Okay, so I didn’t intend to do this and had no plan on writing a live commentary transcript of the Oscars…but a few friends surprised me and apparently we’ve found a live stream via ABC.com and Oscar.go.com. I believe the actual show will livestream and not just this pre-show stuff.
So, since we’re going to watch it anyway I might as well comment on it.
If you want to watch too, you can click HERE for the stream
This is really shocking to me because I didn’t think that ABC and Disney were with-it enough to livestream this on computers…because I thought they were obsessed with ratings on the tee-vee Nielsen “boxes” out there. But, frankly, more and more people are moving away from having tee-vees and just livestreaming. I’ve been doing that since 2009 and will never go back.
702pm CST — Hilarious. George Clooney is there with some random woman on his arm. He always has “some girlfriend” with him who is always gorgeous and has a very tentative grasp on English, but trademarked deer-in-headlights looks. I love that straight women can’t tell he’s gay…like he’s cast some magical spell that blinds them. The same spell, incidentally, that Rock Hudson and even Liberace cast in the past.
Anne Hathaway comes off so classy and charming in interviews. She’s a lovely young lady. And then moments later that Jennifer Lawrence takes the microphone and says, “Yo, yo, yo, whaddup, yo!”. And pretends to be a street person from a ghetto”. I’m sure she’s a nice girl too…but, really? No one has taught her how to behave like a lady in public. One day, years from now, she’ll cringe at how stupid she made herself look.
The feed we’re watching is the “Backstage Pass Red Carpet” thing. There’s some young girl and a gay guy talking. Which is kind of the only people who care about this show.
I have to say something…and I almost can’t believe it because I think he’s such a jerk in real life…but Ben Affleck is looking hot these days. I love him in the beard, and the wig he’s been wearing the last year looks great on him. You can’t even tell it’s fake hair. I just wish the guy would stick to being an entertainer and would keep his political views to himself.
708pm CST — Another gay man who women think is straight…Hugh Jackman. He has both a wife and a longtime boyfriend in Australia.
Honestly, I think I am going to note every single one of these guys in this transcript as they pop up on the screen tonight. See how many you can spot yourself.
The reason I think it matters is because these guys get involved in political activism…and they have agendas that they don’t reveal to their fans. I think anyone involved in politics needs to be upfront with people, and to acknowledge all of their allegiances. Guys who are closeted in Hollywood need to toe certain lines and do things that the Gaystapo Dons force them to do. And when election season rolls around these guys head out as foot soldiers for the Left’s messaging department…which makes me believe that they need to be open about who they really are and where their loyalties rest.
Guys like Aaron Shock and Lindsay Graham and Dan Rutherford also need to come out of the closet too, because they’re actually elected officials…but actors who moonlight in the political sphere have the same responsibility to be out and open. And I don’t think we should keep their secrets.
713pm CST — It’s kind of fun to be watching this and not giving a damn who wins anything. I have no emotional vested interest in any of this.
I must note that I really like Seth MacFarlane. He’s the kind of straight guy that I have always thought was cool. He’s juvenile and crass sometimes, but he’s just so cute it’s endearing…and I love how well he enunciates and how he delivers lines. He’s a great impressionist and voice talent…and it’s amazing what he created in terms of a tee-vee and animation empire using his imagination.
If you don’t know this already, MacFarlane also almost died on 9/11. He was scheduled to fly from Boston to LA on one of the hijacked flights…but something his assistant did kept him from making the plane. And the guy really seems to always make the most of life after that near-miss.
What a nasty, rude, and snobbish woman Halle Berry appears to be. She just totally snubbed the people who wanted to interview her on the red carpet. Anne Hathaway and others were very nice, but not her.
In case you’ve never been there, the theater they host the Oscars in is right at Hollywood and Highland in Hollywood. It’s a really great complex that was built on a corner…and it’s just ingeniously designed. There’s a mall in there and a big open courtyard and it’s really stunning. The rest of the area around Hollywood is pure trash…but that Hollywood and Highland development is great.
720pm CST — they aren’t switching over to the show feed, it’s still the red carpet stuff even though everyone is inside. I’m starting to get scared they aren’t really going to show the awards, but will just keep showing people standing there outside…which is kind of funny.
It’s amazing how big Twitter has become, and I still don’t really understand it. They have this whole metrics thing happening where people are predicting the winners based on Twitter feed activity. I should really take that as the final nudge that makes me take time to really figure out how to use that and appreciate it.
It seems to be a great resource for polling and market research.
Apparently, while the show is on they’re going to have random people talking…and I think they will show the people right after they win but not the show itself.
So I might have to take back that thing I said about ABC and Disney being smart about streaming this show…since they might actually still be stuck in the past after all.
That obnoxious Sherri Shepherd from The View is going to be on. She’s the one who said once that she doesn’t know if she really believes the Earth is round because she’s never seen it from space with her own eyes.
725pm CST — Okay, on Oscar.Go.Com camera they actually let you play director and you can choose the veiws from different cameras….which is interesting. They just showed Reese Witherspoon rubbing her shoulder and complaining about her dress itching, but she didn’t know she was on camera. I kind of love when that happens.
They’re also trying to get some of these fools to use the “Thank You Cam” feature…so that they can leave the stage and then go backstage and thank all the people they want to read off a list, starting at childhood and then working their way through everyone who works at the talent agency that represents them. This is another thing that’s supposed to get these people to stop using their time on the stage to read off boring lists of names.
Honestly, if you have one chance to stand up before a billion people and say something…talk from your heart and say something about love and life and being a positive person and working hard at things that mean something to you. Don’t read a list of names. Be original and memorable, even it’s the first and last time in your life.
731pm CST — this is so surreal and random. This Backstage Pass Award Show thing is ABSURD…it’s totally not allowing us to see the actual show, but instead we get to see Sherri Shepherd and some guy talk about what they are seeing on the show. It reminds me of being in a foreign country and someone is telling you what’s being said on tee-vee there, because the people on the screen are talking in gibberish. And then I tell you what I’m hearing these people say. This is either the dumbest thing ever or it’s super-fun. I can’t decide yet.
That Sherri Shepherd has a big bop of hair on the top of her head…can’t decide if it looks like a tumor or some kind of pastry she keeps up there. They’re showing the audience reacting to Seth’s monologue. You can almost hear Seth talking, but he’s drowned out by Sherri. ”Seth’s telling a joke. They’re laughing. Nicole Kidman looks kind of amused but doesn’t get the humor. She’s Australian”. It reminds me a little of being in a movie theater in Florida where someone is saying ‘What are they talking about?’ and another older person shouts back “SHE SAID…blah blah blah”.
Sherri: ”They are listening intently. They are concentrating”.
The other man is unknown to me, so I’m just going to call him something. His name is Larry now, since he’s sitting there with Sherri.
I just realize how much Sherri looks like Star Jones before she went on that crash diet.
Sherri: The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!
I have no idea what she’s talking about. She just said someone won “The Bathroom Award” for something. What???
739pm CST — they are talking about Best Supporting Actor.
Something that’s always bothered me about Hollywood is that they pick certain people and then fawn over them forever. Like Tom Hanks or Robert DeNiro. Sherri and Larry are fawning over DeNiro now. That means they will save fawning over Tom Hanks for later.
The thing with “movie stars” is that they really just play the same part over and over again…and usually they are just playing a version of themselves.
People are loving Seth MacFarlane as host according to Sherri and Larry. I have no idea if he’s really funny, because ABC is not streaming that. They keep saying on this Backstage Pass Show that “If you have access to a tee-vee you would know…” and the like. I think it’s kind of hilarious that in 2013 I don’t have a tee-vee and that 80% of my friends don’t either.
They now have Jess Kagle from EW.com on…who I think invented those exercises for ladies. I think almost every man who works for EW.com is complete garbage but the women who write over there are pretty funny. The guys are just tools, though, especially the gay ones.
745pm CST — Okay, this is really funny. Whenever the telecast goes to commercial, they turn out the lights in the auditorium. Then people race from their seats and go running to the bathroom. You can see all this on the “Audience Cam” on this Backstage Pass Show. When someone gets up and runs, a “seat filler” comes and takes that person’s place so there’s no bald spot in the audience.
It’s really enjoyable to watch these weirdo feeds like this. Much better than the actual show.
They are pushing some kind of Oscar APP that has all sorts of things on it…Oscars.com and download something on backstage pass. I don’t know how to do any of this stuff because Justin’s in charge of all this tech.
So they are showing a little of Seth’s opening number. He’s so cute. He reminds me of Justin, actually. Justin can sing and dance and has a beautiful voice…he’d be great on the radio, too, but he has stage fright.
749pm CST — Okay, I kind of like Sherri a little more now. She just told a story about how nobody can tell Octavia Spencer and her apart, and that in Hollywood she gets mistaken for her all the time. She said that last year a very big star came up to her and said “You are going to take this Oscar home tonight” and Sherri hugged her and was crying and saying “And when I do I am going to hold it in the air and you will know it will all be because of you”. I kind of love that. I love messing with stupid people like that.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR = Christophe Waltz for that Django movie.
I’m never going to see that thing. Too violent. It’s like that Inglorious Bastards movie. I just don’t want to watch blood and hear swearing and deal with any of that. If I want to experience it, I can ride the Red Line train here in Chicago.
The audience is clapping and I guess that Christophe is giving his speech. Sherri just called Samuel L. Jackson an “Uncle Tom”, but I think it’s in relation to his role in the movie and not her personal feelings of him.
That Christophe Waltz guy is talking and he stutters and stammers in real life. Not sure if he’s nervous or if he just does that. He seems so weird.
754pm CST — so, they are in a commercial break again and everyone’s sitting in the dark.
They’re showing the backstage areas that people walk through after they win…and it looks like just another hotel ballroom area/conference setup. Sometimes I don’t know how I feel about everything really being not all that special behind the scenes…because really all of this celebrity stuff is fake and everything ends up being no different than a setup at a local hotel near you. Politics is like that too. All of these elected officials are really just people, and ultimately their offices are no different from the office you work in. The same personalities exist and the dynamics are the same.
757pm CST — they are showing Helena Bonham Carter, who just dresses like a slob all the time. She’s the new Cybil Shepherd. That classless Jennifer Lawrence was just talking and laughing loudly while someone was talking on the stage. Apparently she was raised by wolves or something.
They are talking about Seth MacFarlane’s movie Ted…which is really funny. It’s course and vulgar and I never thought I’d like it…but I watched it when I was sick and it was so funny it made me feel better. And, during one part of the movie, they showed local newscasts from around the country in the 80s and they had one broadcast set in Cleveland…with a period-perfect 80s background of the skyline, which I thought was a fun shoutout.
800pm – that Christophe Waltz guy speaks little English…he’s German…and he’s being interviewed by that Jess Kagle from EW….who looks just like Christophe. So Jess made a joke about them being “bookends” and Christophe had a very harsh, Teutonic response of “Vee are not ends. I must read book to now first how am end”. Totally lost in translation.
I’ve never much liked foreign people. I find them grating. The media LOVES them because the media likes to indulge them like small children…but I don’t like all the fumbling and the accents and the nervous laughter because they don’t understand. It’s such a time waste. Learn English, and then let’s talk.
803pm CST — some cartoon people were talking about the cartoon that won, but they’re not telling me what the cartoon was. Was it Wreck it Ralph? I like that movie. Justin loved it because it was about video games.
They have George Clooney on now and he brought a flask and is drinking from it. He’s such trash. What’s hilarious to me is the guy is wearing a full gray beard tonight…and he brought another beard in as his date.
Hilarious…but Octavia Spencer actually dressed like Sherri Shepherd and vice versa tonight. They really do look like twins.
808pm CST — I actually really like watching the show via this “Backstage Pass” thing on ABC. It makes me feel like I’m in the control room working the event. I’ve never felt comfortable being in an audience…I prefer being backstage at an event, working it. So this is kind of the experience I am used to with stuff. Sitting in a seat and just watching is weird for me. It’s so much more fun to be on staff at something and to be part of putting on the event…not just being a guest sitting there.
Watching it this way also minimizes all the things that are grating about the show when you watch the actual broadcast. You’re seeing all the backstage stuff but none of the actual show.
Paul Rudd is there now…looking super hot. He’s such a nice guy.
That Melissa McCarthy is horrible though. She’s the female Chris Farley. I just can’t stand her. All she does is make gross-out jokes and use her weight as a humor crutch. Apparently, years ago she played a sweet classy character on Gilmore Girls…but now she’s reduced herself to just being the loud, pig in movies for comic relief. Like the parts that Chris Farley would be playing if he was still alive and had a sex change.
Like the Pie has won a few awards now…which was apparently about a bakery somewhere.
815pm CST — that Larry guy who is there with Sherri is annoying. He’s one of those typical “California guys” who are entertainment reporters. Such a tool.
Sherri and Larry are plugging the Samsung Galaxy tablet products now. Justin and I have a Kindle Fire that his mom gave us after she got her new one…and it is nice to read books on it. I never thought I’d like that, but it’s really fun. And when I was on bed rest I played the Angry Birds Star Wars and the Plants vs. Zombies games and enjoyed those. It’s such baby steps withe me and technology though. It’s just hard for my brain to get into this new stuff.
That Larry guy is so dumb…he just said the Oscar statues are solid gold. Dummy, they are plated. A solid gold statue that size would be a million dollars in gold.
Apparently Larry’s real name is “Cameron”, which is so fitting. But I’m going to keep calling him “Larry”.
821pm CST — they have a video playing of some guy who does the abridgement of books. John Carr, best animated short, was his name. It was so random.
They’re playing the JAWS theme to get people off the stage when they are rambling.
Nicole Kidman looks HORRIBLE. People, don’t ever get plastic surgery. You never look right afterwards.
She’s not as bad as Melanie Griffith or Meg Ryan these days, but she’s getting scary.
823pm CST — now they are doing a “Bond retrospective”.
I actually miss the Pierce Brosnan Bond movies. Those were silly and fun. I don’t like the Daniel Craig ones. They are too bleak and dull to me. It’s just like the new Batman movies that Chris Nolan made. I like the Tim Burton cartoony movies…but not too cartoony like the Joel Schumacher ones.
Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy are up on stage with the people who won for Brave…so I guess that Brave won the animated movie award. I don’t think I will ever watch that. Cartoons are so hard for me to sit through. The only reason we saw Wreck it Ralph was because Justin loves video games….and I remembered games from NES and the arcades when I was a little kid. The Brave animator wore a kilt and Sherri keeps asking what’s under his kilt. Honey, if you need to ask then you won’t know what to do with it.
The Avengers guys are going to come out. Chris Evans is a total babe. He has a gay brother too, who is even more handsome than him.
Man this show is funny. Sherri and Larry have no idea what’s going on and they have no real idea who is winning either. I love it.
I think someone is singing on the stage now.
“Do something crazy!’…the photographers are shouting at the people who have the statues after they win. The photographers always want people to make weird faces or kiss the awards, etc.
There’s an announcement, and then the people come out so the photographers can be prepared.
Sherri is talking about how she wants to have relations with Channing Tatum, but that Robert Downey JR. is sexier because he went to prison and prison is sexy to her. We’re learning a lot about this Octavia Spencer lookalike tonight.
Larry says he needs ice water so they have to have a break now.
830pm CST — Samuel L. Jackson wore a red velvet jacket…..and the guy who won the visual effects award is with him. That guy has freakishly long white hair like a monster. One Avenger is missing, Chris Hemsworth. Sam Jackson looks like a pimp according to Sherri.
Man, can Chris Evans wear a suit. Robert Downey Jr. is the luckiest man alive. He has had so many second chances. He’s like Hollywood’s patron saint of do-overs.
What’s really funny is that Sherri and Larry don’t have a tee-vee either…so they have no idea what’s happening in the auditorium.
They are finding out what’s happening based on Twitter. Twitter really is like the big thing now apparently.
When I say that, it sounds like I’m talking about moving pictures or areoplanes.
Samsung sponsors this live feed so every 30 minutes either Sherri or Larry says something like, “I just can’t believe how great this Samsung Galaxy is” etc.
Yawn, that Anna Karenena won the best costumes…but you just know that whatever movie has the flounciest period dresses is going to win the costume design award. I just envy people who know how to sew and make things like that. A friend of mine in LA, Leah, met me for lunch once and she stepped out in this gorgeous 1950s coat that was stunning…and she made it. It was so pretty that if you’d have wanted to buy something like this it would be $2,500 easily. But she made it. I wish I could do things like that. But, they don’t teach boys to sew in school and I never thought to learn on my own.
841pm CST — Les Miz won best makeup. That’s a movie I will never see. Too depressing. When I was in high school, Les Miz came through Cleveland and I ended up seeing it four times because different groups I was in all got tickets and I had to go. That was too many times to see that show in a week. I’ve had my fill for good on that one.
Sherri said that Jennifer Anniston is wearing a prom dress. I just keep thinking, ‘Why is Jennifer Anniston even there?’. She would make more sense being at a prom.
I’m kind of at the point with this where I just want it to be over.
Can I make it through to the Best Supporting Actress award?
Do I even care?
Honestly, I don’t. I kind of want to switch this off and put “House of Cards” on Netflix.
848pm CST — they showed this really cute featurette of the “Mominees”…the mothers of different nominees. I really love seeing the moms of these different people, and how they are so proud of the kids. So great.
Sherri was making fun of the little girl’s name from “Beasts of the Southern Wild”…Quackzhenloreece Wallis or whatever the heck that is. The girl’s mother’s name is Qualyindria. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. The book Freakonomics has a whole chapter on this, and what names like this do to children…or how the names are the manifestation of the upbringing. Giving a child a name that’s hard to pronounce is just stupid…because the kid will have to forever correct people. Why do that to the kid? I’ve seen a lot of people calling the little girl “Alphabet Soup Wallis”…and who needs that?
Will Smith is actually going to put her in an all-black remake of Annie, which is a shame because there should be new things written with good black characters…not just taking an older story and making “the black version of it”. This is more of Hollywood being racist, because they don’t see black people as worthy of having their own original characters. Instead, they make “black Wizard of Oz”, “black Honeymooners”, “black Steel Magnolias”.
It’s like constantly throwing black people scraps…and the Left just loves it, thinking “that’s good enough”.
Sad, sad, sad.
900pm CST — You know, I’ve lived in Chicago for 8 years now…but I still think of time in EST and I have to remind myself that I’m “an hour behind”. This is especially funny when watching something broadcasting from LA, because they are two hours behind me and three hours behind Cleveland. I just keep trying to remember how much longer the show will go on…and I think it’s over around 11pm EST, which would be 10pm CST….so an hour left of this.
Twitter is apparently loving Seth MacFarlane…and they are happy that “Like the Pie” won awards.
I can just barely hear Jennifer Hudson singing from Dreamgirls. I actually really like her and a friend of mine here in Chicago knew here when she was growing up. There’s a truly awful show called Smash on NBC that’s a train wreck, but they brought Jennifer on this season and she’s so good. She’s good in everything she does and appears to remain a nice person. So, I love when she gets kudos. It makes me sad that Whitney Houston never had a big movie career and an Oscar and all that. Whitney’s voice was better than Hudson’s…and I think Whitney was a better actress…but Whitney had her demons and was brought low. So tragic. Someone is going to get an Oscar for playing her in the next few years too. Just watch.
904pm CST — they are talking about that depressing French movie Amour winning best foreign film. That’s another one I’ll never see. It’s about dying and someone wearing diapers. If ever there’s a day when I am feeling too happy and need to be depressed I’ll just drive around the southside of Chicago awhile and look at all the neglect and ruin. I just don’t like to watch depressing movies.
People are upset that they’re playing the JAWS music to shut people up who ramble in their speeches. I remember years ago they actually tried to bribe people with plasma TVs when those first came out. If you went out there and you spoke for under 30 seconds or whatever you got a plasma TV, but if you went 31 seconds or more you forfeited the TV. It didn’t work and they never tried that again. People just wanted to read those lists of names.
Personally, I think the second they name more than two names in a row they should turn off the microphone and maybe even open a trap door.
They are talking about that Silver Linings Playbook….which is one I will probably rent for like $2 on Amazon Instant.
I really, really love that streaming video. Instead of going to the movies and dropping like $25 or $30 between Justin and myself, I can watch something for $2 or $3 and can even pause and rewind when Justin talks through parts.
Mark Wahlburg and Ted the Bear are in a little clip. Ted really was funny. Shockingly vulgar, but funny.
There’s apparently all kinds of things happening on stage that Sherri and Larry know nothing about…..so it’s like watching an alternate universe broadcast of this show.
917pm CST — That Larry is so stupid. He doesn’t know the difference between sound mixing and sound editing. Mixing happens on set…but editing is done in post-production.
Halle Berry wore her spacesuit to the Oscars. She looks ridiculous.
It is really funny to hear Sherri talk about Octavia Spencer. They keep showing Octavia in the audience and Sherri narrates like she’s having an out of body experience. I love it.
There’s apparently a tie for the next Oscar. I think it’s Best Supporting Actress? Maybe?
It’s a cool story that Anne Hathaway’s mother played the role of Fantine in the first touring company of Les Miz.
Anne just won the Oscar…and it was not a tie….so I don’t know what Sherri and Larry were talking about with a tie.
I just adore her. I really do. She is a classy, sweet, young lady. And she knows how lucky she is and how charmed a life she’s leading. She is so humble and sweet.
You know what’s interesting is that many years ago when I worked at a hotel in Cleveland we’d have all sorts of celebrities come through. The ones who ALWAYS were the nicest were the ones who were either old stars who’d had long careers or people who ended up having long careers. All the ones who were snobby and demanding and nasty are nobodies right now. So, when I see Anne Hathaway I see someone who is going to have a very long career and do a lot of interesting things…and I bet she never, ever loses the sweetness.
931pm CST — They’re showing Hugh Jackson eating popcorn. It’s funny, the show is so long they have to eat in the commercial breaks to keep blood sugar up.
Sherri has succeeded in winning me over. As they were eating the popcorn, she was making munching sounds and saying “Oooh, this is some good popcorn. I gotta eat it all up! It’s so good!”. It was hilarious.
Argo won for film editing. I actually liked the movie, and not just because Affleck looked sexy all up in that. I got to meet the Empress of Iran once when she was in Chicago years ago and years before that I met an Iranian author who wrote the book Daughter of Persia. I know Argo is mostly fiction, but it was a great and fun story. It’s the kind of movie I can watch again and again.
I saw Zero Dark Thirty and thought it was nothing special. I was mainly just shocked it ended up not being an Obama propaganda film. I really thought it would be. And I didn’t like that the Jessica Chastain character was made to be like this Buffy the Vampire Slayer figure…and NOBODY wanted to catch bin Laden but her, and everyone was all “Alright, we’ll get him…but just shutup about it!”. Ridiculous. I saw the movie with a good friend in a GIANT theater though and so it was a fun and memorable movie experience…but I don’t think it’s worthy of any awards and I won’t be watching it ever again.
That Skyfall movie was forgettable too. Justin liked it. We saw that one in theaters too. He plays that Adele song over and over again. I still keep thinking Skyfall is about a satellite, but that was Die Another Day.
938pm CST — Anne Hathaway is very Audrey Hepburn tonight. But with a little more spunk.
One thing I never get is Adele. I have nothing against her, but they keep saying “Adele is amazing!”. I think she’s okay. I wonder if a lot of the media praise is because Adele is heavy-set. And so they feel a need to praise her. This is like how the media feels a need to overly praise anything a black person does…which has the net effect of really lowering the bar and cheapening the really great achievements of talented black people. Don’t call Adele amazing unless she really is…and I’ve just heard better than Adele.
Anne is having her pictures taken…and as she’s standing there she’s about to tear up…she’s so touched. It’s very sweet. Sherri is shouting at her, ‘Show us your booty girl!’. ”That’s yours momma”. ”Lookit your diamond bracelet you are a walk-in mansion”.
Oh, Sherri. You are too much. But not in a bad way.
945pm CST — So Larry just did another plug for Samsung and he said something like, “Look at all this great technology that Samsung has provided”. Sherri wasn’t feeling it but was contractually obligated to say something nice about Samsung so she was mumbling that, “Yah, they hooked us up, all up in here. They sure did. All technological and everything”.
So, they just showed Halle Berry chomping on popcorn like a goat.
And then Sherri spotted Bradly Cooper and was talking about “Do you think he is back with Zoe Zaldana”….Sherri, honey, Bradley’s gay. Another one that straight women can’t seem to spot. Bradley Cooper, Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, Zac Efron, John Travolta, Tom Cruise….it’s not that hard to spot.
1000pm CST — someone just suggested I checkout Nikki Finke’s coverage of the event because she has a tee-vee and can see what’s happening (unlike me)…and I just love Nikki Finke. Her site is Deadline.com.
If you don’t know her, she’s hilarious…and Hollywood hates her, because she calls people out on being stupid all the time. She’s really careful in what she chooses to do…but when she goes after something, she can just destroy someone or something. She is a force. And I get almost all my entertainment news from her and her team. LOVE them.
I think I read on Deadline about what a nasty pig Tommy Lee Jones is. Apparently, he’s hated in Hollywood…because he is so nasty. He was Al Gore’s roommate at Harvard.
Salma Hayek is such a moron. She’s wearing a Halloween costume again. One of my favorite things that they ever did as an in-joke at the Oscars was once many years ago when they had Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz present an award together. I think it was for something with sound. Neither of them speak English, despite both living here for many, many years. Salma and Penelope had to read off cards, and I think the cards were written in Spanish…and they had to translate in their heads. Both of them struggled with the segment, and parts of it ended up like “Me think this am good”. They sounded like cave people, and they just stared blankly ahead like morons. It was unintentionally hilarious. So much so that it just had to have been done on purpose.
10005pm CST — they’re doing the In Memorium part. Back in the 80s and 90s Sigourney Weaver used to host this part a lot. Then for a while they’d play Donna Summer’s “Con Te Partiro”, but they’d have Andrea Boccelli sing it with Charlotte Church. Andrea Boccelli’s gay too, by the way.
Sherri’s saying that after Norah Ephron died she sent her a recipe. That’s kind of creepy. I hope she meant that she left it to her in a will, not like a ghost sent it. Because would you really want to make something the ghosts told you to make? Maybe it’s poisoned because they are lonely and want you to join them.
Sherri said: Oh, that Ray Bradburry. He made some of those science fiction works.
I just checked Nikki Finke’s transcript and she says that MacFarlane is making jokes about Christians. Not cool. And I appreciate not having to listen to that.
1006pm CST — Daniel Radcliffe is on with Kristen Stewart. He’s adorable, and I think he is straight but because he is so little that’s why he’s not an aggressive guy. Plus he’s British. I saw him in Equus on Broadway and it was worth every cent. That Kristen Stewart is dreadful. She always looks like she’s in such a bad mood. She never smiles and always has dirty hair. I just don’t get her.
Apparently Barbara Streisand sang.
I never understood the appeal of that woman…but a friend told me there is some book about her early days that changed his opinion on her. I forget the name of the book, but want to read it.
I still laugh at the legal concept of “The Barbara Streisand Effect”…when Streisand tried to sue someone because she didn’t like that he was photographing the California coast, which included her Malibu home. She sued to shut that project down, but only ended up giving the project way more exposure than it would have had if she hadn’t sued to stop it. So, the moron ended up hurting herself by lashing out at the photographers. Idiot.
The funny thing is that very rich people or big companies make this same mistake all the time. They get to this place of arrogance where they think they have high paid lawyers and can do whatever they want…but they don’t understand the PR nightmare they cause themselves.
I still don’t know what “tie” they are talking about. What tie? They keep saying that someone tied for an award…but I don’t know who.
1015pm CST — Adele won for Skyfall…and then backstage was talking about how she needed to go to the toilet. She has a surprisingly low-class accent, like a dockworker on the Thames. This is also the kind of thing that are media thinks is so much fun…but I just don’t like listening to that, “Allo, Guvna, I fancy a trip to the loo” garbage. It’s really great she’s comfortable in her own skin and she doesn’t feel the need to conform in terms of appearance, but can you not talk about having to use the bathroom in front of a global audience? Do we really need to share all this?
1026pm CST — that means it’s 1126 in Cleveland. I remember as a kid when the Oscars would be on I’d be long in bed already, but in high school I’d stay up until 1130…and I’d always be asleep before Best Actor and Actress and Picture happened.
Some weird little guy won something, I think Argo…and he was SO STRANGE….they had him in the backstage Thank You Cam area and he reminded me of a serial killer.
Sherri just made a comment about “Clooney feeling his beard” right at the moment that he put his hand on his date’s leg. SO FUNNY.
Tommy Lee Jones is eating candy.
I’ve been wondering why that Kerri Washington from Scandal is there, but she was in that Django movie. I love the show Scandal, by the way. Forget the weird political stuff that Washington says whenever she can…the show is great.
Tarantino is all disheveled and looks like he’s been drinking.
I like Pulp Fiction, but I never liked anything else from him.
Sherri’s saying on Twitter that everyone loves that Tarantino was drunk. I can’t stand drunk people. They’re just exhausting and boring to me. And the worst part is that the next day they refuse to admit how bad they were the night before. I don’t believe they don’t remember their bad behavior.
Supposedly there is just 36 minutes left in the show.
Richard Gere is getting his picture taken with Adele. It’s so weird to see him looking like he’s 80 with shock white hair. Remember when he was married to Cindy Crawford? So funny. Straight women believed that one too!
Here’s something I didn’t know: the Oscars are engraved at the Governor’s Ball party after the show. The statues are blank when they are given out…and at the party the people go to an engraver’s station and get it engraved, so they don’t have to wait to take the statues home. That’s interesting.
Ange Lee won for Best Director. He should have won for Brokeback Mountain.
I never saw Like the Pie. There are a bunch of animals in it like Jungle Book. I like animals and everything but I don’t want to watch a whole movie about them. Going to the zoo once in a while is enough.
Sherri’s reading off Twitter reactions again. Do you know what historiography is? It’s the study of how history is recorded and presented…and it’s fascinating to me thinking about how Twitter and Facebook are going to affect historians in the future…because more is being documented than ever before.
Adele was holding the Oscar in front of her face and Sherri yelled at her to move it. What’s so fascinating is that Sherri and the other media people go out of their way to say how beautiful Adele looks…but it’s that thing they do where they really think she’s fat but they know they can’t say that, so they shift heavily to the other side and compliment her. They did this same thing with that Gabby Siboudebe from Precious two years ago as well. ”She’s so beautiful! We love her!”…but the tone in their voices give them away.
1042pm CST — Best Actress. They’re making fun of Quacktoeticktockshone Wallis’ name again. Her, the French old lady, Jessica Chastain, Naomi Watts, and Jennifer Lawrence are up for this.
Jennifer Lawrence won. She fell onto the ground. Not on purpose. That must be embarrassing.
Nikki Finke at Deadline is saying that Stephen Spielberg is hated in Hollywood. I’ve heard that over the years too…that he’s just an ass to deal with. He should really have like 8 Oscars by now….but people just don’t like him. The Oscars are really a popularity contest and the people who vote hold all kinds of grudges.
BEST ACTOR — Daniel Day Lewis. First Oscar win for an actor in a Speilberg movie. I never liked Daniel Day Lewis. I don’t know why, I just don’t like him. I have not seen Lincoln all the way through and doubt I ever will. I got like 20 minutes into it and didn’t like the special effects and all that vampire stuff.
Plus, Sally Field is still Nora Walker to me and her as Mary Todd is just Nora in a Halloween costume.
I really wish I remember who said they were going to do this, but years ago there was someone who said she was going to wear vampire fangs…and when she lost the award she was going to snarl at the camera…because they make the losers sit there and be polite and clap for the winners. That would have been funny.
Sherri is talking about some move called “Who’s Your Cabbie” that she made and all of three people saw.
1053pm CST — Michelle Obama is there….why?
Just think of the taxpayer money that was sunk into this appearance. Inappropriate.
And I think it’s hilarious that a lot of straight people can’t tell she’s wearing a new wig. She’s always worn a wig, but the “bangs wig” is the newest one. I actually like it on her, to be honest. She still wears the ugliest clothes I’ve ever seen…but this wig is nice on her.
Wow, Ben Affleck is hot. And that is an awesome wig on him, better than Michelle’s.
Turns out Michelle was not there…just on tape. Sherri and Larry were confused.
BEST PICTURE is coming…
I don’t remember George Clooney being in Argo. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should watch it…and let me know if you see George Clooney in it. I swear I don’t remember him in there, but I watched that when I was sick and so maybe I just wasn’t paying attention or was on too many pain meds that day.
I think it’s hilarious that everyone hates Spielberg. Apparently, they really like Affleck though…and him not getting a Director nomination was a big oversight because people thought he was a shoo-in, and so they didn’t vote for him.
That’s it for the show.
I have no idea what the real telecast was like, but the Backstage Pass Award Show was wonderful. It was a lot of fun to watch this like I was in the production booth. Such a neat experience…and in the future I really recommend you try it too. Sherri and Larry were funny…sometimes unintentionally. The last thing I heard her say before I closed the feed was that she always thought that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were brothers, for real brothers. This woman is hilarious.
QUESTION for COMMENTS: What did you think if you watched the show?
[ NOTE: If you do want to watch the Oscars, but don't have a tee-vee...then EW.com is a good place for coverage. If you follow this link, they have a really well-put-together "dashboard" that has a live commenting feature and a little video screen that I think will show the awards ceremony. Right now they are just showing the pre-show stuff...and maybe ABC won't let them show a live feed of the telecast itself, but if they don't then EW will have a running play by play and screenshots of the event. I've never seen a "dashboard" like this before and really like what they put together. ]
So, tonight is “Oscars Night”….which is technically one of the “High Drinking Holidays” here in Boystown; these are either lesser-known or essentially gay-specific “holidays” that straight people almost entirely ignore, but gays relish as excuses to get dressed up funny and then drink like crazy. There will no doubt be buff twenty-somethings painted gold and dancing on tables in shiny Speedos…meant to represent Oscar itself. The more talented drag queens in town will channel the ghosts of the great stars of the past, so Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Gloria Swanson, and others could walk the Earth yet again tonight…albeit with an extra part or two tucked away somewhere that they never had in life. A handful of bars will show the entire four hour telecast, which is technically illegal and against ABC’s broadcasting rules…but the day the entertainment industry will ever sue a gay bar for copyright violations is probably the day after I personally win an Oscar for something myself.
I have absolutely no interest at all in watching the Academy Awards this year…just as I haven’t cared about the awards or the ceremony itself in a good number of years. That’s not how it always was for me, and in fact when I first moved to Chicago I participated in “Oscars Night’ along with a lot of other guys in Boystown. I even went to a few of the fundraising events where we had to dress up as a characters from movies…and enjoyed being Kevin Costner to my friend Althea’s Whitney Houston in our The Bodyguard tribute…or Marty McFly in the year 2015 for a Back to the Future group outing I was part of, back in 2005 or so.
I don’t think my lost interest in the Oscars is all that attributable to getting older or a “been there, done that” jade towards life…because I’m still as psyched for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, other holidays as I am every year. It’s just that movies are no longer as big a part of my life as they used to be, and I just don’t think Hollywood itself is all that relevant to my world.
My boyfriend Justin’s down in Arkansas visiting his parents this weekend and it’s one of those blue sky days here in Chicago with the sun shining brightly, melting all the snow, so it would be nice to get out of the apartment and watch the Oscars somewhere, I suppose…but I just don’t want to sit through it and would rather spend the evening catching up on books I’ve been meaning to read and trying another attempt to perfect my recipe for kung pao chicken (so it’s actually not-too-spicy-for-Justins). Whenever Justin’s out of town I make things for myself that he either doesn’t like or that are too-spicy-for-Justins (as he calls it), and I try to tame things down so that in time they can be Justin-approved favorites.
If he was here, he’d be scoffing at the Oscars because this is a tradition that he and his mom have…where they have a pressing need to pee all over a lot of things. The two of them very much enjoy going on for hours about how much they don’t like something, but they never of course realize how much power they give these things over them…or how wallowing in negative energy is just plain bad for their souls. His mother, CarolAnne, calls here at least three times a day (morning, noon, and night!) to go on about how terrible this or that is…and so I picture the two of them huddled by a flickering tee-vee in Eureka Springs, Arkansas tonight jeering at the screen…and maybe tossing handfuls of popcorn at the set as the two of them watch all four hours of the thing they supposedly both hate.
I’ve talked about this before, but one of the things that I really find dangerous about the Internet is the way it brings out real nastiness and negativity in a lot of people…particularly those who are anonymous and hide behind screen names. If you bop around to various conservative sites today, you’ll find a lot of angry and sometimes near-apoplectic people going on about how much they hate Hollywood or how they just despise actors and actresses and the political views these people have. It’s exhausting to even read this…and so cliche, too, because it’s the same things they go on about year after year; really, it’s like picking up the phone and hearing CarolAnne on the other end and wondering what day it is because a recorded message would be less repetitious and reliable.
While I do believe the Left has won the Culture War and that conservatives are foolish not to appreciate the ongoing role that Hollywood plays in Democrats’ hold on power, I just think being hateful and nasty towards anything or anyone is just wasted energy. There are plenty of things out there that I don’t especially like…but instead of hating them I just mock them relentlessly. Ridicule, and the act of getting others to laugh at a particular entity, is a far more effective strategy than just repeating the same screed you used the last time opportunity afforded you a chance to “vent” about how terrible this or that really is.
So, the Oscars mean nothing to me anymore…but I don’t hate them…and I don’t hate the people who hand out these awards or who receive them. I just think the whole thing is ridiculous at this point and whatever magic the ceremony had for me was lost long ago. I realized this morning that I had never properly charted out the WHY of all this…or bothered to think about at what point the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences lost me as a fan and viewer. I love absurdity and enjoy terrible singing and dancing and shows that go on and on without edits or endings…so the Oscar telecast used to be right up my alley, down to the post-telecast shower I’d take before heading to bed where the bottle of shampoo would no doubt become a makeshift award while I thought for a moment or two about what I’d say to a billion people if I ever had the chance to be up on that stage.
I realize today that there are Five Reasons why the Oscars mean nothing to me anymore…and also that I’ve come to see the Oscars as one of the most virulently racist events on our national calendar.
The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet — PART THREE: Can Carpet Be the Canary In A Depressed Economy’s Coal Mine?
[ Click above to embiggen: Are these stains really mold-spotted canaries in the coal mine indicating we're in a global Depression? ]
If you’ve been following “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” you’ll know that on 2/20/2013 I arrived at the downtown Chicago offices of the law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson for a four o’clock appointment I had with Scott M. Gilbert, one of Hinshaw’s young partners, only to find the carpeting in the reception area to be the filthiest I’d ever encountered…and that’s including the gray, poorly-made carpeting I’d seen in Eastern Europe as a kid or the dirty flooring I remembered from the movie The Lost World: Jurassic Park, where very foolish people went to this island that had been years-ago abandoned by an even more foolish corporation engaged in cloning dinosaurs (but the dinosaurs got loose and, among other inconsiderate things, ruined all the carpeting in the abandoned office buildings and labs on the island). I think that movie was supposed to be set somewhere off the coast of Costa Rica, so the carpets were covered in black mold, mushrooms, and nests of all sorts of tropical-climate creepy-crawlies…but it still looked fresher and more inviting than the mystery-stained beige carpeting at Hinshaw & Culbertson in Chicago where, I presume, dinosaurs have never been set loose. I guess it says something about how terrible The Lost World was as a movie that the thing I remember most about it is its stained carpet, because that film really was a stinker. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what lasting impression is left on Hinshaw & Culberston’s actual clients by this filthy carpet.
I’ve received a lot of letters the last few days from people who wonder why I’m so fascinated by the filthy carpeting and extremely unsanitary washroom I found at the Hinshaw firm…and the immediate answer is that bizarre things like this have always fascinated me because I believe they are clues to something we’re missing in the bigger picture. I’m Catholic, and I believe the Holy Spirit nudges us all here and there, wherever we’re supposed to go…and sometimes I think that when something so absolutely bizarre as “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” is dropped in my lap I’m supposed to learn something from it or help someone who’s involved. In this case, the jarring experience of stepping into the reception area of a supposedly prestigious Chicago law firm in a high-rent skyscraper smack dab in the middle of the Loop and finding the public areas to be poorly maintained and absolutely filthy set off my natural mystery-solving radar…because it made me wonder just how bad things are in our current economy that a firm like Hinshaw would allow its waiting-area carpeting to become so filthy and would essentially let its men’s washroom degenerate into what could easily moonlight as a set for the next Saw torture-porn movie (which, for some reason, are flicks that always seem to have long stretches of plot centered in filthy bathrooms..from which guys like Cary Elwes desperately try to escape).
My mind keeps jumping around to all sorts of movies and tee-vee shows in this particular case, because I’ve just never experienced a waiting-area or washroom this filthy in real life. Many years ago, I worked in a hotel while I was in college and our corporate office would have closed the place down for immediate renovations if we allowed our lobby to become so filthy; even if we were struggling in the dead of winter with 90% of the rooms in the hotel vacant and very little money coming in, we’d still make sure the lobby carpeting was spotless. That was back in Cleveland, where we seemed to have not only more snow and slush than I’ve ever remembered in Chicago…but the wintery precipitation would always be a black, tar-like sludge thanks to the steel mills that still belched dark smoke into the air around the city and the water table that would spontaneously combust if conditions were right (such as someone dropping a match into the river or even looking at the Lake funny). Since Hinshaw & Culbertson’s lobby in a mild, dry Chicago winter was filthier than that of a heavily-trafficked hotel in downtown Cleveland (which was a favorite shortcut for homeless people to use when getting from a pandhandling free-for-all park to the Justice Center for their court appearances), I’m inclined to believe the Holy Spirit intended for me to see this filth and inspired me to contemplate what it means for our country at large.
I truly believe, as a part of my faith, that there was a reason I was meant to be sitting on that couch and left alone by Mr. Gilbert for so long with nothing else to do but stare at and photograph the filthy carpeting in that lobby.
We seemed to forever be tightening budgets and cutting costs when I worked at the hotel, and that was in the late-90s before the Dot.com implosion. Things got especially tight after 9/11, because millions of people were spooked off flying and hotels lost massive amounts of bookings (mostly related to canceled conventions, but also due to people finally making the leap to working from home and video conferencing instead of flying for business all the time). I was the head of security at the hotel and I think my department’s budget was cut to the point where I had to start buying printer ink and other office supplies with my own money, since the hotel couldn’t afford any of it and was reeling from a massive cash crunch due to the sudden downturn in the industry (thanks to “the religion of peace”). And, yet, the hotel was still always spotless, the carpets were forever clean, and the men’s washroom sparkled.
I think we would have had to be on the brink of closing down the hotel for the General Manager to have ever tolerated filthy carpets or unsanitary washrooms in that building. Literally, if everyone was laid-off due to budget cuts and it was just the GM and a few other managers left on the payroll, that guy would have had his sleeves rolled up and would have brought his own bucket of suds from home to make sure the carpet was clean and presentable to our guests. There just doesn’t exist in any realm of my imagination an image of my old hotel’s carpeting ever being allowed to become as filthy as that at the Hinshaw & Culbertson national corporate headquarters.
And this scares me, because I wonder if it’s a sign that we truly are in the economic Depression that I’ve believed we’ve been in for some time. If a large and supposedly prestigious law firm like Hinshaw & Culbertson seemingly no longer has the resources to keep its lobby carpeting clean and to tidy up its washroom, then I wonder how many other businesses in Chicago could be running on fumes. If things are really this bad in our economy that a place like Hinshaw can’t seem to afford the basics (like proper housekeeping and sanitation of their offices), then how long is a firm like this going to stay in business? And what does that mean for all of the people who count on this place being there…and all of us taxpayers who’d have to shoulder the unemployment benefits or welfare if big layoffs follow the filthy carpets and neglected maintenance of these offices?
I’m scared this filthy carpet is a canary in our economic coal mine and the filth I found last week in a waiting room is an alarm that big firms and other large employers here in Chicago might be dominos teetering on oblivion…and that we could have another massive corporate die-off like we had in the Dot.com crash and the financial apocalypse of 2008 that George Soros rigged to secure Barack Obama’s election.
Don’t forget that the Obamacare penalties and stifling requirements are set to hit employers hard in January of 2014, so we have less than a year until businesses coast to coast need to start carrying the burden of covering health insurance for millions of Mexicans who broke the law and came here for handouts (at the President of Mexico’s urging, of course, because these people then became our problem…not Mexico’s). I’m really wondering if a big firm like Hinshaw & Culbertson is allowing its carpets to get filthy and its washrooms to go uncleaned because it just doesn’t have the resources available to take care of this stuff anymore…and if staffing cuts or reduction in hours directly linked to Obamacare could be a reason for this.
It’s a real shame, too, because all the workers I met at the Hinshaw firm when I was there seemed like very nice people. I especially felt bad for this one firecracker of a receptionist they had, who was an elegant older black woman in a gorgeous cream suit with a shiny, gold rhinoceros broach on her lapel. There she was, so friendly and charming she’d easily be played by Viola Davis if this was a firm in a John Grisham movie…so clearly taking great pride in her personal appearance and doing an excellent job…but the poor woman was forced to sit at a reception desk that was essentially this tiny island of tidiness in a sea of unkempt, dingy, filth. It was like going to see the best movie that’s come out in years (starring your favorite actress), but the theater you ended up watching it in was weeks away from being condemned by the health department and torn down…kind of like that old movie palace in Detroit that’s on its last legs as a ramshackle parking garage. It’s a very disconcerting and uncomfortable feeling to watch someone you instantly like have to force a smile and carry on the best she can, while being visibly embarrassed by the surroundings in which she has to work. I really felt badly for this nice lady because she reminded me of one of my friends’ moms…and I’d hate for them to have to work in a place that was so dirty.
As I waited and waited for Mr. Gilbert to figure out where we were going to have our meeting, all I kept thinking about was “Why on Earth did these people let their offices get so dirty?” and “Why can’t they clean these carpets?”; after investigating this for the last several days the terrifying conclusion I think I’m forced to reach is that it’s because they just can’t afford to keep the place clean anymore.
Honestly, I don’t know what something like this means for our country (and businesses that YOU might work for), but I hope you’ll give me your input in comments below. A few days ago I actually reached out to Ann B. Davis, the actress who played “Alice Nelson” on The Brady Bunch because I wondered if she could give us any cleaning advice that I could then pass on to Donald L. Mrosek, J. William Rogers, and Mr. Gilbert at the Hinshaw firm — but I have not heard back from Ms. Davis yet. At 80-something, I don’t know how often she writes back to strangers asking for cleaning tips (or how much she really learned while playing “Alice”) so I thought about anyone else I might possibly know who has ever dealt with stains as pronounced and prodigious as those I found in the waiting area of Hinshaw & Culbertson.
And then I realized that many years ago I had a chance encounter with a true cleaning expert while working another job I once had in Cleveland….and so I decided to write to her for help today as well.
VIA US MAIL — 2/23/2013
Ms. Ponce Kiah Marchelle Cruse Evans
aka “Heloise”, The Conqueror of Stinks and Stains
San Antonio, Texas
I’m sure you don’t remember this, but I met you many years ago while working at the Brentano’s bookstore in downtown Cleveland’s “Galleria” mall, back when there was still a bookstore in there and the building was itself still used as a mall (for the last few years, it’s been a largely-abandoned “urban farm” with hydroponic tomatoes haphazardly soaking in buckets and little bugs correspondingly flying around…but the latest cockamamie scheme is to turn it into a giant YMCA gym and flood the whole lower level for a swimming pool…which is sort of the screwball type of pipe-dream solution to a longstanding problem that makes Cleveland forever next in line to invest in monorails at some point; honestly, all that’s missing in my former hometown is a Krusty Burger and a dance number inspired by “The Music Man”).
I remember all of our home improvement and gardening books being in the rear of the store, back in those days when people still went to bookstores and “Amazon” was most recognizable as a river in South America that few in Ohio had the slightest inclination to ever visit in person (“Why do we have to get on a plane and then deal with Spanish-speaking people when we have a perfectly good river right here in Cleveland…and ours can catch FIRE! Bet that Amazingzon can’t do that and so it isn’t all amazing after all” would have been essentially the attitude you’d find in Parma, especially). “Dot Com”, back then, was also more likely to be associated with the perky wife of a shop teacher or plumber, whose buddies no doubt ribbed him mercilessly for a last name that lent itself to riffs on “Commie” (or even more vulgar jabs, if locker room barbs switched a vowel in the “Com” and took us into PG-13 territory). In Cleveland, this sort of banter amongst straight male friends is called “funnin”, with the “g” missing like that (because it’s a Cleveland thing). I don’t get it, and I never did, which is largely why I’m gay and live in Chicago now.
Around 1994 or so, you were in Cleveland for something (maybe you came to see the house from A Christmas Story, because the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame was not open yet and those are often the only two reasons people willingly come to Cleveland) and somehow found your way to my Brentano’s…where a customer excitedly raced to the register to tell me that “Some woman with white hair is writing in all of your books!”. I think I was mad at my manager Laurie for making me work that day when I was supposed to be off, so I took my time investigating…but, sure enough, there you were sitting on the floor with a Sharpie and a smile, beaming “I’m Heloise!” as I approached. ”I’m Kevin,” I told you, and then asked if you were okay or if I needed to call someone to help
restrain you. That was a nicer way of my asking if you had escaped from someplace, since you were too nicely dressed and friendly to be a vagrant…and your penmanship was just lovely. “I’m Heloise!”, you repeated…which made me wonder if that was, in fact, the only thing you could say.
But then you flipped a book over and held your photo up to your own head and I realized you were just being incredibly nice and autographing the copies of your books we had on our shelves (instead of simply being a very pretty white-haired lady with a Texas twang who vandalizes in the home and garden section of upscale bookstores that no longer exist). We didn’t have much interaction after that, since I had work to do up front and you were busy writing your name a bunch of times with a marker on the floor, even though no one asked you to do that.
I believe one of those books was called “Heloise Conquers Stinks and Stains”, or something like that. Looking over my own resume and list of life achievements, I’m jealous of your conquering of both stinks and stains, whereas I’ve thus far only managed to mildly irritate a few people here and there and publicly shame those with filthy carpets.
That’s actually why I’m writing you today, because it’s not like we promised to stay in touch all those years ago when we met in Brentano’s. As I’m sure you’ve been following, this week I launched an investigation into “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet”…which I was drawn into on February 20th when I arrived at the law offices of Hinshaw & Culbertson in downtown Chicago and was floored by the filthy, stained carpeting in their reception area. Later, when I needed to use the men’s room, I discovered standing water on the floor, clogged toilets with feces floating in urine, smears and grime on the water-splashed mirrors, and lights flickering overhead like in a torture-porn horror movie (such as those in the film series Saw, which has about a dozen installments at this point…but has never featured a men’s room as gross as the one at Hinshaw & Culbertson). Needless to say, there were a great many stinks in that washroom…but none that you couldn’t conquer, if your books are to be believed.
Part of my investigation into “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” is figuring out why, exactly, this law firm allows its waiting area to be so filthy and why its men’s room is so unsanitary (and full of stinks!). That’s really something I doubt you’ll be able to help with…and I already have a letter in to the firm’s Senior Partners basically asking them why this is happening. Since I have yet to hear back from any of them (due, no doubt, to it being February and I bet a lot of people get divorced after Valentine’s because husbands give lousy presents most of the time and that starts fights), I’ve prayed on the matter and have decided to operate as a Good Samaritan, concerned citizen, and local busybody to see if I can find any cheap and affordable cleaning tips that could “conquer” the stains and stinks that I discovered in the offices of Hinshaw & Culbertson.
There are some very nice people working there, including a very friendly woman with a rhinoceros pin on her jacket and another nice lady with white hair like yours, only she wears it “up” more and is kind of heavy-set. That lady was sweet and when she saw me staring at the stains in the carpet and taking pictures of them with my iPhone she mouthed “It’s so embarrassing!” as she hurried through the room with a bunch of papers. I don’t really know any of the people working there besides this really nice lawyer named Scott M. Gilbert, but they all seem like good and polite people who deserve a clean office and stain-and-stink-free working conditions.
I ordered your book “Heloise Conquers Stinks and Stains” and I’m asking my readership to pick up a copy too…because I really believe in you (even though I could never remember or pronounce your real name if my life depended on it) and you’re technically the first published author I ever met, if you don’t count Patricia Highsmith, Madeline Albright, Erma Bombeck, John Grisham, or Maya Angelou (all of whom I met before you at various, separate events while in high school, but the story of meeting you on the floor in Brentano’s while you were writing in the books is much more interesting than running into Bombeck at the Phoenix airport or whatever).
Since it takes a few days for Amazon to ship a book and it will be about a full week before I’d be able to find the time to read all of it, I was wondering if you could just look at the pictures I’ve enclosed of the filthy carpet in the Hinshaw & Culbertson law offices and then give me some quick pointers on how these people can clean up their stains. I did not take pictures of the unsanitary and poorly-maintained restroom at this firm (because there was a Hispanic man in there from the Blue Plate Catering Company changing his clothes and I didn’t want to either embarrass him or make him think I was posting the photos to Grindr or Scruff or whatever without his permission); come to think of it, though, since stinks don’t really photograph even if I took pictures of the restroom it would just be shots of water on the floor and feces bobbing in urine…and there’s enough of that on the Internets if you really need to see it to be of help in this case. In a cartoon, the animators would have drawn green, wavy lines depicting the stinks in there…but I don’t know how to use photoshop and I couldn’t even begin to imagine how to do that.
I plan on passing along any advice you can give for cleaning the filthy carpets and tidying the men’s washroom to the Senior Partners at Hinshaw & Culbertson the very next time I am in their offices for a meeting with Mr. Gilbert, so I bet you’d have a week or two to get back to me before I’d have another appointment there. No doubt, they are anxiously awaiting my return so that I can help them with all their problems.
Before I close I do want to thank you in advance for your help in providing some advice to Hinshaw & Culbertson on how to clean their stains and stinks…because I suspect they might not have a lot of money to spend on things like cleaning, since they allowed the carpeting to get this bad and they leave the washroom so filthy in the first place. You are a very busy columnist, author, and Conquerer of Stinks and Stains…and your writing has brought a lot of joy and good in this world. I almost want to suggest it’s time for a sequel to your book, which could be written cover-to-cover about how to clean up the stains and stinks in a law firm such as Hinshaw & Culbertson. I don’t want to tell you how to manage your own successful brand, but I’d call it “Conquering Stains & Stinks Part Two, the Sequel, Written About the Filthy Lobby and Men’s Room at A Chicago Law Firm” if I was you. But, then again, I never was good at finding simple, rolls-off-the-tongue titles for things. You are no doubt better at that than me. But, wouldn’t it be a hoot if you’d team up with John Grisham and maybe even do a book together on all this? The next time I run into him at something I’ll try to connect the two of you (though I only saw him that once, twenty years ago, so I don’t know how long a wait this would be).
With thanks in advance for your help in this important matter regarding stains and stinks found at Hinshaw & Culbertson’s Chicago offices,
HB NOTE: ”Heloise” is probably my favorite source for household hints outside of the “FlyLady” forums and eBooks and things my grandmothers or my friend Abbey taught me back in Cleveland. Amazon.com has a big selection of Heloise books, on all sorts of topics. Her tips really work, and she really was a super nice lady when I met her twenty odd years ago…so I assume she’s still just as nice today. I have no idea if she’ll write back or if she has the time to help solve “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” but stranger things have happened with my investigations for this site.
QUESTION for COMMENTS: What tricks have you used to remove filthy stains in your own carpet or conquer stinks in the washrooms of prestigious law firms you’ve visited that have neglected their cleaning duties?
What other experts should we contact for more assistance with our investigation into “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet”?
To read the rest of this “Mystery”, click HERE.
[ Click above to embiggen: a clip from the latest Saturday Night Live sketch mocking our Lord and Savior, as broadcast on 2/16/2013. To watch the full clip for yourself, it's currently available on HULU.com for free, which you can watch HERE ]
Last Saturday (2/16/2013), NBC ran a parody of Quentin Tarantino films called “DJesus Uncrossed”, which was a bastardization of Django Unchained…with a lot of Inglorious Bastards thrown in for good measure (or, for bad taste, depending on your personal perspective). Saturday Night Live heavily employed a laugh track during this faux-movie trailer…so that as our Savior was mocked in various ways these disembodied voices were hysterically overcome with giggles. Such as, when it was implied by the trailer that Jesus Christ “used the N-word a lot” (and that Peter Travers, from (I believe) Rolling Stone, quipped about this).
I’m going out on a limb in noting that a similar sketch entitled DMuhahahammad Unturbaned would have never left the writers’ room at NBC…for fear of the physical consequences to Rockefeller Center and the bat-guano-crazy reaction of Muslims worldwide to a blasphemous depiction of the medieval pedophile they deem to be a “prophet”. Since “the religion of peace” is neither a religion nor peaceful, NBC endeavors never to insult or offend Muslims…because Muslims vociferously police depictions of Muhammad in all forms of media.
Christians, on the other hand, raise little outcry whenever Jesus is impugned or mocked by the likes of Saturday Night Live…and, as a result, that mockery becomes a frequent source of material for unimaginative and talentless writers on shows that were past their prime back when I was still in high school (20 years ago!). Networks like NBC won’t so much as show an actor playing Muhammad…PERIOD…but they have no problem at all running sketches that portray Jesus as a violent, racist, murderer.
This is all part of the Left’s endless war against and persecution of Christians…and it’s important that you understand the REAL role of Saturday Night Live in the Left’s greater propaganda machine within its Ministry of Truth. The reason conservatives have lost the Culture War is because too often they delude themselves into thinking, “That’s just stupid!” or “Saturday Night Live doesn’t matter!” or “The only people who watch that are crazed Lefties anyway so they are preaching to their own choir”.
In reality, Saturday Night Live’s anti-Christian propaganda doesn’t just air once and then disappear into the firmament…it’s actually picked up in lots of ways by the Left and rebroadcast in various venues where it becomes part of a bigger effort to indoctrinate the susceptible into a permanent anti-Christian mindset.
Here in Chicago, there is a textbook, classic example of this at work in Sidetrack the Video Bar…which is the largest and most prominent gay bar in the city, located on Halsted Street and owned by Art Johnston and Pepe Pena (who are essentially the “godfathers” or “Dons” of the Chicago gay community). The anti-Christian videos produced by the likes of Saturday Night Live are collected by Sidetrack’s video production team and then re-edited into smaller clips that pack the anti-Christian sentiment into smaller, more explosive bites.
Those clips are then aired repeatedly to the intoxicated customers of the bar — over and over again — so that it’s resoundingly clear to the gay community of Chicago that Christians are to be targeted, mocked, and persecuted wherever and whenever possible. Since Sidetrack is the biggest and most prominent bar…and its owners are viewed as the “Dons” of the Chicago gay community…there’s immense peer pressure for gays in Chicago to toe the line and behave in the way that Sidetrack seemingly wants them to behave (if they want to keep being welcome in the largest and most prominent gay bar in Chicago).
I’m never sure if straight people understand the importance of being socially accepted in a particular bar, especially the biggest and most prominent gay bar around. A stereotype of straight men is that they do all their business and conduct all their networking on the golf course…so in that sense belonging to the largest and most prominent country club would be the key to a successful life as a straight businessman. For straight women, success in the spheres they inhabit might involve belonging to the largest and most prominent gym or a prestigious social club like The Daughters of the American Revolution or the like.
For gay guys, if you aren’t regularly seen in the largest and most prominent gay bar and if you aren’t known widely as “a friend of the bar” then your social status in the gay community is adversely affected…and you forfeit the networking and status-enhancing opportunities afforded to regular patrons of that bar. If you’re someone who has been made to feel unwelcome in the largest and most prominent gay bar, you become a gay guy who has to miss out on all the big events in the community…and all the benefits that come with attending those events.
So, the pressure is high to be a “good guest” of an establishment and to go along with whatever trend its owners set…by behaving the way those “Dons” instruct you to behave via the videos they play in Orwellian fashion on massive screens throughout the bar.
If you’ve read 1984, you’ll remember the concept of a “Two Minutes Hate”…which is a propaganda tool used by the people in control to incite those watching a film to express hatred and rage at “the enemy” on a regular basis. Johnston and Pena orchestrate “Two Minute Hates” against Christians in the gay community on a regular basis, via the videos they regularly select for exhibition in Sidetrack…knowing that the net effect will be the strengthening of the Left’s propaganda that Christians are the “enemies of the gay community”.
Sidetrack, in fact, employs a Chicago Public School teacher named Bradley Thomas Balof as an MC and event host to really rev up the crowds against “the enemies of the gay communities”…which supplements the spirit of these videos with a live-on-stage maestro of hate who demands the crowd jeer at Christians and shout aloud how they’re going to “get them”, “stop them”, “hurt them”, or “destroy them”. Without fail, all the drunk gays in attendance raise their glasses in the air, their faces red with anger and booze, and follow Balof’s lead to scream out against the Christian “enemies”.
Can you only imagine the outrage in the national media if Muslims were the target of Sidetrack’s “Two Minutes Hate” instead of Christians. I even think that there’d be some pause if Jews were targeted, instead of followers of Christ.
I’ve tried repeatedly to interview Art Johnston to ask him why he needs to keep showing clips like “DJesus Uncrossed” in his bar, instead of just playing fun videos without any attacks made on Christians, but Johnston won’t sit down with me, answer my letters, or return my calls. I just can’t imagine doing the things he does to Christians in his bar unless he’s doing them on purpose…and that purpose is part of a larger strategy on the Left to keep this anti-Christian sentiment flowing in all the various ideological subgroups of the Left where it can take root.
What’s remarkable is the glaring hypocrisy of all of this, too, because gays are who the Left trots out to constantly claim they are persecuted by Christians…with plenty of banners reading “Christians hate gays!” at any Pride Parade event or “equality march” the gay community holds for the cameras. In another Orwellian twist, some people are more equal than others because gays actually accuse other people of doing the things they actually do to Christians themselves!
In the five years I have been running this site as an openly gay Catholic I have not even once had an experience where a Christian said anything evil at all to me for being gay…but on a sustained and regular basis I’ve had employees and customers of Sidetrack harass and malign me for being a “traitor” or “enemy of the gay community” for not renouncing my allegiance to the Church. Christians never attempt to make me choose between being gay and being Christian, but gay “Dons” like Art Johnston apply constant pressure to force gays to turn their back on Christ if they want to be accepted in the gay community.
I believe this is an orchestrated strategy on the Left, since it’s widely known that a gay man truly does need access to the largest and most prominent gay bar in a big city to thrive socially and professionally in gay circles…and the threat of cutting off access to those benefits is enough to force gay men to join the “Two Minutes Hate” that bars like Sidetrack incite against Christians with the videos they play and the speeches their staff members make.
Saturday Night Live and other entertainment arms of the Ministry of Truth provide the prepackaged material needed for the “Two Minutes Hate”…and Art Johnston serves up the venues for exhibition…and then his staff sees to it that the message is delivered to the desired targets for their anti-Christian conditioning.
This is happening where you live too, but if you aren’t a frequent visitor to or observer of the gay community you might not realize it.
But, this is how the Left won the Culture War…while Christians sat back and deluded themselves to believe “Oh, no one pays attention to that!” or “That show hasn’t been relevant in 20 years!” .
NOTE: Hulu.com has a tendency to take videos down after a while, so if you are reading this at some point in the future and the Hulu link at the top doesn’t work, I think the Amazon Instant Video link will work for as long as Amazon is around. You’d have to buy the episode of SNL to see the “DJesus Uncrossed” clip, though…and I’d advise never giving SNL or NBC any of your hard-earned money if you can avoid it. But, if you REALLY need to see the clip and Hulu is not playing it for free then I suppose this is an alternative (since NBC is very aggressive about removing its clips from YouTube):
UPDATE: For those unfamiliar with Sidetrack the Video Bar and how endemic the hypocrisy is there, I want to remind you that this is the very same bar that posted photos on its official website of a friend of the bar’s owners dressed up as Adolf Hitler for last year’s Halloween party.
So, the bar’s photographer specifically picked out those photos of Adolf Hitler to appear in the prominently-promoted galleries of photos on the website, when a great many other photos were not similarly chosen for inclusion in that gallery. And no one at Sidetrack had sense enough to appreciate that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis persecuted and then executed gays back in the 1930s and 1940s. You know, in the Holocaust…which wasn’t exclusively used against Jews, but also included the elimination of gays (branded with pink triangles), gypsies, the disabled, and other minorities in German-conquered territories.
But, in the year 2013…the largest and most prominent gay bar in Chicago specifically chose to celebrate dressing up as Adolf Hitler for Halloween, like it was a good thing.
For those of you who scratch your heads at the Gaystapo’s attacks on Christians while simultaneously showing fervent deference to Muslims, include Sidetrack’s promotion of Adolf Hitler Halloween costumes with that insanity.
More on the bizarre and hypocritical things Sidetrack and its owners do HERE.
To this day, I’m unsure if the mother of one of my college friends was actually a KGB operative in the 1980s and early 90s.
The woman was a gorgeous former ballerina with long, velvety red hair who grew up in Soviet-controlled Poland and emigrated to the US, ultimately becoming a flight attendant for Pan Am back when that job was still pretty much the equivalent of being a supermodel. She’d vanish here and there for long periods, and whenever she’d resurface it would be in remarkable proximity to some Cold War-related event that just happened to explode in the news as she was setting her bags back in her closet from her return flight home. After Gorbachev’s toppling and the subsequent dismantling of the former “Evil Empire”, she sort of lost her zip and drive…and seemed permanently disappointed . She stopped flying soon after that…and was honestly never quite the same.
This is all one of those in-jokes amongst my college friends, and has been for years…with us speculating as to whether or not this woman really was a KGB field agent operating under a flight attendant’s cover. Usually, when we’d get on the subject, we’d ultimately decide that “Nah, she couldn’t be. Someone would have put it together. But she sure SEEMS like she could have been KGB. But, NAH…” It didn’t help, of course, that whenever asked about it (in a roundabout way) she’d either be evasive…or would firmly deny it, but with a quick wink at the end that she’d ALSO deny was anything other than “just a blink”.
There’s a new show on F/X that’s well worth your time, called The Americans. It stars the woman who played “Felicity” — back when America was enthralled with her hair (until she cut it and destroyed so many psyches) — and the guy who played Sally Field’s gay son on Brothers & Sisters (obviously, he was one of the brothers, but he ended up with a better guy than any of the sisters…and I’m not just saying that because the character “Scotty” totally reminds me of my own boyfriend, Justin, and some people say I look like this actor). The two of them are KGB agents who were selected for a longterm, deep cover operation in suburban Washington where they pose as a husband and wife team…complete with children who have absolutely no idea that their parents are Russian spies. Kind of, maybe, like my college friend (we think).
The Americans is set in 1981, which is an awful lot of fun for me to watch as it’s just shy of the earliest period I can remember in life. I was around 4 or so when Ronald Reagan was shot, and I don’t remember a thing about the assassination attempt or his recovery. I can remember the 1984 presidential election…but anything earlier than that is just memories of school and family vacations and birthday parties. So, in a way, shows like The Americans kind of fill in missing memories for me of a time when I was alive but just not paying attention to the world outside my little bubble in Cleveland.
I have a strict rule for any show, in that I don’t recommend it to someone else unless I’ve seen three or four episodes and it holds up. A lot of shows have great pilot episodes…but then no follow through or real course ahead. The Americans is fascinating…and just gets better as the episodes progress.
It’s interesting to see Felicity and the Gay Brother ducking down to their laundry room to send coded messages to their handlers…while a few doors away there’s actually an FBI agent and his family who just recently moved in…and the big mystery of this season, for me, is whether that FBI guy really knows these people are spies and that’s why he moved there. It could all be a big coincidence, and the FBI guy might ultimately figure things out…or he could go the entire series without ever having a clue. I love a show that has so much room to twist and turn.
And I also like how the show very much reminds me of trying to figure out if my friend’s mother was a KGB agent…or if she really was just a flight attendant who enjoyed messing with people.
I also sort of nostalgically miss the Cold War, because everything seemed so much simpler back then. Some people like to say “we were all so afraid of nuclear war”, but I don’t remember the 1980s like that. I never had any fear of a nuclear strike because I knew that if the Russians were dumb enough to hit us they’d just seal their own doom. That mutually-assured destruction policy made me sleep easy at night.
It’s such a far cry from today, where the great enemy of our nation (and the West in general) is “the religion of peace” that is Islam, which is neither a religion nor peaceful. Islam is a militarized death cult patiently waging a clandestine, guerrilla war for world domination…and the Ministry of Truth that is our national media gleefully runs cover for them. Hollywood won’t use Muslims as villains even in movies with terrorist-takeover themes…instead employing North Koreans as, supposedly, the biggest threat to civilization today. Ridiculous.
I miss the days when our enemy was rational, sane, and afraid of retaliation from us. With Islam, not only are our enemies insane and motivated by pure hate…but they know we will never hit them back. New York and Washington DC are hit with major terrorist attacks…and, yet, Mecca and Medina sat unscathed. The Soviets knew if they ever pulled a stunt like 9/11 that Moscow and St. Petersburg would have been parking lots.
We’re in this weird holding pattern with Islam where far too many people are scared to death of speaking the truth about “the religion of peace”…in much the same way that the cowards of the 1930s were terrified of saying anything bad about the new regime in Berlin and the lunatic who was calling the shots there. It’s so much scarier living in Chicago in the year 2013 than it was being a kid in Cleveland in the 1980s because today could be the day that Muslims decide to bring jihad to the shores of Lake Michigan and blow something up in spectacular fashion…when I never for even one day ever thought that the Soviets would ever send a missile into the Midwest.
I really think you’d get something interesting out of watching The Americans. I like it so much that I bought one of those season passes from Amazon Instant Video, which I rarely ever do. With most things, I just wait until Netflix gets the show or I read the recaps that people do of programs that are on cable. Hulu had a few episodes of The Americans but it stopped getting the new ones…and so I signed up for the Amazon pass. It’s totally worth the $2/episode they charge because I end up watching the episodes several times.
It’s very rare for Justin to watch a show with me because he has a touch of ADD and it’s hard for him to sit through a TV program…but he’ll walk through the living room when I have The Americans on and he’ll get mesmerized…and then, of course, he’ll spend the rest of the episode asking me questions about everything that’s happening (which is a Justin trademark).
I really can’t say enough good about this show or the fascinating things I learn or end up thinking about after watching it. I really hope at some point they have a character on it who is a flight attendant for Pan Am…based on a certain person I know…so I can say “I KNEW IT!” and think of someone winking at her TV wherever she’s now retired.
QUESTION for COMMENTS: Have you seen this show too? If so, what do you think of it?
A few days ago, I stepped into the offices of Chicago law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson to appear as a witness in a major discrimination suit working its way through federal court involving a prominent Chicago gay bar that’s been accused of persecuting its Christian employees (which is the height of hypocrisy, considering that the owners of this bar vociferously accuse Christians of persecuting gays). As often happens here in Chicago, a mystery fell into my lap while I was sitting on a couch in Hinshaw’s waiting room…because there before me on the floor on either side of the large reception desk was the filthiest carpeting I’d ever seen in my 36 years on this planet. In the grand scope of all the mysteries that are out there today, “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” isn’t the grandest of them all…but I’m just personally boggled by the fact that a purportedly prestigious law firm in Chicago in a very expensive office building could have carpet this filthy in its waiting room. And not seem to care!
Yesterday, I wrote to the Senior Partners of the firm to ensure they knew about the filthy and unsanitary conditions in their offices…but I haven’t heard back from them yet. No doubt, men like Donald L. Mrozek and J. William Roberts are very busy so it might take them and the other Senior Partners a few days to address how filthy their carpet is and how unsanitary and disgusting their men’s washroom was on that same floor. They probably are a little sheepish about the whole situation, too, because I took pictures of how filthy the carpets are over there and showed them to everyone. Though, honestly, they knew I was coming to visit that day and they know I’m Editor-in-Chief of a popular website…and a reasonable person would have supposed I’d have some sort of photographic device on my person in the year 2013. So, they really should have had foresight to clean the carpets and tidy up the washroom before someone like me arrived for an appointment in the building (and was cleared through security to come up to the third floor!).
‘The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” fascinates me because it’s a real commentary on how Chicago itself operates…because it’s on one level this vast garden of shiny steel and glass spikes zooming up to the sky for as far as eyes can see, with tourists clamoring for the best view of all the architectural beauty and historic landmarks…but underneath all that beauty there’s real rot and decay in this town that the political system and media here endeavor to hide under rugs.
That’s why I find it a perfect metaphor for this city to step into a suite of offices in a very shiny and spectacular office building on LaSalle, in the middle of the Loop no less, and find the reception area of a prestigious law firm to be filthier than the one in Beetlejuice, when Geena Davis and a surprisingly attractive version of Alec Baldwin went to the ghost world for an appointment they had with Sylvia Sidney. You remember that scene: the two bewildered, recently deceased humans arrive and find themselves in a diseased room covered in creepy stains, afraid of sitting in something gross, with the whole thing being Tim Burton’s grotesque version of a waiting room in purgatory. Like this:
Only, Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin were lucky because they had each other to comfort them in all that filth…but I had to sit there in the Hinshaw & Culbertson offices and stare at all of those mysterious, moldy stains all by myself!
I actually thought to write to Sylvia Sidney (who played Juno, the ghost caseworker) in Beetlejuice to ask her how Tim Burton and his design team so convincingly replicated the Hinshaw & Culbertson offices from the year 2013 in a movie they released back in 1988, but I’d (fittingly at this point) need a ouija board to reach her. Then I thought I’d ask Geena Davis what she thought of Hinshaw & Culbertson’s filthy reception area carpeting and if it reminded her of working on Beetlejuice, but while looking up her agent’s address I decided that I’d do a really good deed today and bring these filthy carpets to the attention of someone who could really help Mr. Donald Mrozek and Mr. J. William Roberts with their cleaning and sanitation problems. With a reception area this filthy, I should really enlist the heaviest hitter I could think of in ‘The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet”…Ann B. Davis, the woman who played housekeeper extraordinaire “Alice Nelson” on The Brady Bunch.
VIA US MAIL — 2/22/2013
Ms. Ann B. Davis
c/o The Artists Group
1650 Broadway — Suite 1105
New York, New York 10019
Dear Ms. Davis,
I am writing to you because many years ago you portrayed the world’s greatest housekeeper, “Alice Nelson”, on the television program The Brady Bunch. As you no doubt recall, there was absolutely no mess your character couldn’t clean up, no matter how filthy any of the (six!) Brady children were in any episode of that classic TV program. If “Greg” threw the football around and broke something, you’d pick up the pieces and restore order. If “Marcia” was sloppy and got makeup all over her vanity, you’d degrease the glass in an instant (using nothing more than vinegar, lemon juice, or magic). Whenever “Peter” spilled his drink on his textbooks like an inconsiderate and sloppy little pig, you’d dry them out and politely admonish him for being so stupid. “Jan” was just one big walking mess, but yet you always found a way to clean up after her too; FEMA can’t even do something like that today. ”Bobby” and “Cindy” were pretty much just wild all the time and had that dog “Tiger” for a while that just disappeared at one point (or, more interestingly, slipped into an alternate reality where he became a tiger named “Dog”).
I can only imagine how, before he vanished and was never spoken of again, “Tiger” probably made the most messes of any member of the “Brady Family” (apart from “Cousin Oliver”, naturally)…but your character “Alice” kept the “Brady” household’s shag carpeting and other interesting 1970s decorating choices looking resplendent. I know that you were just an actress playing a role written for you by men at typewriters chain-smoking like fiends, but I’m hoping you were at least somewhat method in your craft and that while portraying “Alice” you also were imbued with some of her best spot-cleaning attributes.
I have absolutely no authorization to do this and am not affiliated with them in any way, but I would like your help in solving “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” that exists in the Chicago offices of the law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson. I believe this falls under my duties of “concerned citizen” and “local busybody” and is, of course, a manifestation of my First Amendment rights and my dedication to cleanliness in general.
Recently, I had an appointment at Hinshaw & Culbertson and was shocked by the filthy carpeting they have in their reception area. Here is a photo of exactly what I am talking about so that you can channel “Alice” and help address this with me, as concerned citizens and characters that people have strong opinions of:
I know it looks like the young man in black is part of some kind of cult and is dancing in front of a giant cupcake with a maraschino cherry on top, but he’s just a cater-waiter setting up for a cocktail party function that Hinshaw & Culbertson hosted on 2/20/2013 (as bizarre as it is that they’d host a major catered event in space that has such filthy carpeting). It also looks like there’s a disembodied head just floating right there to the immediate left of the cater-waiter, but that’s really a mustachioed man with glasses whose full body is hidden by the oversized reception desk (it kind of looks like he’s sitting in an elaborate shipping crate or animal pen, but I believe there’s an open space on one side for him to escape). Now that I look at it closely, it also appears that the cater-waiter’s arm ends at his elbow and that he’s firing some sort of blast of psychic ball-lightning at the floating head, like he’s a male version of the video game character “Samus” from the old Metroid series on the NES. But that’s probably just a trick of the light and an optical illusion. My boyfriend Justin really loves video games and he pointed this out to me, so don’t feel bad if you didn’t automatically get the reference because you are 80-something now and I’m 36 and this didn’t immediately leap out at me either.
Those filthy stains on the carpeting of Hinshaw & Culbertson’s waiting area aren’t tricks of the light, however. They sure aren’t “treats” either…but they’re scarier than anything I’ve ever seen at Halloween or in movies such as Beetlejuice (which you weren’t in, obviously, but you should have been in because you are really funny as an actress).
I am wondering if you ever saw stains like the ABOVE on the carpeting of the “Brady Family” house while you were part of that bunch…and not just on the set itself, but also in the backstage production areas where the Teamsters no doubt trucked around lighting, camera equipment, those fancy directors’ chairs, and all the other heavy-duty accoutrements that are needed for television production (and they probably dropped stuff and made a big mess, because they are Teamsters and that’s how they roll). I imagine the back corridors of a TV studio get pretty filthy…and I am wondering if the carpeting backstage on a 1970s sitcom production set was ever filthier than the reception area carpeting of a major law firm in Chicago in the year 2013.
How on Earth would your character “Alice” ever begin to clean filthy carpeting like this?
On the show, whenever one of those “Brady kids”, their dog “Tiger”, “Sam the Butcher”, or other characters on the show made any kind of mess “Alice” would react for the camera, make some kind of funny face, say something hilarious, and then get right to work with a bucket and some kind of scrubbing utensil. And then she’d make pork chops and apple sauce for everyone (except “Tiger”, because he’d get dog food out of a can because he was a dog).
I’ve looked through old episodes on YouTube and I have been unable to identify what sort of utensil “Alice” most usually favored for cleaning up filthy messes…or if such a utensil would be good on carpet like that found in the reception area of Hinshaw & Culbertson. I have no way of determining if this is quality carpeting or not…but I’m tempted to guess it couldn’t have been all that expensive if Hinshaw & Culbertson seemingly can’t afford to get it properly cleaned. That’s an assumption I am making based on the fact that their carpet really and truly is filthy…and I can’t imagine a firm would purposefully choose to allow carpet to get this filthy in a waiting area unless they just financially couldn’t afford to have it cleaned professionally. And that assumption leads me to believe they probably couldn’t have afforded very expensive carpeting to begin with.
But, you know the old saying of: When you assume, you make an “ass” of “you” and “Alice from the Brady Bunch”…so I should just really focus on how filthy their carpeting is right here and now and ask if you have any suggestions at all for how they could clean this up. Mind you, they have not asked for my help so this is more of a Good Samaritan effort, kind of like trying to figure out how Lindsay Lohan can get her life back on track or how Liza Minnelli can stop marrying gay guys. It’s the sort of unsolicited intervention for the hapless that all the “Bradys” should have done for “Jan”.
Since I went to their offices for a meeting but the meeting didn’t happen because the man who asked for the meeting ended up not being prepared to meet that day (I think the day got away from him and he got distracted because they were going to be having a big party that night and he might have been excited because a party was happening), I believe I will be back in their offices again soon for another meeting that will probably happen this time…and when I go I’d like to be able to share with them any advice you might have for how they can make their offices less filthy.
Hinshaw & Culbertson also has a serious problem with their men’s washroom (which you can read about here), but that’s really something that a whole lot of Clorox bleach, Windex, a mop, and some elbow grease can fix…so the real mystery is how they can clean their filthy carpets so that they look like the carpeting at every other law firm that exists here in Chicago…or any other professional business, really.
I believe your character “Alice’s” boss on The Brady Bunch was an architect and he worked from home in an office he designed himself. I also remember it always looked very professional in there, which was no doubt directly attributable to the hard work and dedicated cleaning skills of “Alice” herself. I am not sure if the producers made you stay in character and clean the whole set after filming was done for the day, but if that is remotely the case then you did a really good job with “Mike’s” office because it really does sparkle.
Perhaps working together we can impart some of “Alice’s” cleaning tips and know-how to Mr. Donald L. Mrozek and Mr. J. William Roberts of Hinshaw & Culbertson at some point so that they can clean their filthy carpet and have it look as nice as “Mr. Mike Brady’s” carpeting in his architectural office.
Thank you for your time, Ms. Davis, and for being such a valuable resource in this matter from so deep in our nation’s vast pop culture universe. You have brought me so much joy through the years while watching reruns of The Brady Bunch and I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity now to express gratitude to you on behalf of my readership for your talented depiction of America’s favorite housekeeper, “Alice Nelson”.
Awaiting your much-needed counsel to solve “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet”,
Longtime Fan of Your (and “Alice’s”) Work
Read the rest of “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” on our “Mysteries” page HERE.
QUESTION for COMMENTS: What other people, companies, or fictional entities do YOU think could help us in “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet”?
Like all of you out there, I was stunned to hear of Pope Benedict XV’s announced retirement (in what amounts to be just a week from today, on February 28th).
I’m Catholic and grew up with Pope John Paul the Great in the Vatican…and didn’t “know” another Pope until after the installation of his successor; JPII was always “pope” in the entirety of my memory…and he was also the embodiment of the very forces of good in my mind. As a kid, I watched him, Margaret Thatcher, and Ronald Reagan maneuver with expert skill to bring the Soviet Union to the ground and deal a powerful blow to Communism…liberating millions of oppressed souls in the process. I am very grateful that my childhood was spent with a real-life “Justice League” on the world stage…with Thatcher in London, Reagan in Washington, and JPII in Rome.
Honestly, I’ve always been torn regarding the election of a former member of the Hitler Youth to the papacy…regardless of however much pressure (and threat to life) he experienced back in Germany in his youth. I think a better and more modest man would have firmly told the College of Cardinals that it would be immensely inappropriate for someone who belonged to the Hitler Youth to lead the Church. This is the same sentiment I have always had towards people like Robert K. Byrd…who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan in his youth, but ran for the Senate anyway (claiming, “I had to do it” and “my life was in jeopardy and I had no choice”). That may very well have been true…but it doesn’t mean you should occupy a seat in the United States Senate. Replace Klan membership with “murdering a promising young woman” and you have the reason that I thought it was personally revolting that Ted Kennedy was a United States Senator…when that man belonged in self-imposed cloistered exile if not prison for the rest of his life. Instead, he too got to occupy a position of great power despite being party to great evil.
Years ago, I had a really terrific boyfriend name Joss who is Jewish (and lives in Israel now)…and I remember the absolute horror he felt when he heard that the Cardinal who was a former Hitler Youth had been elected the new Pope. It was, for him, an even worse feeling than November 3rd, 2008 and seeing a radical with deep ties to Marxism and anti-Americanism in general becoming the President of the United States. Nothing has felt right about this country since that happened…and I doubt it will be right again until 2017 when, at long last, the current President is out of office.
In March, however, this sense of unease and conflict I’ve had since 2005 will be over as Pope Benedict steps aside and enters cloistered retirement…in my own opinion, hopefully to never be seen or heard from again. I personally have felt that installing him as Pope was like choosing Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars movies to follow John Paul the Great…and I don’t know for the life of me why they College of Cardinals made the decision they did.
In Catholic school, the nuns always taught us that there were many mysteries of the Church that were beyond our understanding and that we just had to have faith that the Holy Spirit saw to it that the right decisions were made, particularly when the new Pope was chosen. It’s a much more comforting and acceptable world when I convince myself to believe that…because otherwise the Vatican is just another political sea, with toothsome agendas whirling effortlessly below the surface.
With all my heart, I miss having a Pope in the Vatican who I love and respect and who it’s a joy to see waving from that balcony in the papal residence adjacent to St. Peter’s. My boyfriend Justin is aggressively Protestant…the kind that was taught growing up to mock Catholics and to revel in icon-toppling. His mother, CarolAnne, is vociferous about this sort of thing…which causes great strain in our relationship. Justin and his mother do the same thing to Queen Elizabeth II as well…and delight in mocking her too. I just don’t understand that, because it’s a pettiness and a negative energy that’s so out of place with who the two of them otherwise are. The net effect is that Justin always reminds me of one of those jawbreaker candies that’s sweet and adorable on the outside…but with this strangely sour center that comes out of nowhere.
When I was a senior in Catholic high school, I remember my religion teacher taking the last week of classes to teach all of us what to expect when we left for college…since most of us at my school had been educated in Catholic grade school since kindergarten, and then onto a Catholic high school as well. She told us that there would be those out there who’d take a weird delight in challenging us as Catholics…or in doing the mocking that Justin’s family from Arkansas gets into. I remember being specifically taught how to always remain the calm, collected, and even-keeled person when confronted this way…and I draw from those classes even now, twenty years later, when Justin and his mother decide it’s Catholic-bashing time.
I find such a power and sense of peace and comfort in the stained glass and candles and incense and ornate gothic glory of Catholicism. I am so grateful for all the nuns who taught me in school, and for the steadying and reliable force that belonging to a church brought to my life growing up. Recently, I used Google Earth to travel down memory lane to look at satellite images of my old neighborhood back in Cleveland…and my heart stopped and blood ran cold when I looked for my old parish and could no longer find it. I hadn’t been back to Cleveland in years, and wasn’t aware that the church had been shuttered and demolished in a bizarre fiat of the rightfully despised current Bishop of Cleveland. Seeing a barren, vacant lot where my childhood church once stood was an absolute shock to my system…like the Millennium Falcon happening upon an asteroid field where they expected to find the planet Alderaan in Star Wars.
I remember Justin just staring at me blankly as I literally had to steady myself on my chair and the edge of my desk because my legs gave out from underneath me when I realized that my old church had been wiped from the face of the planet and erased from our reality. It still existed perfectly in my memory, but even looking for photos of it online turned up just a snapshot or two. I felt compelled that very night to spend hours and hours drawing every detail I could remember and writing down every memory I could about the place…before I forgot it and the place was lost again.
It’s fascinating that Justin has never felt that way about any church he went to. They were just buildings to him, and when his family would move they’d go to another one…or a congregation would sell the building and buy a bigger one, or move into an old Zayre’s or Gold Circle department store and make that a “church”. He takes a lot of pride in the fact that he’s “not Catholic” and doesn’t have an emotional connection to “a building or things”. Bless his heart.
I have no desire to change him, but I also have zero interest in becoming like him. The more he’d try to push me to say something negative about being Catholic or feel bad about being so connected to my old parish the more it made me look for Latin masses to attend…and the more I found myself doing things like watching Sister Act on Netflix or ordering DVDs like The Mighty Macs.
But the one sticking point for me these last few years has been Pope Benedict XV, because in my heart and I soul I just have never liked this man and I have resented his presence in the Vatican. I pray for wisdom and grace enough to one day understand why he was chosen to lead for five years, when his history in the uniform of the Third Reich made him unfit in my eyes to ever attain leadership of the Church.
I pray his successor is someone of immense personality who will shine brightly in his role and so eclipse Benedict that he’s ultimately forgotten from history. I hope the next Pope is of a personality more magnanimous, humble, and endearing than even that of John Paul the Great.
And, truthfully, I really do hope they chose an African Pope. I feel it would be a brilliant strategy move against Islam in Africa…and would also be an interesting way of blunting the fawning over Barack Obama on the world stage…since the first black Pope will enthusiastically trump the first half-black American President.
I am truly glad that wiser men than I are going to be making a decision like this, because I’m too immersed in the secular battles of the moment to be able to know what’s truly best for the eternal Church. But I know what my heart wants and I’ve expressed it…as I have a right to do as an individual. No doubt you’ll have an opinion too, even if it’s like Justin and his mother who are all about “Down with all Popes!” or “down with everything people care about” or whatever it is they are saying after I judiciously chose to tune them out and go about whatever it was I was doing before CarolAnne called again on the phone.
It’s a little surprising to me that I actually don’t respect Pope Benedict in the slightest for “retiring”. I think this sets a very bad precedent and that he should have occupied the office until his death. The abdication of the Duke of Windsor rattled Britain and the reverberations are still being felt today. I have no idea how much damage Pope Benedict will do to the world as we know ti by stepping down like this…but it certainly will make it much easier for various forces to pressure a future Pope out of office, now that Benedict’s set a precedent for “retiring”. Six hundred years of tradition wiped away in an instant by a man who once marched around in a brown shirt for the honor of a genocidal lunatic.
It all sort of underlines the fact that I always believed this man was the wrong person for this role, and that he was fatally flawed…much like Robert K. Byrd and Ted Kennedy. Their past actions really did do something to them that other people were far too willing to overlook…and if you look at the entirety of these people’s lives you can really see that, NO, they really shouldn’t have been made Senators or the Pope (respectively)…because there was something wrong with them inside that caused them to make bad decisions at crucial junctures later. No amount of saying “they had to do it!” or “they had no choice!” or whatever ever mitigated the reality that these made were defective as a result of choices they indeed did make.
I can honestly go on about this for hours because it gets me so worked up…but I just realize that all of this negative energy and bad feelings will at last go far, far away at the end of this very month. One week from now, Benedict will leave the Vatican for obscurity…and someone else will be the pontiff.
I hope and pray it’s someone truly remarkable…but at the very least I hope it’s someone I can respect and come to love as a fighter for true good in the world and a person I can admire without reservation. It’s been eight years now since I’ve had that…and on a personal level I just can’t wait until the white smoke over the Vatican officially opens a new chapter for the world’s Catholics now that this difficult one is closing.
*** NOTE: I truly do respect all of your individual opinions on Pope Benedict XV. I know he has supporters who feel passionately about him. My intent is never to denigrate the man or the people who do feel inspired by him…but it really does boil down to me feeling towards him what I felt about Robert K. Byrd. I think that’s the best analogy, more so than Ted Kennedy (who was a murderer, and not just someone who joined the KKK to survive in the South or the Hitler Youth to stay alive in wartime Germany). I just have so much more respect for all the men and women who refused to have anything to do with the Klan or the Hitler Youth and who used their smarts and courage to find a way to live without having to surrender to evil like that. No one can ever say what they would have done in whatever period of history we’re talking about…but I just find it hard to believe I’d ever willingly be part of an organization of evil just because I was afraid of losing my own life if I didn’t join up. I just can’t be bullied like that…and I have trouble respecting those who allowed themselves to be.
I really don’t like talking about my personal health issues because I am loathe to give the trolls and cyberstalkers out there new avenues of personal attack…and allowing them details about my health battle would really be a boon for these people. In the five years that I’ve been running this site and writing political essays I’ve discovered the Internet to be a largely vile and toxic place. That’s mainly because people are allowed to post anonymously and to say and do things under screen names that they’d never in a million years do “in real life”.
Back in Catholic school in Cleveland, the nuns always taught me to never put in writing anything that you wouldn’t publish to the entire world under your real name…because anything you’d be ashamed of following you around forever is probably something you shouldn’t write to begin with…or even allow into your heart.
Last February, one of my favorite people in the entire world died suddenly…though I can’t say altogether “unexpectedly”. In the gay world, most guys have a patron diva…a larger-than-life female singer or actress who is a lifelong personal favorite. Older guys had Cher or Barbra Streisand or Liza Minnelli/Judy Garland or whoever…and I have Whitney Houston. When I was younger, I was lucky enough to see her in concert a handful of times and I even had the extremely rare chance of not just meeting her but actually spending a few hours hanging out with her when I worked at a hotel she stayed in. She was sweet, charming, funny, classy, and so incredibly kind that afternoon I spent with her…and that’s how she’s always remained in my memory.
But, when Whitney died last February the full evil of the Internet hate machine revved up against her…and maybe I was foolish for being so surprised by that. The entertainment site EW.com was the absolute worst, with no spam or troll filter on the articles about Whitney…which resulted in just a nonstop barrage of hateful and even legitimately racist things said about this woman because of her various life issues and problems. It breaks my heart that someone so talented and sweet fell so far because of drugs…and that she just couldn’t turn her life around. There aren’t even words to express how horrific it feels to realize just how evil the Internet can be…remembering all the things that anonymous posters said about Whitney in those first hours and days after her death. Hell, the trolls and haters are STILL at it even today. Just go to any video of hers on YouTube and you’ll see this garbage.
Anonymity and the act of sitting down in front of a computer where no one can see you allows far too many out there license to manifest pure evil into the world…and I’ve come to realize that there is just no stopping that and putting the genie back into the bottle.
I used to think it was just political sites that attract these kinds of trolls and stalkers…but seeing this stuff at play on entertainment sites made me realize it is a much bigger problem than that. My boyfriend Justin is really into video games and graphic design and other interests like that…and even on the forums and sites he visits for his work or hobbies this same kind of anonymous hate permeates everything. And it comes flying out of nowhere too, with anonymous people hiding behind screen names constantly attacking people who are famous or known in any way. And the attacks are merciless too. They even happen on sites that are supposedly for fans of Disney, which is probably the biggest shock of my lifetime; there actually are websites out there are purport to be about a love of Disney theme parks…but the people who anonymously post there actually do nothing but gripe about or malign the thing they claim interests them most. It’s dumb(o)founding.
There are times when I really wonder if the Left has completely won and if hatred and evil control our world completely at this point. Many of the patriotic people I’ve gotten to know over the last five years have thrown in the towel and no longer want anything to do with politics or what’s happening to our country. They cede victory to the Left and have resolved to just ride out the approaching storm as best they can…in an Aesop’s fable kind of way, where they are the ants who see the writing on the wall and the Left is the triumphant grasshoppers who’ve taken over…but are too stupid to see that their actions are inviting doom.
I think we are at a very serious crossroads for our country but that our future is not at all uncertain.
I truly believe that America will survive…will persevere….and will emerge stronger than ever. I believe this for the simple fact that for the last 200 years every evil that’s manifest in the world has declared war upon America…and America has won. It’s just unfortunate for all of us to be here at this particular time in history…or, weirdly fortunate if you’re someone who takes personal satisfaction in being one of the people alive today who are able to do something — anything at all — to turn things around.
We’re very much in the Empire Strikes Back phase of things, with the Left feeling secure in its victories and gleeful in pummeling those who want Americans to be free to chart their own destiny. I’ve had a lot of time on bed rest and in recuperation to think about life and what I want to do with the precious days I have in me. Having your health collapse and not being able to do anything about it is a very scary thing…up to a point…until that day that you just let go and “let God”.
It is immensely difficult, physically and emotionally exhausting, and financially devastating to do so…but I love and take immense pride in standing up to the Left in whatever little way I can. When I was too sick to sit at a computer or too weak to be able to type I’d long to be here at the controls of HB smacking back at the Left and resisting the Ministry of Truth that is our national media in any way that I could. More than anything, I wanted to be here putting out content that is positive and determined and that doesn’t succumb to the fatalist belief that there’s absolutely nothing that can be done about the Left’s triumph over our beloved country.
I know it’s breaking Godwin’s Law, but I can’t help feeling weird echoes of the 1930s and 1940s….the last time evil seemed so triumphant in its march…but in the end the 1000-year reign of America’s enemies collapsed much sooner than its orchestrators ever imagined. And that was because good people…of perhaps the Greatest Generation…took a stand and made the sacrifices necessary to stand up to the evil of their time.
Without suffering and struggle joy and happiness disappear into the commonplace. It seems that every so many decades our world needs to be embroiled in some great civilizational conflict, where the forces of good battle the manifestation of true evil…where one shall stand and one shall fall and so many heroes rise to their call of duty (some so unexpectedly).
I feel so blessed to have encountered a vast pantheon of heroes through the running of this site over the last five years. Most of these people will never be famous, but they are truly the most wonderful souls I ever imagined I’d meet. Almost all of them are regular readers of this site and dear friends I wish I had time and energy to be in better contact with. But they all remain in my heart and in my thoughts because I know they all have a role to play in the years ahead as we move into the third act of the current drama plaguing our nation…and segue from the Empire Strikes Back to the Return of the Jedi of things.
I really love being a child of the 80s and mining idioms from Star Wars movies. It’s a little disconcerting being 36 now and realizing that my cultural touchstones are often lost on the Millenials and the generations coming behind them. It’s downright scary to appreciate that all of these kids raised in public schools and subjected to anti-American nonsense and “global citizens” brainwashing are becoming adults and will soon be running things…just as the gray-haired-ponytailed radicals of the 60s are finally entering their 70s and 80s and dropping into their graves.
It’s a harsh reality, this fact that the Millennials have been so indoctrinated that in many ways they are WORSE than the “Weather Underground” types that orchestrated the Left’s surge to power back in 2008.
I know people who focus on all of this and become so overwhelmed with grief for lost freedom and angst for our predicament and they just shut down. They surrender all hope and resign themselves to a bleak and meager existence, just waiting for the Left to finish the deal and come for them…like those lumbering and monstrous walking tanks the Empire sent at the rebels on that bleak ice planet when it “stuck back”. I just can’t imagine being someone who’d ever give up, though, no matter how badly the odds are stacked against us.
Even with my health gone and my body a complete, falling-apart mess at the moment I don’t want to give up…or stop being a thorn in the Left’s side. Enough little thorns working together become a forest…and a large enough forest of thorns can swallow up the fiercest and most Leftist of would-be empires.
I think all of the struggle is ultimately indeed worth it because in the end we will win…as others like us have won in the past…and America’s future will ultimately be safeguarded for another 30 or 40 years for the generations behind us. I wish I could say that this will be the last time that an anti-American evil is ascendant…but no doubt in the decades ahead some other force will rise up to oppose America, like a Hydra that just keeps growing another head. It’s especially challenging that the forces that want America destroyed this time around aren’t headquartered in Berlin or Moscow or London or even Mecca…but are in Washington, DC itself.
Perhaps our generation will ultimately prove to be the greatest of them all…because if we don’t surrender and we don’t give up and if we find a way to keep going in defense of the country we love then we’ll overcome obstacles that no generation before us has ever faced.
Like, the Internet…which can be a remarkable force for good when used properly and by responsible people who seek to shine light on wrong-doing and to ring the alarm when needed…or it can be a tool of great evil when employed by anonymous trolls and other villains to seek, destroy, and annihilate those who stand in the Left’s way.
It’s tough being in the middle of all of this and trying to gain perspective on how all of this will shakeout…but it’s comforting to take refuge in my faith and to know that my God is an awesome and loving God who truly set America up as a City on a Hill to lead the world toward light…a bastion of good in a world often roiled by evil.
I have that faith, and in many ways I feel it’s stronger than ever.
Just like one day when my body is healed and my strength is returned and my health is back to where it once was (and I have faith it will be), I will be so grateful for and appreciative of what I have in ways I never thought to be before I had this taken from me. It’s sad but true that too many of us have to come precariously close to losing something value before we appreciate its value.
I think America…and what it stands for…is one of those things that so many took for granted until 2008. The five years since have been our struggle as we watched the Left claim victory after victory and do more harm to what we loved, leaving everything in a weakened and ruined state.
But the future is about us reclaiming what was lost and stolen and never again in our lifetimes forgetting how much it all means or how precious it really is.
I really thank the good friends of this site who’ve sent so many wonderful prayers and words of concern and encouragement our way while I’ve struggled with my health. It really means the absolute world to me and I am so grateful to have so many people out there care about me on a personal level like that. I never expected something like that, so it’s an unexpected blessing that is intensely humbling.
I am happy to be back to work and in command here at Buzzquarters again…and though it might take a while for me to get back to full steam, I do hope we can take the road ahead as friends together. It will no doubt be a trying and difficult road…but such is the nature of anything and everything worthwhile.
GREAT MERCIFUL ZEUS! Look at the Filthy and Unsanitary Conditions Found in Offices of Chicago Law Firm Hinshaw & Culbertson!
[ Great Merciful Zeus! Lookit that abject filth! It looks like a crime scene! ]
I was recently subpoenaed as a witness in a case making its way through federal court involving a gay bar here in Chicago that’s been accused of harassing a Christian employee…which is a shocking display of hypocrisy, if you think about it, because the “Ministry of Truth” that is our national media constantly berates you with talking points that claim Christians are forever the ones victimizing gays…and no indication is given to the public that in reality it’s the gays who are the victimizers and not necessarily the victims in a lot of cases.
I’ve written about this before, while coining the term “Gaystapo” to refer to militant gays who serve as goon squads for the Left…and who are specifically charged with accusing Christians of all manner of hatred and bigotry (while simultaneously being the ones who actually rev up hatred and bigotry themselves against Christians at just about any gay-related public event held in cities like Chicago).
Well, I’m openly gay and can tell you that I’ve seen, firsthand, Christian men harassed and persecuted in the very prominent Chicago bar currently a Defendant in a major discrimination suit. I witnessed atheist or agnostic gays deliberately targeting gay Christians for harassment as “traitors” because of their faith…and I am looking forward to the day in the near future where I can take the witness stand in federal court and put on record everything I’ve seen self-styled “leaders of the gay community” do to men in Chicago who are both gay and Christian (but who refuse to denounce Christ or turn their backs on their families because the “gay community leaders” tell them that’s what they need to do). Honestly, this case is one of the most explosive I’ve ever encountered and has the potential to completely obliterate the Left’s ability to ever use gays as a weapon against Christians in the future…because it exposes the reality that whenever the Left accuses other people of doing something evil, it’s because subgroups of the Left are actually doing those exact same things to someone else.
This case will expose the Gaystapo for the evil it does to Christians…and it will also show the self-styled “gay community leaders” to be the real hatemongers at work in our society today.
There’s a lot more to come on this in the months ahead as the case moves through discovery and approaches trial…so be sure to stay tuned because I intend to tell you everything I am allowed to publicly reveal about the most shameless act of hypocrisy the “gay community” of Chicago has ever committed in its effort to destroy “the enemies of the gay community”.
[ Filthy conditions in the Hinshaw & Culbertson Chicago offices...but they aren't even bothering to clean the carpet for a catered event/party? So trashy!]
The firm that’s representing the prominent gay bar at the center of this hypocrisy is Hinshaw & Culbertson, which is a national firm that claims to employ over 500 lawyers coast to coast in various cities…with its headquarters in an opulent skyscraper in downtown Chicago right on LaSalle just before you’d hit the Chicago river. Yesterday, I was asked to meet with Scott M. Gilbert, who is the lawyer representing the Defendants in the case, because he wanted me to teach him to use the search function here on HillBuzz.org to find various articles I’ve written about both the bar and the gay community’s persecution of Christians…and Mr. Gilbert, despite his law degree, was unable to find and properly use the clearly-marked search function on this site (Quick: as a test, try to find the search function yourself and pull up articles about gay bars and/or religion on the site and let me know in comments if you are able to easily do so).
I went to Hinshaw’s corporate offices yesterday afternoon at the invitation of Mr. Gilbert thinking I’d be showing him how to better use this website’s archives, but it seems that the day had gotten away from Mr. Gilbert and he hadn’t booked a conference room so the meeting never happened (as you’ll read in my letter below, all the conference space was booked for some big, elaborate party the firm was hosting for a “Don Bozo”…who could very well be a circus clown highly connected in the mob…in which case, I fully understand the firm’s zeal to placate “Don Bozo” with such a large party whenever he wants because clowns are scary enough on their own…but become particularly terrifying when they’ve mobbed-up). I waited and waited for Mr. Gilbert to find space for us to meet, but he never succeeded…and the entire time I was left in the reception area to stare at the filthiest carpet I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
Mind you, when I was in high school I traveled through Europe and into countries that were still Communist at the time…and I never saw filthy carpets like this in the Eastern Bloc. Here in Chicago, I’ve been to all sorts of oddball places in the various adventures I have in this city chasing down stories…and I honestly can’t think of any Cook County or City of Chicago office that was as filthy as Suite 300 of Hinshaw & Culbertson’s corporate offices at 222 N. LaSalle. I have been behind-the-scenes in zoos and have seen cleaner floors in the service areas of the primate and pachyderm buildings.
Waiting in Hinshaw & Culbertson’s reception area yesterday reminded me of that episode of Friends where Ross starts dating some hot girl…and she invites him up to her place for the first time. Based on the fact that the girl was pretty and affable and seemed to be completely normal, Ross expected to head upstairs and find a well-kept apartment free of filth and other unsanitary conditions. Perhaps he even expected it to smell like strawberries and be as orderly and attractive as a page ripped out of the Pottery Barn catalog. Instead, he walked into a pigsty…with stains upon stains and a mysterious creature burrowing through the detritus.
I can’t say that Hinshaw & Culbertson’s offices are THAT bad…but they do rank as the filthiest offices I’ve ever stepped foot in…in any country and at any time in my entire life.
[ Just in case you are wondering, these offices are on the third floor of a very large office building that has a massive atrium and entrance hallways. To reach this reception area in Suite 300, people need to enter off LaSalle and walk for many hundred feet through a little arcade of shops...and then take an elevator...and after that proceed down another hallway. So, if you're thinking that this filth is just from Chicago winter salt/snow, think again. We haven't had a lot of snow this winter and people's shoes should be pretty clean by the time they make their way up here. I have no idea at all how this carpet got this filthy, save for live animals being loosed here on weekends to defecate and roll around in their own muck up here. It's horrifying! ]
Whenever I encounter anything that’s so bad it makes me sit down and write a company a letter like this, I like to share it with all of you because I think more people out there should take the time to write letters.
When I was in college and graduate school I worked in hotels and was always happy to receive something in the mail from a guest letting us know about a bad experience. I can remember quite a few letters from guests complaining about unmade beds or improperly cleaned bathrooms…but in all the years I worked in hospitality I never received a letter describing conditions as filthy as the ones I found yesterday at one of Chicago’s biggest law firms. I am absolutely flabbergasted that no one has ever called these people on the carpet for their filthy carpet.
And I won’t even get into what the men’s room was like…you can read the letter below for yourself. I need another shower just thinking about being in there.
But maybe a good, old-fashioned public-shaming will cause these people to rent a Rug Doctor steamer or buy a carpet cleaner on Amazon or something…and hopefully a little shaming will cause them to clean their men’s room.
QUESTION FOR COMMENTS: Have you ever encountered anything this filthy and unsanitary in any law firm or large company you’ve ever been to?
[ Donald L. Mrozek, Chairman of Hinshaw & Culbertson...the Chicago law firm with the filthiest reception area and bathroom I've ever seen ]
VIA FAX & EMAIL 2/20/2013
Donald L. Mrozek
Chairman, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
222 N. LaSalle – Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60601
Dear Mr. Mrozek,
I’m writing as a professional courtesy to ensure you are aware of the filthy and unsanitary conditions of your offices, located in Suite 300 of 222 N. LaSalle in Chicago, Illinois. According to your firm’s website, you are actually based out of this office…and should thus already be aware of the problem.
On Wednesday 2/20/2013, I came to Suite 300 for a 4pm meeting requested by Scott Gilbert, a partner in your employment law division. Mr. Gilbert was not prepared for the meeting, so your receptionist in Suite 300 showed me to a couch in the reception area while I waited for Mr. Gilbert to find an available conference room. At the time, Blue Plate Catering was setting up for a large party to be held in honor of “Don Bozo” (according to the receptionist); I’m assuming Mr. Bozo is another member of your firm (and not the famous ginger-haired children’s show clown, embarked on a second career as a Mafioso).
Mr. Gilbert kept me waiting for a good 25 minutes, during which time I was shocked to observe the condition of the carpeting in your offices (see attached photos, taken 2/20/2013 from a couch in your waiting area). Frankly, I have not seen filth like this outside of a loading dock or “backstage” maintenance room at an industrial site or a poorly-run zoo.
As you can well see, there are enormous stains on the floor of your reception area that could rival those photographed at crime scenes or garbage dumps. Other mysterious stains make me believe the Hinshaw offices are rented out to a veterinary clinic or livestock auction house on the weekends…because the surreal presence of assorted incontinent ungulates is the only possible explanation for how carpeting could be stained this badly in a suite of offices in downtown Chicago in what purports to be a major law firm with over 500 partners in multiple cities.
Since you have no magazines in your waiting area and I could not get WiFi service in your office on my phone, I suppose I had nothing else to occupy my attention besides your firm’s filthy carpeting while I waited and waited for Mr. Gilbert (who ended up not even meeting with me today because he never could find an available room and seemed distracted by the big party happening for Don Bozo).
When I later needed to use your men’s room, I was horrified to find those facilities even dirtier than the reception area. All three stalls had clogged toilets filled with un-flushed feces and urine, with toilet paper clumped in standing water on the floor or dangling in long streams from their dispensers (as if the washroom was hit by a devastating combination of severely early Halloween “T.P.” tricksters and men with extremely high-fiber diets). The mirror was splashed with water and streaked with fingerprints and grime. Overhead, the lights flickered due to expiring bulbs needing replacing. One of the Blue Plate caterers was changing clothes in the washroom as well, so upon entering I literally bumped into a half-naked, robust Hispanic man standing gingerly on tip-toe in stagnant water…which is something I don’t expect to happen in a law firm in downtown Chicago.
Frankly, your firm’s washroom was filthier than ones I’ve seen in truck stops, football stadiums, or Greyhound bus stations…in Mexico. On a surprise bright side, at least there’s no stagnant water and feces floating in urine in the reception area. I almost forgot about the filthy carpets after experiencing your washroom.
While I am not a client of Hinshaw & Culbertson and most likely never will be, I do hope you take this letter to heart and think of the effect your filthy reception area and unsanitary washroom would have on an actual client. Is this the sort of branding you want your firm to have under your leadership as Chairman?
Because it’s my understanding that the reception area in Suite 300 is where your actual clients also arrive to wait to speak with your attorneys…and this is the impression you are giving to the people who step off the elevator and into the Chicago offices of Hinshaw & Culbertson, which are supposedly your national headquarters. You clearly don’t even clean your offices when you’re having a high-profile, catered function…which is just bizarre to me.
I must note in closing that all of your staff members whom I encountered were very polite and friendly (including Mr. Gilbert, who seems like a very nice man)…but when they saw me staring at the stains in the carpeting a few of them shook their heads as they walked by and mouthed “Isn’t it terrible?” or “It’s so embarrassing”. One woman candidly remarked that your firm is not doing very well financially these days and that a decision was made to cutback on things like carpet cleaning (and, clearly, washroom sanitizing and upkeep).
I sincerely hope that if you were the one who purposefully chose to allow your reception area and washroom to become so filthy just to save a few bucks that you reconsider that decision. A “Rug Doctor” carpet steam-cleaner rents for around $50 per day from local Dominick’s grocery stores and it could have your reception area looking markedly better in just a few hours. Alternatively, I’ve heard great things about the “Stanley Steamer” cleaning service that’s advertised on television (though I’ve never hired them personally). As for your washroom, the only advice I can think to give you is “Clorox bleach”…and to perhaps send around a memo asking your partners and associates to flush the toilets after use and to not splash water or throw toilet paper around everywhere like unsanitary zoo animals.
Best of luck to you with all of this,
CC: J. William Roberts (Managing Partner), Kevin Joseph Burke (Vice Chairman), Bradford R. Carver, John W. Dubbs III, Laurie S. Randolph, Robert J. Romero
[ Seriously. An affordable carpet-cleaner costs about $135 on Amazon with FREE shipping. The one above is the model that I personally own. Why on Earth a big law firm like Hinshaw & Culbertson can't afford a $135 carpet-cleaner and some soapy water is just beyond me. ]
UPDATE: 2/21/2013 10am CST — I’ve gotten a surprising number of emails asking me what the young man in black is doing kneeling in front of what looks like some sort of “cult altar” in the lobby of Hinshaw & Culbertson…and what the white tables with the black band are for…and what the magenta-colored things in fishbowls are. Someone actually asked if those were “octopi” or some other sea creature.
I thought it was obvious in the original post, but those tables are there for the big fancy party that Hinshaw was going to have that night. The catering company, Blue Plate Catering, draped white tablecloths over the round bar tables and then let the cloth cascade down to the ground. While I was waiting and waiting for Mr. Gilbert to return to speak to me, I watched the young man dressed in all black (and a nice young female server) bunch the tablecloth together around the central pole that keeps the table upright. Then they tied ribbons around the middle to keep the cloth in place (that’s the black that you see).
On top the tables they had these little fish bowls with some sort of exotic flower inside. Despite being gay, I cannot identify all flowers…but it’s obviously some sort of tropical thing that’s magenta in color. It kind of reminded me of a giant raspberry…or like one of those “snow balls” flowers that used to pop up on bushes back in Ohio each spring.
You can (clearly) pick up decorating and entertaining ideas in the weirdest places. If I could give you one piece of advice today, it would be to never, ever miss up a chance to watch waiters or other servers setting up for an event if you can observe them. You will always get some little tip to show you how to turn a bar table into an elegant-looking “cult altar”, the way Blue Plate did with these tables and the “octopi” bowls.
I’m totally going to use this table setup and flower arrangement for something in the future. It would even work for having friends over if you want to setup a little snack or drink station.
UPDATE: 2/22/2013 900am CST — Read Part Two in “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” HERE where we enlist the expert advice of actress Ann B. Davis of “Alice from the Brady Bunch” fame to uncover cleaning tips that might possibly be used by Hinshaw & Culbertson in the future to clean their filthy reception area carpet.
Check back in the next few days for updates.
We’re running a site maintenance and repair at the moment and will back to regular publishing soon.