Friday, 02 October 2009

That's not a Doctor of Journalism. This is a Doctor of Journalism.* Our arrival was badly timed. Most of the pigs from The American Spectator had already arrived. I saw this at a glance. They were just standing around trying to look casual. It was a terrifying scene. "I thought you should know about this," the boy said finally. "Know? Me? Know about what?" I asked. "Nothing. Nothing at all. Just that this guy . . . this white supremacist guy . . . he says he's you." My brain locked up. I couldn't think. The drugs were taking over. "Is he?" "No . . . I don't think . . . but he did say something about guns and booze." "Guns and booze? Guns and booze? Must be me." Jesus. What a terrible thing to lay on somebody with a head full of acid. Alright, I thought. "Alright," I said. "This Nazi me with guns and gin, where . . ." "No gin . . . he's just talking about gin like you talk about it when you . . ." "Look," I said. "I'm a Doctor of Journalism. If I can't minister to my own sober self, what good am I?" I demanded the boy take me to myself. He led me to a dense thicket of birches fit for Frost and introduced me as Manuel. "Well," I said. "Pleasure to make my acquaintance." That me looked at this me confused. Something there is that loves a wall, I thought, and ain't that bastard something. There he was, talking about my Samoan attorney, and here I was, looking at myself talking about my Samoan attorney . . . but what white power me said made no sense. "Wherever you find guns, cigars and whiskey, good-looking womenfolk are sure to be flocking 'round, and I had my camera handy for the occasion." "Flocking 'round"? Sounds nothing like me. Strange memories of nervous nights on who knows what I can handle . . . but this was an impostor. No . . . a robot. I was being impersonated by a robot. Programmed to say what I say but like I was Rhett Butler. To trick it would require saying something it wouldn't expect me to . . . "All this white shit on my sleeve is LSD," I heard myself say. Shit. I stole a glance at myself and saw his face turn white. I noted the effort it took for him to keep up my façade. Not that he didn't try. "Folks around Sperryville won't go anywhere near the place at Pig Roast time, what with the rumors of cannibalism, human sacrifice, bizarre pagan rituals and so forth." "And so forth?" I asked. "And so forth?" "Wherever you find guns, cigars and whiskey, good-looking womenfolk are sure to be flocking 'round, and I had my camera handy for the occasion." "You already said that you fucking robot!" I threw myself at the robot but must have licked my arm on the way there because the next thing I remember I...
Failure for thee, but not for me. Remember when An American Carol inspired conservatives to shout that its inevitable success would prove that Americans wanted patriotic films that mock liberals more than dour, realistic films about the realities on the ground in Iraq? I certainly do. "[I]t'll change everything," said one of its stars, Kelsey Grammer. Reiterating a prediction she made two weeks earlier, someone named Erin said "An American Carol will be a success at the box office, because the American people are sick of the Damons and Afflecks." And succeed it did: after a concerted effort by the conservative media to let the market's invisible hand work its magic, An American Carol took it in $3,656,000 in its first weekend, and was declared a success because it barely grossed more than Religulous despite being screened in a mere 1,137 more theaters nationwide. Using the same standards by which An American Carol was deemed a success, John Nolte gloats that Americans voted with their wallets and declared Michael Moore's new film a failure: [T]he biggest disappointment of the weekend is Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story (Overture). After a $57K per theatre average on 4 screens last weekend, the picture broke to a wider 962 locations with terrible results. The "documentary" only sold an estimated $1.3M in tickets to start the weekend, and it will finish at about $3.9M for a PTA of less than $4,000. That soft opening will almost certainly make Capitalism Moore’s weakest-grossing movie since 2002’s Bowling for Columbine ($21.5M domestic gross). Did I say the same standards? Because this chart I carved by hand from the finest quality HTML would seem to indicate otherwise: Title Gross Theaters Avg. An American Carol $3.656M 1,639 $2,231 Capitalism: A Love Story $4.850M 962 $5,042 I suppose numbers also have a liberal bias?

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