Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Insecurities Of An Angry Actor

Academy Awards To Go Ahead; Star Demands Respect

Los Angeles (AP) Further details on the 90th Academy Awards were announced by producers. The annual awards blowout and celebrity love-in event will be happening on March 4th, 2018, hosted once again by Jimmy Kimmel, returning from last year. Producers Michael de Luca and Jennifer Todd met with reporters in Hollywood at the Academy’s Pickford Center For Motion Picture Study to discuss some of the outlying issues of the ceremony, which each year crowns winners in multiple categories and seems to draw in way too much emphasis on what people are wearing.

Nominations will be opening up early in the new year, with numerous films speculated about as contenders in various categories. The producers confirmed that Kimmel’s steady hosting and capacity for improvising in the last year’s epic-length ceremony made him a good bet to return this year, and that Kimmel has been hard at work with the writing staff in devising the opening. They also promised to do everything in their power to bring the ceremonies in on time. “As opposed to the usual eighteen to forty eight hour ordeal,” Todd noted.

“Yes, I can confirm that Jack Nicholson’s corpse will be present and accounted for,” de Luca added. “In cooperation with the terms of his will, the annual touch-ups on his embalming will be taking place in the days leading up to the ceremony, and he’ll be ready to go, propped up right in the front row as always. We are trying to get people to agree to sit beside him, but thus far have had problems getting solid commitment in that regard.”

Todd carried on. “Yes, we are well aware of the ongoing scandals involving actors, producers, and the like in sexual harassment or assault. We continue to monitor the situation, and can assure you that those who have been accused will not be attending. If, during the ceremonies, breaking news comes out that one of the attendees is being accused of anything, we are fully prepared to throw them out. Mr. Kimmel plans on devoting time during the ceremonies to single out Harvey Weinstein in particular as a target of his comedic wrath. We have no idea where Mr. Weinstein is, so you’ll have to ask his lawyer. Who, if they act like any other lawyer would, will just say they have no comment pending legal hearings anyway.”

“And then there are the other matters,” de Luca remarked. “Over the last few years we’ve had persistent problems with the behavior of Tom Cruise, who has perpetually shown up despite not being invited and has routinely made a fool of himself, demanding attention. Once again this year we will have our enforcers on hand. Tommy Lee Jones and Marisa Tomei have kindly agreed to take on that position again, and rest assured, neither of them need brass knuckles to get the job done.”

“You can’t let her in!” a voice bellowed from the back of the room. Reporters turned, and a familiar figure came striding through the crowd towards the producers. Leonardo DiCaprio, the perpetually Oscar deprived actor (at least until his lead role in The Revenant), looked irritated. The actor, who actually hasn’t acted in a feature film lately, and who isn’t scheduled to act any time soon, has been known for making scenes at the Oscars and getting beaten up by the aforementioned Ms. Tomei as a consequence. “Marisa Tomei broke my nose! She’s humiliated me repeatedly, and you can’t let her attend the ceremony!” He took to the podium, glaring out at the reporters, looking less like the heartthrob from his Titanic days and more like he was channeling a middle aged Orson Welles.

“Mr. DiCaprio,” de Luca started, and the actor turned, glaring at him. “You’ve been warned about this before. Ranting doesn’t look good for anyone, but especially you, and if it means we’re required to bring in actors who know how to handle themselves in a fight and who have no problem at all knocking someone out, that’s what we’ll do.”

“What part of she broke my nose are you not hearing?” DiCaprio countered, turning back to the reporters. “I demand respect! I am the greatest actor alive today, and I should be treated as such! I mean, there’s a reason I’ve got supermodels to date all the time, you know!”

“Because you have money and fame?” this reporter asked, not adding, it can’t be for your personality.

DiCaprio nodded. “My point is no one treats me the way I’ve been treated and just keeps getting away with it! I demand that she be barred from the Oscars. Jones too! I won’t be hit in the face by anyone ever again!” The actor went on, but movement behind him caught the eyes of everyone. Jones and Tomei themselves came out on stage, silently moving behind the actor as he carried on ranting. Finally Jones tapped on his left shoulder, while Tomei tapped on his right shoulder. DiCaprio turned… and Tomei and Jones hit him in the face at the same time, sending him tumbling to the floor.

The press conference broke up shortly thereafter. Tomei and Jones were quiet, but seemed quite satisfied. The producers thanked reporters for coming. Reporters speculated on the long odds of the Oscars actually running on time. And DiCaprio was taken out of the building by paramedics, holding his nose and yelling, “they broke my nose again!”

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Platinum Dunes Surfer Dude

Owner Of Leonardo Painting Identified; Movie Project Unleashed

It has been a subject of much interest since the auction sold the painting for a record price. Salvator Mundi, the reputed work of Leonard0 da Vinci, was sold at Christie’s for 450 million dollars in November. The painting, described by auction house experts as the last da Vinci, is one of less than twenty paintings by the master known to exist, all but this one in the hands of museums. Who bought the painting was a mystery- at least until now.

Reporters were summoned to the production studio Platinum Dunes for a press conference. The studio, one of the production houses for Michael Bay, one of the world’s not that bright film directors, is a familiar sight to real reporters who have been sent off on punishment assignments by grouchy editors (editor: shut up! I hate you!), as well as entertainment reporters. This reporter, who is in a state of persistent hostility with his cranky editor (editor: what did I just say? Shut up!) and who even has a restraining order in place to deny said cranky editor any personal contact (editor: I am dreaming of attending your funeral and spitting on your coffin) was among those sent off to the press conference.

Real reporters gathered amid a horde of entertainment reporters. The latter were gushing, speculating on what might be announced. The former group were wondering why they deserved being subjected to Michael Bay press conferences (editor: because you’re an insufferable bastard who deserves nothing but torment!). A spokesperson came out on stage, where a podium and full length mirror had been set up. She called for attention, and the entertainment reporters finally settled down. “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the one, the only, the esteemed… Michael Bay!”

The entertainment reporters broke out into rapturous applause. The real reporters rolled their eyes collectively. Bay came out on stage, smiling in that usual vacant way of his, his eyes carrying the usual amused but not playing with a full deck of cards expression (editor: stop making fun of Michael Bay! He’s a great director!). He stopped by the podium, smiled at his reflection, and faced his audience. “Thank you! Thank you so much! It’s great to see you! And it must be great for you to see me! Of course it is!”

He paused, looked back in the mirror again, and winked at himself. Then he carried on. “You know, I’ve got a lot of things going on. Movie projects in the pipeline, long overdue acceptance speeches for the Oscars. Lots and lots of things. But the one thing I don’t have yet is something precious I can call my own, and then blow sky high to kingdom come, as they say. Until now. Could we have the curtain, please?”

The stage curtains behind him were drawn away. Standing alone there was Salvator Mundi, lit up in a soft spotlight. “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Salvator Mundi. Or as I’m going to rename it, The Platinum Dunes Surfer Dude by Leonardo da Vinci, courtesy of Michael Bay. That’s the full title, by the way.”

The entertainment reporters broke out into applause. Bay kept grinning. This reporter spoke up. “You expect us to believe you bought the last Leonardo?”

Bay nodded. “Of course I did. I’ve made billions of dollars down through the years making movies and blowing stuff up. Lots of people come to see my movies, so I’ve made a killing in the industry. So why not spend half a billion bucks to buy a painting? Especially considering what I’m going to do to it. We’re talking the most expensive effects shot of all time, in my coming feature film, titled Leonardo’s Revenge. Isn’t that a great title?”

This reporter shook his head while entertainment reporters gushed. “Are you crazy?”

Bay looked confused. “Why do people keep asking me that? I’m perfectly rational, especially when I’m blowing stuff up. Now then, let’s talk about the plot. We’re talking about a film with hot babes waxing sports cars and Aerosmith themes and chases and explosions and hot babes and did I mention the explosions? We’re talking about a master thief, Jack Voleur, out to steal the impossible. We’re talking about his one weakness, the woman who got away. And we’re talking about the villain, the evil Russian oligarch arms dealer. And now, ladies and gentlemen, playing my lead, one of my favourite actors, and I know he’s one of yours… give a big hand to Nicolas Cage!”

Cage came out on stage and waved to the crowd, staggering a bit as he strode over to Bay. “Hey there! I’m glad to be part of this big film, and we’re gonna have a blast doing it. Emphasis on a blast, because that’s what Michael Bay films are all about.”

Bay nodded. “That’s right, and we’re gonna make it a big blast!”

A Reuters reporter spoke up. “You said something about the most expensive effects shot of all time.”

Bay nodded. “Yes, yes. I’ve always wanted to know what it would be like to take an item of incredible historic and artistic significance like this Leonardo and, well… destroy it in every conceivable way. So as part of the movie, we’re going to be blowing up the Leonardo.”

The entertainment reporters seemed confused. Real reporters spoke up in outrage. “You can’t do that!” this reporter objected.

“Why not? I own the piece of crap now,” Bay retorted.

“It’s a Leonardo!” the Reuters correspondent pointed out.

“Yes, well, I asked the Louvre to sell me the Mona Lisa so I could blow that up, but they told me to go **** myself. I don’t know why people say that to me. Maybe they’re just jealous of my sheer genius. Anyway, it’s going to be a big blast of a film. Cat burglars, arms dealers, hot babes, art getting blown up. What’s not to like? Thanks for coming out!”

Bay and Cage headed off stage, leaving puzzled reporters in their wake. Entertainment reporters were wondering how to spell Leonardo. Real reporters were making calls to Christie’s to inquire as to why they were so foolish to allow the sale of a master’s painting to a cultural barbarian. Art experts began quickly demanding that Bay surrender the painting to a reputable gallery. And this reporter’s cranky editor kept making excuses for Bay at every… (editor: shut up or I’ll have Bay tie you up to the painting before he blows it up!)

In the opinion of this reporter, his cranky editor needs a few decades of anger management therapy.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Headlines, Three Years Hence

The following came to mind after Agent Orange toyed around with the idea of that elephant hunt trophy ban reversal. Let's just say it irritated me- to be fair, everything about that man irritates me. So I thought of the idea of what a newscast might be like after the Age of Darkness comes to an end. Here we have it. You might want to skip this if you're a fan of the man.

“It is February 8th, 2021, and welcome to the evening news. I’m your CBS anchor, Drucilla Scott, and this is what’s making news at this hour. The stunning fall of the former first family of the United States continued today. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, long sought after being convicted in absentia of fraud, met a bad end today in Zimbabwe. The two brothers were avoiding legal authorities and engaged in one of their favourite pastimes, hunting big game, when they and their party of bodyguards and associates were attacked by a herd of angry elephants. Witnesses reported that the animals singled out the Trumps and particularly went to work on both, trampling them beneath their full weight. Authorities in Zimbabwe will take no action against the elephants, and have called for, and I quote, extra sized spatulas, end quote, to clean up the mess. We are still awaiting word on whether or not the bodies will be repatriated or simply dumped in a trash heap.

Other family members are in no position to claim them at this time. Ivanka Trump and her ex-husband Jared Kushner are both in prison after their convictions for fraud in the so called Covfefe Gambit affair that was the final nail in the coffin of former President Trump’s tenure. The former chief executive himself is doing time for the next forty years in prison for that same fraud, as well as treason in giving state secrets to his good friend Vladimir Putin. Trump, who has spent the last two years in a six by ten-foot cell, deprived of the ability to tweet, has been described by some as unhinged and deeply unhappy at the state of his hairline, demanding to be released and vowing revenge on a list of enemies.

Melania Trump has retreated to Europe with her son and has had little to say to anyone since the dying days of her husband’s presidency. Her infamous ‘let them eat waffles’ remark about angry Vietnam veterans has never been forgiven, and getting away from America while she could may have been the right course of action. Often forgotten younger daughter Tiffany Trump, who managed to stay out of criminal convictions by not being part of her father’s administration, shrugged when told of the deaths of her brothers, saying that ‘this is what happens when you need to compensate for your physical shortcomings by trophy hunting. And as a complete aside, I never really liked either of them.’

Former president Pence, who notably recently skipped the inauguration of his successor, and who reportedly had a meltdown on election night, went into a profanity laden rant when reporters caught up to him in Indianapolis this morning. Pence, who lost the 2020 election by the biggest margin in American history, looked five minutes away from a stroke as he screamed at reporters, cursing like a sailor and blowing a proverbial gasket before being whisked away by his Secret Service detail.

President Biden continues to get settled into his presidency, which has an informal theme of Restoring Sanity. After a stunning electoral night win which had him take every state but Mississippi, the new president has been busy restoring the dignity of the office after the turbulent Trump-Pence administration. Biden has a Democratic Congress to work with, while the former Republican party has fractured into six pieces and is caught up in infighting. He has steadfastly refused to consider pardoning the Trumps, stating that the Supreme Court has already ruled on the matter when President Pence attempted it. Instead he told reporters today he must respect the rule of law, which applies to all citizens, ‘especially the president.’ Biden finished his remarks in the press room at the White House, excusing himself to head off to the White House kitchen in search of a rocky road ice cream cone.

In other news, the ongoing conflict in the American heartland continues. The self-appointed General Miranda Lambert continues her feud with her ex-husband’s wife, the self-described Fabulous Supremacy, Gwen Stefani. Both sides in the years long conflict have their fans and followers, who continue to wage a low level state of warfare on each other. Authorities continue to try to intervene in the feud, arresting those on either side after fist fights and shoot outs. Members of Congress and state governors have asked the two singers to knock it off. Lambert has refused, and so has Stefani. Stefani’s husband Blake Shelton, the one-time sexiest man alive, spends his time avoiding the issue entirely.

Steve Bannon remains at large. The former Trump confidante and head of Breitbart was wanted for inciting violence after his part in trying to start a race war in the dying days of the Trump presidency. Last month he was confronted by a British secret agent with a Walther PPK and a dry sense of humor at his hollowed out volcano base of operations, and in the ensuing conflagration, Bannon was believed to be dead in an explosion. However, a video featuring Bannon’s head grafted onto a robot’s body was issued to the press. Bannon vowed revenge and swore that he’d finish building his death ray, if every Breitbart subscriber would just send him their bank code information.

The Oscars are coming up later this month, and people are still puzzled as to how explosion-prone director Michael Bay could have possibly garnered an Oscar nomination for his film Casablanca III: Rick Gets Lucky, which was panned by critics and despised by audiences. The vacant eyed director is remaining tight lipped, while Academy staffers are busy trying to determine if their nomination process somehow got hacked.

A long missing masterpiece work of art, The Storm On The Sea Of Galilee, done by Rembrandt and stolen in 1990 from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, was recovered by authorities today, with the thieves taken into custody in France after an intensive investigation. While Interpol authorities have not publicly identified the suspects, the Facebook page of the high wire acrobats the Wallendas has been taken down after the painting was reportedly displayed in the background of a family gathering on one of their numerous photos. None of the family are available for comment, fueling suspicions on the matter.

Disgraced former evangelist and former presidential candidate Pat Robertson died today at home, surrounded by family and minions. One of those minions, speaking anonymously, reported that Robertson looked horrified in his last minutes, as if, and I quote, ‘staring right into the face of hell’, end quote. Reached for comment via webcam, the Prince of Darkness stated that ‘I should have really taken him five years ago, but I was busy whispering into Kellyanne Conway’s ear about the Bowling Green Massacre.’

In science news, physicists at Cal Tech claim it is now possible to broadcast news into the past. This has delighted gambling addicts, who hope their past selves will be able to place sure fire bets knowing who will win a game. Experts hope it will give solace to those still living through the Trump presidency, otherwise known as the Age Of Darkness, that the time of suffering will eventually end. Other experts warn of the perils of interfering in the space-time continuum.

And in sporting news, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been officially eliminated from the NHL playoffs after losing the first fifty-eight games of the season. Fans in Toronto are taking it all in stride, claiming that next year will be the year their team finally brings the Stanley Cup home. Fans of every other team in the league are laughing at them.”