“That’s What We Love About the South”

Except that in this case it’s Texas:

TMZ.com reports that country singer Randy Travis was arrested after what could be the mother of bad nights…or maybe just a blip to him, who knows?

Looks like the Randyman had some problems driving home after entering a convenience store naked and trying to buy cigarettes. Supposedly, the clerk asked how he was going to pay and, stumped, our hero stalked out, got into his car, and drove it off the road.

When the police came, he threatened to shoot them, which didn’t go over nearly as well as his naked convenience store encounter so off to the hoosegow he went.

Can’t wait to hear the song he writes about this one. But no matter how good it is, we’re certain that the video will be even better.

(See, we got to the “writing” thing eventually. Just took awhile, is all. But the trip was fun, right? Although, we admit, maybe not as fun as the pic.)

Salinger + Hemingway = Betrayal, Of Course


J.D. Salinger’s Letter To Ernest Hemingway – from Hello Goodbye Hello by Craig Brown

J.D. Salinger seeks out Ernest Hemingway
The Ritz Hotel, 15 place Vendôme, Paris
Late August 1944

The twenty-five-year-old Jerry Salinger is experiencing a terrible war. Of the 3,080 men of the 12th US Infantry who disembarked with him at Normandy on D-Day, only a third are still alive.

His regiment is the first to enter Paris. They are mobbed by happy crowds. Salinger’s job as an officer in the Counter-Intelligence Corps entails weeding out and interrogating Nazi collaborators. As they go through Paris, he and a fellow officer arrest a collaborator, but a crowd wrests their prisoner away and beats him to death.

Salinger has heard that Ernest Hemingway is in town. A writer himself, with a growing reputation for his short stories, he is determined to seek out America’s most famous living novelist. He feels sure he will find him at the Ritz, so he drives the jeep there. Sure enough, Hemingway is installed in the small bar, already bragging that he alone liberated Paris in general and the Ritz in particular.

To this latter claim, there is a slight smidgin of truth. “It was all he could talk about,” remembers a fellow member of the press corps. “It was more than just being the first American in Paris. He said, “I will be the first American at the Ritz. And I will liberate the Ritz.’” In fact, by the time he arrives, the Germans have already abandoned the hotel, and the manager has come out to welcome him, boasting, “We saved the Cheval Blanc!”

“Well, go get it,” snaps Hemingway, who then begins slugging it down. Hemingway proceeds to make the Ritz his home. From then on, he can’t be bothered to cover the liberation of Paris, though he lends his typewriter to someone who can. Instead, he spends most of his time drinking Perrier-Jouet in the bar.

Over brandy after lunch on liberation day, a female guest says she wants to go and watch the victory parade.

“What for?” says Hemingway. “Daughter, sit still and drink this good brandy. You can always see a parade, but you’ll never again lunch at the Ritz the day after Paris was liberated.”

As the days go by, he continues to hold court in the Ritz, boasting how many Germans he has killed, though no one with him can remember him killing a single one.

Upon Salinger’s arrival, Hemingway greets him like an old friend, saying that he recognises him from his photograph in Esquire and has read all his short stories. Does he have any new work with him? Salinger produces a recent copy of the Saturday Evening Post containing one of his stories. Hemingway reads it and congratulates him. The two writers sit and talk for hours. Salinger (who secretly prefers Fitzgerald’s writing) is pleasantly surprised by the difference between Hemingway’s public and private personas; he finds him “a really good guy.”

A few days later, Hemingway tells a friend about meeting “a kid in the 4th Division named Jerry Salinger.” He notes his disdain for the war, and his urge to write. He is also impressed by the way Salinger’s family continues to post him the New Yorker.
The two men never meet again, but they correspond. Hemingway is a generous mentor. “First you have a marvelous ear and you write tenderly and lovingly without getting wet… how happy it makes me to read the stories and what a god damned fine writer I think you are.”

The chumminess of their single meeting is captured in a letter Salinger writes to Hemingway the following year from the military hospital in Nuremberg where he is being treated for combat stress:

Nothing was wrong with me except that I’ve been in an almost constant state of despondency and I thought it would be good to talk to somebody sane. They asked me about my sex life (which couldn’t be normaler – gracious!) and about my childhood (Normal)… I’ve always liked the Army … There are very few arrests left to be made in our section. We’re now picking up children under ten if their attitudes are snotty. Gotta get those ole arrest forms up to Army, gotta fatten up the Report.

…I’ve written a couple more of my incestuous stories, and several poems, and part of a play. If I ever get out of the Army I might finish the play and invite Margaret O’Brien to play with me in it. With a crew-cut and a Max Factor dimple over my navel, I could play Holden Caulfield myself. I once gave a very sensitive performance as Raleigh in “Journey’s End.”

I’d give my right arm to get out of the Army, but not on a psychiatric, this-man-is-not-fit-for-the-Army-life ticket. I have a very sensitive novel in mind, and I won’t have the author called a jerk in 1950. I am a jerk, but the wrong people mustn’t know it.

I wish you’d drop me a line if you can manage it. Removed from this scene, is it much easier to think clearly? I mean with your work.

Around this time, Salinger experiences some sort of nervous break- down fuelled by the horrors he has endured. His biographer Ian Hamilton suggests his chummy letter to Hemingway cannot be taken at face value. It is, he believes, “almost manically cheerful.” He is probably right. Years later, Salinger tells his daughter: “You never really get the smell of burning flesh out of your nose entirely, no matter how long you live.”

In Greenwich Village in 1946, Jerry Salinger has regained some of his old bravado. To his poker-playing friends he speaks disparagingly of many well-known writers, Hemingway among them. “In fact, he was quite convinced that no really good American writers existed after Melville – that is, until the advent of J.D. Salinger,” recalls one.

Hemingway, on the other hand, is happy to name Salinger one of his three favorite contemporary authors; when he dies, a copy of “The Catcher in the Rye” is found in his library. He is neither the first writer with a disciple who turns against him, nor the last.

Via HuffingtonPost.Com

And people accuse TVWriter™ of being snarky? Craig Brown has us beat. In fact, he’s got his ‘tude down so brilliantly that we want to be his interns. Dood, you listening? Call us. Liberate us!

Home is the Hunter

Who says being able to buy just about any unlawful ultra-powerful type gun is a bad thing?

Look what my Tavor TAR-21 just bagged me:

You can has one too, without even having to lock and load. Just plunk down yer moneyz for:

Alien Skull Trophy at Psycho Monsterz Online

Munch Makes the World Go ‘Round

Not munchman, Munch. John Munch, played by Richard Belzer. We thought he was just another TV cop. Turns out he’s the glue that holds the entire television world together. For reals:

From TVTropes.Org:

What we have here is a small, semi-just-for-fun page to the character with the single most appearances outside his own series this side of a Public Domain Character, making him the king of the Intercontinuity Crossover. In every appearance, Munch is portrayed by Richard Belzer, who outside of this role is better known as a stand-up comedian.

Shows to feature John Munch:

As a main character:

As a guest star:

  • The X-Files – As the Baltimore cop interrogating the future Lone Gunmen. There’s also a hilarious scene in SVU where a reporter refers to Munch and Novak as Mulder and Scully. So…
    • Not only that but in one episode of Homicide, Munch mentions that a character is probably watching The X-Files.
  • Law & Order
    • Munch’s appearance on the original Law and Order as part of a Homicide cross-over is partly what got him the job on SVU. Belzer originally pitched to Dick Wolf that Munch join Law and Order as Briscoe’s new partner. The role had been filled, so Wolf transplanted Munch to SVU instead.
  • The Beat
  • Law & Order: Trial by Jury
  • Arrested Development (credited as himself), as a “Professor of Scrapbooking
  • The Wire (ironically, former Baltimore Police Department detective Jay Landsman, the real-life inspiration for Munch, plays a recurring role).
    • It should also be pointed out that Landsman, playing Lieutenant Mello, was actually in the scene. As was Clark Johnson, formerly Munch’s fellow Homicide castmate.
      • If that’s not enough, The Wire has a character named Jay Landsman who was also inspired by the real Jay Landsman, and was played by yet a third actor. One rather suspects that David Simon was having a particularly Mind Screwy field day with this one.
  • Sesame Street (the skit, “Special Letters Unit“, a spoof of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, is the one time the character is not played by Richard Belzer.
    • This puppet returns in Elmopalooza as the ‘Richard Belzer stunt puppet’, accompanied by Belzer himself.
  • And then there’s the character’s appearance in the French version of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which is what tipped the character into a trope-on-his-own territory.
  • And he’s now gotten a subtle Shout Out in London police drama Luther — “Send the details to Detective Munch in Special Victims Unit, New York.” Munch might get a surprise if he met the eponymous British cop face to face though, since he’s the absolute spit of Stringer Bell from The Wire
  • In the book I Am Not A Cop, by Richard Belzer, Richard Belzer is mistaken for John Munch, and asked to help solve a case.
    • A joke book about stupid criminals recounted a story about a robber who stumbled into a taping of Homicide and surrendered to John Munch.
      • Which is actually true. I heard it from the horse’s mouth (well, in an interview with him on Youtube). However, the reports that he testified in court is just a rumour.
  • In an episode of 30 Rock, Belzer and Ice-T show up as their L&O:SVU characters for a joke. It’s more than just an incidental cameo because it’s clearly not a real episode of SVU.
  • Pete Munch, supposedly John’s father, is an astronaut who appears in the “Minions of the Moon” backup in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. III, Century: 1969. Like John he is a conspiracy theorist but since this world of the League he’s actually probably right about most of his ramblings.

Not only are we in awe of the John Munch character, we’re astounded by the work put in by TV Tropes nameless minion(s?) who compiled the data above. At last we can use the word “awesome” correctly. So, all together now:


(Somebody get this site onto our links page! Quick!)

Don’t Blame the Writers, Blame the Buyers

…Which is to say the studios and production companies. What are we talking about? Glad you asked:

How awesome is Chris Rock? This awesome. Hi Chris! Hi Rihanna!

Chris Rock & Adult Movies – by Scott W. Smith (ScreenwritingFromIowa.Com)

“Most parts in comedy, they’re not written for men. They’re written for, like, boy-men. So it’s cool to play a man-man. They don’t make adult movies anymore. Go to a multiplex. If Sydney Pollack was around today, he’d be directing episodes of ‘True Blood.’”

Chris  Rock

New York Times

August 5, 2012

“Film 2 Days in New York”

Interview with Dave Itzkof
Oh.Those kinds of “adult movies.” Grown-up ones. Not…you know. Dang. Not that we disagree with anything Chris is saying here. He’s one of funniest, brightest, smartest doods in the showbiz galaxy. But we have to point out that this situation doesn’t exist because writers don’t want to write for adults. All the writers we know actually do want just that. No, the situation exists because it’s what the studios want. They simply aren’t buying many men-men vehicles these days.