it twice at a downtown multiplex, the third screening on VHS four years later is the one that solidified my view of the film as daring, funny and quite moving.  I liked your voice characterization of Esmeralda.  Even though the ending was changed from Victor Hugo’s famed novel, I still cried.  I was less fond of Beavis & Butthead Do America (the TV show is better) where you had an unbilled cameo.  I’d love to know how that experience turned out for you, though.

What was it like being on a soap opera like General Hospital before you broke through in the movies?  My perception is that it’s one of the hardest gigs in show business.  Not much time to learn a ton of material and because it’s a daily serial, you’re working a lot of hours.  Your one-year stint on that show must’ve been excellent training for your film career.

It’s admirable that you’re trying to address the persistent scourge of illegal sex trafficking with the foundation that you co-founded with that dillhole from That 70s Show.  How did that come about in the first place?  What’s the ultimate goal of the foundation?  Now that you’re ending your marriage, will you continue to work on this important issue?

If talking about your career isn’t your cup of tea, we could talk about soccer and watch games together.  How long have you been rooting for Arsenal?  Why not Manchester United?  Or we could discuss your brief stint as a songwriter.  What songs did you write and were any of them hits?  Speaking of that, why did Blink 182 thank you in the liner notes of their Enema Of The State CD?

Or if you don’t want to talk, we could always have hot, sweaty sex.  Either way.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you well with your acting and modelling careers as well as your charitable endeavours.  And with that, I leave you with this:

It’s time you had some fun, you’re long past due
Demi Moore, I’m here for you

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Friday, November 18, 2011
12:58 a.m.

Published in: on November 18, 2011 at 12:58 am  Comments (1)  

29 Things I Love About Storage Wars

Remember when A&E was the classy cable network?  Ballet and opera on the weekends, critically acclaimed dramas like the original Cracker and Lovejoy during the week.  Those days are long gone now that reality shows dominate the schedule.  From Gene Simmons’ personal issues to scary in-laws to drug addicts to hoarders to colourful exterminators and hog hunters among many others, with the exceptions of edited Sopranos episodes, CSI Miami, Criminal Minds and the occasional movie, traditionally scripted Television is notably absent from the Arts & Entertainment line-up these days.

But one such reality series has become a real standout, an unexpected gem in an overcrowded field.  Storage Wars invites us into the competitive world of storage unit auctions where thrift store owners, swap meet regulars and collectors alike bid on forgotten items long abandoned by their previous owners.  When rental fees aren’t routinely paid, the contents become available to the highest bidder, hence these auctions which are quite common.  (Thousands take place every year in the United States.)  Much to the annoyance of my Mom who might be the most tolerant wife in human history, my Dad, a connoisseur of reality shows in general (Survivor, Amazing Race, Celebrity Rehab, Pawn Stars, etc., etc.), watches this show religiously.  And having seen many episodes myself, I’ve gotten sucked into the damn thing as well.

Why do I love Storage Wars?  Let me count the ways:

1. That catchy theme song by the British group, Alabama 3.  (Remember “Woke Up This Morning”, the song used for the opening titles in every episode of The Sopranos?  They did that one, too.)   The bluesy voice that sings “Money Owns This Town” is tattooed on my brain.  It’s fun to sing, too, even if it does hurt your throat.

2. Barry Weiss, AKA The Collector.  If Bill Maher, Jack Nicholson and Robert Evans had a three-way that resulted in a child, this former antique picker would be that child.  Alternately suave and cheeky, he’s the funniest and most eccentric of all the featured buyers.  And also the oldest at age 60.

3. Barry’s skeleton gloves which he always puts on before investigating the unit he just bought.

4. That old pic of Barry with the bitchin’ long hair.

5. Darrell Sheets, AKA The Gambler.  A veteran of storage auctions for more than 30 years, he appears to have a permanent sunburn that gets redder during the course of the series.

6. Dave Hester, AKA The Mogul.  He could easily pass for Drew Carey’s evil twin.  Unafraid to talk trash about the other buyers (who aren’t afraid to dish it right back to him), he seems to thoroughly enjoy being a colossal pain in the ass much of the time.  Despite his bad reputation for being a jerk, this smart and ruthless thrift store/auction house owner makes consistently good choices about the units that are worth fighting for.  Every drama needs a villain.  Hester might be the most memorable one since Omarosa.

7. Despite his supreme confidence, The Mogul can be remarkably thin-skinned on occasion, especially when tweaked by Darrell, who calls him a “rat bastard” during one contentious auction (which Dan the auctioneer humourously repeats at one point).  Using a hat and a t-shirt to mock his business really sets him off in two other episodes.  Their battles supply most of the drama on the show.

8. “Yep!”  Hester’s memorably annoying method of bidding.  Curiously, it’s spelled “Yup!” on the back of his ballcap.

9. “The wow factor.”  Darrell’s catchphrase regarding a hidden storage treasure worth a ton of dough.  Like that amazing comic book collection he bought in 1991 that he wished he hung onto.

10. Barry’s friendship with Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford who appraises some valuable old guitars and an amp during one episode.  During another, he wears a Toxic Twins T-shirt in reference to his friend’s bandmates, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, and their infamous drug addictions during their 70s heyday.

11. Barry’s hilariously uncomfortable car ride with his cantankerous 82-year-old mother while en route to visit a doctor friend who he wants to appraise what he thinks is a medical antique.  Unfortunately, he’s way late and the doctor is long gone by the time he gets there.

12. Auctioneer Dan Dotson’s hair.  That can’t be real, right?

13. Dan’s impeccable Porky Pig impression while he’s auctioneering.  Thank goodness for closed captioning.

14. Dan’s charming wife, Laura, who’s even more likeable than Barry.  She takes bids herself when her husband is absent.

15. “Don’t forget to pay the lady!”  Laura’s instructional catchphrase after the conclusion of every auction.  She’s the lady you have to pay, by the way.  Cash only, folks.

16. The occasional dumbness of Jarrod Schultz, one of The Young Guns.  When he discovers an old safe, he becomes crestfallen when it’s empty, thinking it’s completely worthless.  Darrell has to inform him that the safe itself is worth a few thousand dollars.  In another episode, his beautiful partner Brandi, the other Young Gun, buys a unit that has a horse head made out of golden tin.  Jarrod thinks it can’t be worth more than a hundred bucks.  After being appraised by Barry’s pal, Dennis, the proprietor of Off The Wall Antiques, we find out it’s worth $3000.  Way to go, baldy.

17. Dave’s evil laugh.  Every good villain should have one.

18. Barry’s occasional music theme with its pornoriffic wah-wah guitar lick, appropriate considering his jokes about “head” and “big chests”.

19. The friendly rivalry between Dave and Barry that sometimes leads to good business deals like the profits they split on some furniture Weiss couldn’t unload on his own and the furs he gave away to Hester who promptly priced them and put them on display in his consignment store.

20. Dan’s opening speech before every auction begins.  A helpful reminder of the strict rules put in place before every unit is opened up for bidding.  They’re not always followed, either.  Some buyers can’t keep their hands to themselves sometimes.

21. The cut-throat nature of storage auctions.  Bidding people up on units you don’t want just so they’ll have less money for the ones you do.  Lying out loud about the quality of the contents to throw off your competitors.  The sneaky way Dave slips in a bid just when Dan is about to award it the highest bidder.  And the comments made by the buyers directly to the camera about specific items that aren’t seen by the others.

22. The big scores:  Those rare comic book action figures, Star Wars toys and $500 dollars in poker chips acquired by Jarrod & Brandi; the vending machines, those huge stacks of newspapers commemorating Elvis Presley’s death, that stack of skeletal bones, the collection of Bill Graham rock concert advertising posters and old hickory golf clubs bought by Dave; that freaky head, Suge Knight’s famous red jacket and rare pool stick holder Barry snagged; that sports memorabilia collection and rare coin collection purchased by Darrell.

23. The big disappointments:  Dave’s “frankenstein” Schwinn bicycle; Barry’s worthless reproduction of the first issue of Hot Rod Magazine; Darrell’s outdated textbooks and Hemingway novels, and Jarrod & Brandi’s damaged 50 dollar gold certificate, not to mention that first edition 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System bought by Mark Balelo that would’ve been worth between $10,000 and $15,000 if it still worked.  It didn’t.

24. The revelation that just one valuable antique discovery, often not seen before the auction begins, is all it takes to make a decent profit on a unit that’s mostly filled with useless junk.

25. The revelation that making your money back on a locker is often very difficult and not always possible.  It truly is a crapshoot whether you’ll hit pay dirt or not.  Your gut instinct isn’t always right.

26. Despite being an unrepentant villain during one-on-one interviews and the auctions themselves, Dave isn’t above performing good deeds like honestly appraising a couple of valuable items from a unit Jarrod outbid him for and donating that batch of clothing he couldn’t sell to Goodwill.  He’s a more complex character than you might think.

27. The mysterious feud between Dave and his brother.  We see the latter outbid the former in one episode and then later on that same show, we learn that The Mogul actually trained him and shared his personal trade secrets only to have the guy go into direct competition with him.

28. The one-on-one interviews with the buyers and the auctioneers.  The most candid moments of every show.

29. New episodes are currently airing in Gene Simmons Family Jewels old time slot for the foreseeable future.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, November 17, 2011
4:58 p.m.

CORRECTION:  Brandi Passante is actually Jarrod Schultz’ partner, not his wife as I originally wrote for number sixteen.  Although they have two kids together, they are not legally married.  All references to the couple as “The Schultzes” have been changed to “Jarrod & Brandi”.  My apologies for the mistake.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
9:59 p.m.

Published in: on November 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm  Comments (6)  

Why Howard Stern Still Matters

He may have foolishly backed the second Iraq War for two years, brainlessly endorsed America’s illegal torture policies and relentlessly bashed Rosie O’Donnell when she hosted her first talk show in the mid 90s.  He may have ridiculed The Dixie Chicks for opposing Iraq 2, made fun of Fergie’s singing and vowed never to get married again while criticizing others for doing do.

But over time, Howard Stern would reverse himself, admit he made mistakes and expressed questionable judgment on all the above (except the torture nonsense which he will hopefully regret ever supporting in the very near future).  In 2004, after reading a book by Al Franken, he became a critic of that same Iraq invasion and urged listeners to vote for John Kerry.  (Franken later appeared as a guest.)

When The Dixie Chicks appeared during his first year on Sirius in 2006, after concluding the interview, he graciously apologized for bashing them three years earlier.  (Since then, lead singer Natalie Maines has made a number of appearances on Celebrity Superfan Roundtable, an occasional spin-off of the weekly Superfan Roundtable heard on one of Howard’s satellite radio channels.)  And after Rosie came out of the closet and started supporting causes like gay family cruises, Howard started praising her.  They ultimately made peace off the air and became friends.  She’s even appeared on the show a few times.  He’s been complimentary to her new chatfest on OWN.

When he found out it wasn’t Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas who he saw deliver a terrible performance once, he apologized on-air after being corrected by his friend, the singer Esthero.  And despite sounding like Gene Simmons on a certain subject for most of the last decade, he gave matrimony another go a couple of years ago.  (He got lucky again.  Beth is a keeper.)  During one of his many entertaining appearances on Letterman, he freely admitted he was a “hypocritical liar” about the whole thing.  He even apologized to Doug Goodstein, one of his longtime employees, for raging against the former E! producer’s nuptials in 2000.  (Stern was recently divorced from first wife Alison at the time.)

How many broadcasters or even journalists for that matter do you know who are as consistently accountable as this deeply neurotic, often contradictory radio legend, even if that accountability isn’t always easy and immediate from one who can be quite stubborn?  (I can relate.)  And how many are willing to freely admit to their most embarrassing moments, their most disgusting habits and their biggest flaws on a regular basis, albeit for the sake of comedy?

He might be a self-admitted germophobe with horrible taste in TV (The Bachelor?  Dancing With The Stars?  Come on!).  He can make you cringe with some of his opinions (his definition of “fat” is awfully liberal and sometimes needlessly cruel) and those apologies and admissions of wrongdoing could happen a lot quicker sometimes, but for the most part, Howard Stern, perhaps more so than ever before, remains a force of good in the world of entertainment, a mostly honest, intelligent voice in a vast sea of stupidity, well documented and persistent flaws notwithstanding.

He was rightly critical of Don Imus’ astonishingly casual racism and Jay Leno’s comic thievery long before the mainstream got around to covering both.  Despite saying the word “fag” in the past (more for comedic purposes than any kind of serious, critical comment, it should be noted), no one has been more pro-gay than Howard.  (Admirably, he doesn’t say it any longer.)  He has long supported gay marriage, gay adoption and full equality long before the masses.  (In fact, one of the earliest champions of his show was the gay publication, The Washington Blade, way back in the early 80s when he did a show in the nation’s capital.)  After screening Brokeback Mountain in 2005, he publicly gave it a full-throated endorsement.  I could go on and on with many more examples but let’s move on.

Almost six years ago, when he made the jump to Sirius with his loyal crew, it wasn’t certain how many of his terrestrial listeners would join him.  Few in the media felt it was a good career move.  But enough have signed on (roughly four to six million, reportedly) to make the gamble worthwhile.  Furthermore, Sirius, which didn’t even have a million subscribers at the time, would soon see a surge of requests to make the company competitive with XM.  The venture proved so successful, the two companies soon merged after a long battle with Congress.

Yes, the value of the stock is horrifyingly low (usually a buck or two a share) and satellite radio has yet to show a profit after more than a decade in existence and certainly, mergers usually aren’t a good idea when it comes to divergence of opinion and talent (a lot of good, hardworking people lose their jobs all too easily) but without Howard Stern talking about the service endlessly the year before he made the move there, would the merger have even been a possibility, let alone a reality?  Had he not made the switch, would Sirius have generated so much customer interest?  Who else could credibly claim to put this relatively new business on the map, likely for good?

Despite the annoying matter of an ongoing contract dispute with Sirius XM, the typically loyal Howard has remained vital and newsworthy at this late stage of his career.  Let’s go over some recent examples.  During the show’s first proper satellite show in January 2006 (not counting those unbilled, impromptu test shows), Star Trek legend George Takei became the show’s new announcer.

Universally respected by the fans who have nothing but kind things to say about his charming seasonal week-long appearances, Takei suddenly started getting a lot of side gigs like a regular supporting role on Heroes, a part in the Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts film, Larry Crowne, and commercials.  Now out as a gay public figure after decades of being in the closet, his revealing stories about his sexual past and present have made him an endearing member of the Stern family.  The way Howard and the gang engage with him is both very funny and quite touching.  He’s rightly viewed as an equal on the show.

This year alone, the show has gotten tons of media mentions.  Benjy Bronk, one of the writers, hilariously crashed two press conferences (one for former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner, the other for Gloria Allred and her client, one of Herman Cain’s accusers).  The New York Times actually quoted one of the very silly questions he posed to Weiner in a story on their website.  And the increasingly bitter Daily Howler moaned unhumourously about MSNBC broadcaster Rachel Maddow’s praising of Bronk’s remarkably ballsy hijacking of the Allred event.  The long forgotten blogger didn’t even bother to mention his name and refused to note why the blotchy, balding sweat machine even got up there in the first place.  (He was trying to impress singer Elisa Jordana, a friend he’s been deeply infatuated with lately.  The ploy worked.  They’re apparently a couple now.  Suck on that, Bob Somerby.)

But as always, like the The Playboy Interview, when big names open up on The Howard Stern Show, something interesting is bound to be revealed and played up big time in the mainstream press.  When Tony Bennett rightly noted that 9/11 was the result of too much American imperial meddling in the Middle East, Fox News broadcasters went nuts and foolishly condemned him.  After director Brett Ratner revealed intimate details of his sex life, he lost his gig producing next year’s Oscars.  (To be fair, in an earlier interview before the Stern appearance, he said, “Rehearsals are for fags,”, which also reportedly upset the Motion Picture Academy.  None of his comments should’ve got him fired, whether you agreed with them or not, quite frankly.  Remember, Roman Polanski, who anally raped a 13-year-old girl, won a Best Director Oscar.  No one was campaigning for him to give it back.  Stern has hammered the sickening coward beautifully throughout the decades.)

When a devastated and inebriated David Arquette pored his heart out over his separation from Courtney Cox in a phone call to his real-life pal (he was trying to defend himself from nosy media accusations that he was cheating on her), that one interview alone generated so much interest (mostly negative) that the second-generation actor ended up doing Oprah and Dancing With The Stars.  Lady Gaga’s piano-only performance of The Edge Of Glory received universal acclaim, particularly from those who generally don’t like her music.  (Rolling Stone provided a link as did numerous other sites.)  Chris Martin of Coldplay stopped by to play and chat.  And yesterday morning, Chaz Bono sat in for a very entertaining interview.  I could go on (Hugh Hefner’s runaway bride, for instance) but you get the picture.

Then, there’s the matter of American Idol and America’s Got Talent.  Howard is obsessed with these shows and talks about them endlessly on the air, maybe even too much.  When the former was looking for a new judge, Stern’s name suddenly got out there as a possible replacement.  And now that Piers Morgan, Larry King’s asskissing successor, has left America’s Got Talent, Howiemania has swept the media landscape once again.

As before, the New York comedian got a lot of material out of the coverage and while he coyly hasn’t admitted to being approached or even dealing with ongoing negotiations (a longstanding policy), the likelihood of Howard Stern being a judge on any of these shows is zilch.  Any gig that takes away from his radio show is a gig he won’t ever take.  And while he would easily be the most entertaining person on the show (as he always is on talk shows), other than winning over a completely different audience (which would be tempting for the still needy, surprisingly people-pleasing comedian), what would be the point?  He doesn’t need it.

When listeners complain that he’s now only on three days a week (it’ll be four next month), he still matters.  When he can continue to attract Grade A talent to appear and reveal different sides of their personalities, he still matters.  When many more are turned away because they might not be good on the show, he still matters.  When the misguided Parents Television Council is already campaigning against the very slim possibility of him joining AGT, he still matters.  When he exposes his empathetic side for Bono, Congresswoman Giffords, Darrell Hammond and all those sweet, abandoned animals at The North Shore Animal League, he still matters.  When he lashes out at Leno, Imus, the demented Andy Dick and all those responsible for the mess at Penn State, he still matters.  And when he continues to anger media hypocrites by thriving in the business for almost 40 years, he still matters.

Now if only he’d renounce torture.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, November 15, 2011
12:52 a.m.

Published in: on November 16, 2011 at 12:52 am  Comments (1)  

All Too Quiet On The Blogging Front

It is an ongoing, terminal frustration.  Just when you find yourself in the middle of a strong creative roll, it all comes to a sudden, abrupt end.  And what you’re left with is yet another prolonged period of inactivity and the hope that you’ll resume writing sooner than later.  This hot and cold cycle has to end sometime, right?  For the moment, though, it’s still a big problem.

After putting together a fair number of pieces late last month, it’s been all too quiet on the blogging front here.  Bottom line, nothing new has surfaced on The Writings Of Dennis Earl in the last couple of weeks.  It happens.  I’ve learned the hard way over and over again that it’s very difficult to maintain a regular writing schedule when you’re a spontaneous perfectionist.  If that sounds like an oxymoron, you’re right.

In this site’s near six-year history, I’ve not been one to start an entry without having at least a title, a premise or in the case of poetry, a line or a verse ready to type before even thinking about turning on the computer.  I don’t know how other writers can just stare at a blank screen and come up with something fresh without having some kind of a plan.  That’s not really something I’ve ever done here.  I’d be staring more than composing.  Nothing would get accomplished this way.

Once I have a basic idea, that’s my jumping off point for continuation until I have a workable draft that I read and correct a million times before sending it out into the world like a vulnerable young adult ready to live in the real world.  (And even then, I sometimes go back and fix something even after it’s publicly posted.)  Then, it’s on to the next idea and the process starts all over again.

I remain amazed that after all this time I’ve been able to put together more than 550 pieces in this space, an eclectic mix of old and new, short and long, critical and poetic, despite not being terribly prolific.  But focusing on the positive needs to be my priority.

We’re just a month and a half away from the new year but it’s already been a strong one for this website.  More than 20000 hits have been achieved since the start of 2011 and who knows how high it will go by the time 2012 finally arrives.  I’ve mentioned The Gene Bump in a number of past pieces and here’s the latest update on that surprising phenomenon.

I’ve written and published six items directly related to the recent episodes of Gene Simmons Family Jewels and if you add up all the hits they’ve received, those bits of writing alone account for more than half the overall hit total since I moved from Windows Live Spaces to WordPress in October 2010.  Put another way, if I hadn’t written about the show this year, I would’ve likely achieved only 10000 or so hits which is about the normal annual total for this site, give or take a few thousand.

Then again, because of the Jewels pieces, readers who were initially drawn to this site because of them have actually stayed to check out and even occasionally comment on non-related material like my poetry, for instance.  This has been a very encouraging development.

Clearly, The Writings Of Dennis Earl is having a bit of a breakout year.  Maybe if I didn’t struggle from time to time with inactivity, it could grow even more.  Until that dramatically changes, one can only dream.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, November 13, 2011
5:50 p.m.

Published in: on November 13, 2011 at 5:50 pm  Leave a Comment