Daily Archives: June 26, 2011



The anti-smoker police are at it again, using their Big Brother bully pulpit to place revolting pictures on cigarette packages.  Fine.  I think I have a small but potentially effective way to fight back.

First, I recommend that all smokers purchase a good old-fashioned cigarette case, like the iPod model pictured above.  Second, every time you empty out one of these new, anti-constitutional packages (free speech, anyone?), leave it somewhere very public, such as on a library shelf, a restaurant table, or a park bench. 

My hunch is that if enough mothers realize that little Johnny and Susie are being exposed to the repulsive illustrations on empty packages, they will react the same way they would if the object in question was a discarded Playboy magazine — with anger.  Quite possibly, these furious mothers will make the politicians back down.






Roger Ebert caught hell for his possibly insensitive, definitely ill-timed Twitter post about the death of Jackass star Ryan Dunn.  I thought that Ebert caved to public pressure, and so I called him out on his blog.  Much to my surprise, the Big Man actually replied to my lecture:








Summertime television used to suck.  Not anymore.  The second season of Louie premiered the other night.  It was just a so-so episode, but if last year was any indication, there should be more flashes of comic brilliance on this FX series.  The second season of The Big C premieres Monday on Showtime.  Laura Linney, as a soccer mom with cancer, is a sight to behold in this comedy-drama.  And on July 13 the final year of Rescue Me kicks off, also on FX.  Last year was a sub-par season for this once-great Denis Leary series.  Let’s hope it goes out with a bang.





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    by Shirley MacLaine



It’s tough to critique a book like this because, as a reviewer, you can’t really be “objective.”  You must commit yourself:  Do you buy into the author’s theories of astral planes, UFOs, and reincarnation?  Or do you think it’s a bunch of superstitious nonsense?  If you pooh-pooh the material, you can be accused of being closed-minded.  If you agree with the author’s claims, then you might be as loopy as she is. I happen to think there is something to this “higher power” business.

Out on a Limb is structured in two parts:  Part of the book details movie star MacLaine’s love affair with a married politician; the second and larger portion of the memoir depicts her journeys around the world, meeting with like-minded people in search of deeper meanings to life.  The love affair grows tiresome to follow, but MacLaine’s discoveries about past lives, karma, and yes, UFOs, are sometimes fascinating, sometimes annoying.

Did she convert me to her beliefs?  Not entirely.  But I won’t dismiss her concepts as groundless, either.  As a friend of MacLaine’s says of her spiritual quest, “It can drive a guy nuts, but it made me look deeper, too.”


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