“Ensuring the Diction of Everyday Addictions”

Something told me the new season of Survivor was going to be glorious. Did I say glorious? What I meant was that it was going to be “gloriously novel in depicting how easy exploiting racial differences can be! I mean not since every other reality show that contained people of different races (genders, sexual orientations, show sizes…) has there been a show that reveals what happens when people stop being polite and start being real— wait… um.

Honestly, I don’t care about the show enough to get upset about it. I’m just surprised by the viewers suckered in by the network ploy that “it isn’t just about races—it’s just us ‘trying out something different.’ We’ve always been about different programming.” Nope. Not about races at all. Sure, they edit clips and string segments that they find most entertaining. It’s just what has a higher production value. That’s why I grow my own opium instead of buying off illegal Cambodian immigrants. I too value higher production values. To quote Johnny Drama, “Don’t be ignorant, E. There’s always an underbelly.” And now, The Tabloid.

Words On A Page
(Because “Words On A Screen” was trademarked [thanks, Microsoft].)

Anna Nicole Loses A Son, Gains Press; Publicist Marks The Week As A Win/Win
Oh, Anna also gave birth to a little bundle of future therapy sessions. To think all those years she was just storing an actual child inside her. Well, a small child and a lifetime of shame can really put on the pounds.

Non-Aligned Nations Unite Against United States; Paradox Threatens To Tear Hole In Space-Time Continuum, Someone’s Pants
In 1961, 118 nations chose to avoid allegiances in the Cold War between Moscow and Washington; now, they’re banning together to form the largest Supergroup since the Justice League. Be on the lookout for Fidel Castro in “Superman III, Part 2: The Quest for a Pacemaker.”

Whitney Gets Divorce, Hires Team Of Lawyers And Hitmen For New Reality Show: “Beating Bobby Brown”
Eh, at least when Tina did it to Ike, she had a theme song and a story worth telling. What is Whitney going to sing, “What’s blow got to do with it?” Even if I did as many lines of coke as Whitney, I’d never be high enough to care.

Republican Congressman Admits To Accepting Bribes; Admits The Bundles Of Money, In Fact, Did Not Fall Off The Back Of A Truck
Vote Bob Ney… wait… he’s not running? What’s that you say? He’s going to prison?! Well, it’s a sad day in politics when a man can’t plausibly deny wrongdoing without getting confronted with the truth. I mean isn’t bribery a “peculiar institution” like… um… I can’t think of that other one. Must not have been that important.

GOP Members Detain Bush’s Detainee Bill, Laugh At How Clever They Are
Opponents of President’s detainee bill voice concerns over the precedence of a US failure to comply with the Geneva Convention. Overall, President learned valuable lessons from his colleague’s disagreements including distinguishing the Geneva Convention from Euro-Disney. Apparently, one has a ferris wheel and the other outlines dignity for human rights. I think both are half-off if you bring in an empty can of Coke.

For Your Viewing Pleasure
(Screening films like an FAA baggage checker.)

Sometimes I’ll screen a horrible film simply to determine whether it is actually viewable, albeit poorly written, acted, directed, and/or musically scored. This week, I simply screened the preview of a movie you should not have the impulse to see (unless you follow that impulse with one that involves a suicide pact). I present:

I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer

Well, finally, they’ve found the title that works for me. Personally, I felt the first two films lacked the titling to explain whether this person would continue to remember what they did the previous summer, despite his Alzheimer’s. With this latest installment, I feel confident that, barring a definitive re-killing of the main villain/villain’s sibling/copycat killer, this person won’t forget about what happened. Perhaps he uses a series of Post-Its® or keeps a blog. Whatever the case, this movie has all the suspense/drama/formulaically insipid “horror” of a paint-by-numbers watercolor of Britney Spear’s vagina. On second thought, perhaps it is a little scary. I feel vaguely reminded of why some pets should be spayed/neutered.

Southern Discomfort
(Ruminations presented in Dolby Digital™ Surround Sound.)

Sometimes returning home is just as much about regaining your grounding as it is about abandoning falsehoods. I speak about my experiences in adjusting to my return to New Orleans. Certainly my transition is a personal affair, but the lesson of discerning appearance from reality is a concept inherent to anyone examining their surroundings.

Of particular importance to collegians is the premise of what makes their university the “right fit” for them. It could be the dollar-to-resource value ratio, the prestige-to-future networking aspect, or any number of other possibilities. The point is that whatever the concept is that keeps you where you are, it’s important to admit to yourself what it is. Sometimes it’s the safety of being where you know people or are popular. Sometimes it’s being somewhere secluded enough from your past that you can live like an entirely new person. People come to college for reasons that are often entirely different from why they remain where they are. The key is to avoid falling for your own façade. Consider what your institution means to you and try not to forget that. Recently, I was reminded why I left mine.

Just last evening All The King’s Men, a film starring Sean Penn and based on Robert Penn Warren’s novel based loosely on the rise of Louisiana Governor Huey P. Long, premiered in New Orleans. My former institution was honored with hosting the advanced screening as well as the positive press it brought the city. There’s something to be said about Tulane’s openness to hosting such an event. Particularly because I’ve always felt that Tulane was so full of itself that the dorms literally didn’t have enough room to house all its students. There has always been a fine layer of irony to the verity of that remark. As much as Tulane’s name has been mounted beside the rebuilding of the city, the blurry line where opportunism meets altruism seems fuzzier, photo op after photo op.