Clayton Diggs

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Mr. Rogers Gets Autotuned, Navy Snipers, and Gardens of the Mind

(Editor’s warning: clicking on links might lead you to some insanely funny shit. Or just to some informative shit.  Depends on the link)

You ever just sit around and think about Mr. Rogers? I did recently when someone passed me a link to PBS Digital Studio’s autotuned video of Mr. Rogers singing “Garden of Your Mind.” Have you seen this thing? If not, put down whatever you’re doing and check it out. It’s an almost supernatural trip down memory lane, featuring some of Mr. Roger’s greatest moments, set to a tripped-out, synthed-up dance beat. I actually thought I must have downed a couple ‘ludes when I first saw it. Mr. Rogers, meet Bourbon and Xanax; Bourbon and Xanax, meet Mr. Rogers. Hot damn!

Remember Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood from when you were a damn rugrat? You probably remember him much the same way I do: walking into his little house, putting on his sneakers, slipping into a red cardigan, talking so slow and earnest you felt compelled to throw the bottle of moonshine your uncle Remus gave you for your tenth birthday at the TV, watching it shatter the screen, realizing you weren’t at all sober, then getting chased around the barnyard by your uncle who was getting chased around by your dad who was wielding a stick and screaming, “Remus, if you give my boy just one more bottle of ‘shine, so help me God I’m gonna hog-clip your nuts.” Man, it brings a tear to my eye.

Fred McFeely Rogers was born on March 20th, 1928, in Latrobe PA, just in time for the Great Depression and just a tad late to get his rocks off with some flapper hussy. Might account for why he never in all his years took a drink of liquor or had a smoke – don’t worry about it, Fred-o…nobody’s perfect.

Anyway, over the 75 years he was alive, he put on just about every kind of cardigan you can think of: he was an educator, a Presbyterian minister, a songwriter, and an author. Oh, and I forgot to mention, he was also a television host. He also testified before those fat assholes in Congress on behalf of funding for children’s television and public television in general (he actually pretty much saved both), was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest civilian honor available in the US, and pretty much equivalent to getting a cozy BJ from the Commander in Chief), a Peabody Award, and he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. Hot damn! Fuck you, Mr. Rogers! You’re making us all look bad! I’m sorry. I’m not!  I am!

I’m sure you’ve heard all that before, but here’s some stuff about the most-eerily-calm-man-not-on-life-support you may not have known:

  • Koko the gorilla loved him so much that when he showed up at her place she’d hug him and take his shoes off. Rumor has it that after the cameras were off she may have taken off a lot more.
  • Even fucking criminals loved Mr. Rogers. Once, when his old Impala was stolen from the street near the TV station where he worked, he filed a police report that got picked up by every newspaper and radio show for a million miles. Less than two days later, his car popped up in the exact spot from where it had been taken, with a note taped to the dashboard, reading: “If we’d known it was yours, we never would have taken it. Also, we heard you were a tattooed navy sniper. If this is true, please don’t maim, torture, and kill us. We want to be your neighbors. Won’t you please, for the love of all that is holy, pretty-please be our neighbor?”
  • He composed all the songs on the show himself. All of them. He could play a mean jazz piano, whiskey or no whiskey. He wrote over 200 songs, including “Garden of Your Mind”, “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”, and “No, I’m Not Gay. I Just Speak Slowly.”
  • He was color-blind. He couldn’t see the color blue – so when his wife, Sara, would give him blue balls, she was able to convince him that it was just his imagination. He was also color-blind when it came to folks in general. When he was a kid, his family adopted a black foster child. I have no idea how to make fun of that.
  • His dear old momma hand-knit every one of the cardigans he wore on his how. I have no idea how to make fun of that.

Mr. Rogers gets autotuned in “Garden of Your Mind”

What I found especially cool and interesting about Fred, apart from all the stuff just mentioned, is that he hated TV. He plain old hated it, but thought it might make a hell of a good medium for educating children, if handled properly, so he got involved in TV to make sure the job got done right. And just about right was how the old boy did just about everything. He took home over 40 honorary degrees in his life. Congress grew a big fat chubby in the presence of his divine good-heartedness. Presidents fawned over him.

But I think, as do folks who knew him well, that it wasn’t the big stuff that meant the most to Fred Rogers. It was the intelligence, kindness, and awareness he was able to bring to the lives of his many, many fans across several generations, kids and adults alike. And I think he was right about the potential for TV, and video in general, to reach out across time and space and touch our hearts and minds.  My own son, just a year and a half old, already loves watching old Fred, and, unlike with so much other hog-shit that’s on TV, I’ve got no problems with my boy doing so whenever he damn well pleases.

Fred McFeely Rogers died of stomach cancer in 2003, at the age of 75, in Pittsburgh, PA. But, thanks to the communicative medium to which he brought so much integrity, his presence is still very much with us through the immortal power of memory as brought to life on a screen of any size. In “Garden of Your Mind” he asks a potent question, and provides an even more forceful answer: “Did  you ever grown anything, in the garden of your mind? …all you have to do is think.”

I’m thinking, Fred. I’m thinking you were a hell of a fine human being. You made the collective mind-garden of humankind a more fertile soil for the development of all that is good, kind, and intelligent in our race. You were one of a damn kind. You sure will be missed.

I raise my glass of milk to you, Sir.  I truly do.

“I’m so fucking nice I make you look like an asshole. But I love you.”

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Ray Bradbury Dead at 91, Martians, and Sci-fi Man-juice

(Editor’s warning: clicking on links might lead you to some insanely funny shit. Or just to some informative shit.  Depends on the link)

You ever just sit around and think about Ray Bradbury? I did, yesterday when I heard that that great American writer had made his final journey to the Martian landscape that lies beyond the great beyond. No, that’s,not quite it… He got cornered by imaginary lions in a virtual reality who tore him into worm food…No, still not right…He morphed into a heap of books, heated to Fahrenheit 451, turned to ash, and blew into little bits of cosmic dust to then descend on some Red Planet at the edge of the Universe. Yeah, that’s a little more like it. Hot damn! I’m sorry. I’m not. I really am!

I am sorry that we’ll no longer share airspace with a guy who, to my mind, was one of the most original and gorgeous voices in our American literary canon.

Old Ray was born in Waukegan, Illinois, in 1920. He grew up during that tonic for the restless imagination, the Great Depression, a time when the future seemed not only bleak and depressing as shit but, well – unimaginable. But imagine it Ray did, and with a visionary zeal that always took our collective breath away. The boy was good! Was he actually a Martian? We’ll never know.

But we do know that his stories sprang from the deep and potent well of his childhood fears. In an interview on Fresh Air he once said: “As soon as I looked up, there it was, and it was horrible,” Bradbury remembers. “And I would scream and fall back down the stairs, and my mother and father would get up and sigh and say, ‘Oh, my gosh, here we go again.’ ”

Childhood was indeed an important time for the budding author. Ray read and read and read everything he could get his grubby little alien hands on. He dug on Jules Verne and H.G. Wells and dreamed of outdoing them, and so, between frenzied bouts of cranking out adolescent sci-fi man-juice (to pics of big-boobied Martian chicks no doubt), he also managed to crank out a short story a week. Lesson: the only way to (re)produce is through consistency!

Great American sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury dead at 91

When the Bradbury fam up and moved to SoCal, little Ray took to hiding out in the dank, scary basement of the UCLA library, where, for 10 cents a half-hour, he could rent a typewriter. Said Ray years later: “I thought, my gosh, this is terrific! I can be here for a couple hours a day. It’ll cost me 30, 40 cents, and I can get my work done. Also, it’s awesome to spew sci-fi man-juice in a public venue. Much more exciting than at home.”

Ray hit it big with his 1950 collection, The Martian Chronicles. Then, while that fat old cow masturbator, Joe McCarthy, was looking to anally violate anyone evenly remotely aligned with anything Red, planet or otherwise, Ray did a right ballsy thing — he shot a FUCK YOU ray-gun at censorship in general with his best known work, Fahrenheit 451, and did so in a FUCK YOU kind of way, having the story that would become his signature novel first printed in Playboy.

Have you read that fine, fine book? If not, put down whatever you’re doing, go out and get a copy, and sit the hell down. It’s about a future society in which McCarthy-like fat old cow masturbators have firefighters burn books for the purpose of keeping folks dull and ignorant. There’s never been a revolution without there first being a revolution of ideas, goes the theory. In practice, the only trouble comes when the firefighters become curious about what exactly it is they’re being made to burn. Then all hell breaks loose! Shit fire! Hot damn! Great book.

People the world over and even those in outer space loved old Ray. The crew of Apollo 15 so totally dug Bradbury’s novel Dandelion Wine that they named a lunar crater after the it. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second guy on the moon, and the man forever-and-a-day frustrated by the fact that he scores way less poon than Neil Armstrong, had this say: “Ray Bradbury is one who is contributing to the understanding of the imagination and the curiosity of the human race.” Hey, it would have been better if pussy-champ Neil Armstrong had said it, but novelists can’t be choosers, right?

Amazingly, despite his visions of the future, Ray never got into using computers. He even once told The New York Times that the Internet was pointless. Well, buddy, on that point at least, we’ve gotta say: FAIL!

It’s okay – nobody’s perfect!

Old Ray finally settled down to family life right here on Earth in 1947, when he married a gal named Maggie, and the happy couple had four little Martian girls. Ray suffered a stroke at age 80 and, sadly, couldn’t write anymore. He did, however, keep having his strange visions of things to come. He felt sure we’d be landing on Mars right soon and asked that his ashes be buried on that vast and vacant red planet.

We’ll sure miss you, old buddy, old Ray, venerable imaginer of humanity’s many possible destinies. We’ll sure miss you. I raise my cup of Dandelion Wine to you, Sir. I truly do.

Get Ray’s Ashes to Mars: A Fund

  • If you’d like to help Ray complete his dying wish, shoot me an email: me (at) claytondiggs (dot) com.
  • It’s gonna take a lot of dollar bills to make it happen, but if Ray taught us anything, it’s that every dream has got to start somewhere.

“I’m so fucking cool. How big will penises be in the future? THIIIIS BIIIIG!”

Jason Alexander, the Late Late Show, and Gay Apologies

(Editor’s note: Links may lead to some insanely funny shit, or just to some informative shit. Depends on the link.)

(Second Editor’s note: Jason Alexander’s real apology, fully un-edited, appears at the bottom of this article.  Please be sure to read it.  This article is intended as satire, and is not to be taken even remotely seriously by anyone, straight, gay, or otherwise.)

You ever just sit around and think about the sport of cricket? Seinfeld alum Jason Alexander did recently when he was on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and here’s what went down:

Fergie: “Have you ever played cricket?  Cricket’s an amazing game.”

Jay-jay: “It’s a gay game. There’s a lot of people wearing white. People wearing helmets for no discernible reason…Everybody breaks for tea in the middle.”

Fergie:”Yeah, it’s a cross between baseball and Downton Abbey.”

Jay-Jay: “It’s the pitch. It’s the weirdest … . It’s not like a manly baseball pitch. It’s a queer, British gay pitch.”

Fergie: “Um.” (looking off camera at producer having a shit fit) “Eh, Jason, I’m not…”

Jay-Jay: “It’s the kind of pitch that almost always ends in weird gay anal exploration.”

Fergie: “Um.”

Jay-jay: “It’s the kind of pitch the guys in Brokeback Mountain would throw between queer make-out sessions and anal bead extraction.”

Fergie: “Uh, Jason, that’s not exactly accurate…”

Jay-jay: “You’re right, Fergie. Did I say Brokeback Mountain? I meant Broke-Ass Mountain! You know what I mean?  Yeah?” (extending hand for high five)

Did you guys not see this shit? The best part was where Jason Alexander stood up to demo the gay pitch, doing something that looked like a combo-tryout for the Martha Graham Dance Company and the Gay Men’s Chorus of New York. Hot damn! Gayness unleashed! Queer company! Hot damn!

The best was yet to come, though. The backlash to Jason’s gay comments, coming from GLAAD and other quarters, soon had him with his Shallow Hal vestigial tail tucked firmly between his short, chubby little legs. Here’s an excerpt from the apology he issued yesterday:

“I truly did not understand why a gay person would be particularly offended by this routine. I love queers. I have many queer, Broke-Ass Mountain friends who I love dearly, though not like that. Well, okay, just that once, but I was in college and that joint was spiked with meth.”

Jason Alexander apologizes for gay cricket

Seems he was troubled enough by the backlash to chat up some of his gay friends over Appletinis. He then realized why his comments had been so totally uncool and gay:

“At first, even [my gay friends] couldn’t quite find the offense in the bit. But as we explored it, we began to realize what was implied under the humor. I was basing my use of the word “gay” on the silly generalization that real men don’t do gentile, refined things and that my portrayal of the cricket pitch was pointedly effeminate, thereby suggesting that effeminate and gay were synonymous. I don’t believe this at all. Gay, especially when it’s named Kramer, or clad in leather, or accompanied by a riding crop, or as experienced anally by an aging, short actor, can be a truly manly and beautiful thing.

“It is not that we can’t laugh at and with each other. It is not a question of oversensitivity. The problem is that today, as I write this, young men and women whose behaviors, choices or attitudes are not deemed “man enough” or “normal” are being subjected to all kinds of abuse from verbal to physical to societal. They are being demeaned and threatened because they don’t fit the group’s idea of what a “real man” or a “real woman” are supposed to look like, act like and feel like. And that’s crap. Anal sex in general and girl-on-girl action in particular totally rock. I personally have an office equipped with stacks of tissue boxes and hand lotion that, over the weekend, has helped me get further in touch with this issue. I’ve taken, you could say, a very hands-on approach.

“For [gay] people, my building a joke upon the premise I did added to the pejorative stereotype that they are forced to deal with every day. It is at the very heart of this whole ugly world of bullying that has been getting rightful and overdue attention in the media. And with my well-intentioned comedy bit, I played right into those hurtful assumptions and diminishments. I would much rather play right into a nice, warm, lubricated asshole of manly affection and forgiveness.

“…I would like to say — I now get it. And to the extent that these jokes made anyone feel even more isolated or misunderstood or just plain hurt — please know that was not my intention, at all or ever. My intention was to gently caress the anal pleasure of brotherly understanding. Please forgive me. Please also stop writing my phone number in the bathroom stalls of gay nightclubs. Please. I can’t walk straight. I’m serious. My proctologist says it could actually kill me.”

What do you reckon? Think he’s sorry? To me it sounded like a pretty sincere apology, but word around the Boy Scouts of America campfire is that Jason’s got more planned by way of sorry. It’s rumored he might well go back on Craig Ferguson in a pink tutu, accompanied by Tom Cruise. Now that would be gay! Hot damn! I’m sorry! No I’m not. Hot damn!

(P.S. Tom Cruise: Please don’t kill me. I have a child. Pretty gay please?)

“The anus then distends, like so, in a very gay fashion.”

Jason Alexander’s full apology, uncut:

Last week, I made an appearance on the Craig Ferguson show – a wonderfully unstructured, truly spontaneous conversation show. No matter what anecdotes I think will be discussed, I have yet to find that Craig and I ever touch those subjects. Rather we head off onto one unplanned, loony topic after another. It’s great fun trying to keep up with him and I enjoy Craig immensely.

During the last appearance, we somehow wandered onto the topic of offbeat sports and he suddenly mentioned something about soccer and cricket. Now, I am not a stand-up comic. Stand up comics have volumes of time-tested material for every and all occasions. I, unfortunately, do not. However, I’ve done a far amount of public speaking and emceeing over the years so I do have a scattered bit, here and there.

Years ago, I was hosting comics in a touring show in Australia and one of the bits I did was talking about their sports versus American sports. I joked about how their rugby football made our football pale by comparison because it is a brutal, no holds barred sport played virtually without any pads, helmets or protection. And then I followed that with a bit about how, by comparison, their other big sport of cricket seemed so delicate and I used the phrase, “ a bit gay”. Well, it was all a laugh in Australia where it was seen as a joke about how little I understood cricket, which in fact is a very, very athletic sport. The routine was received well but, seeing as their isn’t much talk of cricket here in America, it hasn’t come up in years.

Until last week. When Craig mentioned cricket I thought, “oh, goody – I have a comic bit about cricket I can do. Won’t that be entertaining?”. And so I did a chunk of this old routine and again referred to cricket as kind of “gay” – talking about the all white uniforms that never seem to get soiled; the break they take for tea time with a formal tea cart rolled onto the field, etc. I also did an exaggerated demonstration of the rather unusual way they pitch the cricket ball which is very dance-like with a rather unusual and exaggerated arm gesture. Again, the routine seemed to play very well and I thought it had been a good appearance.

Shortly after that however, a few of my Twitter followers made me aware that they were both gay and offended by the joke. And truthfully, I could not understand why. I do know that humor always points to the peccadillos or absurdities or glaring generalities of some kind of group or another – short, fat, bald, blonde, ethnic, smart, dumb, rich, poor, etc. It is hard to tell any kind of joke that couldn’t be seen as offensive to someone. But I truly did not understand why a gay person would be particularly offended by this routine.

However, troubled by the reaction of some, I asked a few of my gay friends about it. And at first, even they couldn’t quite find the offense in the bit. But as we explored it, we began to realize what was implied under the humor. I was basing my use of the word “gay” on the silly generalization that real men don’t do gentile, refined things and that my portrayal of the cricket pitch was pointedly effeminate , thereby suggesting that effeminate and gay were synonymous.

But what we really got down to is quite serious. It is not that we can’t laugh at and with each other. It is not a question of oversensitivity. The problem is that today, as I write this, young men and women whose behaviors, choices or attitudes are not deemed “man enough” or “normal” are being subjected to all kinds of abuse from verbal to physical to societal. They are being demeaned and threatened because they don’t fit the group’s idea of what a “real man” or a “real woman” are supposed to look like, act like and feel like.

For these people, my building a joke upon the premise I did added to the pejorative stereotype that they are forced to deal with everyday. It is at the very heart of this whole ugly world of bullying that has been getting rightful and overdue attention in the media. And with my well-intentioned comedy bit, I played right into those hurtful assumptions and diminishments.

And the worst part is – I should know better. My daily life is filled with gay men and women, both socially and professionally. I am profoundly aware of the challenges these friends of mine face and I have openly advocated on their behalf. Plus, in my own small way, I have lived some of their experience. Growing up in the ‘70’s in a town that revered it’s school sports and athletes, I was quite the outsider listening to my musical theater albums, studying voice and dance and spending all my free time on the stage. Many of the same taunts and jeers and attitudes leveled at young gay men and women were thrown at me and on occasion I too was met with violence or the threat of violence.

So one might think that all these years later I might be able to intuit that my little cricket routine could make some person who has already been made to feel alien and outcast feel even worse or add to the conditions that create their alienation. But in this instance, I did not make the connection. I didn’t get it.

So, I would like to say – I now get it. And to the extent that these jokes made anyone feel even more isolated or misunderstood or just plain hurt – please know that was not my intention, at all or ever. I hope we will someday live in a society where we are so accepting of each other that we can all laugh at jokes like these and know that there is no malice or diminishment intended.

But we are not there yet.

So, I can only apologize and I do. In comedy, timing is everything. And when a group of people are still fighting so hard for understanding, acceptance, dignity and essential rights – the time for some kinds of laughs has not yet come. I hope my realization brings some comfort.

Thanks,

Jason

Chinese Police Beat Activists to Celebrate Tiananmen Square Massacre

(Editor’s warning: Clicking on links is likely to lead you to some insanely disturbing shit)

On Sunday, June 3rd, Police in China beat the damn hell out of a group of peaceful demonstrators to celebrate the glorious and wildly misunderstood Tiananmen Square bloodbath.

The demonstrators, you see, were marking the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. The massacre took place back in 1989  when Chinese Government People’s Liberation soldiers stormed the square and opened fire on demonstrators, including unarmed Chinese men, women, and kids, killing and maiming thousands of them. The bodies of the innocent hit the ground like a gentle rain in spring. A good time was had by almost everyone but especially by the police.

Said small-dicked Police Chief Hung Not-well: “It was so much fun killing everyone in 1989 that we just thought we should do it again.” Then, reconsidering, Not-well qualified, “Yeah, we haven’t killed anyone this time, just beat them stupid and bloody and threatened to kill them. But hey, the day is young!  I just I love the smell of human rights violations in the morning.  It smells like feces.”

I love the smell of human rights violations in the morning.  It smells like feces.

The June 3rd peaceful demonstrators voiced similar feelings of joy, exultation, and national pride. Said an adorable Chinese child with a broken arm and bloodied face: “I was too young for the original massacre, so it’s awesome to be able to be beaten almost to death and really feel like I’m a part of something. I’m only disappointed that the pigs didn’t open fire on us like my dad said they might. I was really hoping they would spray my guts all over the square like in 1989.”

The child’s father, a short man with a broken nose and smashed teeth, agreed: “Nothing is more festive than seeing the  blood and guts of innocent children. After all, the Chinese flag is red, you know? And if you take into account the fear-induced urine that mingles with the blood, you get the whole package. It is truly glorious and inspiring.”

Chief Hung Too-small-to-see-with-the-naked-fucking-eye chimed in by sliding the bolt on his assault rifle, saying: “Let’s really get this party started!”

We can only hope that next year’s Tiananmen anniversary measures up to this year’s. You really have to give it to dickless, fuckbag Chinese Supreme Leader Hu Jintao: that worthless piece of muskrat shit really knows how to throw a party. We here in the good ol’ US of A have got a thing or two to learn about how to dance the funky chicken but good.  Hot damn!

“I am Supreme Leader of China, Hu Jintao. I am a child-rapist.”

Fitzgerald, Dicaprio’s Pussy Posse, and The Great Gatsby

(Editor’s warning: links might lead you to some insanely funny shit… or not.  It depends on the link.)

You ever just sit around and think about The Great Gatsby? I did recently and I realized, yet again, that it’s a great fuckin’ book. Hot damn, F.Scott Fitzgerald, as a writer, I gotta hate you! But man, as a reader, I gotta love you. How did he write that shit, you know? Deal with the devil? Was it all the booze? And if so, what was he drinking and where can I get me some? Hot damn!

In case you’ve been so  foolish as to never read what may well be the best novel in the English language, here’s what it’s about: Nick Carraway, a penniless day-trader, finds himself fascinated by the lavish lifestyle and sexy parties of his much richer neighbor, the mysterious Jay Gatsby. Gatsby, as it turns out, has been in love with Nick’s cousin, Daisy Buchanan, for forever and a day. Daisy is married to a blithering asshole named Tom who likes to punch his mistresses. Jay and Daisy start bangin’ on the side and shit goes down. You do the math. It’s a great fuckin’ book!

Recently, between bouts of the DTs, I read somewhere that they’re making a new movie version of The Great Gatsby, and I reckon that’s a good thing seeing as how the other movie versions of that fine, fine American novel pretty much made me want to jump through the damn screen and strangle everyone involved for taking a giant dump all over our cultural and literary heritage.

Probably the best version so far was the one with Robert Redford as Gatbsy, even though old Robbie looked a little long in the tooth to play boy-millionaire Jay Gatsby.

Daisy: “Oh, Jay, I love you.”

Gatsby: “Oh, Daisy, I’ve loved you since I was an 18 year-old military conscript.”

Daisy: (puzzled) “When was that?”

Gatsby: “Oh, about thirty-odd years ago. Want to see my wrinkly first lieutenant?”

Apart from Rob being too old, the thing that really bugged the living shit out of me about the movie was child-hoarder Mia Farrow. Mia Farrow? This is the chick that Gatsby is supposed to be so obsessed with that he built himself a new life just to try and get with her? This is the chick who men are willing to fight and die over? Hey, no offense to Mia Farrow, but she is and always has been a lifeless, irritating, hideous slag. I mean, I’m sure Mia Farrow’s a nice enough woman in real life, but I’m not that into necrophilia. I mean, truth be told, I’ve actually seen corpses with more sex appeal than Mia Farrow. I mean…okay, enough! Hot damn! I’m sorry. No, I’m not. Hot damn!

Anyway, the new movie version is gonna star Leo Dicaprio (aka ‘The Prettiest Girl in Hollywood’) as Jay Gatsby and Tobey Maguire (aka ‘The Prettiest Ugly Girl in Hollywood’) as Nick Carraway. Leo seems a decent fit for Gatsby, though Brad Pitt would have fit the bill of aging golden-boy a little better, and Tobey is just about right as nearly invisible, retiring narrator Nick Carraway. Then you’ve got Carrie Mulligan as Daisy, and she’s like a million times hotter than Mia Farrow (who reminds me of a zombie, only I’d rather get blown by a zombie). And the director, Baz Luhrmann, has got a real flare for dance scenes and bright over the top shit. All in all: Clayton digs it!

The only trouble I can foresee is that former “Pussy Posse” members and self-declared BFFs Leo and Tobey might have trouble keeping the focus on Carey Mulligan. Will Leo get with Carey and try to  live sort of happily ever after? Or – just as likely – will Carey catch Leo giving an under-the-table handjob to boy-crush Tobey like they used to do all the time on the New York club scene?

Daisy: “Oh, Jay, will you love me forever?”

Jay: “Hang on…just a…second Daisy…”

Daisy: “Nick, what are you doing under the table?”

Nick: “I…um…gag…er…mmm…gag…looking for…mmm…gag…”

Gatsby: “Oh…Daisy. Oh, Daisy!”

Fitzgerald spent almost three solid years of his tragic, alcohol-drenched life writing The Great Gatsby, all the while dealing with his schizophrenic, batshit wife, Zelda. In the end, despite the novel being almost flawless, it was commercially a flop.  Fitzgerald died of an alcoholism-related heart attack just four days shy of Christmas, in 1940, believing himself to be a damn failure. A few years later, his wife, Zelda, died in an asylum when the place went up in flames. Good times!

So what’s the moral of the story, boys and girls? Don’t drink so much your heart quits? Don’t fuck schizophrenics and if you do, sure as shit be out the door next morning bright and early with your fedora in your hand? I don’t think so. I think the moral is that if you take all your energy and genius and harness that shit to real, brutal, five-in-the-damn-morning-every-motherhumping-day discipline, you can make something so damn beautiful that people will never forget you. One day, if you’re real lucky, long after you’re worm shit, they might even make a movie out of your stuff starring Leo and Tobey. So please, guys, in honor of F. Scott and our cultural heritage: keep your hands off each other’s junk and the focus on the girl. Hot damn! I’m sorry. No, I’m not.

God bless you, F. Scott Fitzgerald. God bless you.

“I am very,very drunk but my book is very, very good.”

Ernest Hemingway, Hard Living, and Sharks

You ever sit just sit around and think about Ernest Hemingway? We’re coming up on the 51st anniversary of Hemingway’s death, and it got me thinking. Isn’t it kind of weird that we remember him on the day he died? I mean, remember how he died? He grabbed a shotgun and shot himself in the face, decades before Kurt Cobain thought of it. You know what else? His wife was in the house and she was the one who found him.

That must have sucked it.

You see, for months and months, maybe even years, old Ernie was convinced that the Feds were tapping his phone, bugging his house, and basically driving him nuts, and nobody believed him. They just thought all the years of scotch and sodas were taking their toll. Eventually, he couldn’t take it; not the feeling of being hunted like an animal, and probably not the feeling of everyone thinking he was batshit. He actually tried to off himself several times before he bought the farm. He also spent time in a mental institution. And you know the worst of it? Turns out the Feds were tapping his phone, bugging his house, and driving him nuts. The fuckers!

See, that’ s not really how I want to remember Hemingway, as an old guy, kind of fat, full of regrets, telling anyone who would listen that the government was trying to get him. I grew up reading his stuff. I love The Sun Also Rises. Those people in the book are screwed up, big time, but I’d still like to hang out with them, have some wine, some more wine, more wine, fall down, see a bullfight, get in a fight, and go fishing. Hell, you substitute bourbon for wine, that pretty much describes my youth. Oh, and Brett Ashley? Apart from having a dude’s first name for a last name, hottest woman in literature.

Thanks, Papa Hemingway!

I like to remember all the times Hemingway probably should have done himself in (accidentally) but made it through. I once read this book about him and there was a rundown of all the accidents he suffered during his life. It was like two damn pages long, and included: two plane crashes, two car accidents, bringing a skylight down on his head by mistaking its rope for the toilet chain, breaking his foot kicking a door in anger, and (my favorite) shooting himself in the leg while trying to gaff a shark. (If you want the full list, check out the book Intellectuals, by Paul Johnson.) Hell in ‘tarnation, that’s my kind of boy. You think he was drinking a lot to have that much bad luck? He was. He was putting down 17 scotch and sodas a day and going to bed with a bottle of champagne (he often wasn’t going to bed alone, so you’ve got to wonder about what else that champagne bottle might have been for). Anyway, point is, for years and years the son of bitch did a bunch of stuff that by all rights should have ended in a funeral, but didn’t. He was this tough bastard who drank and hunted and boxed and fucked.

So that’s how I like to remember him. I know, in the end his fucked-up, self-destructive side took over, but why dwell on the last chapter of his life? Look, we’re all going to end up six feet under eventually, so let’s remember him like he was in his glory days. The hell with the day he killed himself. I’d rather think of old Hem on the day he shot himself in the leg trying to gaff a shark and then had a drink. I think that’s more who he was.

So, here’s to you, Ernie. You weren’t a perfect human being, but you sure were cool.

Thinking of Hemingway makes me thirsty. Want another great way to remember Hemingway? I once heard that he’s the guy responsible for making daiquiris popular in the States. Don’t know if it’s totally true, but here’s a good daiquiri recipe just in case:

Hemingway’s Daiquiri:

  • A fat shot of white rum
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp maraschino juice
  • A little bit of grapefruit juice
  • Some sugar
  • Ice
  • A gaffing hook
  • A shark
  • A gun

Stick all the very fine, good, clean, bright shit into a shaker with ice and shake until your hands sting. Serve in a highball on the rocks. Chase with some rum or bourbon. Then gaff the shark and shoot yourself in the leg. Avoid medical treatment because you’re a tough bastard. Have another daiquiri and some more rum. Cheers, friends!

“I am manly. I damage myself almost constantly. Pass the Scope. I’m thirsty!”

Will Smith Slaps Reporter, Promotes Men in Pink 3

You ever sit around and think about slapping a reporter? Will Smith did recently when he was doing red carpet interviews in the Ukraine for the premiere of “Men in Black 3.” Seems he didn’t like it overmuch when a reporter tried to kiss him, but to be fair to the confused Ukrainian dude, he thought he was at the premiere of another movie that was opening nearby: “Men in Pink 3: Revenge of the Intergalactic Anuses.”

The kissing reporter is a guy from Ukranian channel 1+1 and his name is Vitali Serdiuk. Seems he told Will Smith right before the kiss that “ it is Vitali that I ser your diuk,” and the Fresh Prince decided to drop a beat on Vitali like it was 1992. It went down like this:

Vitali: “Hello, Will Smith. I great fan”

Will: “Thanks man. You kind of smell like potatoes and vodka.”

Vitali: “It is vitali that I ser your diuk.”

Will: “Say what?”

Vitali: “I kiss you now, my Fresh Prince.”

Will:”C’mon man, what the hell is your problem buddy? I’m manly. Watch how I slap you lightly with the back of my hand like a little girl.”

Vitali: “I like your little slap, playful American-African sex god.”

Will: “He’s lucky I didn’t sucker punch him. I didn’t enjoy that even a little bit.”

Random Urkanian reporter: “Will, how you explain erection in pants?”

Will: “Um.  Dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee?”

(Vitali Serdiuk is the same dude who gave Madonna a bouquet of hydrangeas a while back and that charming platinum retarded female dog thought it would be cool if she ditched them under a table by way of saying thanks.)

Anyway, looks like, for the world’s goofiest looking Mohamed Ali impersonator, channel 1+1 doesn’t = Vitali+Will. Maybe Vitali can give Madonna a call, give it another shot with the world’s lamest MILF. As for me, you’ll find me laughing my ass off, getting drunk on my damn porch, hoping a raccoon stops by to offer me hydrangeas or tries to kiss me… so I can shoot him. Yeehah!

Will Smith: “Feel the wrath of the back of my baby-soft hand.”

My Son, Clayton Jr., Is the Coolest Guy I Know

You ever sit around and think about how damn cool your kids are? I’m serious. I don’t get people who just wanna bitch and moan about their kids. There’s nothing on earth cooler than my year-and-a-half-old son, Clayton Von Jr! Hot damn!

Last night he was at my place and he woke up around 2:30 in the morning. I heard him stumble into my room like a drunken soldier, rubbing his big blue eyes and saying “Hi-eeeee?” in that earnest way he’s got. So I carried him back to his bed with his chubby arms wrapped around my neck and set him down and lay next to him. He just lay on his side looking me square in the eye, real serious, and touching my cheek like he was petting a kitten and making kissy noises at me with his rosebud lips. How cool is that? I’d rather be doing that with my son than any other thing. You can have your billion bucks, Mark Zuckerburg; I’ve got my boy.

You know what else Clay Jr. does that gets me? Everything. Like how he says “ah-pple? ah-pple?” for any food he’s keen on, or how he’ll take a chug of beer and then look at me with big eyes and say, “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” How cute is that? Just take my heart out of my chest right now and stab it with a pitchfork, you know? And I like how he builds these little towers out of blocks with an expression on his face like he’s got urban planning in mind, and how he stacks his boots one on top of the other on the bedside table.  I like how he always insists on having at least five of his matchbox cars in his hands and screams if he doesn’t.  And I dig how he dances his tiny curved thumb over surfaces like a finger-ballerina whenever his mind is somewhere else. He’s dreaming big dreams, I reckon. And I like brushing his curls back off his broad forehead (you could have a drive-in movie theater on my kid’s forhead!) until he falls asleep.

And then he’s waking me up at 2:30 in the morning again so I can put him back to sleep. There’s nothing better. Hot damn! If I had a drink for every cool thing my son does, I’d… well, I’d have the kind of evening I generally have.

So I’ll raise many cups to you, Clay Jr. As many as I can for as long as I damn well can. Here’s to you, son.

I love you.

Clayton Diggs, 2012

“I’m so damn cute it $#%@!ing  hurts.”

Mark Zuckerburg, the Asian Ring of Fire, and Marriage

You ever just sit around and think about what it would be like to have a billion bucks? I did, recently, and it led me to Mark Zuckerburg, who it seems to me has pulled off the I’ve-got-a-billion-bucks thing better than anyone else who’s turned the trick, especially seeing as how he’s barely old enough to shave his pubes (not like that old horse-humping bastard, J.Paul Reddam). I mean, hot damn, the kid started Facebook in between jerking off to Victoria’s Secret catalogs while he was a boy-student at Harvard way the hell back in distant 2004. Yeah, it’s been a long ride from hoodie-wearing pimply boy to hoodie-wearing pimply billionaire – a whole damn eight years!

Everybody seems to be talking a lot about the Facebook IPO, the company leaving home to go out into the big bad world and all, but then yesterday I read something that made me think that the IPO launch was just a smokescreen for something else the Zuckermeister had up his elastic-banded, thick cotton sleeve: the dude was planning to get hitched to his Harvard Asian cutie, Priscilla “Queen of the Facebook” Chan!

And you know where they had the wedding? The Taj Mahal? On top of the Eiifel Tower? In the Oval Office (bought from Barrack for a tidy sum)? On the moon? And who would be the minister? The Pope? Brad Pitt? Brangelina? Nope. Here’s where and how the thing went down: in the kid’s backyard in Palo Alto, California, in front of just 100 folks, with the couple’s poofy little white dog, Beast, officiating the ceremony.

It went like this:

Beast: “Woof, woof, woof, arfity arf take billionaire Facebook guy?”

Priscilla Chan: “Are you fucking kidding me? Get the damn ring on my finger before Mark sees Angelina Jolie’s dress.”

Mark: “Um.”

Beast: “Woof woof arf arf pronounce you billionaire and Asian cutie. Can I have that bacon bit now?”

Priscilla: “Is that it? Can I stop pretending to like this dork?”

Mark: “Um. What? 0-1-0-1-0-1-1?”

Every other woman in the back yard: “Fuck!”

So there you have it folks, the world’s most eligible hooded nerd is off the market. The wedding was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, seen by a lucky few who are still trying to wrap their heads around it. It must have been kind of like looking at an eclipse, kind of like the one that people in Asia and the Western U.S. saw this morning, the famously mind-blowing Ring of Fire. It’s what’s called an annular eclipse, apparently, and it’s when the moon comes along and blocks the sun, just leaving a little ring of the fireball visible to us mortals. Of course, the real eclipse didn’t happen in Mark’s backyard, but probably late last night, when Mark’s moon eclipsed Priscilla Chan’s Asian “ring of fire.” It might well have gone like this:

Priscilla: “Oh, Mark, eclipse my ring of fire.”

Mark: “Um. 0100010101101010101001010100.”

Priscilla: “Give it to me like a billion bucks!”

Mark: “Um. 00000000000000000000111111111111!!!”

Anyway, I reckon I’m kind of being a shitbird-asshole about the whole thing, but the truth is they’re a pretty adorable couple. But how can a guy not be a little bitter at another guy when that other guy could buy Egypt and move it to Arkansas? In any event, here’s to you kids, you glorious fucking billionaire man-child and you Asian cutie. I raise my mint julep to salute you before passing out in my rickety rocking chair. Here’s to you.

Priscilla: “Eclipse me, Mark.” Mark: “Um. 0101001010.”

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