Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Two high profile names make it to our belated Tuesday Bottom One

We have two early applicant's for Our Man in LA's FIRST ANNUAL MEGA-HYPOCRISY AWARD in today's Tuesday Bottom One. This award, conceived of by me in the last fifteen or twenty minutes, celebrates the greatest yahoo in the world, who cries foul about something no matter how bountiful his or her harvest may be, or who throws stones around the glass house just to see how it'll turn out.

Normally, this kind of award goes to American heads of state, activists against things like Starbuck's, and other malignant tumors on society.

Today it goes to two people in the entertainment field, two people I actually respected until maybe yesterday.

Candidate Number One is well-regarded writer Annie Proulx, who wrote the short story that served as the basis for the Oscar-nominated film BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.

As you may have heard, BROKEBACK got loads of acclaim, and it won Oscars for Best Director, Best Score, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Not too shabby. It did lose in the Acting Categories and for Best Picture. About a week ago, I suggested that I was bummed out about it, sorry that it didn't sweep because I do believe that it was the Best Picture of 2005.

But now I'm glad it lost.

That's because bitchy, whiny Proulx decided to write a column in London's GUARDIAN newspaper deriding Hollywood, America, the world, and just about everyone else because of the loss. She also went out of her way to lambaste the movie that did win best picture, CRASH (which she called "TRASH").

Now I didn't think CRASH was best, either, but the Oscars are subjective, right? There are people out there who don't agree with me (hard to believe but true), and they're entitled to their opinion. And there was a vote, right?

I don't want to support Proulx and her shamelessly despicable write-up by going back over it here, except to say this. She ends her remarks in the GUARDIAN with this statement:

"For those who call this little piece a Sour Grapes Rant, play it as it lays."

Uh, well, shucks, Annie, how would you "play" it? How about as sophomoric and stupid, disingenuous and below a writer of your stature. Wouldn't you characterize berating an organization that didn't give you its top prize but did give you and your pals three other ones as a little childish? Sort of like the behavior of a junior high school boy or girl? Pretty much the opposite of gracious and professional.

But that's cool, Annie. Take your toys and go home. And by the way, how much money did you make from all the hype and everything surrounding BROKEBACK? A bunch, I bet. Sorry you couldn't top it all by getting onstage (or having someone do it for you) to prove, Sally Field-style that we like you, we really, really like you.

After this pathetic display, Annie. Forget it. We don't like you at all. We like Ang Lee's beautiful movie. Ahem, I'm sorry. I meant Oscar winner Ang Lee's beautiful movie.

Heh. That has a great sound to it, doesn't it? Oh yeah, and Viva Crash.

If you want to read Proulx's stupid, bile-filled tirade, it's here:,,1727312,00.html

Play IT as it lays.

Whew. Onto candidate number two.

It pains me to say this, but Candidate Number Two is none other than Isaac Hayes, whom Our Man in LA has loved since college, when he and his roommates created a voicemail message to the tune of Hayes' brilliant theme from the movie SHAFT.

As you might know, Hayes has spent the last few years as the voice of the character Chef on the Comedy Central mega-hit SOUTH PARK. He's been hilarious on the show, crooning amazing and funny songs, not to mention serving as a "straight man" character for the otherwise-crazed residents of the animated Colorado town.

Until the other day, that is.

You see, Hayes quit the show this week citing the show's "inappropriate ridicule" of religion.

I haven't been a big SOUTH PARK watcher over the last few years. It's a single guy show much more than a married guy show, and it conflicts with my LOST addiction. But I do still love it and value its originality, satire, and "take no prisoners" attitude with American culture. When I watch it, I stand amazed at the number of "I can't believe they just did that" moments that the show delivers.

Moreover, the SOUTH PARK feature film is one of the funniest and best movies of the last decade, bar none. And most insightful, but who's counting? It's a shame Annie Proulx didn't write anything about it. Sorry, digressing.

Back to Hayes. One thing that we all know about SOUTH PARK is that nobody's safe. They make fun of Christians, Jews, Muslims, and every other religion. The right wing's not safe, the left wing's not safe, Hollywood's not safe. Nobody's safe. You would have thought that Hayes, who's certainly read some of their scripts, would know that.

Apparently not. Last year, the show went too far for Hayes by lampooning scientology. And Hayes is a scientologist. You know, like Cruise and Travolta, who also make boffo decisions.

In the episode, CNN reports "one of the gang, Stan, scores so high on a Scientology test that church followers think he is the next L. Ron Hubbard, the late science-fiction writer who founded the religion."

OK, first of all, that's pretty freaking funny. But Hayes doesn't think so.

He told CNN: "the show's parody of religion in general was part of what he saw as a 'growing insensitivity toward personal spiritual beliefs' in the media, including the recent controversy over cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad.

"'There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs ... begins,' Hayes said."

Hmmm. What show's he been watching and, ahem, receiving checks from for 10 YEARS??

I could keep going on this subject forever and ever, but I don't think there's anything I could say that Matt Stone, co-creator of SOUTH PARK, said already. In his statement about Hayes quitting, he said:

"In ten years and over 150 episodes of 'South Park,' Isaac never had a problem with the show making fun of Christians, Muslim, Mormons or Jews. He got a sudden case of religious sensitivity when it was his religion featured on the show. Of course we will release Isaac from his contract, and we wish him well."

Bravo, Matt.

Am I alone in thinking this will make a great SOUTH PARK episode next year?

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