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one year
in twos.
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
pop culture

2003's over. Just about. Lots happened. Good year? Bad year? Can't say. Weird year. Crazy year. Fun year.

Action-packed year.


Celebrity Deaths. Defined 2003. Expected, unexpected. Old Hollywood. Katharine Hepburn. Gregory Peck. Bob Hope. Hume Cronyn. So many. History lost. Era ends. Who's left? Then more. Nina Simone. Buddy Hackett. Buddy Ebsen. Maurice Gibb. Robert Stack. Celia Cruz. Leni Riefenstahl. George Plimpton. Elia Kazan. Nell Carter. Robert Palmer. Gordon Jump. Johnny Cash. His wife. John Ritter. His mother. Good Lord. The latest? Brandis suicide. Unprecedented pace. Next Oscars? Loooooong tribute.

Michael Jackson. No words. 'Bout time. Cocoa Puffs!

Great movies! Like 1999. That year? American Beauty. Fight Club. First Matrix. Malkovich movie. Sixth Sense. Blair Witch. And Election. This year? American Splendor. Spellbound documentary. Coppola's Translation. Shattered Glass. Finding Nemo. Intolerable Cruelty. And... Pirates. (Hot Bloom. Cute Bloom. Grinning Bloom. Best Bloom? Wet Bloom.) But, others? Total crap. Last Matrix. Ew, Hulk! Charlie's Angels. Ishtariffic Gigli.

Win some. Lose some.

TV, meh. Don't watch. Just read. High-profile failures. "Skin" gone. "Coupling" gone. "Tarzan" gone. Few surprises. "Alias" good. "CSI" excellent. "Carnivale" breathtaking. (Season over. It figures.) Reality continues. More "Survivor." More "Bachelor." No originality. Not anywhere. And soon? Semi-classics departing. "S&tC" ending. "Friends" ending. Creativity vacuum. Blackish hole.

War: failure. Many deaths. No improvement. Jessica Lynch? Hero first. Then, dissent. TV movie. Book deal. Then, surprise! Nudie photos. Propaganda anyway. Hate Bush. (Go Dean!) Increasing terrorism. Worldwide disdain. National insecurity. Angry Iraqis. Suicide bombers. Too depressing. Next topic.

How's Roy?

"Reagans" flap. TV movie. Too "critical." "Hatchet job". Republican pressure. Conservative complaints. No compromises. Staring contest. Network blinked. Troubling precedent. Squeaky wheels. Similarly, "Playmakers?" NFL protests. ESPN crumbles. Demise predicted. It's FICTION. Relax, people!

New music? Not really. The usual. More Britney. More Justin. "American Idol." (Insert retching.) But iTunes? Very cool. Suing 12-year-olds? Less cool. Warmed-over Elvis. Warmed-over Beatles. More Tupac????? Sad industry.


Kill Bill. Long-awaited Tarantinoism. Fairly disappointing. Colorful, yes. Ultra-violent, yes. Mostly tiring. Volume I? Too long. Somewhat sloppy. Needed edits. (Like Magnolia.) Volume II? Likely same. Therefore, scamilicious. One movie. Pay twice. New trend? Hope not.

Crazy-ass politics. Govern-ah Ah-nuld. Fucking joke. The issues? Thoughtful analysis? Intellectual debate? Totally unimportant. All soundbites. Rampant misogyny. Well-documented groping. Nonexistent experience. Didn't matter. Popular disgruntlement. Name recognition. Fatal combination. Future bleak. California's downfall? Not earthquakes. Not anymore.

Sex scandals. As usual. Kobe's guilty. Back-door Prince. (Not "Prince." Prince Charles.) Americans titillated. Nothing new.

Personal life. Vacated shoebox. Shacked up. Adorable apartment. (Adorable roommate!) Rocked Vegas. Becoming aunt. Very happy. Pretty exhausted.


(Short column. I know. You try!)

Welcome, 2004.


Jael is tired of being stereotyped as just another novelist/poet/former English teacher/tour guide/"Jeopardy!" semifinalist/bellydancing editor-in-chief with an MFA who was once an overachieving oboe-playing alto newspaper editor valedictorian from Iowa. She was also captain of the football cheerleading squad. Follow me on Twitter: @jaelmchenry

more about jael mchenry


doves, dresses, and dacquoise
wedding planning in the real world
by jael mchenry
topic: pop culture
published: 10.4.06

back to the future
why, and when, we lived this year already
by jael mchenry
topic: pop culture
published: 2.4.08


russ carr
12.3.03 @ 12:24a

Forgot something. Opus returned.

matt morin
12.3.03 @ 2:43a

SARS came.
Everyone freaked.
Lead story.
Every minute.
Worldwide emergency.


Old news.
SARS gone.

Everyone forgot.

jack bradley
12.3.03 @ 5:55a

"Ishtarrific" rocks. You too. Love this.

joe procopio
12.3.03 @ 8:09a

Did you...

I think...

This is...


tracey kelley
12.3.03 @ 9:27a


Clever Jael. All clever. Nice job.

sandra thompson
12.3.03 @ 9:48a

Bad year: no Pitt film (except animated "Sinbad"). Not the same. Sigh.
Good year:
Go Dean!
Go Marlins!
Go Baby Letterman!

jeffrey walker
12.3.03 @ 9:55a

War: failure... No improvement.

Tell that to the women of Iraq, you short-sighted wench.

sarah ficke
12.3.03 @ 10:01a

Rock on.

jael mchenry
12.3.03 @ 5:12p

Hey Matt. Considered SARS. Considered anthrax. You're right. Once EMERGENCIES! Now, meh.

robert melos
12.4.03 @ 1:06a

Extremely impressive. Brava, Jael.

mike julianelle
12.4.03 @ 8:24p

Gottta dig at magnolia eh? Who cares if you right.

Gotta mention The O.C under TV! Entertaining and wittier than expected.

sarah ficke
12.4.03 @ 9:12p

It's witty? The commercials should play that up more. Judging from them, it's a huge sweat-and-drama fest.

erik myers
12.4.03 @ 10:48p

There's drama? It looked like a string of clevage shots to me.

mike julianelle
12.5.03 @ 7:53a

One of the characters is pretty damn funny. Yes, it's still a new-90210, but who doesn't need a new one of those?!

russ carr
12.5.03 @ 12:56p

I think Mike intended to type a "T" and not a "W."

jael mchenry
12.5.03 @ 1:01p


Oh, gotcha. And it's on network, so it's not that titty.

Funny show, though. Devoid of redeeming qualities, and therefore ideal summer-type entertainment.

russ carr
12.5.03 @ 1:25p

That's great news for the Southern Hemisphere.

jael mchenry
2.4.04 @ 5:13p

R.I.P., Playmakers.

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