Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Tale of Two Divers

It was the best of Olympics; it was the worst of Olympics. NBC was the network of wisdom; NBC was the network of foolishness. It was a week of belief; it was a week of incredulity. It was the mid-season of light; it was the mid-season of darkness. It was the convention of Hope; it will be the convention of Despair. We were shown everything; we were shown nothing. We were all going direct to Washington; we were all going direct the other way (China). In short, August 2008 was so far like a Dickens novel that some of it's drunkest authorities insisted that it be received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Strong piece of writing that. I loved Charlie Dickens. Dickens could put the dick in me anytime, and did. And before you say, "Oh Tallulah, you couldn't have had an affair with Charles Dickens. He was a Victorian. They hated sex." let me remind you that Charlie had 10 children by a woman he couldn't stand, and then had a passionate affair with an actress who was younger than him. Who do you suppose that was? Say what you will about me, I am slightly younger than Charles Dickens.

Where was I? Oh yes, China. I haven't posted much this month as I was in China on my honeymoon with Joshua Allen. When you're 111, and you're on your honeymoon with a virile 19 year old man, you have better things to do than flog, or floss for that matter!

But I was flattered to be asked to do some Olympic judging while I was in Beijing. It's not often anyone trusts my judgement. However, when it comes to judging hot young men, well darlings, I wrote the book. (My Lush Life)

My primary judging assignment was men's gymnastics, specifically, the Men's Synchronized Rhythmic Prancing About With Streamers event. But I also judged Best Versatile Gymnast. I judged them as tops, and gay porn legend Arpad Miklos judged them as bottoms. Here I am checking out the form of American gymnast Alexander Artemev, riding the Hung-Like-a-Pommel Horse.

By the way, didn't you miss listening to John Tesh at these Olympics? At the last Olympics, he incessantly referred to the pommel horse as "The Pee-Horse," and worse, the parallel bars as "Pee-Bars." Apparently he thought he was announcing water sports. I have one hard and fast rule (I mean besides, "If you're hard, I'll be fast."), when going to a Pee Bar, I
always wear yellow.

Now here I'm judging overwhelmingly gorgeous French medal-winning gymnast Benoît Caranobe. Nothing is more exotic and erotic to me than a man whose name requires an accent mark I don't know the name of or need for. That's hot, or in the words of Paris Hilton: "Huh?"

Sometimes the gratuitous uniforms the athletes wear make judging their form difficult. Fortunately, Benoît had no compunctions about trying to escape from my room by scrambling up a rope like a rat up a rhododendron, while stark, staring naked. (He was stark, and I was staring.) I gave him a perfect 10, and he returned the favor, and then added two more for - well, "Luck" is three-quarters of the right word.

China is on the opposite side of the earth, where everyone walks around upside down. (I have flipped all these pictures over, so that they appear right side up to you. Don't be disoriented. Actually, having just returned from China, I am "dis-oriented." Or is the PC term now "Dis-Asiated"?) Australia is also upside down, and backwards as well. (And, like the island on LOST, China and Australia both exist one day in the future. It's wacky!) You see, in Australia, they have winter in the summer, and summer during the winter. Consequently, the Australian bobsledding team showed up in Beijing, expecting to compete. Since I have years of experience bobbing on good sports, and I love to be luged on, I was tapped to judge.

I love Australia, so I spent some future time in Sydney, visiting my dear old friend, Dame Edna Everage. Here's a picture I took of the world-famous Sydney Opera House. Isn't that a gorgeous, awe-inspiring sight?

Here's a shot my future ex-husband Joshua snapped of me in Sydney, shortly before Sydney was in me. I asked Joshua if it was for a souvenir, and he said, "Sort of. I'll call it 'Exhibit A' when we get to court." Oh well, my marriages have all tended to be short and sweat.

But in Australia I heard an Olympic tale you only heard part of on NBC. It's my tale of two divers.

No. not that diver. He's Canadian Olympic diver Alexander Despatie. He has nothing to do with my story, but he's so gorgeous, I couldn't resist showing a picture of him. No, my story is about these two men, Greg Louganis and Matthew Mitcham.

Once upon the best of times, it was the worst of times. In fact, it was 1988. In America, Ronald Reagan was in his last few months as president, and while that sounds good now, it actually meant that George Herbert Walker Bush was about to be an even worse president. (No easy accomplishment.) This year we have Hope; that year, we had Hype.

And in Asia, Korea to be exact (Which to my amazement, is not in the Malibu hills, like it was in M*A*S*H. Don't tell little Kent Levine. He thinks he was in Korea when he was writing M*A*S*H. Actually, he was in Century City.), they had an Olympics. And at this Olympics, there was a magnificent diver named Greg Louganis, who also was ridiculously beautiful.

It was Greg's third Olympics. Eight years before, when he was still just a teenager, he'd been on the American Olympic diving team, and won a silver medal. Still in high school, he had competed against the best divers in the world, and won a silver medal over all of them, while still too young to vote, drink, or have legal sex with an elderly movie star. So naturally, he came home feeling he was ...

...a LOSER! In the sick competitive mindset of sports, Second Place is Last Place. He had made an stunning achievement, so of course he told himself he had failed. Silver wasn't good enough. (Tell that to Phil Silvers, Greggie!)

So in Los Angeles in 1984, Greg achieved perfection, and won both of the men's diving gold medals. Every gay man in the world fell hopelessly in love with him. Except it wasn't as hopeless as they thought. Because Greg had a secret. He was a big old (well, actually, he was fairly young.) homo! But as an Olympic athlete in the 20th Century, he didn't dare come out. He'd read The Front Runner. He knew what happened to out gay Olympic athletes; they got shot on the finish line.

So in 1988, Greg went to the Olympics again, his goal this time to sweep the Olympic diving gold medals a second time! Could he do it?

And then a terrible thing happened during the springboard competition. Greg screwed up a dive, and hit the top of his head on the board, HARD! He ripped his head open and emerged from the pool bleeding.

Could he possibly still win that gold medal with his head freshly stitched up, barely holding his brain in? Yes! He could, and he did! He was amazing.

Between the springboard competition and the 10 meter platform competition, Greg returned to Los Angeles, to tape an appearance on a TV show called Evening at The Improv. As it happened, Little Dougie, who was besotted with adoration of Little Greggie, was at The Improv that night, for an Improv class he was taking there. He met Greg that night, and got his autograph on a photo, and somehow restrained himself from just offering Greg a blowjob on the spot. (It took every bit of self-control Dougie had, which isn't much, believe you me.)

At one point in the evening, Dougie looked out of an upstairs window when Greg Louganis was standing directly below him, and saw from above the terrible wound on Greg's cranium, a shaved rectangle with still-fresh stitches, like a sexy Frankenstein monster. The sight of it made Dougie weep. Dougie wanted to kiss it and make it better, or even lick it if that was what it took, or even if it wasn't.

And then Greg flew back to Korea. Could he do it? Could he sweep the diving gold medals twice, while wounded and jet-lagged? There was an obnoxious (By which I mean maddeningly polite) little teenaged Chinese diving prodigy there who was diving with uncanny perfection. On that final night of diving, Little Dougie, atheist though he be, was sticking a voodoo doll of the little Chinese boy full of poison-tipped pins to make him fail, so Greg could have his victory, but nothing worked. The kid was diving with heart-breaking perfection. No one could be more perfect than he. Language sticklers will note that "Perfection" is an absolute. It is impossible to be "More perfect".

Unless your name was Greg Louganis. At that last, last dive, with everything riding on it, the little Chinese boy already tasting the gold (Unsanitary!), Greg got up and did MAGIC! He was beyond perfection! 10s hardly seemed good enough. If Nigel Tufnel had been judging, he'd have gotten 11s. Instead, he won the gold, he swept the diving gold two Olympics in a row. He was a living refutation to the myth of heterosexual athletic superiority. And further, he had done it while suffering from AIDS! Almost no one on earth besides Greg and his doctors knew then that the blood he'd bled into that pool was swimming with AIDS. (HIV can not survive contact with chlorine. No other divers were endangered by his blood in the pool, but had they known, fear would have trumped knowledge, and he would have been a pariah.)

After those Olympics, Greg was an international hero, a celebrity, and also renowned for his incredible beauty, as more than one photographer noticed.

But he carried his secret still. He gave interviews in which he said idiotic stuff like, "I would never say if I was gay or straight. It's no one's business." which is, let's face it, a dead giveaway, because no straight man on earth has ever said that! Only closeted gay men ever make that dopey remark.

Meanwhile, Greg was taken advantage of by a "Lover," a louse who stole from him, abused him, cheated on him, lived off him, and even raped him. I'd name the bastard, but there's no need to sully this column with that shithole's name. He paid the full penalty. He died of AIDS, while Greg has survived into the era when the medications were found to save the lives of him and so many others.

And the day finally came when Greg found the courage to be the hero he'd been called for years, to realize that his achievement was his forever; that no bigot could take it from him, and that what he could do now was to inspire other frightened young people, and show that he was the living proof of the lie of heterosexual superiority. So Greg wrote a wonderful book, Breaking the Surface, and came out, for once making a big splash, instead of vanishing into the water with barely a ripple, as was his custom. Some people come out to their friends or family in private; Greg came out on Oprah. He showed the world that a gay man, a gay man with AIDS no less, had still been the diver that no one, literally no man on earth, could surpass! Dougie was only one of the thousands of gay men who stood in lines to shake his hand, get his book (And also Dougie's copy of Greg's Playgirl nude centerfold) signed, and thank him with tears in Dougie's normally cynical eyes.

I know that this picture looks like Greg living every gay man's dream, feeling up Mario Lopez's abs (Well someone has to!), but actually, Greg is coaching Mario here on diving form for when Mario played Greg in the TV movie of his life. Talk about full-circle; now a straight man was pretending to be gay to emulate Greg!

This lovely young man isn't reaching for the skies because he's being mugged. That's Australian diver Matthew Mitcham celebrating winning the gold medal for 10-meter platform diving in Beijing.

Matthew didn't see Greg's win in Korea, because he was only 7 months old when it happened. But Matthew more than anyone else, is living Greg's legacy. No one deserved to win one of Greg's medals more.

Because Matthew Mitcham is gay also. But he was able, thanks to Greg's pioneering trek 20 years before, to be an out and proud gay Olympic diver! We have still a long way to go. This year, Matthew was the only openly gay male athlete at the Beijing Olympics. The other 10 out Olympians there (out of 11,028 athletes. Statistics tell us that there were around 1,100 closet cases.) were all lesbians.

When Matthew announced on Australian TV that he didn't have the money to bring his male lover, Lachlan Fletcher, with him to the games, Johnson & Johnson's Athlete Family Support Program gave him a grant to pay for Lachlan's trip. Bless Johnson & Johnson. (Wait a minute. "Johnson and Johnson"? No wonder. "Johnson and Johnson" is the very definition of gay male sex!) Buy their band-aids. Cut yourself daily. Shave recklessly, so you'll use more of them.

Matthew's last round was a nail biter. The Chinese (Possibly nice people, but let's face it, commies!) had won every diving gold medal in Beijing up to that point, and their completed sweep was expected as surely as Michael Phelps's future Wheaties box and trip to Disneyland. Matthew had trotted out most of his favorite, special dives, such as these:

But Zhou Luxin (Place that across a triple word square, and that name will win the Scrabble gold medal!) was in first place, 34 points ahead of Matthew. Matt's medal dreams seemed destined for The Bronze Age. But the gods of Louganis smiled that night. Of course, if they'd had my POV, they would have had to smile!

Luxin fouled up his last dive, and then Matthew came out and did magic, practically tying himself up like a pretzel in mid-air, like flying oragami, and doing it with such beauty, grace, and perfection, that he scored four 10s, for a total score of 112.1, the highest single-dive score in Olympic history! He stopped the Chinese sweep dead in the water, and won the gold for Australia! He cried. His lover cried. Little Dougie came.

Great story, isn't it? (Except for the last three words.) Over the course of The Olympics we heard many such stories. We saw every gold medalist's family members (I saw so much of Michael Phelps's mother, I'd know her on the streets, were I walking them again.), their wives, husbands, lovers, pets, agents, hunchbacked assistants, and even endured photos of their mewling hellspawn, I mean adorable babies. (When a hot gymnast wins a medal, the last thing I want to see is a picture of his child by some other woman! And that goes for a certain American gold medal triathelete too. You're just 30 years away from being Bruce Jenner on that aweful Khardashian show, my friend.) NBC told us some of those stories a billion times over, as I complained about in my previous posting, The China Thunderdrome.

But, although NBC let us see Mitcham's win, not one word of his story was told to America. Nothing about his being openly gay, nothng about Johnson & Johnson paying for his boy friend to accompany him just as they did for the spouses and squeezes of the straight athletes. Not one single shot of Lachlan in the stands watching, let alone hugging his lover in triumph. Nothing. Nothing at all. Maybe his was not the super achievement of Michael Phelps (Who, come to think of it, seems to be dating his Mom. Where's his girl friend? Cloud Cuckooland?), but Matt had a great moment, and is a fine young, mildly effeminate man of exceptional courage following in Greg Lougains's trail. And his tale is a damn sight more interesting than a lot of the boring blather and endlessly repeated cliches we were told ad nauseum.


Now, to be fair (I hate being fair! What am I? The Fox News Channel? No. Because I'm fair and unbalanced.), NBC has since apologized for the "Unintentional" snub. "Unintentional" my latest liver. Even the Headless Indian Brave could see that it was a homophobic decision on NBC's part, and he doesn't even have eyes! They had all the info there, right along with the info they had on EVERY SINGLE ONE of the other 11,000 athletes! They CHOSE to ignore it. And then they apolgized in a magazine article statement. Not exactly reaching the mega-gigantic audience that was watching the meet on TV. That's like apologizing on Big Brother. No one sees it.

But Matthew has forgiven them, as we see here, as he apparently audtions for a Melbourne production of Jesus Christ, Superstar. Whether I ever forgive them is another matter altogether.

But Matthew's win, and his courage, and the shining, inspiring, heroic example he has set can never be taken from him. He is truely worthy of splashing in Greg Louganis's wake. It is a far, far better thing he's done than he has ever done before, and it is a far far better glory he has earned, than he ever earned before.

(Nice ring to that. You know Charlie's first draft of A Tale of Two Cities began "It was a good time; it was a bad time." and ended with "The thing I'm gonna do now is a whole lot better than all the stuff I've done previously.")

Before I head off to the wet bar, a word about John McCain's hilarious Vice Presidential pick. Two days ago, nobody but the 327 idiots who live in Alaska, I assume because they're wanted for crimes back in civilization, had ever heard of Sarah Palin. Now she's "Shattering the glass ceiling," although if you shatter a glass ceiling, you run the very high risk of being cut to ribbons by the rain of razor-sharp shards. Why, she's the first woman ever to be a major party's candidate for --- oh wait a minute. Geraldine Ferarro. Ah, but Sarah is the first wildly-unqualified female to be a major party's VP candidate. She's an inspiration for dunderheads and idiots everywhere.

I mean honestly; she admitted on TV a very short time ago that she has no idea what the Vice President even does! Sweet Bleeding Greg Louganis, even dopey Dan Quayle, a moron of the first-quality, knew better than to publically admit he didn't know what the job entailed! What a chowder brain. Sarah, I knew Dan Quayle (Though only Biblically), and you're no Dan Quayle. (Wait. That sounds like a compliment.)

John McCain, the man who thinks Iraq and Afghanistan share a border (It's a border so wide, they gave it its own name: Iran.), has been taking shots at Barry O'Bama (soon to be our first Black-Irish President), as being unqualified, and then he picks a person next to whom O'Bama's politcal career is longer than the late Strom Thurmond's? She's Governor of Alaska, for Dicken's sake! Is that even an elected position, or is it something that is passed around the citzenry in turns, like jury duty? Isn't that like being a park ranger, only with less responsibility? She'll be a big help with the igloo-mortgage crisis, and negotiating treaties with Inuits. She'll be calling for blubber to be an alternate source of fuel.

I'd prefer Michael Palin, and he's not even an American! The Republicans are obviously banking on her (Does she even use our currancy, or does she still trade with wampum?) to pull in disgruntled Hilary supporters. Yes, people who supported Hilary so vehemenetly that they're still pissed she lost will naturally ignore their leader's having made it abundantly clear that she is throwing the full weight of her support behind O'Bama, and instead rush to vote for a woman who is idealogically Hilary's opposite, the enemy of all Hilary stands for. Why do the Republicans think Hilary supporters wanted Hilary in the first place? (This is obviously an extremely mysterious concept for Republicans, who don't understand why everyone doesn't loathe her the way they do.) Do they think it's all about her vagina? Because clearly Hilary's vagina doesn't even do that much for Bill, and vaginas have no bigger fan than Bill Clinton. (Well, maybe bigger, God knows he's overcompensating for something, but none more enthusiastic.) And a womb is pretty much all that Sarah and Hilary have in common, if that.

They say that "Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee." Did McCain get confused, and bring home the wrong Sarah? He looks like the kind of man who comes home from the store, only to have his wife say, "I wanted tulip bulbs, not light bulbs, you clothead!" The man doesn't even know how many houses he (his rich wife) owns.

McCain has been accusing O'Bama of being an "Elitist," out of touch with the common man. First off, what's wrong with wanting the best and the brightest for president? Isn't the president supposed to be smarter than everyone else? Who wants Joe Schmuck, who's never read a book for pleasure, running the country? (There's one big difference between McCain and O'Bama: O'Bama actually wrote his own books. McCain's books were written for him. There's some doubt he's even read them.)

But also, how many "common people" don't know how many houses they own? Ask any normal person on the street how many houses they own, and they won't even have to stop and think before they answer: "None! I did own one, but that was before 8 years of President Bush destroyed the housing market. Why do you think I'm on the street? I live in my car. It's like a house, because with the cost of gas what it is after 8 years of letting a couple of oil men run things, I can't afford a tank of gas either." And common people have to work for what little money they have, rather than simply marrying a rich woman, who inherited her money. That's how Republicans define "working for money." Waiting for a rich daddy to die and leave them a fortune is hard work. Just ask Dubya. He's still waiting for his obscenely wealthy daddy to die. (As are we all.) Which reminds me, McCain's economic plan boils down to "A tax cut for my wife."

McCain may like Sarah Palin, he may love his hot, rich wife, and perhaps even for more than just her father's money, but don't forget who his real True Love is:

Cheers darlings.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Dark and Stormy Knight

A week or two ago my friend, fellow flogger, and emotional slave, Little Kent Levine, over on his wanna-be, imitation-of-mine flog, By Kent Levine, (Kent disguised how blatantly his flog exists only to imitate mine by the cheap trick of him beginning flogging about a year ahead of me. No one ever falls for that obvious doing-it-first ploy.), wrote a piece about this new batmovie, The Drunk Night, to publicize this little sleeper of a movie no has heard a word about, in the vain hope it can stave off the box office juggernauts The Love Guru and Fly Me To The Moon. Have you heard about this little batmovie? It's gotten no press at all. It's about a nutty gay cowboy trying to break into stand-up comedy by staging street theater comedy pranks ("Hey Gotham City ferry passengers; you've just been punked!"), and simplifying Gotham City's healthcare options, only to be unjustly persecuted by a two-faced D.A. and Zorro, because he accidentally snuffed his boyfriend's sister. It's pretty good for a low-budget indie.

Anyway, in Kent's piece, he pointed out that in the movie, many of Gotham's residents and gangsters are occasionally mildly inconvenienced by some of the events, and noticing that Gotham only seems to get an hour of daylight every day. (That's such a calumny. It's summer. Gotham gets a balmy 97 minutes of sunlight every day. Open your eyes, Kent.) From this, he ventured to ask the question: "Why would anyone live in Gotham City?"

Since I regularly visit Gotham City, I feel I am qualified to answer this question. Come with me, fans and slaves, to Gotham City, The Paris of America. (Albeit, the Paris of the 13th Century.)

"Why would anyone live in Gotham City?"

Well for one thing, for The Theater.

The restaurants are legendary.

The low melanoma rate.

The only sane response to the place is heavy drinking.

It hasn't gotten all cheap, flashy, and corporate, like Metropolis.

"It's Egg-citing!" says Egghead.

Affordable rents.

Many rodents, but some of them fight crime.

CATS never played there.

Ferry boats not crowded anymore.

New employment opportunities constantly turning up.

You can still find a reliable butler.

Free-range penguins.

That Spiderman dickhead never visits.

Constant urban renewal.

Citizenry very accepting of alternative lifestyles and modes of dress.

It's so unspoiled.

Boys in tights befriended.

Because if you move away, the Joker wins.

Not overly crowded.

They don't shoot Big Brother there, so those psychos are far away.

No longer "Campy".

The bats there don't drink your blood, although the clowns might.

The Police Commissioner used to be Dracula, yet someone else is called Batman.

District Attorney Dent soft on gambling.

Capes still in fashion.

Apparently impossible to get a speeding ticket.

Disney Company about to open a "Tragic Kingdom."

Big profits to be made investing in bat guano futures.

George Dubya Bush is not the Mayor.

They're still casting Survivor: Gotham City.

Arnold Schwarzenegger moved away.

World-class spelunking.

Lex Luthor and Donald Trump leave it alone.

Nicer than Fresno.

Cheers darlings.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The China Thunderdrome

My apologies for not having posted in quite a while. The fact is that, while The Olympics have been running, I've been glued to my TV. This was most inconvenient during the flight to China. I had to buy two seats, and who flies appliances first-class? Take my advice darlings: never try to carry a television and an open tube of SuperGlue downstairs at the same time. That's what staff are for. Just my luck that that was when that damned earthquake hit. (Normally I can detect earthquakes by the fact that, for a few moments, I am walking steadily.) If it weren't for the fortunate fact that, since turning 100, I find I now annually shed my skin like a snake, I might have had that flat screen welded to my flat chest forever. (My chest isn't really flat; it's just that my milk bar now hangs so low, I look flat in profile. I might add that there's little point to buying a high-definition television when your eyes don't really focus all that well anyway.)

I'm traveling on my latest honeymoon. I mentioned in an earlier posting, Speak Up!, that I would be marrying whoever won this year's edition of So You think You Can Prance. Needless to say I was relieved when the last of the female prancers was eliminated. With gay marriage now legal in California, I would have been stuck. There are enough gay rumors about me as it is. You wouldn't believe how many people think I'm a dyke simply because I hold back water, have had sex with a number of women, and little Dutch boys are always sticking their fingers in my chink. (If my chink doesn't object, whose business is it? Ironically, digitally plugging my orifice starts the moisture flowing rather than the reverse.) Let me make this perfectly clear; I am not a lesbian, and neither are any of the women I've slept with.

Anyway, gorgeous Joshua Allen, the 19 year old street dancer who can do any style (I intend to put him to the test on that score!), with a butt that can feed four (That butt inspires my own unsychronized cleft-diving!), won the show, and found marrying me, an experienced woman a mere 92 years his senior, was the best part of his prize. Now we're off to China together to enjoy The Chinese Propaganda Olympics. Joshua is my first black husband, so far as I know, and ladies and gays, IT'S TWUE! IT'S TWUE! Our wedding night sex in Asia was The Great Ball of China!

Is it just me, or does the symbol above for the Beijing Olympics look like what The Great Wall would look like after they shot a fleeing dissident as he ran for his life past it? I'm sure they meant their bloody symbol nicely. "We're China. We won't kill you unless you force us to. (By, you know, speaking your mind, or something evil like that.)"

Did you see me in the opening ceremonies? When you're a star as glittering as I, you can stand out even in a cast of thousands.

That was some show, wasn't it? What could be more comforting than seeing a show staged by a brutal, repressive, inhuman regime which includes goose-stepping soldiers carrying their flag about? How about seeing them bring out giant globes and show themselves swarming all over it? Even the sight of people running upside down pales next to the overall image of China over-running the whole world. Somewhere the Dalai Lama is saying, "They're not kidding folks. Trust me."

At one point they had dancers in unitards (Tropic Thunder protesters, please don't picket me because I used the term "Unitards".) rolling about on the giant Liquid Crystal TV screen I had brought over from America SuperGlued to my boobies, causing a painting to be created in front of our eyes, and as they did so, some sportscaster narrating on NBC explained that, in China, art isn't judged by how realistic it is, but by how expressive it is. I found myself thinking "A sportscaster is explaining 'Art' to ME? Excuse me? I've forgotten more about art than that boob ever knew! Gee, painting doesn't have to be photo-realistic. There's a headline!" Maybe I should explain athletic competition to them. "You see, sports builds character. Just ask OJ Simpson." Hey Costas, why not just SHUT THE HELL UP AND LET US WATCH AND HEAR THE SHOW! Why doesn't NBC offer an SAP alternate soundtrack with NO commentators? When someone is singing in a show, I want to hear them sing, not listen to that prize idiot Bob Costas run his mouth.

Speaking of singing in the opening ceremonies, how about that small child version of Milli Vanilli? (If I were tasteless and racist, I would have called them Mirri Vanirri, but fortunately, I'm above such a crude, stereotyped joke.) They didn't let the real girl sing on camera because she didn't fit the Chinese image of perfection, on account, apparently, of having had Chinese dental work, and also, she'd never crushed Tibet. So they have no problem telling a very small girl who can sing like a dream that she's basically too ugly to be seen singing for China. Check her out. What a monstrosity, an adorable monstrosity.

Gee, a repressive, freedom-crushing Regime of Evil staging an Olympics to try and make their country look like just the sort of swell place you wished you lived in, no matter how much fakery and censorship it requires. Where have we seen that before?

Ah Berlin, those Nazis bastards really knew how to throw a propaganda Olympics, letting us see for ourselves that there just happened to be no Olympic-level Jewish athletes in Germany. Actually, nine years later, there really weren't any, as all the ones who hadn't fled to other countries had been murdered. Just think what Hitler could have done with NBC and Bob Costas trumpeting their gamey games all over the world. As it was, we got stuck with Sonja Hennie, the meanest ice queen in the movies. Well, I'm sure the Beijing Olympics are nothing like the Berlin Olympics. Just ask Chairman Palpatine, or Vice-Chairman Vader.

Well, I'm sure that President Dubya has better things to do than show up at the Chinese Propaganda Bonanza Ceremonies. After all, Russia just invaded Georgia, and with the communist invasion of Atlanta that the conservatives have been warning us of for 50 years finally happening, the president must be busy in the Washington War Room, trying to head off ---- DOH!

Seeing Dubya rocking out and having a great time while Savanna was being overrun with Russian tanks, all I could think was: "What a dickhead!" But then, what else is new?

Now Dubya's dad, the old, slightly-less incompetent President Bush, was at the ceremonies also, as he is an old friend of the Chinese government, dating back 30 years. You know, that's the same George Bush who sold the armaments to Saddam Hussein that Soddy used to kill our boys when Georgie's son sent them into Iraq for no good reason. You can always tell when a man is Extremely Evil, because he'll be buddy-buddies with George Herbert Walker Bush.

But to be fair, Dubya did issue a stinging statement about the Russian Invasion of Georgia. He said "Russia has invaded a sovereign neighboring state, and threatens a democratic government elected by its people. Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st Century." That will certainly be good news to Iraq. But then, was Soddam elected? Or was he just someone who illegally seized power away from the person actually elected? Oh wait. That was Dubya. Well anyway, Dunya sent Cuntasleeza Rice to Russia. That'll teach 'em. (Oh and Russia, when Dr. Rice-a-Phony is done, you can keep her.)

Back to the opening propaganda ceremonies. I loved when the ocean-like waves passed over all the boxes with people under them. (It looked lovely until you learned they all live in those boxes full-time.) The sportscaster boobs said this represented ConFuManchucius's axiom that a good government passes over its people like a breeze over grass. Okay, but what about the Chinese government, which rolls over its people with tanks?

Oh well, the fake, CGI fireworks were pretty impressive. Were they nuclear?

This part of the fireworks I particularly liked.

Speaking of Mickey Mouse: Do you know about "Hidden Mickeys"? They are three-circle shapes representing Mickey Mouse that are stashed all over Disneyland, and all the other Disney parks worldwide, like a global version of Where's Waldo? Here's some examples of Hidden Mickeys.

Well, this moment in the opening ceremonies looked to me, more than anything else, like a colossal pair of fiery Hidden Mickeys.
I thought the Chinese Disneyland was in Hong Kong, not Beijing.

On to the games themselves. I don't watch all the sports. I just like men's gymnastics, men's diving, and men's swimming. I fell madly in lust with adorable Rowdy Gaines when he won the gold back at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. What a shock to see on NBC what he looks like now, a mere 24 years later. I haven't changed. Why has he?

Now when I watched goofy Michael Phelps start acquiring more gold than there is in Fort Knox (No wonder the Red Chinese wanted Goldfinger to raid Fort Knox. They needed all that gold to make Phelps's medals.), Rowdy told the story of how my beloved Ian Thorpe, "The Thorpedo," (Last month's Studly Hunk of the Month.) had said that he didn't think Phelps would win 8 gold medals, and how Phelps posted this comment in his locker to motivate himself. It was a very interesting story...


However, by the time I'd heard him tell it 327 times (Which was just in the first hour.), I was - what's the word? - SICK of hearing it! Now, a week later, I've heard this tale told over 7000 times. Rowdy my former darling, find something else to say, or else shut the hell up!

I adore men's gymnastics. (I understand women do it too, though I can't think why.) Well little Tim Daggett, another Olympic gold medal athlete who distinguished himself in Los Angeles in 1984 and is now commenting for NBC, mentioned in passing that the extremely adorable little Indian-American gymnast Raj Bhavsar (As opposed to an American Indian, which is what they also call a "Native American," Although I am a native American, and I'm no Indian. I'll have to ask the Headless Indian Brave to explain this to me in his quaint sign language some time.) only got put on the American Gymnastic team at the last possible minute, when Paul Hamm had to pull out.

That was a very interesting tidbit the first time I heard it. However, Tim feels it necessary to retell that fact every single time Raj appears. And not just when he's competing. If they have a shot of Raj strolling about Beijing, Daggett will tell it again. And anytime Raj is onscreen, Daggett will tell this anecdote every 37 seconds. He'll finish it by saying, "For those of you who weren't listening 25 seconds ago, here's what I just said 42 more times."

Tim dear, when you have nothing to say, SHUT UP!!!!!

Anyway, here I am giving poor, unprepared little Raj a helping hand. I give and I give and I give, but Raj darling, I take it as well. (Did you know that Raj wasn't on the American Olympic Gymnastic Team until the very last minute, because poor little Paul Hamm had to pull out? Oh, you did? Well then I won't mention it again for another 30 seconds.)

This magnificent specimen is American gymnast Jonathon Horton. Horton was already on the team before Paul Hamm had to pull out, so he's not a last minute addition to the team like little Raj Bhavsar, nor has Ian Thorpe ever said a word about how many, if any, gold medals Jonathon will win (He's already got one as of this posting, as has Raj, who was a last minute addition to the team, because Paul Hamm had to pull out. Had you heard that before?), the way he did about Michael Phelps, although Phelps posted Ian's remarks in his locker, to help motivate him.

Who guessed that at these Red Chinese Olympics, the real Hidden Mickey Mice would be NBC's commentators?

Gotta go. It's time for the Men's Synchronized Rhythmic Prancing About With Streamers Event.

Cheers darlings.


Little Dougie asked for some space for a message of his own here. Reading it is not mandatory. Cheers again.

"Engineer Bill" Stulla died this week, at 97. If you weren't a kid, living in Los Angeles between 1954 and 1966, you will have no idea who I am talking about. Engineer Bill hosted the Cartoon Express, a kid's TV show on KHJ-TV (Now KCAL-TV) in Los Angeles five days a week for an hour at 6PM for all of those years. For most of them, I was watching him.

Engineer Bill wasn't particularly funny, wasn't zany, wasn't high energy. He was just a guy in a railroad outfit sitting with a couple kids behind an elaborate model train layout who hosted really bad cartoons. But he was warm, friendly, and he never talked down to kids. He just talked to us straight on, like we were intelligent people. He was like the interesting uncle you wished you had. I loved him.

He was the first celebrity I ever met. I was five years old when I stood in line at a Torrence supermarket at the corner of Crenshaw and 190th Street in 1955 (That's how memorable it was. 53 years later, I remember exactly where the store was.) to shake Engineer Bill's hand, and have him hand me a signed picture and an engineer's hat just like his. It was a thrill.

He was most famous for Red Light/Green Light, a silly Simon Says type milk-drinking game. "Freight Train Wayne," actually staff announcer Wayne Thomas, would call out "Green Light" and you drank from a glass of milk. When he said "Red Light" you stopped. He would try to fake you out, calling them out real fast, or saying stuff like "Yellow Light" which had no application (Later in life, I learned that "Yellow Light" means "Floor it."), or "Reeeeeee - Green light!" If you got through the game with no goofs, you got the "Real Bell." Then Engineer Bill would say, "And now the Lead Bell for me and those who missed." (I wonder if the exposure to lead-poisoning from receiving the lead bell every nightwas what killed him.) You see, Engineer Bill always goofed it up. He never played a perfect game. Never. It wasn't until years later that I realized that an intelligent man in his 40s who played this simple game I had no trouble with five times a week for years, was fouling up deliberately, so the kids could be better at it than this avuncular adult was.

These days Tallulah plays Red Light/Green Light with vodka, but she smashed her red light.

In the 1970s, I wrote a weekly TV show called Fright Night With Seymour, which was also on KHJ. You can read a long piece I wrote about it here: Mister Halloween. Our staff announcer on that show was the same Wayne Thomas who had been Freight Train Wayne, and the studio we shot my scripts in was the same studio Engineer Bill had done his show in. In honor of this fact I wrote an episode where Seymour hypnotizes Wayne and makes him regress:

Seymour: I'm speaking to the being inside Wayne. Who are you?

Wayne: I'm Freight Train Wayne. I play Red Light/Green Light with Engineer Bill.

Seymour: No, no. You've gone back too far. Who are you now?

Wayne: I'm the star of Fright Night, with What's-his-name.

My grandfather was a real railroad engineer and his name was William McEwan, so I always enjoyed telling other kids my grandpa was Engineer Bill.

A career tidbit: Before becoming Engineer Bill, Bill Stulla was Rudy Vallee's announcer for a while. That must be where he learned to handle unruly children.

Another regular feature of Engineer Bill's Cartoon Express was The Bad Habit Express, which was supposed to help you break bad habits like biting nails, being messy, chronic masturbation, voting Republican, etc., with a little choo-choo that pushed the bad habit a little way up a hill each night, and dumped it out on Friday's show, leaving you supposedly cured of your bad habit. It had no effect of course. I did eventually stop biting my nails, and I have never voted for a Republican in my life, but the masturbation thing still persists.

About 7 years ago Bill appeared live in a KCET old-L.A.-TV documentary's pledge break, and he looked great, not really even looking any older and obviously in good health. I actually teared up, I was so glad to see him alive and well.

The big kid's show hosts in Los Angeles in those days were Engineer Bill, Skipper Frank, Bozo the Clown (I made my TV debut on Bozo's show.), and Tom Hatton, who wore a sailor outfit and hosted Popeye cartoons. Bozo, Skipper Frank, and Engineer Bill are all dead now. Tom Hatton must be either sweating bullets, or dancing about, singing "I WON! I WON!" Actually, there was a guy on at noon (so I only got to see him when there was no school.) called Sheriff John. John Rovick, who was Sheriff John, is still alive also, but he's living in Boise, Idaho, which is indistinguishable from being dead.

I'm gulping down a glass of milk in Bill's honor right now, running all the red lights. This is a Lead Bell event.