In February of 2004, You Learned:
HOW TO GENTLY RINSE THE BLOOD FROM YOUR HANDS.
Listen. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the new Mel Gibson film, The Passion of the Christ. Yesterday's cover of the esteemed NY Post boasted these twin messages: "Mel says, 'It's a hit!'" (mel has the humility of the christ) and "Our critics say, 'Too gory!'"
Several other critics and viewers have excoriated the film for its almost obsessive attention to violence, calling the film, "The Sado-Masochistic Passion of the Christ" and "Jesus Tastes the Whip of Shiny, Shiny Leather." One critic, at this web site, lashed out unnecessarily, saying, "If this movie's message doesn't make you believe in the glory of the Christ, it's probably only because you're jerking off to its violence...and shame on you for that, Ben Brown."
The New Yorker ripped Mel a new one for both the lavish, gory scenes and its clear message of anti-semitism. Denby asks, "I wonder, will people become better Christians if they are filled with the guilt, anguish, or loathing that this movie may create in their souls?" He makes a really compelling argument about the movie's hateful tone and spiritual abcess. I think this article would breed a lot of controversy and raise a lot of contemplation if ANYONE WHO READS THE NEW YORKER ACTUALLY BELIEVED IN GOD. But they don't, so it won't. Instead, religious minds will have to settle with Entertainment Weekly's slightly less provocative assessment of the film in their feature story, "Holy Melly! Don't be Cross - Give 'Christ' an Oscar!!"
I'm sure the movie is a sensitive portrayal of the last days of Gibson's Ė I mean, Jesus' Ė†life. And, though I haven't read all of the New Testament, I believe Mel Gibson probably did not take any liberties with its text. He has spent a lot of time evidencing all of the research he's done for the film. I have complete confidence that the scene in which Jesus Christ fights a mummy and kills it by shooting lasers from his eyes is right there in the gospels. Matthew was there! Paul was there! Wolfman was there!!
As for the buzz about the anti-semitism subtext of The Passion of the Christ Ė†a concern that unfortunately has not been allayed with the film's release Ė allow me to say this, as a representative Jew: sorry! Maybe we did kill the guy, but I have to be honest: it just didn't seem like a big deal at the time. You know? A lot of people got killed back then. It was just a historical inevitability. Just imagine how many other religions' potential savoirs were labeled heretics and murdered by the Catholic Church many centuries later! So, can't we just call it even? What if we promise not to murder any more Jesuses for at least for the next two hundred years? Come on! How about a hug?
[all i know is, if the jews ever beat this christ-killing rap, the romans are going to have a LOT to answer for. start getting your stories straight, guys.]
HOW TO BRAG LOUDLY ENOUGH FOR NO ONE TO HEAR.
My British Columbian connection has come through for me, and I can officially announce my return visit to The Coov in April. Why? Because I've got a ticket to see THE PIXIES. (ideally, this sentence should be punctuated by me slamming my locker door.) Perhaps it's a sort of in appropriately adolescent thing for a man of my advanced age, traveling across the border to see a reuinted rock bad, but I have a special sepia-toned place in my heart for this band. I know they'll make it to NYC eventually, but I don't think I could live with the shame of getting sold out for tickets and missing one of my favorite bands while they crunched on guitar chords right in my own backyard. Plus, let's be honest: in a contest between The Pixies in Vancouver vs. the The Pixies in NYC, I would give The Coov the decided advantage. The New York dates will be crowded and jaded, and those Canadians sure know how to enjoy things in earnest. (canadians consider vancouver audiences fairly jaded but, having witnessed several audiences there myself, they have nothing on new york city. this is a town where people will spend three months bragging about an upcoming show, and then spend the entire concert staring the band blank-faced, with arms folded.)
The only other time I saw The Pixies was 1989, on their Doolittle tour. (that comment could be interpreted two ways, depending on whether you're a "half-full glass" type person or a "fuck you for trying to establish your indie cred" type person. have fun.) Some friends and I drove nearly two hours to Syracuse University, where the band entertained no more than 200-250 enthusiastic college freshmen. This was back when The Pixies had earned a reputation for playing their set list in alphabetical order. "Debaser" came nice and early.
I spent the first half of the show pressed against the stage, because that was the desirable stance back then, and the second half about 12 feet from the stage, on the periphery of a small circle of kids who took it upon themselves to mosh at this, and every show. (this was before bands started making long-winded proclamations denouncing the habit of moshing. back then, when bands did this, i was like, "you get me!" now i realize they were just being old dudes.) We almost got into a scuffle with the floppy moshers, when my friend, Peter, decided to punch one of them square in the back, sending him skittling forward on his Doc Martens. Peter was the son of a rabbi, and as spontaneous as he was high-strung. I miss his violent temper.
If you see me at the Commodore Ballroom on April 23rd, say hello. I'll be the old, bald guy nodding his head rhythmically to "Crackity Jones" and trying vainly to stretch the weak fabric of his 50/50 "Death to the Pixies" shirt over his swollen, contented belly. Now that I've read that last sentence back, let me revise my request. If you see me doing that at the show, don't say hello. Just take my hand, lead me out of the venue, and help me into a pair of sensible chinos.
HOW TO GET REGULAR.
For all the many years I've lived in my neighborhood, I've never been able to establish "regular" status. This has been one of my constant complaints. My inability to stick is owed, in part, to a general aversion to routine. I don't like to eat at the same restaurants all the time, nor do I like to order the same thing on successive visits. My bar orders fluctuate between whisky, beer (domestic), beer (not domestic), Stoli with soda (because grown-ups i.e. drunks call their liquors and i call mine "mid-range priced") and, on occasion, a Slippery Nipple with a Jimmy Juice Secret Money Shot. (which is, essentially, Harvey's Bristol Cream and vodka shaken vigorously, and sprayed on the patron's face.) They can't nail my order down. And sometimes, instead of purchasing my morning latte/chai/green tea from the Starbucks on the corner of my block, I will buy it across the street, at the other Starbucks. (jokes!)
Another reason it's been so hard to establish myself as a regular is that I never make eye contact, I mumble my orders, I awkwardly slide my money across the counter, and I do about five hundred other conscious and unconscious things to ensure I've avoided any type of pyschic connection between myself and the person on the other side. For example, after five years of patronizing the video store in my neighborhood, I am still asked my last and first name every single time I rent a film. Even my mailman leaves my mail on the floor.
So it was with pleasant shock that I was treated royally at a coffee shop in a completely foreign neighborhood over the weekend. I helped a friend move into his new place in Chelsea, and out of his old refugee camp on the Upper West Side. (a 90s-block neighborhood whose chief virtue is its proximity to better neighborhoods) His new neighborhood is Chelsea, far west, bordering on the best parts of the gallery district. Within seconds of pulling up to his building in a U-Haul van, I learned more about his close neighbors than I've gleaned from my own building-mates over the last five years. (who is that guy with the shaved head???) Total strangers were making conversation, conjuring up coincidences, and letting us touch their dogs without a formal introduction. As much as I love my own neighborhood, I couldn't help but feel a pang of envy, as this was the kind of block young idealists imagine themselves strolling as they plan their pilgrimage to New York City. Sunday mornings probably smell like the hot ink of The New York Times. And this being a very gay neighborhood, its denizens are fastidious to a fault. People not only discard their trash in public waste receptacles; they make sure to fold it neatly before throwing it out.
At some point I wandered over to the coffee shop near my friend's new apartment, thinking a to-go cup with a sip lid and java sleeve would be the perfect accessory for this block. While there, I guess I was so enamored with the neighborhood that I indulged in something I try to avoid at all costs Ė small talk with the counter-person.
I know other people take great pride in their interactions with cashiers, taxi cab drivers, waitstaff, etc., detailing the conversations lovingly as a way of promoting their own cosmopolitan status. These stories are told or written as infomercials for The New York Experienceô and many of the people who tell them go on to make short, independent films in which a recently-single girl is mentored by a caustic but magically wise homeless person. (the homeless person is usually brimming with great quirks, like carrying a doll's head around in her lunchbox, or by being very smelly.) But this is not me.
Well, at least it usually isn't me, but Saturday I was on fire. And, after a few minutes of what I would conservatively describe as "scintillating" conversation, I was presented with a handwritten IOU for a free coffee on my next visit, officially besting the current champion of personally preferential treatment in my own neighborhood. (that prize belonged to my dry cleaner, who let me slide on a tab for one visit because i am "long time customer.")
This unexpected acceptance begs the question: is it ethically wrong to start patrolling a foreign neighborhood, and behaving as if it is my own? I mean, I still intend to sleep in my own bed and feed the cats in the morning, but can't I carry Whole Foods shopping bags around someone else's neighborhood, or haunt their coffee shops all day? I could be so happy there, during visiting hours. I really think I could establish myself as a neighborhood regular, as long as no one asks me where I live.
HOW TO RIDE THE BENCH WHEN YOU'D RATHER BE "RIDING THE BENCH".
Today, Adult Industry News released a list of the Top 20 Hardest Working Stars in Adult Entertainment.
As a companion piece, they also included a list of the Top 20 Least-Employed Adult Film Stars. Tough luck for these guys:
- Erik Neverhard
- Taint Burns
- Sucky Pierre
- Crusty Canyon
- Flaccid McSoftensmall
- Les Anal
- Dick Cancer
- Seymore Psychoanalysts
- Dwight D. Reisentower
- Ron Turds
- Ashley Inside
- Aryana Brotherhood
- Christian Scientist
- Art Enthusiast
- Randy Fullblownaids
- Ben Raped, III
- Hedda Gobbler
- Rexxx Depresseddd
- Penelope Smello'Pee
- Jennifer Juggs, Jr.
HOW TO FULLY BLOW YOUR CHANCE AT CONTRACTING AIDS.
When I last saw my physician, I left his office buoyed by a quiet feeling of mild reassurance. Unfortunately, that feeling was delicately placed over a massive, deafening anxiety that assured me I was dying from a large assortment of diseases living inside my penis.
I entered the doctor's office thinking, AIDS! GONORRHEA! EPIDIDYMITIS! STERILITY! COCK SPORES!! By the time I left, I was slightly cooled down, and was thinking only, STERILITY? HEART DISEASE? AIDS!! Now, with all of my test results back, I am officially clean inside and out, with regards to matters of the penis. It's almost disappointing, if only because I spent a great deal of time convinced of my various illnesses and behaved accordingly. Medicine has always been subordinate to superstition in my self-diagnoses.
Here's the thing about AIDS: I will say, without a doubt, that I have no interest in contracting the disease. (so please cool it with cold calls and direct mail "FREE AIDS" coupons.) However, I have fantasized about it in my most self-piteous moments. [disclaimer: i am fully aware AIDS is a serious disease, lest anyone think i take it lightly. i've friends who died from it, and others upon whom i've wished it.] While I was attending college during the early nineties, I became convinced that Iíd contracted AIDS; just as every semi-sexually active person in my generation was sure AIDS would strike each one of us dead just for brushing up against a woman at a party or using a Port Authority toilet. AIDS was the serial killer in an epic slasher film that found all young, unmarried people stumbling through the woods shrieking, snagging their tanktops on sharp dead branches as they went.
(as a kid i was fairly obsessed with ghoulish rubber cinema creatures and cheap slasher films. The serial killer on-the-loose films gripped me with fear, but i always felt comforted by the specificity of the killerís victims. to ensure my personal safety, i used to maintain a running list of potential victim categories from which i had immunity: bride-to-be; babysitter; horny camp counselor; prom queen nominee; grave robber; naturalist. the media, however, [falsely] portrayed AIDS as the all-encompassing serial killer, attacking anyone that harbored a lascivious thought, or donated some plasma. i could no longer keep myself off my own "potential victims" list, which was an extremely unsettling feeling for i had, unfortunately, donated plasma.)
At one point, I was so positive AIDS had claimed me that I steadfastly refused to even go in for testing, as I was already sure I knew the tragic results. I even shook off 20 pounds of pure fear, and the sight of my sharp bones only reinforced my belief that I was dirty and I was dying. I could think of nothing else. Midway through studying Russian writers, I would just curl up into a ball and weep, dead at 21.
During these murky spells, the weirdest delusion would creep through to the surface. After running through a mental dress rehearsal in which I saw myself breaking the news to my parents, professors, religious leaders, and FOUR sexual partners Ė three were virgins before we had sex Ė and then dismissing the notion of suicide because that would only curtail my humiliating public suffering, I actually started to fantasize about the celebrity and fame that would assuredly accompany my brand new AIDS.
MTV was running six AIDS news specials an hour, each with a new clear-skinned college student recounting his or her horrible poz story. (after taping, they were probably escorted from the 1515 Broadway studios with an "I Want My AZT" baseball cap and a sincere hug from Randy of the Redwoods.) These kids always provided the kind of amazing, implausible stories that fueled an entire generationís sexual paranoia. The Girl Who Only Made Love Once, With A Man She Met On A Cross-Continental Flight. The Boy Who Slipped In Some AIDS On The Soccer Field, As He Was Scoring The Winning Goal. The Coed Who Accidentally Drank A Glass Of AIDS At Her First College Keg Party. The Twins Who Gave Each Other Aids From Sharing An Umbrella In Africa. The Tween Who Contracted AIDS From Too Much Zaxxon. The Boy Who Cried AIDS And Then Was Bitten By A Wolf...WITH AIDS.
They were beautiful kids, and we fell in love with them just as surely as we feared them Ė R.I.P. Pedro from MTVís "Real World: San Francisco." I pictured myself as one of those ruined angels, blankly explaining to Tabitha Soren that I should have listened when my friends told me that girl from speech club was a skank. I had no way of substantiating the rumors with a signed confession or DNA samples, but she did wear a front-latch bra and, really, what kind of girl wears those? And, yes, even though we had protected sex and it was over very quickly, I could have contracted full-blown AIDS from letting her wear my Violent Femmes t-shirt to bed and then neglecting to wash it before wearing it again.
In my mind, I looked wonderful on television Ė a teenager who had everything now holding back tears in front of the entire country, contemplating his quick mortality, the hope scooped out of him like melon. It wasn't worth it, but it was.
But Magic Johnson was the canvas for the quintessential AIDS fantasy. After Magic was diagnosed with HIV, there was a brief moment of stunned silence followed by a hundred million parades, a book contract, PSA work, celebrity benefits, talk show appearances, and a veritable shower of AIDS awareness ribbons falling around his feet. It's strange and tragic, but it also started a second public celebrity career for him, just as he was approaching the age when retirement from professional basketball was more or less inevitable anyway. His diagnosis was very unfortunate, but the timing was pretty good.
So, in my spells of pronounced martyrdom, I would think, Maybe, as a middle-class heterosexual with no history of substance abuse, the worldwide AIDS activism community will embrace me (gingerly). I'll be grasping hands with Magic Johnson and that one other guy who admitted he has AIDS, at the Country & Western Grammyís. I'll be seated at the dais for $500-a-plate AIDS charity dinners. Advertisers will put me in their SuperBowl commercials, and remove my sarcoma with CGI to show the world how bright its future can be with the right investment bank. Iíll be waving from the prow of the "AIDS is Everywhere" float in the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Sharon Stone will return my calls.
More insane than believing a nineteen year-old heterosexual male with zero history of needle abuse or sex with prostitutes (or even unpaid sex partner, really) is in a serious risk group for AIDS, was believing Iíd be given the Magic treatment the moment my diagnosis went public. The unexpected perquisites associated with Magic Johnsonís HIV+ diagnosis are perfectly in line with the normal benefits of celebrity. In fact, they are no different, except the chocolate ganache at the charity dinners is just a little more bittersweet.
Thatís Magic. We donít get to live as well as Magic, even in Magicís darkest hour. As I see it, the only benefit most people see from AIDS is this: if you have AIDS and ask a friend for a sip of his drink, he will probably let you finish the whole drink yourself. So, if you play your cards right, you might get some free Pepsi. And, as a friend pointed out, youíll probably get a lot more hugs than you were accustomed to, and a lot fewer kisses.
To most people who donít suffer from AIDS and havenít really experienced being around it, hugging an AIDS victim might be their absolute most courageous moment. They will hug you hard and tight, careful to keep their heads turned and their breathing orifices pointed away from yours, and when they release you, if you look very quickly, you will see a quick glimmer in their eyes. That glimmer is not an unspoken blessing of hope, nor is it unconditional love. It is merely a gesture that says, "I did it!!" Itís easy to spot recently-converted AIDS huggers, because theyíre always the ones who stare daggers at you, then roll their eyes in the direction of the AIDS sufferer, silently demanding you hug them. "Donít be so selfish!" their eyes will insist. "He needs this now, and you canít catch AIDS from hugging. Just donít drink from his straw."
HOW TO WIN AN ADDY IN YOUR SLEEP.
I'm concerned, again. Last night I dreamed a fully realized 30-second advertising spot for Toys'R'Us. Granted, it's not my greatest work but it was pretty extraordinary that the entire spot came to me in my dream. (it should be noted that i never have sex dreams, and any element of sex that enters my unconscious is usually accompanied by some foreboding or discouraging element - visions of hellfire, superfluous genitals, appearances by my grandmother, steely dan. sex dreams are a tall order for me, but i often dream of advertising. once, i made up a sniglet in my dream but it was only funny/relevant if you were asleep.)
When I woke up I was certain the commercial was real, but if it isn't, I'm going to make it real right now. The basic idea was that a team of monsters - not draculas or mummies, but those kinds of great overlord-type creatures that appear in fantasy stories or episodes of He-Man: Masters of the Universe - are playing a team of Toys'R'Us employees in a quiz show game, kind of like College Bowl or Answers, Please.
The quizmaster is describing various monsterish toys sold at Toys'R'Us and the teams are asked to identify them. The real monsters are having a difficult time. They are good with faces, but bad with names. They seem to "know" all of the monsters but cannot correctly identify them, so perhaps one member of the team will see a photograph or a replica of a scale-covered, slime-oozing ogre armed with a spiked hammer and the monster teammate says something like, "Argh! I know that guy!! What's his name? Lives in the Shadow Forest. He used to be in my car pool!! Oh, by Valdemont's Crack, I cannot summon his name!" And so on.
The Toys'R'Us employees, however, seem to know every last bit of information about all of the monster toys discussed in the quiz show. They're just nailing one after the other, much to the dismay of the real monster competitors. Because TOYS'R'US EMPLOYEES KNOW THEIR SHIT!!
The commercial ends with one of the monsters buzzing in and, looking at a model of a giant robotic spider, says, "Tarantu-lor? us? asaurus?"
This dream actually began, not with a commercial, but with God delegating the responsibility of determining monster-naming conventions to me. I am being absolutely serious right now. One of the rules provided that male monsters be given the suffix "lor," if their animal-root names ended in a vowel. For example, a monster-sized tarantula would now be named TARANTULOR. If that tarantula is female, however, she would be given the suffix "lara." As in TARANTULARA. Makes sense, right? There were many more rules, but you'll have to wait until I publish my updated 2004 edition of Yet Even More Boring Bullshit for Nerdy Gaylords, with a new foreword by Penn Jillette. (that guy's still got the juice!)
After I woke from the dream, I developed several other spins on this same commercial, including one in which a monster is on a game show by himself and has to call a Toys'R'Us employee as his lifeline. And a couple other ideas even worse than that.
The great irony here is that, in reality, Toys'R'Us employees are possibly the least knowledgeable and least cuddly employees in the entire retail universe. Maybe that's not a perfectly true statement but they are certainly the scariest employees in relation to one's expectations. The teenaged kids who skulk around the store's ramshackle displays of board games and Fisher-Price Meth LAbs are surly, dismissive, and often pregnant. You may walk into a Toys'R'Us in Manhattan, expecting the employees to be riding around on scooters and squirting customers with Super Soaker rifles, but you will probably end up exiting the store thankful that you were able to leave with your life.
On the few occasions I've had to shop at Toys'R'Us Ė usually for replacement Hulk Hands, or for Hulk Hand accessories, like Hulk Hand mittens, Hulk Hand press-on nails, and Hulk Hand Creme Ė I always do two things as soon as I step back outside. First, I exhale, because I am afraid of inhaling the cloud of crack smoke that hangs thick over the store's LEGOland display. Then, of course, I check for entry wounds.
HOW TO PUT THE SHINE BACK IN ROMANCE.
A couple of nights ago, I ran into a friend of mine at a bar. This is usually where I do my running-into lately, and I'm not sure yet if this is cause for alarm. (i've also noticed that i'm drinking whiskey with startling regularity lately -- at least for me. i keep thinking all the blood vessels in my nose are on the verge of bursting at once, in one horrible symphony. somehow this seems more significant to me than the very real possibility of bottoming out at the bottom of an alcoholic tailspin, with blackouts and incontinence and herpes and bad poetry and all the other trappings of problem drinking.)
Since this friend is not someone with whom I am very close, we warmed up to conversation by recounting the last time we'd seen each other. It was outside a comedy club, where she was barking. (that's industry lingo for "begging people to come inside and see a comedy show they had no intention of seeing, instead of heading over to The Slaughtered Lamb for a 'Dr. Sauza and Mr. Cointreau' drink special, which is what they've been planning since exiting the Grey Line Bus Tour.") As she was describing that evening, she managed to say the least sentimental thing I've ever heard come out of a woman's mouth. This is no small feat, but here it is:
"Yeah, so I was standing on the street and some douche gave me a rose."
I've heard a lot of cynicism in my post-adolescent years, much of it on my own outgoing voicemail messages, but this had to be the greatest. There's something perfectly disgusting in the juxtaposition of the words "rose" and "douche." They just rub up against each other so uncomfortably. I was sort of impressed.
Then I got to thinking: that actually might make a really nice greeting card for Valentine's Day. For instance, the outside of the card could be written in those swoopy Edwardian script letters favored by greetings card companies. It would just read, "I was standing on the street, and some douche gave me a rose..." Then, when you open it up, the thought is completed with great gentleness: "...and today I wish that douche were you." Pretty, right?
I have a good friend who was reared on Midwestern soil, and she specializes in stretching a silver lining around anything, no matter how impossible the fit. (sometimes it's fun to watch her think, her mind almost straining at the task.) I guess this is just a little bit of me trying to do the same.
HOW TO REFINE YOUR TASTE.
This year's Superbowl is probably already being criticized for having "the worst commercials ever," a charge that has no doubt been levied against the Superbowl every single year for the last 15 years. However, for the first time, I'm inclined to support the claim. I can't believe how lazy the spots were, for the most part. It's as if the advertisers sort of gave up on creating memorable concepts - assuming the 1984 Apple spot still remains the benchmark of achievement in Superbowl advertising spots - and just kind of settled comfortably for farting horses and dogs with boners. Because, well, who doesn't like that? (don't look at me.)
I wish I were exaggerating, but it was all there, bumpered between the Superbowl's typical ode to smacking muscle and its new advocacy of sexual wilding. (nice career moves, guys!) The Superbowl commercials featured the comic antics of horses, donkeys, bears, monkeys, and dogs, among other things. In case you missed the show, here is a round-up of some of the more talked-about spots:
The year is 1953. A young African-American boy stands at a crossroads, deciding whether to give his quarter to a Pepsi vending machine or a Coca-Cola vending machine. As he gives up his loose change to Pepsi, and slugs from the bottle, we learn that young boy is Jimi Hendrix! Then we cut to a circus elephant taking a huge shit on the Coca-Cola machine. Close call, Jimi!
John Nuveen & Company
This bond company has become a household name, if only because of its controversial advertising. In their latest spot, an update on a previous Superbowl ad, Christopher Reeve is seen poised in the wings, seated in his wheelchair, as someone stands behind a lectern and announces his name to accept an award. Rather than wheeling himself to the speaker, Reeve miraculously stands and (with the aid of CGI effects) walks to the lectern. Just as he's about the reach the lectern, a jack russell terrier jumps from its owner's lap, races onstage, leaps high in the air, and bites down on Reeve's crotch with a loud "kerrunch!" The rooms gasps, then falls silent, and Reeve, with a great pained expression and a pinched castrata voice, says, "now that's just super, man."
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Two stoned teenagers blow pot smoke into their dog's face, to get the dog high. The dog staggers outside, on to the driveway, bumping against the doorway as it goes, and the teenagers' laughter grows into loud hysterics. Then we cut to a close-up of a car's steering column, and a dog's paw turning the key in the ignition. Cut back to the two teens, still giggling, now on the floor of their living room, playing video games. They hear an engine rev, then tires squealing, then the loud crash of a deadly vehicular collison. One of the kids' eyes widen. He drops his controller, stands up, and says, "Dinky!"
H & R Block
A woman masturbates a horse. As the horse is about to climax, the camera cuts away to a business person holding a briefcase. He is staring at the coupling in disgust. As we hold on his face, we hear the horse whinny. Then the business person dryly comments, "I would never do such a thing," and heads into his office. As he pushes through the revolving door, the camera swings up and outward, revealing the business name above the door: H&R BLOCK.
A woman masturbates a horse. As the horse is about to climax, the camera cuts away to a business person holding a briefcase. He is staring at the coupling in awe. As we hold on his face, we hear the horse whinny. Then he pumps his fist in the air, shouts, "AWESOME!" and heads into his office. As he pushes through the revolving door, the camera swings up and outward, revealing the business name above the door: Anheuser-Busch.
Public Service Announcement for the Prevention of Child Abuse
Stark, white set. A small girl -- around 6 years old -- is seated on the floor, and illuminated by soft, white light. The girl is freckled, and wears her hair in braids. She has a band-aid on one knee and is petting a kitten. We hear only the sound of a kitten purring, then a voice-over (narrated by glenn close) that is gentle, but concerned. "The difference between a bright future and a dark journey starts in your own home. If you know a child is being abused and you do nothing, the problem doesn't just go away. Your words, your love can protect a child like this [CLOSE-UP OF GIRL'S FACE, NUZZLING THE KITTEN] from this:" CUT TO: A woman masturbating a horse.