BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Oh, me achin' head. Had some oysters yesterday so...

Just a few random thoughts for now.

The Abercrombie & Fitch Ski School does not really exist.

Contrary to popular belief, Old Navy does not own an Irish Pub called "Paddy O's" (karaoke, darts and pool since 1983). Old Navy produces cheaper Gap stuff - they are not in the bar business.

It's my very strong opinion that TGIFriday's Sizzling Chicken & Cheese could kill you.

Even though the billboard says so, the #1 show in L.A. is NOT "The DEEsbournes."

Journey, REO, and Styx are touring together this summer. That's quite a triple bill.

Kenny Rogers must have some major cash invested in the Barona Valley Casino, 'coz it's all he's pushing these days; I was not aware that he was part Barona Valley Indian.

Cameron Diaz just broke up with Jared Leto.

Damn.

I was upset when I heard about Ashton Kutcher and Brit Murphy, but this breakup really gets me.

Hey, whatever happened to the girl from "Chasing Amy?"

I think the swing thing is officially over.

I 've never had the chance to experience "Lobsterfest."

Spitting into the wind,
Brando






Friday, April 25, 2003

The following is NOT an excerpt from The Onion. I repeat; the following is not an excerpt from The Onion, the leading satirical paper in the US. It’s from People magazine, one of the leading causes of brain cancer in the US.

http://www.peoplenews.com/Forward.do?forward=newsx&id=1005310

Campbell: Catwalk CIA
Model hunts down Bin Laden

“Struggling to keep up with the movements of international terrorists? Rest assured, Naomi Campbell has her finger on the world's pulse. According to the New York Post, the tempestuous clotheshorse has revealed that she has 'intelligence sources' (an intriguing disclosure in its own right) across the globe, keeping track of terrorist activity. More importantly, Campbell has let it be known that her network of spies has been keeping tabs on none other than Terrorism Weekly's centerfold pin-up, Osama bin Laden. The supermodel has confided in close friends that she knows for a fact Bin Laden is holed up in Saudi Arabia.”

Awesome. I’ve been looking for clues that would lead me to an “Eyes Wide Shut” party, and I think I’ve found one.

You know something? I totally believe the “tempestuous clotheshorse” because she has THE VIP pass. She gets to be THERE. At ground zero. Where it really goes down. Because she is an uber-fox. I’m about to trek into some dangerous territory, but let’s be honest: powerful men want to be around the foxiest women, and Naomi fits that bill. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is; uber-foxy ladies have been close to the pulse FROM DAY ONE, and they’ve seen more than their share of hardcore stuff.

“Ugga. Me feel like burning down village. Ugga.”
“You’re lying!”
“Ugga.”
“Oh, don’t worry, you big baby. I won’t tell anyone.”
“Ugga ugga.”
“In fact, I think it’s kinda…sexy!”
“Ugga bugga!”

Uber-foxes get to go to THE parties, they get to hang by THE pools… Christ, they might even end up in THE bedrooms. As a result, they’re gonna experience things that the average person will never even know about. Drug deals, hostile takeovers, arms shipments, the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden. You name it. They’ve seen it and heard it.

Are you with me?

I know for a fact that the girls who work at the Body Shop and the Seventh Veil on Sunset can take it to Saudi Arabia (and Tokyo and New York) ANYTIME THEY WANT. For easy cash. Thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars worth of easy cash. Just to sit by a pool. Maybe some sex, maybe not. But, hey, who’s zooming who?

Here’s an excerpt from a (very real) conversation between two strippers. I heard this exchange in the parking lot of the Rite Aid on the corner of Sunset & Fairfax a few years ago:

“I just got back.”
“How much did you make?”
“Like, a hundred grand. It was so easy. You should go.”
“Over there?”
“Hmm mmm.”

So who’s to say that Charity WON’T hear some cool junk while the prince applies Ban de Soleil to the back of her neck? His cell phone is gonna ring. He’s gonna bark an order at a henchman or two. Besides that, she’ll hear it from the other girls. (“Last night, while he was sleeping, he kept saying, They'll be in Damascus by next fall.’ What does that mean?”)

Trust me. It happens. ALL THE TIME. Simple James Bond stuff.

I’m not saying that Naomi has DONE THAT, but she’s been around her share of movers and shakers. Guaranteed.

It’s hard to believe anything that appears in People magazine, but it does make me wonder.

More later.













Thursday, April 24, 2003

MICKEY D’S AND THE THREE KINGS

Had a phenomenal time in Manhattan, but so glad to be back in the People’s Republic of Hollywood. Thoughts re: New York later in the week.

More laughs from Mesopotamia. From Wednesday’s Buzzflash.com:

http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_772640.html

Fast food for troops

“The borders are still shut and the diplomats have yet to travel, but envoys from Pizza Hut and Burger King have arrived in Iraq.

The two fast food giants set up their first franchises inside the war-torn country, while many aid convoys waited on the borders for the war to officially end.

The arrival of the two restaurants - sited inside giant trailers on a British military base near Basra - won a rapturous welcome from soldiers, whose limited range of rations lost their appeal many weeks ago.”

Thank god.

I was wondering when the Iraqis would get their first REAL taste of freedom. A Whopper with cheese is the perfect antidote for thirty years of (CIA supported) oppression. Yes, I know, the pizzas, burgers and freedom fries are for the soldiers. But don’t worry; the citizens of Baghdad will experience the liberating sight of the golden arches very soon. Come to think about it, they’ll experience more liberation than they can handle as soon as Taco Bell, the Colonel, and Carl’s Jr get their act together.

“So many choices,” cried Dubai as he dragged his legless body through the food court. “I will make a run for the border with my Steak Gordita and then I will kiss the feet of your George Bush.” Dubai spent the rest of the afternoon searching for discarded Happy Meals. “I like the toys. Monsters Inc., X-men, Simpsons, whatever. For the Ebay.”

Have the Starbuck’s police been informed of this gross miscarriage of (commercial) justice? I thought they had an exclusive contract with the coalition of the willing? And what about Wal-Mart? Shouldn’t they have a store in Basra by now? Those collation soldiers busted their ass for my freedom; they should get the opportunity to buy some (plastic crap) before they leave the Middle East.

Target, Old Navy, Ikea, Jack in the Box, the Gap, Kohl’s, Home Depot, Banana Republic, Applebee’s. Baghdad will look like suburban Indianapolis before you can say, “We’ve discovered an underground tunnel beneath Saddam’s main palace, and it goes all the way to Damascus. And in the wording of section 1441, agreed to by the UN Security Council last fall, we have the right to…”

This war was not about oil. It was about freedom.

Freedom to buy useless junk.

Hold tight, Iraqi people. You haven’t lived ‘til you’ve shopped at a Best Buy around Christmas.

You people do celebrate Christmas, don’t you? If you do, cool. If you don’t, you will. The “aid workers” from Texas will help you with the details. (“Christianity is so neat because we have this one particular day in December where we are guaranteed to get cool stuff from the Lord.”)

And speaking of leaving Baghdad with cool stuff, check out this little ditty from Murdoch’s Post.

http://www.nypost.com/commentary/74120.htm

BAGHDAD

“FOUR GIs arrested and charged with stealing nearly $1 million in cash from money found hidden in Baghdad had intended to filch another $12 million, The Post has learned.

Army investigators yesterday discovered three aluminum boxes - each holding $4 million in $100 bills - that they believe the sticky-fingered soldiers stashed away to be recovered by them at a later time when the coast was clear, sources said.”

Awesome. Quickly, the soldiers grabbed the cash from a “walled up cottage” near the Tigris a la “The Three Kings” and stashed it in on the riverbank. (Get it? RiverBANK? Ho ho.) I mean, what, how can I, this is too easy, oh, man, so great, I, it’s hard to wrap my brain around this one, I, oh, forget it.

Wonder if they found the map to the “walled up cottage” in the ass of a…oh…nevermind.

More later.



Wednesday, April 16, 2003

BLOGGER IS HAVING TROUBLE RECOGNIZING LETTERS BEFORE QUOTATIONS. STICK WITH ME UNTIL I GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PROBLEM. I can spell, I swear.

Hey. Sorry to those of you (all two of you) who have been checking this blog on a regular basis. Taxes, you know. God, do I hate them. However, I prayed to the tiny baby Jesus and he helped me find a few extra receipts for my 2106-EZ and my Schedule A, so I’m tanned, rested and ready to fight for your freedom.

Onward Christian soldiers.

Wanted to get some quick thoughts re: the whole Tim Robbins/Baseball Hall of Fame/Bull Durham thing. Don’t really need to jump all over (super yay-hoo) Dale Petroskey for playing partisan politics since every sportswriter worth a stitch has already done so. Nor will I jump on Petroskey for hosting an evening with ARI FLEISCHER at the Hall a few months ago. I would just like to take this opportunity to point out one of the comments I’ve heard (from the other side) regarding the cancellation of the above-mentioned event.

Let’s start with the (anti-Tim Robbins) quote from Murdoch’s NY Post:

“The First Amendment guarantees Americans the right to speak their mind. It does not, however, confer blanket immunity from the consequences of what we choose to say.

The hall has rightly concluded that millions of Americans would be offended if it gave two Hollywood twits a soapbox they otherwise wouldn't have had.

And that's its right under the First Amendment, too.”

Cool. There it is. Out in the open. In the King’s English. The conservative hard-line on “free speech.”

In other words…

“Sure, lefty, the First Amendment gives you the ‘right’ to say what you want, but if WE don’t like it, we will fuck you, especially if you exercise that ‘right’ on OUR property or, god forbid you be so stupid, on OUR dime.”

They’ve waited a long time to get the good old US of A on that particular track, and goddammit, we’re finally THERE, in a world where people will begin to worry about the CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND ACTIONS, even if said people believe they are “right.”

I’ve been listening to the Hannitys and Limabughs and O’Reillys this past week, and they’ve been SLAMMING that point home; again, you’re “free” to say what you want, but you’d better think before you speak because their will be consequences if you say things we don’t like, because we are the majority and we run the show.

You might remember that Ari Fleischer said the same thing to the White House press corps a number of times in the months BEFORE 9/11, back when reporters were writing stories about W’s “problems” with, oh, just about everything on a daily basis. Petroskey said as much in his letter to Tim Robbins when he wrote that Robbins had an “obligation to act and speak responsibly” during war-time.

(Right. I forgot. We’re at war.)

It’s a corporate world, folks, and a corporate world has corporate rules. “They’ve” worked very hard (especially in the last few decades) to make it so. Christ, they’ve been gobbling up land and companies and radio stations and television networks and newspapers by the black market truckloads to DO so. We are THERE, in a corporate world where it is extremely easy to marginalize open dissent (via the conservative media) and to keep potential dissent at bay with (petty) threats.

It’s simple. Just think about the heavy politics of the workplace. You can’t call your boss a scumbag (even if he is cheating on his wife and three kids with Donna the foxy temp) ‘coz you will get fired. And that would suck because a) you live from paycheck to paycheck and b) the thought of working a double shift at Starbuck’s makes you want to vomit.

“So don’t say anything.”

That’s what “they” want.

One used to be able to scream and yell about this, that and the other thing with “relative” freedom, but not on private property. And that’s where we’re going; trust me, they’re gonna make the whole damn country “private” and then they’re REALLY gonna clamp down. They’re doing it NOW. Clear Channel tells Ani Di Franco to keep her mouth shut before her concert in NY (they own they arena) OR ELSE. A Nashville PR exec loses her job because she uses the “company e-mail” to fire off a reply to Charlie Daniel’s (extremely retarded and misinformed) pro-war rant. Cops arrest anti-war protestors in Denver for trespassing on the “private property” in front of Halliburton. Heard of the “Free Speech Zones,” the fenced off areas for Bush protestors? Usually located about a mile from the PRIVATE PROPERTIES where W usually makes his (very scripted and staged) PUBLIC appearances? You go to jail if you protest outside those “free speech zones.” Don’t believe me? It has HAPPENED. (Do a Google search (“Bush” and “free speech zones”) if you’re interested.)

The list goes on and on and on.

Aaaaaaaagghhhhhh.

I know one thing; people that inspire me could give a fuck about the consequences of their thoughts, words and actions, and aren’t afraid to speak up. Dylan, Lenny Bruce, King, Lennon, Zappa. The list is endless. (Even Janeane Garofalo, who’s been outstanding in the face of criticism because she continues to say, “I could care less. As long as my sister has an alarm company, I’ll be fine.”)

Enough.

In the words of the great Minutemen (the group, not the crazed and hungry revolutionary militia), “IN A FREE LAND, WHAT DO I GET?”

In the words of the great Iron Maiden, “IF YOU’RE GONNA DIE, DIE WITH YOUR BOOTS ON.”

P.S. Some sportswriters have pointed out the sort of pro-active “Minority Report” aspect of this Hall of Fame mess (stopping someone BEFORE THEY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK UP) and that is something to think about.

P.S.S. Amy Goodman had a great interview with Robbins on today’s “Democracy Now” (4/16). Should be on their archives tomorrow.

P.S.S.S. Big thanks to the NY Post for using the term “twits” in an editorial.




Tuesday, April 08, 2003

LET THEM EAT CAKE.

Hi. I’m back with a real doozy.

Hopefully, you’ve heard these comments by now.

Please read this excerpt from Jimmy Breslin’s syndicated column dated March 21, 2003.

“The following is from an immensely interesting transcript of Barbara Bush on an ABC-TV morning show. She was asked if she and her husband, the former president, watch television.”

(Let me clarify for Mr. Breslin; the question is “do the elder Bushies watch coverage of the war?” Hold on, folks, here comes Ma Bush.)

"He sits and listens and I read books because I know perfectly well that - don't take offense - that 90 percent of what I hear on television is supposition, when we're talking about the news. And he's not, not as understanding of my pettiness about that. But why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's going to happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Oh, I mean, it's, not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? And watch him suffer."

Whoa.

Whoa.

Whoa.

Where do you start with that one? It’s not even worth it.

Compassion. Intellectual curiosity. Strong genes in that Bush family, huh? Well, that quote proves one thing; the elder Bushies did have sex (at least once). Can’t see much family resemblance in ol’ Jeb, but W looks like Pa and definitely sounds like Ma.

“So why should I waste my BEAUTIFUL mind on something like that?!” Your BEAUTIFUL MIND?!! Babs, your beautiful mind can’t even articulate what “that” is! Something like “that?” What are you referring to? The Fox propaganda that scrolls by on the bottom of the screen, the latest Verizon commercial (“Can you hear me now?”) or the sight of Sean Hannity? Oh, I know what you mean, I get it, but you Bushies have a neat little habit of reducing important nouns to “this,” “that” and the “other thing.” Christ, your husband once referred to civil disobedience as “the civil disobedience thing” and his unpopularity with female voters as “the women thing.”

“I also feel a little uncomfortable sometimes with the elevation of the religious thing.”

Thank you, 41.

That’s a direct quote from the 80’s, folks. Or should I say “a folksy quote.”

Fun game. Put Barbara’s words in W’s mouth. Pretend that W is standing on the 18th tee and about to tee off when a White House reporter (and I use the word “reporter” VERY loosely) asks him to comment on reports of high numbers of Iraqi civilian casualties. Now re-read the following statement in W’s voice.

“But why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's going to happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Oh, I mean, it's, not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”

Thwack.

“Nice drive, sir.”

Scary, huh?

You know what? Babs is right. Why should she waste her beautiful mind on “something like that?” She deserves better (because SHE IS better). Come to think of it, why should we waste our beautiful minds on “something like that” when there are so many more important “things” to worry about?

Who’s gonna win the latest “American Idol?” The fat dude or the dude from Camp Pendleton? Should I renew my subscription to Entertainment Weekly? What if I don’t? How will I now what’s going on in the world or what to buy? (God, it sucks that the chick from “Alias” broke up with her real-life husband. That’s Hollywood for you, I guess. I wonder if she’ll ever find love again. Can’t wait to find out.) And that article I read on msn.com about why my significant other won’t sleep with me. Is it true? And what about all that crazy “Union talk” that’s been going on down at work? “Those people” should just shut up realize that they are lucky to have a job.

And how about this quote. “I know perfectly well that - don't take offense - that 90 percent of what I hear on television is supposition.”

Hey. Does that include the stuff we hear from your son?

I’d love to know what Babs is reading. Any guesses? Dr. Phil? The Motley Crue bio? Woodward’s latest love note to her son?

Depressed in Hollywood,
Brando


Friday, April 04, 2003

You might find this funny. Or lame. Or both.

-----Original Message-----
From: Brendan Smith
To: aaron.brown@turner.com
Sent: Fri Apr 04 14:14:04 2003
Subject: Thank you for your interview with Amy Goodman

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your interview with Amy Goodman on Radio Pacifica's "Democracy Now." Though this Hollywood Chomsky-ite could detect a few moments of frustration in your voice, I was (very) impressed with the honesty and grace you showed while addressing the concerns that many of us (on the left) have re: the corporate media's coverage of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq.

Continued success in difficult times.

Best Regards,

Brendan Smith
Hollywood, CA

Aaron’s response?

Thank you
--------------------------
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld (www.BlackBerry.net)

Well, Christ, at least he responded. Almost immediately. And I know that my e-mail is a bit kiss-ass-ish, but look: the guy took the hot seat on Amy Goodman’s show for an hour (to discuss CNN’s coverage of the war) and did not dodge her questions. Goodman, one of the leading progressive journalists in the country, did not lob Brown any softballs. Nor did her other guest, some dude from FAIR (and you know what they think of Aaron/CNN). It was a great interview, and I say kudos to Aaron Brown for having the guts to answer direct criticism from the “left.”

He basically went on and on about the pressures of putting together “balanced” coverage of the war in Iraq for a “mass” audience. He did not feel that it was his job to criticize or debate the military experts that appear on CNN because those old dudes are just there to talk about logistics and numbers. He did admit that CNN was late with its coverage of the anti-war movement in the months leading up to the war, and said that it is difficult to cover the movement NOW because it has no clear center. He claimed to have been fair with said coverage. He bristled when the hosts suggested that his reporting was influenced (or edited) by Washington, and did not want to get into an ideological debate with the dude from FAIR. Yada yada.

Don’t know what character I was playing when I wrote the e-mail.

Goddammit am I serious today.


Thursday, April 03, 2003



THIS IS FROM “THE ONION,” 1/18/2001. THAT’S TWO YEARS AGO, PEOPLE.

(http://www.theonion.com/onion3701/bush_nightmare.html)

IF YOU ARE NOT DOWN WITH “THE ONION,” GET TO IT.

WASHINGTON, DC—Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."

"My fellow Americans," Bush said, "at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us."

Bush swore to do "everything in [his] power" to undo the damage wrought by Clinton's two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

"You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration," said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. "Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?"

On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession, which would necessitate a tax hike, which would lead to a drop in consumer spending, which would lead to layoffs, which would deepen the recession even further.

Wall Street responded strongly to the Bush speech, with the Dow Jones industrial fluctuating wildly before closing at an 18-month low. The NASDAQ composite index, rattled by a gloomy outlook for tech stocks in 2001, also fell sharply, losing 4.4 percent of its total value between 3 p.m. and the closing bell. Asked for comment about the cooling technology sector, Bush said: "That's hardly my area of expertise."

Turning to the subject of the environment, Bush said he will do whatever it takes to undo the tremendous damage not done by the Clinton Administration to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He assured citizens that he will follow through on his campaign promise to open the 1.5 million acre refuge's coastal plain to oil drilling. As a sign of his commitment to bringing about a change in the environment, he pointed to his choice of Gale Norton for Secretary of the Interior. Norton, Bush noted, has "extensive experience" fighting environmental causes, working as a lobbyist for lead-paint manufacturers and as an attorney for loggers and miners, in addition to suing the EPA to overturn clean-air standards.

Bush had equally high praise for Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft, whom he praised as "a tireless champion in the battle to protect a woman's right to give birth."

"Soon, with John Ashcroft's help, we will move out of the Dark Ages and into a more enlightened time when a woman will be free to think long and hard before trying to fight her way past throngs of protesters blocking her entrance to an abortion clinic," Bush said. "We as a nation can look forward to lots and lots of babies."

Continued Bush: "John Ashcroft will be invaluable in healing the terrible wedge President Clinton drove between church and state."

The speech was met with overwhelming approval from Republican leaders.
"Finally, the horrific misrule of the Democrats has been brought to a close," House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told reporters. "Under Bush, we can all look forward to military aggression, deregulation of dangerous, greedy industries, and the defunding of vital domestic social-service programs upon which millions depend. Mercifully, we can now say goodbye to the awful nightmare that was Clinton's America."

"For years, I tirelessly preached the message that Clinton must be stopped," conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said. "And yet, in 1996, the American public failed to heed my urgent warnings, re-electing Clinton despite the fact that the nation was prosperous and at peace under his regime. But now, thank God, that's all done with. Once again, we will enjoy mounting debt, jingoism, nuclear paranoia, mass deficit, and a massive military build-up."

An overwhelming 49.9 percent of Americans responded enthusiastically to the Bush speech.
"After eight years of relatively sane fiscal policy under the Democrats, we have reached a point where, just a few weeks ago, President Clinton said that the national debt could be paid off by as early as 2012," Rahway, NJ, machinist and father of three Bud Crandall said. "That's not the kind of world I want my children to grow up in."

"You have no idea what it's like to be black and enfranchised," said Marlon Hastings, one of thousands of Miami-Dade County residents whose votes were not counted in the 2000 presidential election. "George W. Bush understands the pain of enfranchisement, and ever since Election Day, he has fought tirelessly to make sure it never happens to my people again."
Bush concluded his speech on a note of healing and redemption.

"We as a people must stand united, banding together to tear this nation in two," Bush said. "Much work lies ahead of us: The gap between the rich and the poor may be wide, be there's much more widening left to do. We must squander our nation's hard-won budget surplus on tax breaks for the wealthiest 15 percent. And, on the foreign front, we must find an enemy and defeat it."

"The insanity is over," Bush said. "After a long, dark night of peace and stability, the sun is finally rising again over America. We look forward to a bright new dawn not seen since the glory days of my dad."

AGAIN, THIS IS FROM “THE ONION.” LIVE IT, LEARN IT, KNOW IT. AND PASS IT ON.

I’LL HAVE A NEW BLOG SOON.