Sunday, 8 October 2017

Plus Ca Change Plus C'est la Même Chose: The More Things Change The More They Stay the Same

Elton lobbied on behalf of Ryan and everyone else diagnosed with AIDS to get rid of the hysteria that kept patients hiding or suffering in silence.  Ryan was a child when his family came to see, firsthand, the prejudice and rampant fear and accusatory reality of those early days.


Here's Ryan White, a young boy who contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion, with Elton John. Ryan was a hemophiliac, but a lot of people treated him badly and didn't want him living in their town. His home was vandalised and defaced and Ryan's family was just trying to help him. Ryan's plight was picked up by the media and right after, he became a symbol of those who, for one reason or another, needed donated blood and all donated blood needed to be tested so that what happened to Ryan and his family wouldn't occur again. He is seen here with Elton John, who heard about Ryan's plight and wanted to meet him. They became fast friends.


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I decided to put Ryan's story first, because it has had a tremendously upbeat aspect and I love how he and Elton John became buddies. Elton has said about Ryan: I decided to put Ryan's story first, because it has had a tremendously upbeat aspect and I love how he and Elton John became buddies.  Elton has said that Ryan's life and his death helped him with his drug addictions. If Ryan could face the awful reality that his life was being cut short and was handling it with such courage and determination, then Elton could face his demons head on. 
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Now the story begins:

This is a fictional first-hand account by a complex young man who is currently going through hell. His name is Dennis Costello and this post just learns that he has HIV. The effects of the disease haven't began as yet, so he has the strength and presence of mind to write his heartbreaking struggles against a monster who keeps getting larger and stronger.  It is leaving a trail of tragedy and insurmountable pain. Here is Dennis' story:
                                                                      
As I sit in an over populated bus and wondered if I would ever be respected and approachable if I just chucked this fame thing and embraced a life of solitude. Just me and my dog. I wonder if it was possible to be a crazy dog lover and collect as many different species. Why does my mind fill itself up with self-pity wallowing? I swore never to be a whiner. God knows if  I could allow myself to be a whining man living in a log cabin, replete with a dozen canines of varying breeds, I'd win first prize for "the weirdest musician since Tiny Tim." 

Recently, I saw a photo of the man before the kooky appearance and bizarre behaviour started. I recall watching him back in the days of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. Then he met Judy Buddinger and the two wed on Johnny Carson, had a child, Tulip Tim and then faded away, far from the entertainment business. Unfortunately, Tim died, but no-one seemed to notice or give a damn. Show Biz is like that: Just when you get used to the applause and the adulation, the rug gets pulled rapidly out from under your feet and just like that, you're replaced by someone younger, hotter and with talent to burn. It's a desperately fickle way to go through life and many former stars end up awash in drug addictions, self-destructive behaviour and too often, end up killing themselves.  It's been like that since the Ziegfeld Follies started the ball rolling at the turn of the last century and has only gotten more and more complicated.

I've known Neil and Chris for years and it has always amazed me how they've  handled things in such a way that affords both of them the ability to stay afloat and with a positive outlook in the chaotic, character-assassinating entertainment business. Which is why I am shocked to learn that things are often not what they seem to be from the outside. My name is Bobby Sumner. I had a brother, Phil Sumner, who committed suicide by running into a speeding truck on the interstate highway. He died instantly, which was a blessing, really.  Phil had been a patient in the psychiatric hospital when the tragedy happened. One of the nurses, Helen McNamara had been desperately traumatised by this and subsequently burned out. She was, bar none, one of the brightest, most capable nurses of that graduating class. She was outgoing, had many friends and had a well-earned reputation of knowing the patients at the psychiatric hospital better than the rest of the staff and engaged in their treatment, befriending them and going out of her way to give them the attention they lacked. If you were a mental patient in the 1970's, you were often abandoned by their families, were made fun of, the butt of jokes and the anti-psychotic medication pretty much rendered you a zombie.

You're likely wondering where I'm going with this. Well. I'll tell you. We all wear masks to hide the truly painful secrets that would challenge our reputations and end up doing more harm than good. Nobody gets out of this life without pain. I don't care who you are: The Queen, filthy rich people, anyone in show business, be it actors, singers,  musicians, politicians, anyone in the public eye and everyone else (meaning most of us.) I'm using Tiny Tim as an entertainer, because he overtly personified this harsh reality. When he died, hardly anyone cared. His so-called "fans" had deserted him, for the crime of not being relevant anymore. Fame can be fleeting for many, but even moreso when said people leave a quirky alter ego without enough time to reveal just who he or she really was. Such was the fate of Herbert Buckingham Khaury, aka Tiny Tim. Who was Herbert? The world really doesn't appear to care and when he died at the age of sixty three, there were only a few mourners at his funeral. RIP Herbert. You gave me a special gift of joy and laughter.

I never would have known that Tiny Tim looked like this before the crazy metamorphosis slowly but surely took hold.
He's still cute here.  But there's that signature hair and plaid shirt.
Still rocking the plaid--now it's a jacket instead. Note the first appearance of  that uke and begining of that quirky, silly and hilarious act he unleashed himself on the world. I loved the falsetto in his voice.
When I heard that Tiny Tim had died, I was saddened. He was so much more than a one-in-a-million act and his warbling falsetto singing" Tiptoe Through the Tulips" I just adored him.

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                Had You Lived In A Kinder World                                                                              

                                     
You have to know this isn't true
Even though the future looks bleak.

I wish that you could recognise                               
That what you did took guts
You tore right through the many lies
But withstood  painful cuts.

One day, the world will understand
Of this I am quite certain
A life built on nothing but crumbling sand

Needs to pull down the dirty curtains.





*********************************************************



I sit and wonder just where we went wrong
I thought things would be so much better today
Should we keep trying? Are we really that strong?
We gave up our freedom--in prison we stay.

So what did we do by jumping a fence?
Besides getting shameful egg facials for free
Right now, behind bars, it doesn't make sense
How full of ourselves we turned out to be.

We all went to court to determine our fate
The judge and the jury stared sternly at us 

When the time came


   Jump ahead to 1984



This was the ominous time in our history when the AIDS crisis exploded into a terrified media frenzy and the world would never be the same again. The general public's first introduction to this fatal horror show occurred in 1985, when it was disclosed that actor Rock Hudson had acquired immune deficiency syndrome, better known as AIDS. Hudson's body shrunk drastically and within months of the disclosure, he died from the effects of the scary illness.

This killer disease started when the patient is first diagnosed with the Human  Immunodeficiency Virus,  (HIV) that causes AIDS. Once somebody is infected with HIV, it is just a matter of time before they are cut down by AIDS. I would imagine that everyone knows at least one person (a friend or family member) who has succumbed to this terrifying and up until now unheard of virus to beat all viruses. But this was just the beginning of an epidemic that sought out those with a target on their backs: The gay community. Suddenly there was this golden opportunity for homophobic Right-Wing Nuts to have what they deemed to be a perfect climate for hatred and violence to erupt toward gay people without impunity nor guilt. "Finally! "A Gay Plague" has finally arrived!  And we are on the cutting edge of what will surely rid society of any homosexual deviants and we don't have to justify our hatred anymore!" 

What a bunch of bullshit.

  




I'm going to preface this sobering story with a poem

                    Life & Death In the Bloodstream

Sadness, the painful enemy of joy
Depression will take over amy remnants
Of happiness that may have lingered
Do I make you angry? Am I hating you enough?

Shame is a wool sweater, soaked in alcohol
If you wrap it around you--a man swathed in rags
Will rip it off, twist the sweater tightly
And put it to his lips, extracting any booze

That may linger in the strands. He feels no shame
But you most certainly do.  You thrive on melodrama
You want attention. It couldn't be more obvious.
Someone who would have to be blind, deaf and dumb.

To waste fleeting time pandering to your noisy desperation.
It's as if reality has fled the scene.  One-way ticket to nowhere.
And now I see you've donned a patchwork quilt. Won't your
Granny be cross when she sees all the blood on her hard work.



This can be lethal if young gay kids come out to family members and are kicked out of the house.







                  Leaving life behind            
As one drop in the ocean causes a ripple effect that persists and threatens to go on like that forever.




Stigmatised, forced into isolation.
Ridiculed mercilessly until we are forced
To come to terms with being less than human. 
Veritable freaks. Compared to sociopathic criminals

And devoid of even a tiny portion of self-worth.
Families have abandoned offspring when diagnosed
With devastating illness like Schizophrenia
Bipolar Affective Disorder and debilitating depression.

It's as if these individuals are afflicted with something contagious.
Or will stab you in the back, literally.  Unenlightened idiots will 
laugh, point their fingers and feel justified to beat the daylights
Out of you. Nobody listens. They just keep re-enforcing the prejudice
That has permeated from generation to generation

Pervasive ignorance and a lack of education
Have kept this fire alive forever. Will it be snuffed out?
Ever? The world will likely end before compassion begins.
Physical maladies aren't shunned. Cancer evokes sympathy.

Am I claiming that we'd all prefer malignancies? Of course not.
I've heard that once, not that long ago in human history
Cancer sufferers were shunned. Patients were forced indoors.
Fortunately, those dark ages are behind us. Now it's our turn.


Help!! Get me out of this terrible place!!
Like a frightening tornado evokes fear, so do the mentally ill
Painting representing the unhinged mind of a psychotic sufferer.
This painting is of a person screaming is seen by many to represent the fear and torment of one who is locked in his or her own personal hell.






The Ivory Towers Are Crumbling All Around Me

 The following story is more of an allegory than anything else. It features Neil and Chris and how their lives are forever changed and there was no way back.  This is fictional of course (as far as I know).





When Neil arrived at the university campus, he was taken aback at how ugly it was. "I've seen better campuses on prison grounds", Neil thought, bitterly.  He realised that he and his parents should have checked it out right after he was accepted, but that was moot now.

Was it a huge mistake for him to leave his home in the UK, cross the pond, where everything was familiar? Neil was feeling uneasy, living in America had seemed to be a great journey, a way to shake off the shackles that had  kept him living a very sheltered life.

They didn't understand that he was emotionally traumatised--hell, neither did he back then.  One by one, former casual friends grew angry and impatient, thinking he was just looking for attention. To make a long story short, resident living was pure hell. But then Neil went back for there for his sophomore year and then his junior year as well. Neil couldn't afford an apartment, so had no recourse but to grit his teeth and sign up for the residence he always had, called . The end result was his taking a pile of sleeping pills, as he just wanted the pain to end. 

But not your everyday, normal aches and pains that allowed for some justified self pity wallowing. Because genuine pain doesn't just disappear in a haze of smoke, once you finish a project and leaves you twisting in the wind. Pain doesn't discriminate. It cares not if you are Black, Hispanic or Jewish that would fill several pages, will experience varying degrees of pain. Some will be fortunate enough to bypass serious tragedy and emerge relatively unscathed, Others will be caught up with too much emotional trauma for them to handle and become aggressive self-abusers. Cutting, starving yourself and getting addicted to drugs doesn't work for very long. And like every junkie can attest, the nice low that morphine and heroin provide requires more and more to reach that endorphin high that running, swimming and other endurance activities. He knows this as well as does Neil. Formerly devoid of the energy required to get that wonderful place. it was comparatively inexpensive amount of money to procure whatever he wanted. Big mistake, Neil.

You may notice that all of the pictures on this page are in black and white, or very close to it. There is a good reason. This story will encompass the theme of darkness and light, of the sane and insane, rich or poor,  tortured souls who just want to be left alone and those who can't stand being out of the limelight. Neil took a course when he studied at the  University of Dutton,  called "Illusion and Reality". It was in the humanities field, his favourite course, with a kindly professor who was encouraging, kindhearted and noticed that Neil struggled with depression. He wasn't ready to be at university, particularly  living in residence with a great deal of students, male and female just tossed together. It was akin to a miserable camp he'd been forced to attend that included campers spending two weeks in "residence" or in other words, spending twenty-four hours in a wild, unyielding jungle of sorts. Each tent held five girls and the five boys had their own. Neil was lamenting that these morons acted as if they were still in kindergarten.





 Similarly, Neil was surrounded by kids who never missed an opportunity to gossip and giggle and taunt the quiet and scholarly students (read: the nerd patrol). However, Neil hadn't accounted the fact that just because you reach a certain age, it doesn't mean a lot of graduating secondary school students have the mental and psychological capacity to make the leap to freedom from parents and rules, to something that compared, to me like the novel, Lord Of the Flies, where civilised, polite young kids, some as young as five, turn into savages after their plane crashes and they ended up with no adults to supervise them to wild, mean and war-painted faces ready to kill. Which brings me to the point of all this writing: William Golding's unique novel was, well, a work of fiction with a message: As humans, when left stranded, in a very short period, the savagery that lives in everyone's hearts as it has since we walked on the earth is simmering away and becoming murderous and actually do kill. It's rather scary to think that it takes very little, without adults to temper it to be a vicious, Jack Merridew who, along with a soulless savage and angry kid, named Roger, kill the laughingstock, pudgy Piggy and later, the entire band of hunters stab Simon (another outcast) to death and let his small body drift away with the gently moving tide. He was never found.

The reason for this seemingly odd inclusion is, when William Golding wrote his unique novel, Lord Of the Flies, he effectively showed us just how thin the veneer of civility is and how quickly things can devolve into a chaotic state where children are becoming murdering savages.  When there are no adults to keep everyone reigned in, or at least, prevent the horrible metamorphosis that played out on the sand. This was one of the most devastating and powerful novels I have ever read. If you want to see the book as a film, the 1963 black and white one is most chilling and believable. The inferior (in my opinion) big and flashy Hollywood movie can't even compare with the near-perfect one, which was filmed on a pretty tight budget and the fact that they had included scenes that were ad libbed, mostly containing the "Little Uns" (Small children) as they played on the beach and ate a great amount of fruits to ward off their hunger.

One of the younger children who were made to choose between Jack's tribe or Ralph and Piggy's.
Leader Jack Merridew and his equally savage friend, Roger

Our Celebrity Worship And Where It Got Us


      Our Countdown To Self-Destruction Has Now Begun


In a scary New World, we have lost        

The ability to distinguish reality
From a script-driven
Hollywood dystopia.
Film and politics
Have blended since the days
Of Ronald Reagan, a b-list actor
With an a-list bag of tricks.

A Terminally flawed muscle man
Was allowed to ascend the ranks
And blur the line between science fiction
And reality TV.



Our Celebrity Love Has A Huge Pricetag                                         


A face, crimson with drunken hubris                                  

Is an abomination of stratospheric
Proportions.
His sole talent lies in crass self-promotion 

Blogs, videos and a social media frenzy
Have afforded this incompetent man
The ability to extol the virtues 
Of the terminally rich.                      

A public saturated with celebrity obsession
Starry-eyed and media-savvy to a fault.

Ticket prices have soared
There`s a mad scramble for general seating.
First  come first served
Not everyone gets out alive.

So go ahead: Bow down to the tinsel gods.
Put your lives on the line for Hollywood gold
But when the truth finally sinks in

Our chances of survival will simply fade to black.

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I've discussed the downside of the preoccupation with a seemingly saturated culture of the ridiculously wealthy and entitled. Things weren't always that way. The Ziegfeld Follies were the first in what would become a burgeoning entertainment industry. They set everything in motion. Their heyday begun in 1907 until 1931 and featured WC Fields, Eddy Cantor and Fanny Brice.

When the stock market crashed in 1929 and was followed by a period known as The Great Depression. Many people who were to lose everything ended their lives by jumping out of buildings.

Back then, movies and the world of celebrity were, by all means, a happy distraction from a world spinning out of control. For a few pennies, people could enjoy the antics of Andy Hardy, Shirley Temple and Our Gang and then, for an hour or so of this distraction from the harsh world outside.




Charlie Chaplin had a few good audience-grabbers by first eating his shoe and 
Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Mary Pickford 
Here's Judy Garland and her daughter, Liza Minnelli. I've always loved them. Always will. RIP Judy.
Back before the silent era was just beginning there was Vaudeville and The Ziegfeld Follies. Audiences were happily entertained by these live stage acts
Shirley Temple and Mickey Rooney were popular in the 1930's as the Great Depression left many with nothing. Children were particularly drawn to their movies.
My grandparents loved this duo, with their wonderful singing.
Judy Garland as Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz. She was told to lose weight for this role and was given dangerous diet pills to cut her appetite and that began a lifetime of drug addiction.


   
Little Shirley Temple, a precocious, adorable child star who, along with Andy Hardy's Mickey Rooney proved to be a delightful distraction from the scourge of The Great Depression that crippled farmers and left people destitute. Shirley was, hands down, a dancer, singer, actor and often did all three at once. I think that the celebrity culture began here. Her fans wrote heartfelt fan letters and plastered pictures of Temple on their bedroom walls.

Actually, films featuring Shirley Temple and Mickey Rooney were a godsend, as they provided a much-needed respite from the Great Depression and WW2. 
Girls everywhere swooned when this charismatic and gorgeous actor. His untimely death at  31 was a shock to everyone. He died after a ruptured gastric ulcer and general peritonitis.  It's interesting to know that the Latin actor, who was touring to promote his last film, an editorial in the Chicago Tribune accused Valentino of "effeminization of the American male". To counter this, Valentino challenged the editor to a boxing match to "prove his manhood" but it never took place.







Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks were married until they died. Their mansion, called Pickfair was eventually destroyed. A big mistake, but hey, that's Hollywood.

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The celebrity landscape has changed tremendously since the days of Shirley Temple and the Little Rascals. Many of today's stars are either painfully devoid of actual talent and/or accomplishments. Take the spate of reality shows that plague our airwaves and put a chokehold on any scripted shows that are often cancelled because their ratings dwarf in comparison to that extremely annoying, infantile family Kardashian. The sole reason these vapid, obnoxious and braindead bimbos are in Hollywood in the first place is because of their father, one of the prosecuting lawyers on the OJ Simpson murder trial. How that family managed to bullshit their way into a dynasty that would later spawn the sex change operation on a former star tennis player Bruce Jenner who transformed into a pretty rough woman named Caitlin, I will never know. Props to her for accomplishing this in front of the whole world, but that's the only positive element gleaned from this.

The TV landscape began to undergo a kind of metamorphosis, beginning in the late 1990's when two exploitive programs burst onto the scene: Survivor and Big Brother. Survivor was pretty entertaining the first few years, then went downhill quickly after that. Cheaters, liars and a host, Jeff Probst who chose his career over his girlfriend.I believe her name was Julie Barry, who was a contestant on the show. Big Brother got its name from the George Orwell  novel, 1984, where nobody had any privacy and were enslaved by a tyrant, Big Brother. This large house was equipped with cameras in every room except the bathroom, thank God. They always filmed in the summertime. There was a really nice inground swimming pool and furniture that was certainly not purchased at a Goodwill store. People turned on one another and after spending an hour with disgusting, nasty and even sadistic behaviour, I called it a day and never went back. These programs cost a lot less to make and the contestants, as far as I know, don't get paid much.They were somewhat entertaining, watching grown men and women stabbing each other in the back in order to win a lots of money. It wasn't enough that most of the people who sign up for such shallow programs look ridiculous. They had to be immoral as well.

American Idol was next. Actually, I enjoyed this singing competition, which, for all intents and purposes was little more than a glorified karaoke contest. The judges loved to humiliate these would-be "superstars". Simon Cowell has made a career from scathing, over-the-top nastiness and it has certainly been lucrative. This program spawned a dozen or so copycat contests. I won't waste time listing them. it would take over a week to tell you how many programs have been flooding the industry ever since. If you want, then go for it by all means.


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So, it appears that, by devoting more and more time to perusing  celebrity sites, our ever-shortening attention spans are filled with gossip fixations and very little else else: What really led to Brad and Angelina's  divorce?  What Hollywood personality has gained or lost weight this week? And the overwhelming fascination with those talently-challenged reality bimbos, the Karshadian family. Enough already. Force yourselves to turn the computer off and go outside. Get some much-needed exercise and fresh air. Start reading worthwhile books and catching up on all the hours and hours of sitting in front of a monitor. There's a big world out there. And people that aren't splashing you with cyberbullying, child pornography and photo after photo of skinny starlets. These are real and present strongholds that have the dubious ability to keep the miserable years of secondary school going, well after graduation.


Monday, 25 September 2017

The Unmasked Concubine


 The Unmasked Concubine


The visitors  no-one wants
They came in twos, side by side
The grim-faced officers, hats in hands
Spoke the words that sliced through your heart.

Ma-am, there's been an accident.
Is this your son? A high school photo.
Frozen in time; Just as your heart will be.
You nodded, your face  crumbling into dust.

Gus, a bright kid: Straight A's, a gentle soul
With loyal friends--over-achieving to make Dad proud.
Gus's father, Gilbert Hartman, expected perfection.
Goading his progeny with triggering results.

Sadly, when Alice Hartman called her husband
Sobbing uncontrollably, she pulled him to her:
"Our son is dead! His car was hit head on!"
Gilbert just stood there, facial muscles intact.

"Did you hear me? Don't you care that Gus's dead?"
Oddly, Gilbert's reaction never materialised.
No tears for his only son. What was wrong with him?
No remorse at all,  no pain had crawled from his eyes.

Then it slowly dawned on Alice that the father of her child
Appeared to be in a state of restrained jubilation.
"I don't get it,  Gilbert Hartman.  Are you glad our son was killed?
What kind of father are you? Say something! Damn you!!"

Gilbert shrugged. "Why the hell should I feel bad, Alice?
He's not my freakin' kid! Didn't you think I knew that, bitch?"
Alice's trembling legs were on the verge of collapse.
"Oh my God!" she cried, as he disengaged himself from the hug.

The next few weeks appeared to be awash in a fine mesh.
Alice couldn't bring herself to look at Gus's broken body
She had no recollection of the funeral; of Gus's horrified friends.
Her beloved, kind-hearted child was gone. Forever.

What's the price for a clandestine affair? A lifetime of guilt?
A cold husband who hates you? Your world imploding?
The Hartman's daughter, Elaine had been away for years
Condemning her mother for running into the arms of another man.

A week later, Alice Hartman's body washed ashore on a busy beach.    
Two boys approached it warily and ran to alert two lifeguards
"They're is a body covered in seaweed! I think it's a lady!"
The police were summoned. Then the corroner. Who was this?


The visitors  no-one wants
They came in twos, side by side
The grimfaced officers, hats in hands
Spoke the words that sliced through your heart.

Sir, there's been an accident.
Is this your wife? A high school photo.
Frozen in time; Just as your heart will be.
You nodded, your face  crumbling into dust.

Except the sociopathic Gilbert Hart
Showed a completely different reaction.
Far from one of unimaginable grief.
It was the face of restrained jubilation.

Now that Gilbert had erased his wife and child
He was free to marry his young, nubile, student

Virginia.

lonelyheroine 2017.

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You may be wondering why I have put a bunch of Pet Shop Boy photos underneath a pretty dark story. Well, I've been a big fan for eons and I have to say that their music was the inspiration for a lot of my writing. Not to mention being incredibly gorgeous.  I've put captions under the pictures here.  


Well, whoever put Neil's makeup on, appears to have stopped at his chin. 

Guys, we haven't gotten paid for agreeing to appear walking aimlessly through  your weirdass video "Can You Forgive Her" with the two of you wearing the dunce caps and the orange prison jumpsuits. 
Chris, I thought we had the option of execution by lethal injection. This is the tackiest electric chair I've ever sat in. Don't just stand there-say something.  It isn't necessary to stand behind me all the time, you know.
Nice try, Neil..
That crazy Spitting Image wasn't too far from the truth. So how the hell are we getting away with this?







  ...But the nun does it better


Chris, giving someone the raspberry while Neil cracks up.
This picture always freaks me out. It must mean something to Neil and Chris. Perhaps having nightmares about dismembered and beheaded bodies and metronomes that appear to have the severed head at the top. Spooky.
Chris under shrink wrap.
"Looking for a good time, sailor?" "Not really. But I'd love to know why you're wearing your sunglasses at night. Reminds me of that annoying singer, Corey Hart and that appallingly cloying voice uses in all his ballads."
Dapper Neil. He's got the coolest coats and clothes. Love the scarf.
That's some small print there.  It says, Isaac Hayes, who voiced the Chef character on the show, quit the show after this episode aired. It takes aim at pretty much everyone by suggesting Tom Cruise and John Travolta are gay, belittling Scientologists and even poking fun at R Kelly's epic Trapped In the Closet.  Not sure I can thank them too much, as the gay skewering is pretty rude. I wish they'd just focused on Scientology aka the death cult more.
Tina Turner and the Boys. Chris, I wish you could tell us what resulted in an actual outburst of laughter when Neil responded to an interviewer that Tina should be given an award.



Chris, we could hide a body in this steamer trunk
 South Park cartoon show. You know, the one that created a hilarious bit dissing Tom Cruise and Scientology. If I recall, it was called Trapped In the Closet.
"I get it. You really got me this time. So what am I supposed to do with this bizarre piece of crap?"
"Neil, I told you we should have worn sunglasses. We weren't apprised of  the number of cameras that would basically hold us captive. All part of the game, I guess."
If one more idiot asks me, "Hey, cowboy. Where's your horse?" I'll scream.