2003's over. Just about. Lots happened. Good year? Bad year? Can't say. Weird year. Crazy year. Fun 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.
"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!)
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
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IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
12.3.03 @ 12:24a
Forgot something. Opus returned.
12.3.03 @ 2:43a
12.3.03 @ 5:55a
"Ishtarrific" rocks. You too. Love this.
12.3.03 @ 8:09a
12.3.03 @ 9:27a
Clever Jael. All clever. Nice job.
12.3.03 @ 9:48a
Bad year: no Pitt film (except animated "Sinbad"). Not the same. Sigh.
Go Baby Letterman!
12.3.03 @ 9:55a
War: failure... No improvement.
Tell that to the women of Iraq, you short-sighted wench.
12.3.03 @ 10:01a
12.3.03 @ 5:12p
Hey Matt. Considered SARS. Considered anthrax. You're right. Once EMERGENCIES! Now, meh.
12.4.03 @ 1:06a
Extremely impressive. Brava, Jael.
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.
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.
12.4.03 @ 10:48p
There's drama? It looked like a string of clevage shots to me.
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?!
12.5.03 @ 12:56p
I think Mike intended to type a "T" and not a "W."
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.
12.5.03 @ 1:25p
That's great news for the Southern Hemisphere.
2.4.04 @ 5:13p