Archive for the Mr. Bitch Goes to Bitchtown Category

I’M TOO TIRED TO VERIFY THE CORRECT SPELLING OF “CURMUDGEON”

Posted in Mr. Bitch Goes to Bitchtown on August 26, 2011 by butthorn

It has recently become clear to me that I am an old person.  A smelly, closed-minded, shriveled, horrible to be around, incontinent, inattentive, stuck in the past, paranoid, dirty minded, uninteresting, all-around poop in the potty old person.  The reason I have come to this conclusion, or this conclusion has come to me, which is the same thing so forget I wrote that, is due to the fact that I live in a college town.  The very college town in which I once attended college myself, back when I was a somewhat younger old person.  It is a nice little town to look at, very clean and pleasant to walk around in for the most part.  Its citizens will not trouble you for spare change or cigarettes, for they are wealthy, and don’t smoke.  At most, they may flash a barely perceptible derisive sneer, a look that conveys something along the lines of “I don’t recognize you, but you seem poor”, after which they will continue on their merry way, thinking about NPR and organically grown vegetables.  If you were to attack them, or even simply ask for the time, they would no doubt simultaneously wet and soil their belted khaki shorts and begin vomiting and crying, which would be way worse to deal with than the barely perceptible derisive sneer, so it’s best to let them have their proud moment of judgement and carry on with your business.  They are not really harming anything, and on occasion some of them will even surprise you by being genuinely pleasant provided you keep the conversation light and don’t talk about poontang or nutsacs or, God forbid, organically grown vegetables.

That’s how it is in the summertime.  A calm, cool breeze blesses sparsely populated streets.  Amidst the relaxed, tanned families, one can easily find an empty booth in one of the few humble eateries about town at any time of day or night.  Short of the occasional comfortably ratty Red Sox cap, few feel the need to wear hats.  While people do look at their phones from time to time, they do so simply to check for messages of voice or text, and then close their phone upon continuing their walk, that they might better see where it is that they are going.  Traffic is steady but purposeful, en route to earning money for the purposes of family sustenance or to spend it on sensible things like hammers and assorted crockery.  When lawns are mowed, the people mowing them wear headphones not to listen to the latest smash hit by DJ Fuck Yo Momma and the Bitch Shooters, but to actually protect their ears from possible and permanent impairment.  It is Sunnytown, USA, and its beaming blandness is at once irritating and wonderful, depending on how one chooses to process the information on display.

Then fall comes.

This evening I drove my poor-smelling, essential-fluid-leaking maroon station wagon to the Thai take-out place just down the street from our apartment for the purposes of picking up curry puffs (an unfamiliar but exciting-sounding appetizer this place started making recently) and delicious yellow curry with fluffy rice and tender pork as a reward to myself and my wife for another week of not killing one another when I couldn’t help but notice a trio of fleshy, fresh-faced young women walking directly in the middle of the road, all three squinting and smiling wanly at their vibrantly hued cellphones.  Now I’m all for fleshy, fresh-faced young women in most any capacity, but when they’re shuffling down the street in the middle of a fairly busy main road and preventing me from shoveling hot, starchy, fowl-flesh slurry into my yearning esophagus, I really have no choice but to run over them with my vehicle.  So I killed some people tonight, and I’ll pay for it later, no doubt.  But the curry puffs were excellent.

Walking in the opposite direction of these oblivious ninnies were a pair of deeply dopey-looking young fellows, backwards of cap and saggy of short, striding with the confidence that only an exquisitely empty cerebral cortex can supply.  They, too, were walking down the middle of the road, despite there being a clearly visible sidewalk with plenty of room on it for people to walk on, even people who don’t know how to dress themselves and spend every waking moment of their boundless spare time texting one another about bath salts.  But no, nothing but the middle of the road would do for these gents.

I made no attempt to disguise my disgust, looking directly at both parties in question and sighing as loud as I possible could, but they all just kept on galumphing.  In the end, I drove directly into their midst, and we all sort of maneuvered around one another.  I’m not even sure I was visible to any of them.

So as you age, do people in the age group of, say, 13-24 just suddenly come across as utterly devoid of value, to the point where it seems like it would feel great to really cause them some serious physical harm in a perfect world where they weren’t actually stronger than you?  To the point where working out at a gym doesn’t sound like such a bad idea after all, if only to possibly give you the ability to maybe hospitalize the next person who says the word “dude”?  Or have kids just gotten really, really, really dumb?  And mean?  Is this how my friends and I looked and sounded to people with responsibilities and interests that no longer involved parties or sleeping till noon or occasionally walking to a series of buildings and sitting in a series of rooms ignoring a series of middle-aged nerds?

Well, at any rate, looks like I’m surrounded by fuckin’ idiots till May!  WHOOOOOOOO!  MORE COWBELL!  PLEASE, I BEG OF YOU, MORE COWBELL!!!!!  WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

LET’S KEEP CHRIST IN “CHRIST, IS IT FUCKING CHRISTMAS ALREADY?”

Posted in Mr. Bitch Goes to Bitchtown on December 8, 2010 by butthorn

Let’s not talk about how terrible I’ve become at blogging.  It’s late, and what’s done, or not done, is done, or not done.  Let’s just press on.

A bunch of snow fell out of the sky and now it’s winter.  I can feel doldrums doing their best to settle in, but this is no time to succumb to that sort of foolishness.  I need to get something, anything, done.  Dishes count!  As does signing up for free personal finance software, reorganizing a baby’s dresser, and drinking a highball of Dr. Pepper.  These are all things I’ve done tonight, and now I can retire to my downy bed with a song in my heart and an overall feeling of deep soul satisfaction.

I am angry at the clothes of my baby and wife.  Both look cute and respectable wearing the clothes.  Appearance is not the major malfunction here.  My hands cannot fold these clothes or shape them into anything that attractively and/or effectively fits into a drawer.  Their garments are miniscule and asymmetrical, and lend themselves only to wadding and tossing callously onto surfaces where they don’t belong or look good.  Sure my featureless tee-shirts and less than notable pants droop off my body like giant frayed loogies, but they fold quickly and easily into near-perfect squares that can be neatly stacked inside drawers or hung effortlessly from hangers.  Baby and lady clothes defy geometry and don’t listen to reason.  I will forthwith rend them to pieces.

It was sad about Leslie Nielsen dying, huh?  I don’t think any of us wanted that for him.

Look, here he is as jolly old St. Nick, pouring himself a nice glass of milk.  Boy, it really doesn’t get any cozier than that combination of elements, does it?  What could be better than Leslie Nielsen in a Santa outfit showing up at your house on Christmas Eve, tripping over presents, knocking over the tree, and setting himself ablaze?  There are certain sounds that if you think about them hard enough, you can actually hear them, and one of those is Leslie Nielsen saying “Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas!”  Try it!  He was at least twice as good as Santa, and will be missed.

I will be telling my child that there is a Santa Claus.  I just know that I’ll do that.  I don’t care that it’s lying.  It will no doubt be but one of a legion of lies I impart to my son over the course of our time together.  My parents had me believing in Santa until about fifth grade, thanks to cynical rumblings on the playground paired with a sudden, hurtful realization that the whole thing plain doesn’t wash, with the flying reindeer and the obese senior citizen squoozing himself down a claustrophobic fire tube, tens of millions of them in one night.  It’s beyond bullshit, and it makes you wonder about your own sanity that you ever believed it at all.  Aside from the inherent deception, the inevitable conclusion to the Santa Claus experience quashes an amount of wide-eyed wonder equivalent to if not greater than the amount generated while you’re in the thick of buying it hook, line, and sinker.  Is it a bitter rite of passage disguised as a harmless holiday tradition?  An unintentional lesson of trust?  A cruel gag?  Simply a fun pastime that we naturally outgrow?  I remember the palpable Christmas Eve excitement all too well to deny my child the same.  I’m sure once he gets to kindergarten some dick-lick whose parents hate him will ruin the fun, but until then, I greatly look forward to the annual festive subterfuge that awaits our clan.  Not sure if I’ll bother with the Easter Bunny or not, though.  I don’t know about that guy.  And the Tooth Fairy…seems too easy to get caught lifting up the pillow, plus you gotta handle their tooth, which yuck.  My God, what an unbelievable and potentially saddening nightmare this is all turning out to be!  I think I’ll abandon my family tonight.  Toodles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(My wife and I watched “Tooth Fairy” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for our third anniversary.  I teared up with emotion at a pivotal moment near the end.  I can’t in good conscience recommend it, but we were talking about tooth fairies and everything.  It seemed like a good opportunity to reintroduce cognizance of its existence to your brain.  Maybe you can set some time aside to think about it today, and reflect on why you haven’t treated yourself to a viewing.)

EXPRESSING OPINIONS ON THE INTERNET: WHO COULD HAVE BELIEVED IT POSSIBLE?

Posted in Mr. Bitch Goes to Bitchtown on August 4, 2010 by butthorn

Let’s talk about some things I don’t care about:

FOOTBALL: I don’t understand it and it looks like it hurts.

ANDY SAMBERG: He reminds of the kid on the bus that everyone laughs at but talks about how annoying he is whenever he stays home sick from school.  Except Andy Samberg never stays home sick.  He is infuriatingly healthy.

GPS: Look, I can’t read an atlas either, but come on.  Drive your car.

SUPERHERO MOVIES: They’re all the same.  Guy puts on a fruity suit and flies around enjoying himself, then a bad guy comes and makes things bad, then Fruit Suit beats the bad guy and everything’s okay again, with occasional interludes for chemistry-free scenes with women who wouldn’t give the film’s core audience the time of day.  Boring and depressing, but at least they’re not…

REMAKES OF 80’S MOVIES AND (ESPECIALLY) MOVIES BASED ON OLD 80’S SHOWS: Complaining about these is like complaining about hardship, or illness.  Everyone knows they’re bad.  Sure, people’ll go see “The A-Team” movie.  Theaters are air-conditioned, and their seats are usually fairly comfortable.  The perfect environment for texting, or for loudly expressing your negative opinion of the film currently playing for the benefit of all in attendance.  Just because ticket sales are healthy doesn’t mean anybody’s actually enjoying the film.  They just don’t like being outside.  But I guess if all we’re doing is using movie theaters as roomy areas in which to fondly examine our neat little phoney-woneys, we deserve such films as “The Karate Kid Again Except Sucky This Time” and “Clash of the Things People Made on Computers” and “Transformers 3: Farty Fart Poop Crap Piss”.  I know that, historically, pop culture is largely based upon whatever decade the people currently in their thirties grew up in, but for the love of Mackenzie Astin, give the 1980’s some time to recover from our endless mining of its natural resources.  Because where does it end?  “Sister Kate: The Movie”?  “She’s the Sheriff: 3D Imax”?  “I Now Pronounce You Benson and Alf”?

AMERICAN IDOL: Hey, let’s make cruel sport of people who don’t sound like everything else on the radio has sounded for the past decade and a half for a couple of weeks, then pick twelve of the least offensive wannabes and watch them sing selections from the station they make you listen to at work for weeks on end, subjecting them to the random critical whims of three megalomaniacs before finally leaving the decision up to middle schoolers who will base their vote on who has the best hair.  This is one of those cases where “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it” simply doesn’t apply, because everybody’s co-workers and everybody’s parents will fill you in on every last detail, even if you tell them you hate the show and don’t care in the slightest what’s happening on it, while tearing your face skin in frustration and aiming a gun at them and urinating on a photograph of Randy Jackson.  Some have postulated that the show will end once Simon takes off, but I’m pretty sure they’ll just replace him with that chef who yells at everybody.  The worst part about “American Idol” is that it’s no longer timely to make fun of it, so I can’t even derive any joy out of this paragraph.

SKYPE: I use the Internet to avoid having to talk to people.  Even though we’ve had the ability to video chat for several years now, it’s still a bit more futuristic than I’m capable of dealing with.  I like the idea of flying cars as much as the next guy, but if someone pulled up in one tomorrow and offered me the keys, I’d be way too scared to drive it.  Rather than a normal conversation, video chatting just feels like my laptop is taking on the form of my friend and is emulating their thought and speech patterns.  I don’t want to chat with the evil terminator from “Terminator 2”.  I want to refresh my Amazon recommendations in blissful solitude.

GLEE – I haven’t seen a single, solitary second of it and I hate it with a passion I usually reserve for activities such as “getting out of bed” and “helping”.  Why does everyone have to like things so hard?  And then talk at length about why they like them, with enthusiasm?  Don’t they know how hard that makes my life?

In the end, I really only enjoy money and creme-filled pastries.  And romantic comedies starring Matthew Perry.

I know this is thin on content and quality but I have to allow myself smaller posts from time to time, else I will abandon this thing altogether, and where will that leave us?  I guess I’d better slap a picture of some sort on here too…here ya go!

PICK A NAME, ANY NAME

Posted in Food Where's My Car, It's Alive!, Mr. Bitch Goes to Bitchtown on December 6, 2009 by butthorn

Some snow finally fell out of the sky onto the ground and the cars and stairs and everything.  It was easy to deal with and nice to see.  It isn’t cold outside at all, and the town looks as Christmasy as a mill town possibly can.  I made tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, with cheddar jack Cheezits on the side; the ultimate in cozy meals. 

I watched a “Mystery Science Theater 3000” episode (“Horrors of Spider Island”, which served to further the very correct theory that the awesomer the title, the poorer the film) and an almost-entertaining 1976 thriller about God possessing people’s brains and telling them to shoot people (entitled, appropriately enough, “God Told Me To”) while Annie promptly fell sound asleep for several hours after eating my dangerously relaxing repast.  Now we’re intermittently gaping dumbly at “60 Minutes” in HD.  Not a program that cries out for high definition, but boy, these people’s foreheads look fantastic. 

The tree is assembled and displayed, and in spite of its spindly fakeness it adeptly cheers up the room.  I’m drinking a lot of ginger ale.  My wife bought her first pair of maternity jeans yesterday.  They have a built-in, flesh-hued girdle sort of attachment that I confess I’m a bit jealous of.  It seems snugger and less cumbersome and pinchy than a belt.  Belts are stupid.  I want girdle jeans. 

Suitable names for the baby continue to be elusive.  I almost feel like we’ll have to look at the baby once it’s out and the right name will magically make itself apparent, like how our cat Archie just “looked like an Archie”.  I don’t know.  We certainly don’t want to add to the inundation of Logans and Madisons currently overtaking day cares across the nation, but then again I don’t necessarily want to shy away from a name we like simply because it happens to be popular at the moment.  At the same time, I can’t abide giving the child a name that, while probably a fine name in theory, happens to be shared by someone I hated growing up; this condition eliminates a depressing number of possibilities. 

Names can make or break a kid.  Looking at books or websites dedicated to lists of baby names just makes me want to name the baby something ridiculous/hateful like “Walmart Gonads” to get back at him/her for putting us through the irritating and seemingly impossible task of coming up with a word and accompanying sound that lets everyone know who they are for the rest of their life.  My brother-in-law claims to be in favor of letting the child name themselves once they’re old enough to comprehend the act of naming.  This isn’t an unintriguing idea, but I find the child’s lack of a name annoying now, and the kid isn’t even out here yet.  Not to mention we’d run the risk of ending up the proud parents of Spongebob Stover.  At least it’s not “Logan”. 

Here’s some other winners the geniuses out there are naming their poor sap babies according to BabyCenter: Cash (Not only a depressing name for a child, but it’s more popular than “Jeremy” this year; I can’t help but take offense [then again you can’t exchange Jeremy for goods and/or services, or at least probably not very quality ones]), Xander (No no no, America!  That is not your child!  That is the annoying guy from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”!   The TV is not the place to get a name for your baby!  You didn’t see people back in 1992 naming their kid “Urkel”, did you?  And “Urkel” is both a less annoying name AND character than Xander!  I would be happier, America, if  “Urkel” were the 141st most popular name in this country right now, but no, that distinction belongs to “Xander”!  “Spongebob” probably really is on this list somewhere…I will not be surprised, I truly will not….Xander…grr…), Joaquin (No, you can’t have that name for your baby either, America.  That’s just for that one dude.), Londyn (I just purposefully shit my pants right this second to make a point about what a terrible name that is, that’s how much I hate that name.  You can’t just cram a letter “Y” in there and think you’re special.), Lyric (or Lyrrhyck, somewhere on the list I’m sure; anyway, P.U., am I right?), Talon (Naming your child after a bird’s hand qualifies you as a horse’s ass! [insert Phyllis Diller laugh here]), Maverick (Now you have to name your next child Goose; happy now?), Princess (I didn’t know people could give birth to kitties!  That’s adorable!), Peanut (Babycenter seems confident that this is actually the 652nd most popular name bestowed upon defenseless babies in American in 2009.  So either the website lacks credibility or the country does.  Or my whimsy tolerance is at an all-time low.  At any rate, fuck you all.), Remington (This list is full of pip-pip-cheerio names like this.  Why does everyone want their child to aspire to preppiness?  Did preppies stop being assholes at some point without my knowledge?  Do I know anything that is happening at all, anywhere?), Maxton (That’s not even anything.  That’s a random prefix paired with a random suffix.  Miketopher, anyone?  Frankvis?), Analise (I know this is a time-honored name that’s been around for generations now, but that word is basically “anal lice”…hey everyone, meet my lovely baby girl Buttbugs…), New (As a rule you don’t want a name that becomes closer to a cruelly ironic joke with each passing second; also, that’s not a name, that’s a fucking adjective)…the list, I’m sad to report, goes on.

Take a name like “Stanley”.  A fine name.  Not one we’re considering for our own child, but a perfectly acceptable, meat and potatoes kind of name.  Afternoon, Stanley.  How’s that new riding lawnmower treating you?  Glad to hear it.  Take care, Stanley.  That’s the kind of comforting, low-on-unnecessary- personal-details conversation you can have with a guy named Stanley.  It’s a name.  It works.  Guess where “Stanley” falls on Babycenter’s list.  Guess.  1031.  One thousand and thirty one.  Behind Maverick.  Behind Xzavier (not a typo).  Behind Peanut.  Behind Not, My, and The! 

Not!  My!!  THE!!!!

I don’t know, maybe this list is inaccurate, although I’m pretty sure BabyCenter is the online place to go for baby information, for whatever that’s worth.  In looking at these names, which obviously somehow aren’t considered silly and embarrassing to everyone given that kids are really getting named this stuff, it strikes me that it doesn’t take long to feel like an old person in this country.  Every few years everything seems to change just enough to make you uncomfortable, and you lash out and call everything stupid simply because it isn’t what you’re used to.  That’s a natural enough progression, and a less frightening explanation than what I really think/fear, which is we’re all turning into insane, thoughtless cartoons without even realizing it. 

On an unrelated note, we only get two channels on our TV at the moment, one of which is The CW, and I just got to watch “Cheaters” for the first time tonight.  Nice to meet you, new favorite show!

MIDDLE-AGED WOMEN: PLEASE DON’T TALK ABOUT MOVIES.

Posted in Mr. Bitch Goes to Bitchtown on April 28, 2008 by butthorn

Here is a verbatim transcript of the conversation that just took place in the office mere moments ago between three otherwise perfectly wonderful ladies who I work with:

MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN 1: Hey, I saw a pretty good movie the other night.  It was that…ohhhh, now I can’t think of the title.  Somebody’s war.  “Charlie Anderson’s War”, something like that.

MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN 2: Oh, is that the one with Tom Hanks? 

MAW 1: Yup, Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.

MAW 2: Ooh, Julia Roberts!

MAW 3: I love Julia Roberts.

MAW 1: And then that other guy, I can’t think of his name.  The creepy guy.

MAW 2: Why didn’t they ever make a “Pretty Woman 2”? 

MAW 1: You know, the fat guy from “Ka-poat”.

MAW 2: Oh, yuck.

MAW 1: Something Hoffman.

MAW 3: Dustin Hoffman?

MAW 1: Yeah, it must’ve been.

MAW 2: Oh, speaking of movies, we watched a great old movie last night.

MAW 1: Oh yeah?  What was it?

MAW 2: “The Punisher”.

MAW 1: Oh, I LOVE that movie!

Wowie!  Do you think I’d be fired if I started punching women in the face while simultaneously crying and vomiting on them?  I know, I know:  Entertainment is subjective, and not everyone remembers every little detail about every movie they watch.  I’ve politely pretended to concede both of those tiresome “points” on numerous occasions, and they’re groundless excuses at best.  Please like what I like and know what I know at all times, or kindly remain silent in my presence.  Much obliged.

And middle-aged men: Please don’t talk about sports or vehicles.  I don’t doubt that you know your stuff, but I simply don’t find it interesting, and as such I can’t pretend to talk to you and effectively distract myself from the chirpy, poorly-informed, and baby-obsessed yammering of the women.  If you could restrict your innate capacity for goofy enthusiasm pertaining to pointlessly detailed recall to movies, video games, and recent innovations in potato chip flavors, that would help me out a lot.

To sum up, women are stupid and men are boring.  Enjoy your day!

 

EAT IT, FEBRUARY!

Posted in Mr. Bitch Goes to Bitchtown on February 5, 2008 by butthorn

I failed to make it to work today due to a car that is not good. Among the things that don’t work well on it are: brakes, the steering wheel, the CD player, the tires, and whatever it is that usually stops the car from making a SCREEEEEEEEEEE sound like the victims in director Abel Ferrara’s underrated 1993 remake “Body Snatchers”. The heat works well, though. And the seats support weight. I forgot to mention the windshield wipers. Those don’t work too well, either. Bottom line: don’t buy used cars from your dad’s mechanic who lives in the woods. I shouldn’t knock it too much. It generally gets us to where we need to go, but not without complaint. I came very close to rear-ending a guy on my way to work this morning, and the roads really weren’t THAT terrible. If we’re going to live in Maine, a car that can withstand “mixed mess” is pretty crucial.

It’s looking like my temp job may be finally drawing to a close, so that should make for a fun month of eating lint and pleading with rarely-contacted relatives. By the third week of the month we’ll no doubt be reeating and repooping the same poop. Or getting all our meals from the dollar menu at McDonald’s, which is roughly the same thing. Is the quote “February is the cruelest month”? Don’t bothering researching, I don’t really care, because if that isn’t the quote, then whoever said that is wrong and hopefully dead of something that lingered. February’s quick and shitty, like Bruce Lee hitting you in the nuts. That would be terrible! February’s not THAT bad! But still, the weather sucks, nothing’s going on, and everyone’s usually in a crap mood because they’ve had it with winter. They try to spiff February up a little by sticking Valentine’s Day in there, but that day probably causes more fights than anything else. We usually buy a new video game system on Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t look like a possibility this year, which is actually fine because our Xbox fever seems to have pretty well died down, if not out, and I’ve never met anyone who was psyched to buy a PS3, least of all us. What else sucks about Feb? Oh yeah, another way they (who’s this “they” I seem to think tampers with months?) try to make February look better is to give it fewer days, but that’s a huge ripoff because now you’re paying full rent for a seriously truncated month. Nothing feels worse than writing out the February rent check, unless Bruce Lee walks in and hits you in the nuts as you’re making it out. February is a good deal for landlords and Russell Stover, and that’s about it. At least one Stover’s doing well by February. And I have no idea whether I’m related to him or not, but thanks for asking, everyone I’ve ever met!

So the plan is to get a job. A real one, preferably. One with some security that doesn’t require me to lift heavy things or exert myself in any real way. One in Orono would be wonderful. I really don’t have anything in particular against Brewer, other than it sucks and it’s crappy, but as long as we’re reliant on a random conglomerate of metal and rubber that through some stroke of magic somehow manages to propel itself down the road every now and then, the fewer miles between me and work, the better.

I’m enjoying a pot of David Lynch coffee all to myself on my day off, so that’s probably fueling this rant. I don’t know if it’s worth what we paid for it (it really was an embarrassing amount), and it certainly wasn’t worth putting up with the ceaselessly flowing horseshit of UPS. I like to pronounce it phonetically: “you piss”, as in “you piss on the very notion of customer service”. Anyway now that the DL coffee is here and made and in my cup and down my throat, it is, to be corny and obvious, damn good coffee. I am going to pour myself more of it and then I might even clean this depressing pigsty up a little, provided I can pry myself away from Luxor 2, which is officially the most addictive video game I have ever had the misfortune of downloading to my computer. Adieu, accomplishment.

OBLIGATORY DEATH ENTRY, PT. 1

Posted in Mr. Bitch Goes to Bitchtown on January 23, 2008 by butthorn

It’s too bad about Heath Ledger. I’m positive the last thing anybody expected to hear on the news yesterday evening was that Heath Ledger had died. I can’t even say I was an especially big fan of his, or ever gave him a whole lot of thought, but I certainly didn’t want or expect him to die, at least not right away. One could lament the fact that the viewing public will be deprived of future Ledger performances (speaking of which, I look forward, somewhat queasily, to seeing his take on The Joker), but far, far more tragic than that is the fact that his baby daughter will never really get to know her dad, outside of watching his movies, which I guess is a lot more than most children in similar situations get. Still, horribly, horribly sad.

That’s all I really have to say concerning that particular bit of news. A human being has died. It happens every day, from what I understand. Of late, it has also happened to Suzanne Pleshette, Brad Renfro, and Bobby Fischer, all of whom, unlike Ledger, failed to die at the height of their popularity, so it isn’t as sad. It feels like celebrities are dropping left and right, and I find myself unaccountably worried about which beloved, monetarily overcompensated person who plays make-believe in front of cameras is going to die next. Yet daily there are reams of newsprint detailing the demises of decent folk, young and old, from around the globe, not to mention people being shot and tortured to death for no good reason, but how could I possibly bring myself to care about any of them when the guy from “10 Things I Hate About You” has passed away, due to an apparently self-inflicted pill overdose brought on by the malaise that evidently accompanies things like mountains of disposable income and universal critical acclaim.

Now I have no idea what Heath Ledger was dealing with, externally or internally, that led him to wherever he is now, wherever one goes when that happens, and I know that money and fame don’t exactly equal happiness, or at least that’s what rich people tell me when they’re trying to make me feel better about being piss broke, and I don’t proudly make light of a terrible situation; it’s simply the only way I know how to deal with them. I’m just trying to figure out why it’s so sad when celebrities die. We don’t know them, and in many cases probably wouldn’t like them if we encountered them. Following their deaths, our lives are not markedly changed. Often we’re only reminded of their passing months later, when a clip of them smiling wistfully into the distance in one of their movies shows up on the People Who Died Oscar Reel. Speaking of which, do you think they’ll show Heath Ledger last, in the coveted Dead Actor Everyone Liked Best Position? The Walter Matthau position, if you will? It’s always sickly exciting for me to see who goes last on that reel, and to see who gets applause and who doesn’t. And how terrible is that, that not everyone shown on the dead Oscar reel gets a positive reaction? It’s like back in middle school, when they’re giving out various certificates for whatever doofy bullshit everyone did during the year, and the popular kid with perfect attendance practically gets a standing o, and the poor bastard who got a 100 average in chemistry gets silence and muffled insults. Good job showing up, handsome athlete! Fuck you for working hard, awkward dork! Why even bother with the measly applause when the clip of the silent-film era actress who nobody but Leonard Maltin remembers anymore flashes onscreen? Why don’t they just yell out “We don’t care that you’re dead!” and be done with it?

What was I talking about? My head is spinning, I’m gonna have to get back to this.

R.I.P. Suzanne Pleshette.