Former Vice President Richard Bruce Cheney, otherwise known as “Dick”, was born on January 30, 1941.
In his sixty-nine years of life on Earth thus far, Mister Cheney has had five heart attacks. One each in the following years:
The last one happened a week ago. Mister Cheney has since recovered and will be back on his Obama-bashing pulpit any day now.
We should not ignore the extraordinary fortitude of this man. It borders on the superhuman, and begs the question “How is this possible?”
After giving the matter a good deal of thought, I have come to an inescapable conclusion which will undoubtedly be the cause for debate among experts in various fields.
Dick Cheney is a vampire.
To be clear, I do not mean that Mister Cheney has the ability to change into a bat, although he does hang upside down from the ceilings and doorways of this nation like a grotesque specter of death.
Nor do I suspect that Mister Cheney has the capacity to retain a youthful appearance. One need only look at pictures of the man through the years to discredit that theory.
However, there are various definitions of the word “vampire” that most certainly apply to Mister Cheney.
One: A preternatural being, commonly believed to be a reanimated corpse, said to suck the blood of sleeping persons at night.
While it is doubtful that Mister Cheney is entering the bedrooms of Americans during the moonlit hours and relieving them of their fluids, there is one victim upon whom he preyed regularly. The mistress Mister Cheney tried to make his undead paramour, with every insertion of those grizzled teeth into her slender neck.
Two: In Eastern European folklore, a corpse, animated by an undeparted soul or demon, that periodically leaves the grave and disturbs the living, until it is exhumed and impaled or burned.
I don’t have to get into the definition of a heart attack, or give you a review of the various health problems Mister Cheney has had over the years, to convince you of the obvious fact that Mister Cheney should be dead.
He has survived ordeals of the body that tragically defeated better people, individuals of true spiritual and moral fiber.
By some definitions, Mister Cheney is a dead man walking. It is easy to conceive that a malevolent spirit from the lowest regions and darkest corners of an infernal kingdom has inhabited the corpse of Mister Cheney, taking a tour of our great land in an attempt to cause chaos and strife like some mythological imp.
A person who preys ruthlessly upon others; extortionist.
This one is too easy, my dear friends.
Suffice it to say, the prevalent theory put forth by a number of my journalistic colleagues and peers, as well as comedians and at least one well-respected film director, is that Mister Cheney had one of his arms totally inserted into the orifice of our last President, and manipulated him with masterful skill.
With the combined power of the Oval Office and the oilfield services corporation, Halliburton, Mister Cheney waged war on other nations, and various servants of this nation, those in public and covert positions.
Ultimately, we have to accept the fact that Mister Cheney cannot die, deal with the disturbing implications of that knowledge, and act upon our responsibilities as Americans and human beings.
This formerly invisible man has now become as ubiquitous as the iconic characters that help sell fast food, merchandise, and cigarettes.
Mister Cheney will not abandon his zealotry, will not apologize for the crimes he has committed against our nation and our collective humanity, and he will continue to spout and spread his bile throughout the land until the cancer of his ideology infects all of the healthy cells of the American ideal.
We must find the cure to Mister Cheney, the object with which to beat him back into his hole, whether it is garlic, fire, or the collective wherewithal to diminish him with every resource at our disposal.
Once there is no more prey, no more invitations, and no more access to our life and lives, the vampire will die. Wither and die, as is the natural course of all things.
And shortly, after his passing, when the jackals and jesters have given Mister Cheney his undeserved parade and news specials and dedications, we will turn our attention to other long-lived persons who, while not malevolent, bear close observation.
Mister Clark, we will be watching.
Mister Richards, our eyes gaze upon you.
And you, sir…we know you to be a man of good intentions, but unfortunately your predecessor has brought out our fear of the undead lurking within the Oval Office, so behave yourself.
The Chaser found a hot item in her mailbox this week, written by someone with a hate / hate even more relationship with gossip hounds and especially The Chaser.
A letter, hidden inside a copy of L Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics, made it clear who sent this care package from the spaceship floating above us.
So from the south end of the Scientology Empire, I give you the transcribed words of Mrs. Cruise, along with some pics chosen by yours truly.
Yes it’s me. It’s been a long time I know.
So hey, congratulations on the good news! You know, Superman?
That’s so wonderful!
You deserve it. So much because you are…well, you’re such a special person.
My favorite thing about working in Batman Begins was being a part of your vision.
You saw me, Chris. I was your Rachel Dawes and you trusted me and believed in me and I’ll always be grateful to you.
And I was mad at first, seeing that bi–…seeing HER…as the character that I made come to life. I did that!
But when you killed her, I knew you did it for me.
Let me give you something in return, Christopher.
Let me give you your Superman.
He’s perfect for the role, Christopher.
Just look at him. My honey.
Superman is a hero to the world, just like Tom.
They both want what’s best for people.
To help guide them, show them the path to their own inner greatness.
And behind every great man is a woman ready to be the wind beneath his wings.
I’m ready, Chris…to be your Lois Lane.
What could be more romantic, more true…than Tom and I on screen?
There are dark times ahead, Chris. Very dark.
So much war and disease and starving children and people angry with each other.
The only way to bring a light to the masses is through movies. That’s all they care about.
People like you and Tom and I are the shepherds!
With the fictional story of an alien immigrant, the three of us can take every man, woman and child by the hands and walk them to the higher power of their extraterrestrial masters.
And if I have to use a slimy gossiping bitch like Cassidy Chase to get this letter to you, I’ll do it because I know she’ll get my words out into the universe.
People will laugh at me, but you know the truth, Chris.
You’ve always known.
So call me. Let’s do lunch soon.
Just like Superman, you, me and Tom…we can make a difference.
By now, a lot of you have heard about Jessica Alba’s ELLE interview in which she put forth the following kernel of wisdom for the masses:
“Good actors, never use the script unless it’s amazing writing. All the good actors I’ve worked with, they all say whatever they want to say.”
Now you’re probably thinking I’m going to do what everyone else is doing and bust on Jess. But you’d be wrong.
I’m going to applaud her.
She said something that lots of people think and know, but wouldn’t be, well…wouldn’t have been as tactless to say in a public forum.
What Jess said speaks to the difference between the imperatives of the Hollywood film industry and the imperatives of writers.
I know this because I experienced it firsthand.
One of the reasons I haven’t posted any columns in what seemed like forever to me is because, in addition to running the editorial operations at EXPO, I’ve been swimming in the shark tank of the Hollywood machine.
My agent came to me a few months ago with the great news (or so I thought at the time) that a major studio and director / producer wanted to do a film based on my novel, Hip-Hop Mannequins.
That began the long journey of conference calls and, eventually, heading to Los Angeles for a series of meetings with the director / producer and his Number One, the woman who was always by his side.
Both of them had a limited knowledge of the hip-hop culture, and even less of a real understanding of my book.
To make a looooooooooooooooooooooong story short, the director / producer wanted to change about seventy percent of what was in my book. Change the ethnicities of some characters. Change ages so they could cast certain actors in his stable.
Certain actors who were given a copy of my book. One actor was “considerate” enough to provide the director / producer with a copy of the book, full of notes in red ink to indicate changes that would be ideal in translating the book to a successful screenplay.
Said actor also gave extensive notes on the character he would play, and his ideas to “better serve the material.”
By this time, I knew this wasn’t going to happen. I knew the same way you ladies out there know within thirty seconds of meeting a guy whether or not you can see yourself sleeping with him or now. Y’all know what I’m talking about. I knew like that, but I was willing to go along for the ride just a little longer.
And then it happened.
The director / producer and my agent walked out of the room, leaving only me and the Number One to entertain ourselves.
She surprised me with how candid she was about the whole Hollywood society, the culture, the allure and illusion…
and she said the words that I would never attribute to her to protect her identity, but that I’ll never forget, in all their harshness and vulgarity.
“Hollywood exists to fuck scripts up.”
She said this, and didn’t blink, didn’t chuckle. Just took another swig of her cold sparkling spring water, after having splashed a figurative glass of same in my face.
And that’s when I killed the whole thing. No deal. No way.
That was the end of my short time of being wanted in Hollywood, but I was reminded of a lot.
Hollywood lives and dies through a myriad of interests, domestic and foreign, consumer and corporate, investments in the form of actors and directors, but the integrity of the script? Not a priority.
So to all of the writers, screenwriters, television writers, all of you who are slamming Jessica, don’t slam her unless you slam Robert Downey Jr. for admittedly chucking tens of pages of script for the first Iron Man film, which made hundreds of millions of dollars for the studio.
Know that whatever you create and produce for others may become their fodder.
Sell those ideas that you are willing to lose, but don’t sell your babies.
Oh, and when Spy Kids 4 with Jessica Alba comes out in the theaters, maybe we should all read the screenplay instead.
You know, just in case.
It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, I know, but I figured that old Superman cover with a Black Lois Lane would keep you all thinking for a little while.
Really, though, I only post when I have something to say.
Quick primer on me, is that I have a love / hate relationship with comic books.
I love good stories. Good art. Good ideas. Good comic book industry journalism.
I hate bad writing. Bad art.
I hate the starf**king. The comic book industry is good for that.
I hate comic book industry websites that promote starf**king.
I hate when comic book companies raise prices because they know people will still buy the books, like Pavlovian dogs.
I hate when comic book companies keep prices the same, then raise them, then lower them back but take away pages.
So I hate a lot, now that I think about it, but the one thing that never changed is that I liked going to the comic book store every Wednesday to get new books.
Fellow fans get together and get their critic on. They praise, they indict. And sometimes, I’ll still hear two guys arguing over who’s stronger, Superman or The Hulk.
Those places, created and maintained for the geek which is now chic, is made possible by the owners of comic book specialty stores.
You may know people like that under the popular term “Comic Book Guy”
My store has one. He’s been there for years. Full of opinions. Knows what he likes and what he doesn’t. Thinks comic books in paper form are going the way of the VCR at lightspeed. Plans to get out while the getting’s good.
I always say “Hi.” to him before I head for the shelves.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine told me that my Comic Book Guy was sick.
There’s something inside his body. I don’t want to use the word “disease”, so in the lingo of comic books, I’ll call it ‘The Enemy”.
The Enemy crept up out of the darkness, and made its presence known.
It grows inside the body. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, at first, but one day it will accelerate.
It will begin to exert its power, reveal the true nature of its menace.
The Enemy cannot be stopped. There is no superstar writer, no plot thread, no special effect that will put The Enemy down, and rid Comic Book Guy of its existence.
The only thing that can stand up to it…is The Hero.
The Hero is the human spirit, susceptible to attack but adamantine in its resolve.
It shines brightly in the darkness.
The Hero’s stories are known around the world, throughout time and geographical space.
It may be temporarily diminished, but never snuffed.
One of the reasons I hadn’t blogged about comics in a while is because I was taking a break from The Same Old Stuff.
It becomes noise after a while. Hypersonic. Omnipresent.
Icons flying all over the place, crashing into each other to create events to get me and my peers to cough up hard-earned cash for something with a temporary effect and the climactic result of the voice in the back of my head that says “Gotcha! You been had again, dude.”
But when I heard about Comic Book Guy being sick, I realized that if I went away for too long, when I returned, he might not be there for me to say “Hi.” to, before I head for the racks.
So I’m back, to a lesser degree. Not popping in as much, but just enough to see a friend.
That way, when I walk in the store one day, and he’s not there, I’ll know that his story is not over, not done up in a double-sized, over-priced book, not marketed in a way that reduces human drama to a few paragraphs of marketing copy.
I’ll know that his next journey will be underway.
And he won’t hear any more arguments about who’s stronger, Superman or The Hulk.
But it would be nice if he got to see Superman with a Black girlfriend.
Yeah, I know Lois Lane is his wife. But it’s comic books.
That can be undone in a flash.