Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sunday Top 10: I Think You're Crazy, Just Like Me.

I am re-reading "Strunk & White: The Elements of Style." I purchased this for myself a year ago because I had a really strong feeling that I didn't know how to construct a sentence. I re-read it but apparently nothing sunk in. Today (Saturday, when I began this post, which I imagine I might finish next week some time, as soon as I can find a goddamn photo of Duncan Fuckin' Nutter), on my way to and from the Waldorf-Astoria to move gift bags from one room to another for the HRC, I re-engaged with my friends Strunk and White and I am paralyzed. This blog is a grammatical and stylistic nightmare.

It's a nightmare I can't seem to wake up from. But that's fine! I will plow forward with blind and misguided ambition, much like Rachael, the young "prophet" who declares, in the film "Jesus Camp": "Man's decision? WHATEVER. God's decision? SOMETHING." That's right, Ray-Ray. You tell 'em.

In honor of:
1. "Jesus Camp" and "Friends of God," two movies I saw this weekend about the evangelical Christian Crazies (lest any of you jump upon me with curses regarding what a bad friend I am for being too busy for you but not too busy for Jesus, I watched both of these movies while doing five other things)
2. Anna Nicole Smith, (who's show, "The Anna Nicole Show," should've been on Bravo! instead of E! because if it'd been on Bravo! people would have realized how secretly brilliant! it was and then watched it!), this month's Sunday Top Ten is devoted to my favorite crazy people EVER, those who were captured in documentaries or on documentary-style television programs. (That's not the same as Reality TV. Reality TV is when they have to create situations to make boring people more interesting.)

OH AND: When I looked up "The Anna Nicole Show" on imdb, this sentence was included in the plot summary: "The cameras also accompany her on dates and to Hollywood parties and charitable events." Charitable events? Hear that, Strunk? I'm like, Grammar Girl compared to that bullshit.

SUNDAY TOP 10: THE CRAZIEST OF THE CRAZIES, BOTH GOOD CRAZY AND BAD CRAZY

10. BAD CRAZY: ALL THE LOONIES TAKING BACK AMERICA FOR JESUS, AND ALSO FOR CRAZY PEOPLE, "JESUS CAMP": How many of these guys have to be outed as closeted homosexuals (seeking to repress their natural sexual desire by becoming assholes who preach about Jesus to dimwits) before their followers see the light of Actual Logic? I think this movement comes from two things: some sort of underlying revulsion with the very compulsions that make us human (aka all sex drives of all orientations, ambition, intellectual curiosity, intelligence, an occasional desire to transgress), groupthink/stupidity/inbreeding? I feel sorry for these kids. I don't like it when people accost me on the street to give me a free haircut or sign me up to vote, let alone to tell me that God has a special plan for me.

Don't get me wrong--people should believe what they want to believe. But these groups want to convert and conquer, and their moral absolutism is appalling. Have you seen "The Devil's Playground"? It's about Amish people. They actually have similar beliefs, the difference is that they keep it to themselves. Like, they don't even hang out with other people.

Compared to the Colorado Springs experience when a girl in a bowling alley gets confronted by an 8-year-old mini-lunatic who thinks God has a special plan for her, the Do-You-Have-a-Minute for Greenpeace guys don't seem half-bad.

9. GOOD CRAZY: PERKY and PUNCTUAL, AKA KATIE MORGAN, FROM "PORNUCOPIA": I can't say enough about the sage that is Katie Morgan. We watched this HBO documentary in November of 04. At that time, I had not seen very much porn in my life, ever. I still haven't, but I've seen a whole lot of documentaries about porn. Krista and I could not get enough of Perky N' Punctual. We gasped with delight when she shared her story of getting into porn (it's cuz she got caught with a lot of drugs and needed cash), and we erupted into girlish giggles of rapture when she told a casting director "I don't do up the butt!". Sometimes, I think some of my most compelling roommate experiences and memories are those lovely times my roommate and I were simultaneously sucked into some sort of non stop television marathon train-wreck, like Krista and I's Pornucopia-habit ("RIS! The gorilla! She's fucking a man in a gorilla suit!") and Monday night West-Wing-A-Thons or the weekend during the summer of 04 that Lindsay and I were accidentally sucked into the terrible world of...

8. BAD CRAZY: DUNCAN NUTTER, "SHOWBIZ MOMS AND DADS:" There's a lot to say about the pageant Mom and the Wonder that is Debbie Klinginsmith and her tone-deaf son, but the real gemstone of this brilliant program was Duncan Nutter. First of all, he's the gayest straight guy ever, and he's married to a very homely Earth Science teacher, and he is completely off his rocker. He moves all his 10,000 kids to Queens to pursue their dreams, which are obviously really his dreams. I think he'd be better as a diet TV guy, like Richard Simmons. Or as a Children's Television host. He could sing Bananas in Pajamas.

7. GOOD CRAZY: The Trekkie dentists, "TREKKIES"
This documentary, which I think I first saw with Jake, is probably one of the best documentaries ever. I'm partial to it because I've you know, experienced this culture first-hand, but also I don't like to go to the dentist. And if my dentist decorated his office as though it was a Star Trek battleship, that would be fine, because to be honest with you, going to the Dentist does feel, to me, a bit like being attacked by light-sabers in a galaxy far far away or like, having sex with a Klingon who is scraping away at my teeth with his evil pointy fingernails. I have a Dentist appointment on Friday, P.S. As you can imagine, I'm already thinking about how to get out of it.

6. BAD CRAZY: MARK HARRIS, "GAY REPUBLICANS": This guy says that he supports G.W because, according to him, G.W is not saying that gay people can't get married. He's just saying gay people can't marry each other if they both happen to be men. Also he'd rather be in a room of Republicans than a room of gay people. I'm guessing he's a 3-incher.


5. GOOD CRAZY: JONATHAN CAOUETTE in "TARNATION:" This is one of the most brilliant films I've seen in my life. Partially because I also spent massive amounts of time as a young girl filming myself or filming my brother in various compromising situations (e.g. music videos of 'Heal the World' and daytime-talk-show parodies in which he wore a series of female wigs) and it's fascinating to see how the filmmaker put these all together to tell the story of his mentally ill mother and all this fucked up shit that happened to him as a kid. Seriously, just fucking see it.

4. BAD CRAZY: DIANE, "FAT CITY": I miss Trio. It was like more or less my dream channel, showing nothing but documentarial delights like "Fat City," which featured this 600-pound woman, Diane, who says, while flashing the camera a disarming photograph of herself wearing something alarming: "In this shot, I was wearing a one-piece catsuit which is stretch lace from shoulder down to ankle with nothing underneath it. I see in this photo someone who is very comfortable in her own skin, someone who accepts herself and makes no apologies to anybody and also accepts the fact that she can be sensual." Really, Diane?

3. GOOD CRAZY: Anna Nicole Smith, "The Anna Nicole Show"
Oh Anna. "The Eating Contest" episode of your show was so beautiful! When you and Howard had that fight about if you were cheating or not and you were all like "Howard, fuck you, you asshole, you're lying, I can't trust you if you don't trust me"? There are other parts of the show that are more obvious, glaring, shocking train wrecks: namely, the fact that you are totally doped up on Vicodin or one of 10,000 other medications for the majority of the program, including when you are supposed to be going to various publicity events and interviews. But it is the eating contest that made me fall in love with you, and, thus, when Lo and I were at a little bar in Gramercy last week and the woman next to us made a comment about ANS and I made a comment about how awesome her show was and the woman next to us laughed like I was obviously kidding, I wanted to challenge HER stupid ass to an eating contest, which I would have totally WON. Yeah, as Anna herself may have said---she bit my goat. RIP, Anna. You ruled a lot.

2. BAD CRAZY: George W. Bush, "Farenheit 9/11."
It's sad to me that Micheal Moore made those few kinda-sorta inaccurate claims in this film (e.g. the kite-flying kid in Iraq) which left him vulnerable for grander assaults, like people who think the whole movie was bunk, when, in fact, 90% of this movie was really good and really true and really important. I've loved M2 since I first saw "Roger & Me" and subsequently developed a semi-obsession with the city of Flint, Michigan [this happens to me with documentaries and non-fiction books, I've been moved to similar individual awareness campaigns in which I preach constantly to anyone who dares to speak to me on the message of the film/book I've just seen, e.g. Joan Ryan's "Little Girls in Pretty Boxes" (a book about gymnastics and figure skating), Jonathan Kozol's "Savage Inequalities" and of course Eric Schlossel's "Fast Food Nation."] I saw this with Jon and Steph in '04, which means I was probably stoned and eating gummy candy, but I still dug it. Really the scariest part is when G.W is at his golf course like "we should do everything we can to stop these terrorist killers. Now watch this drive." There's nothing I can say about this man that has not already been said by someone who actually reads the newspapers instead of watching left-wing radical documentaries all night when I should be sleeping.

1. GOOD CRAZY: Edie Beale, "Grey Gardens." If you haven't seen this movie, your life is probably filled with sadness and despair. Edie invented the term "costume of the day" and there is not enough room in this blog to contain every element of her genius. Furthermore, once I went out with this guy who looked really good on paper (Ivy League, made a living as an actual artist, lived in a rent controlled apartment downtown, cute) and when he told me he hated Grey Gardens, he may as well have said "I eat babies for breakfast," because I was like, 'I don't feel so good' (I didn't) and I got right on the subway and went home and never spoke to him again. The next day on AIM, Lainy suggested that perhaps I am a lesbian. No, I'm bi. I just don't like boys who don't like Grey Gardens---ok. No. I don't like boys who tell me that Grey Gardens is the worst movie they've EVER SEEN. That would be like how Rachel from "Jesus Camp" would feel if I told her I thought her whole religion was bullcrap. She probably wouldn't date me. But she also probably hates gay people, even just half-gays. Though lets be real here: chances that Rachel will turn out to be a gay are pretty f'in high. I'll be breaking that story right here.

15 comments:

J$ said...

you MUST see grey gardens on broadway (if you haven't already).. it will blow your mind. also NBC killed Trio after an initial blow from DirecTV but it was mostly NBC.

Anonymous said...

please leave my city. i grew up here and like it. people like you make me wanna move out to montana. all this affected and worthless observation of new york. i can tell you didnt grow up here. this isn't sex and the city. its a real place. its in my veins, its in your dvd player.

riese said...

i'm so sorry, i forgot that i had left you chained to a chair in my room, locked with metal clamps to the desk and forced to read my blog all day long while I sing the University of Michigan fight song in the background while calling my friends to get togther and gab about who we are dating while we sip expensive fruity drinks and talk so loud that no one around us and breathe.

it's not my city, you're right. but it's where i live. and i sure do like what you've done with the place.

p.s. there are soooo many other blog entries I've written for which that comment might at least be relevant--it would be wrong, but at least it would be, you know, relevant. But I'm talking about DVDs. None of which, by the way, are "sex and the city."

riese said...

oh and:!yes, i want to see it on broadway. i just haven't been able to get tickets yet, but i've heard wonderful things about it

LainyRae said...

dude what the f are you talking about? I grew up in Southern CA yet my home, my life, my soul is rooted in NYC. Who says Riese doesn't like the city? Just because her comments aren't relevant for you doesn't mean they're not relevant for anyone. You sound like the people who hated on the dixie chicks -- just cause they don't like bush doesn't mean they don't like america.

go move to montana, anonymous... i don't want you in my city.

Anonymous said...

anonymous asshole - what are you talking about? seriously, your comment has NOTHING to do with this blog entry!

i am a frequent "auto win" reader and all around Riese fan (her other blog is great, too!), and your statements are laughably random.

x to the o!
-Miranda Hobbes

Ingrid said...

Yeah, and you'll probably fit right in to the demography of Montana, with your "But if they take away our guns how will we shoot the liberals?" bumpersticker and your isolationist attitude. But p.s., Montana really doesn't have as much nice, fast broadband internet with which to troll and comment on the thousands of blogs dealing with New York (hey Ri, I guess you're extra noteworthy for warranting this special attention!), so get it while you can, before the Automatic Win readers buy you a train ticket to dial-up land.

natalie said...

ummm. Dude! were you commenting on the right blog? it appears not. Your comments have nothing to do with this entry—as stated quite eloquently two comments above, by my good friend, Miranda!

i am from new york, too. i grew up here. it's in my veins, as you say. actually, that's all a lie. i am from ohio. but, i watched a lot of sex and the city so i feel like new york is in my viens. And (!) after about four seasons, i finally realized that new york is real! yay! i think we can be friends. want to grab a coffee?

What are you so upset about? Her rankings? Would you have put George/ Fahrenheit 9/11 as number one? Hmmm. I might have to agree with you there. Or, perhaps, you would have labeled the ‘good’ ones ‘bad’. Yes! That must be why you made such a silly comment!

Maaaarie is one of new york’s finest—and I would know, as someone in-the-know. She and all the open minded people like her—those with informed opinions (whatever they may be), those who are aware and critical and conscious enough to criticize and challenge and deconstruct constructively, those who have energy and sass and are not afraid to put it out there- make this city what it is and keep it rockin’.

Montana boy (or girl) or somewhere in between: you should be thanking her!

heather said...

i happen to LOVE you in this city, riese. and i'd cry like ... a thousand salty tears of sorrow if you ever left it. i mean let's be real ... OBVIOUSLY you'd ever leave on account of some random, bored, manhattanite who can probably count on one hand the amount of times he/she has crossed any body of water surrounding this isle of his/her birth, leaving him/her more sheltered/callow/ignorant than any of us who would just ... omg! diiiiiie to even be considered as an extra on the set of (ridiculous) aforementioned hit hbo series.

i heart marie lyn bernard like whoa. i propose that we make beautiful montanian babies. ones that don't grow up to be arrogant manhattan jerkfaces who wouldn't know creative/witty/brilliant writing if it smacked him/her in the face (with a rubber chicken ... cause seriously - rubber chickens make everything funnier). say yes. yah?

xox - funky spunk?

Tara said...

sex and the city....what????!!!! thats sooooo hetero. that guy can eat my twat...dirty jerz represent!

riese said...

seriously these comments are like, the best valentines day ever. i love all of you so much i could just CRY!

all i need is delp or pam houston to post about how awesome montana actually is, then he will have been penetrated from all sides. booya!

Also, priceless:
-dirty jerz represent!/funky spunk/eat my twat
-he/she has not crossed any body of water surrounding this isle of his/her birth, leaving him/her more sheltered/callow/ignorant than any of us
-that's all a lie. i a from ohio.
-but if they take away our guns how will we shoot the liberals?
-miranda hobbes, like, in general
-just because the dixie chicks don't like bush doesn't mean they don't like america.


xoxoxo
like 7th grade with bank accounts

goneundercover said...

let's all meet at the flagpole after class! we can fight or be friends based on how similar our backpacks are

riese said...

whoever shows up with a baby backpack is an automatic loser and can't come to my birthday party, fyi

Rachel said...

*hides baby backpack*

hetmju. that's as close as anyone's come to calling me straight...

riese said...

oh and rachel you can come to my birthday party anyhow. backpack smashpack.