Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Michael Jackson will be remembered, most likely, as a shattered icon, a pop genius who wound up a mutant of fame. That's not who I will remember, however. His mixture of mystery, isolation, indulgence, overwhelming global fame, and personal loneliness was intimately known to me. For twenty years I observed every aspect, and as easy as it was to love Michael -- and to want to protect him -- his sudden death yesterday seemed almost fated. Two days previously he had called me in an upbeat, excited mood. The voice message said, "I've got some really good news to share with you." He was writing a song about the environment, and he wanted me to help informally with the lyrics, as we had done several times before. When I tried to return his call, however, the number was disconnected. (Terminally spooked by his treatment in the press, he changed his phone number often.) So I never got to talk to him, and the music demo he sent me lies on my bedside table as a poignant symbol of an unfinished life. When we first met, around 1988, I was struck by the combination of charisma and woundedness that surrounded Michael. He would be swarmed by crowds at an airport, perform an exhausting show for three hours, and then sit backstage afterward, as we did one night in Bucharest, drinking bottled water, glancing over some Sufi poetry as I walked into the room, and wanting to meditate. That person, whom I considered (at the risk of ridicule) very pure, still survived -- he was reading the poems of Rabindranath Tagore when we talked the last time, two weeks ago. Michael exemplified the paradox of many famous performers, being essentially shy, an introvert who would come to my house and spend most of the evening sitting by himself in a corner with his small children. I never saw less than a loving father when they were together (and wonder now, as anyone close to him would, what will happen to them in the aftermath). Michael's reluctance to grow up was another part of the paradox. My children adored him, and in return he responded in a childlike way. He declared often, as former child stars do, that he was robbed of his childhood. Considering the monstrously exaggerated value our society places on celebrity, which was showered on Michael without stint, the public was callous to his very real personal pain. It became another tawdry piece of the tabloid Jacko, pictured as a weird changeling and as something far more sinister. It's not my place to comment on the troubles Michael fell heir to from the past and then amplified by his misguided choices in life. He was surrounded by enablers, including a shameful plethora of M.D.s in Los Angeles and elsewhere who supplied him with prescription drugs. As many times as he would candidly confess that he had a problem, the conversation always ended with a deflection and denial. As I write this paragraph, the reports of drug abuse are spreading across the cable news channels. The instant I heard of his death this afternoon, I had a sinking feeling that prescription drugs would play a key part. The closest we ever became, perhaps, was when Michael needed a book to sell primarily as a concert souvenir. It would contain pictures for his fans but there would also be a text consisting of short fables. I sat with him for hours while he dreamily wove Aesop-like tales about animals, mixed with words about music and his love of all things musical. This project became "Dancing the Dream" after I pulled the text together for him, acting strictly as a friend. It was this time together that convinced me of the modus vivendi Michael had devised for himself: to counter the tidal wave of stress that accompanies mega-stardom, he built a private retreat in a fantasy world where pink clouds veiled inner anguish and Peter Pan was a hero, not a pathology. This compromise with reality gradually became unsustainable. He went to strange lengths to preserve it. Unbounded privilege became another toxic force in his undoing. What began as idiosyncrasy, shyness, and vulnerability was ravaged by obsessions over health, paranoia over security, and an isolation that grew more and more unhealthy. When Michael passed me the music for that last song, the one sitting by my bedside waiting for the right words, the procedure for getting the CD to me rivaled a CIA covert operation in its secrecy. My memory of Michael Jackson will be as complex and confused as anyone's. His closest friends will close ranks and try to do everything in their power to insure that the good lives after him. Will we be successful in rescuing him after so many years of media distortion? No one can say. I only wanted to put some details on the record in his behalf. My son Gotham traveled with Michael as a roadie on his "Dangerous" tour when he was thirteen. Will it matter that Michael behaved with discipline and impeccable manners around my son? (It sends a shiver to recall something he told Gotham: "I don't want to go out like Marlon Brando. I want to go out like Elvis." Both icons were obsessions of this icon.) His children's nanny and surrogate mother, Grace Rwamba, is like another daughter to me. I introduced her to Michael when she was eighteen, a beautiful, heartwarming girl from Rwanda who is now grown up. She kept an eye on him for me and would call me whenever he was down or running too close to the edge. How heartbreaking for Grace that no one's protective instincts and genuine love could avert this tragic day. An hour ago she was sobbing on the telephone from London. As a result, I couldn't help but write this brief remembrance in sadness. But when the shock subsides and a thousand public voices recount Michael's brilliant, joyous, embattled, enigmatic, bizarre trajectory, I hope the word "joyous" is the one that will rise from the ashes and shine as he once did.
-Dr. Deepak Chopra
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
"I will take you, I will bring you to unbelievable heights of ecstasy, on one condition.
Tell me, Swear to me my love, that I am sexier than that despicable Jack Sparrow."
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What is your hometown?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. What is your favorite movie?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What is one word to describe yourself?
10. How are you feeling right now?
11. What do you love most in the world?
12. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Monday, June 22, 2009
Johnny Depp as the Madhatter
Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen of Hearts
Anne Hathaway as the White Queen
Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland will open on March 2010. Mia Wasikowska will be playing Alice. I've always been a huge fan of Tim Burton since I first saw Edward Scissorhands. Photos from the set are available on the net and the whole production looks absolutely stunning. I for one, cannot wait to see the movie.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
I'm normally not a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me Superman.
I'm having the best day of my life and I owe it all to not going to church!
I'm not a bad guy! I work hard and I love my kids,
so why should I spend half my sunday hearing about how I'm going to hell?
I've always wondered if there was a god--now I know there is--and it's me.
But Marge, what if we chose the wrong religion?
Each week we just make God madder and madder.
Hey Flanders, it's no use praying.
I already did the same thing,
and we can't both win.
The lesson is : Our God is vengeful! O spiteful one,
show me who to smite and they shall be smoten!
A big mountain of sugar is too much for one man.
I can see now why God portions it out in those little packets.
If god didn't want me to eat in church, he would've made gluttony a sin.
Jesus, Alla, Buddha ... I love you all!
God is teasing me! Just like he teased Moses in the desert!
I felt a surge of power, like god must feel, when he's holding a gun.
Dear Lord.. The gods have been good to me. For the first time in my life, everything is absolutely perfect just the way it is. So here's the deal: You freeze everything the way it is, and I won't ask for anything more. If that is OK, please give me absolutely no sign. OK, deal.
Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such.
All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals.
want to share something with you: The three little sentences that will get you through life. Number 1: Cover for me. Number 2: Oh, good idea, Boss!
Number 3: It was like that when I got here.
Trying is the first step to failure.
Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.
Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'Sir' without adding, 'You're making a scene.'
If at first you don't succeed, give up.
Beer: The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.
If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing
When will I learn? The answer to life's problems aren't at the bottom of a bottle, they're on TV.
[Meeting Aliens] Please don't eat me! I have a wife and kids. Eat them!
What do we need a psychiatrist for? We know our kid is nuts.
I am 26 hours late for work.
No time for Maggie.
Kids are great, Appu. You can teach them to hate the things you hate and they practically raise themselves now-a-days,
you know, with the internet and all.
It's not easy to juggle a pregnant wife and a troubled child,
but somehow I managed to fit in eight hours of TV a day.
Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen.
Son, this is the only time I'm gonna say this. It is not okay to lose.
Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand.
Marge, it's 3 AM. Shouldn't you be baking?
Lisa, two wrongs DO make a right!
I think the saddest day of my life was when I realized I could beat my Dad at most things,
and Bart experienced that at the age of four.
Ahhh...sweet pity. Where would my love life be without it?
Marge, don't discourage the boy!
Weaseling out of things is important to learn.
It's what separates us from the animals! Except the weasel.
The strong must protect the sweet.
Marge, you're as pretty as Princess Leah and as smart as Yoda.
Quiet you kids. If I hear one more word, Bart doesn't get to watch cartoons, and Lisa doesn't get to go to college.
The code of the schoolyard, Marge! The rules that teach a boy to be a man. Let's see. Don't tattle. Always make fun of those different from you. Never say anything, unless you're sure everyone feels exactly the same way you do. What else...
I will live to be 42. Oh, only 42 ?!? I won't even live to see my children die.
No, no, no, Lisa. If adults don't like their jobs, they don't go on strike.
They just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American Way.
Well, it's 1 a.m. Better go home and spend some quality time with the kids.
I'm never going to be disabled. I'm sick of being so healthy.
I like my beer cold, my TV loud and my homosexuals flaming.
All my life I've been an obese man trapped inside a fat man's body.
Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover.
And there's nothing wrong with hitting someone when his back is turned.
Ah, TV respects me. It laughs with me, not at me!
Rock stars... Is there anything they don't know?
Getting out of jury duty is easy. The trick is to say you're prejudiced against all races.
Son, when you participate in sporting events,
it's not whether you win or lose: it's how drunk you get.
If something goes wrong at the plant, blame the guy who can't speak English.
They took the foam off the market because they found out it was poisonous,
but if you ask me, if you're dumb enough to eat it, you deserve to die.
I think Smithers picked me because of my motivational skills.
Everyone says they have to work a lot harder when I'm around.
Old people don't need companionship. They need to be isolated and studied so it can be determined what nutrients they have that might be extracted for our personal use.
Dad, you've done a lot of great things, but you're a very old man, and old people are useless.
Now Bart, since you broke Grandpa's teeth,
he gets to break yours.
Remember that postcard Grandpa sent us from Florida of that Alligator biting that woman's bottom? That's right, we all thought it was hilarious. But, it turns out we were wrong. That alligator was sexually harrassing that woman.
Kids, if he (Grandpa) starts acting weird, lead him down into the basement.
How is education supposed to make me feel smarter?
Besides, every time I learn something new,
it pushes some old stuff out of my brain.
Remember when I took that home winemaking course,
and I forgot how to drive?
No matter how good you are at something,
there's always about a million people better than you.
[Looking at a globe map...country being Uruguay]
Hee hee! Look at this country! 'You-are-gay.'
Hee hee! Look at this country! 'You-are-gay.'
'To Start Press Any Key'. Where's the ANY key?
All right, brain. You don't like me and I don't like you
let's just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer.
Oh well, of course, everything looks bad if you remember it.
Relax, what is mind? No matter. What is matter? Nevermind.
Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14% of people know that.
Operator! Give me the number for 911!
This donut has purple in the middle, purple is a fruit.
I'm in a place where I don't know where I am.
There's a New Mexico?!?
Bart, with $10,000, we'd be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things like...love!
The sun? That's the hottest place on Earth.
Pffft, English. Who needs that. I'm never going to England.
Shut up, Brain, or I'll stab you with a Q-tip!
You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.
All right, let's not panic.
I'll make the money by selling one of my livers.
I can get by with one.
I hope I didn't brain my damage.
Heh Heh Heh! Lisa! Vampires are make believe, just like elves and gremlins and eskimos!
I have his...
sick and twisted humor
love for jazz music
Thank you for not choking me to death when I say vile things to you.
Thank you for not snooping around my facebook account. I know this has taken an enormous amount of restraint, and for that I am grateful.
Thank you for not running over my ex boyfriend, again I know this is a tremendous feat on your part, and again I am truly grateful.
Thank you for sharing your wicked fashion sense and fascination with macintosh products with me.
Thank you for allowing me to shop online without nagging me about air 21.
Thank you for being my personal tech consultant.
Thank you for helping me make an iChat account.
Thank you for grimacing in silence whenever I put on make-up.
Thank you for bringing me pails of water when I am washing dishes and the water district has fucked up our water supply.
Thank you for checking up on me when I am sick and having the consideration not to have a fit for being on your bed all day.
Thank you for carrying the loads of packages when we shop.
Thank you for being our personal chauffeur.
Thank you for not puking on the way up during one of your drinking sessions with your friends.
Thank you for introducing me to house music.
Thank you for sharing my anxiety during the NLE.
Thank you for telling all your friends about my supposed square off gig and not freaking out when it didn't come through.
Thank you for sharing my amusement with TMZ.
Thank you for being a kewl dad, despite the arguments we've had in the past, I am still alive, with my airway intact and my brain tissue injury free. I love you.
To me, the greatest pleasure of writing
is not what it's about,
but the inner music that words make.