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Thursday, March 23, 2006

More Scientology Drama/My Apologies to Zach Braff

In the last few weeks this blog has been getting many hits from all over the world. Like, insane amounts of hits.
"My, aren't I awesome," I thought.
Using, I suddenly realized how I was getting so many hits. Apparently, if one were to type in the phrase "Scientology Beliefs" into most search engines a few weeks ago, the Nicsperiment would come up in the top ten, and for a short while, number one.
Apparently, this was because of my "Just another reason to find Scientology absolutely ridiculous" post from last November, which recapped South Park's then just aired "Trapped in the Closet" episode.
Finally, I have fallen down on the search engine lists, but I am still getting beaucoup hits from people interested in Scientologists' beliefs. CRAZY!
Well, if you've been following popculture news lately, you have seen the recent drama over Issac Hayes("Chef", Musical Genius)'s departure from South Park, reportedly due to South Parks' "religious intolerance and bigotry". The South Park creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, hit back by saying that Hayes was only leaving because the show made fun of Scientology, his religion, and that he had been fine with cashing checks while making fun of other religions. Stone and Parker then issued a hillarious indictment against Scientology, pledging to disrupt their plans to "save the world".
Now there is news that Hayes had a stroke three months ago, and someone else is making these statements in his name, and also news that Hayes loves South Park and would never have made that decision and that statement. Granted, this news came from Fox "News", so who knows where it is coming from, but the whole thing is really up in the air and confusing right now.
Last night marked South Park's 10th season premiere, which was, as usual, right on topic. The episode, titled "Return of Chef!", skewered recent events, with Chef returning to South Park from travels with the Super Adventure Club (SAC). Now, Chef, who once wanted nothing more than to make sweet, sweet love to women, wants to make sweet, sweet love to children.
That's right. The Super Adventure Club is actually a group of men who travel the world molesting children, and they have brainwashed Chef into joining them.
Chef is still voiced by Hayes, but all of his dialogue is taken from previous episodes, which is pretty disturbing and pretty funny.
The children eventually de-brainwash Chef, but SAC won't take this for an outcome and hypnotizes Chef again. Chef ultimately decides to leave South Park for good, but is immediately killed in a way I don't want to spoil.
At his funeral, which is surprisingly sad (I thought I was going to tear up for reasons I will list further down), Kyle (I think it was Kyle. I can't remember. Maybe it was Stan. It doesn't matter) says, "We shouldn't be mad at Chef for leaving us. We should be mad at that fruity little club for scrambling his brains." And I am mad at that fruity little club.
I really like Issac Hayes' music. For some reason I saw the movie "Shaft" at a ridiculously young age. I have frequently referred to Hayes as "the man." I have his Ultimate Issac Hayes boxed set. So, I highly suspect that we should be mad at "that fruity little club for scrambling his brains." In my opinion, I don't think Hayes left South Park. I really think someone else made the decision for him. It is my utmost hope that Hayes rehabilitates from his stroke, comes out to say that he never made those comments about South Park, rejoins the show, and ditches Scientology. I do not like Scientology. While I am a Christian, I deeply respect others' beliefs (as most Christians around the world actually do), as long as I do not find those beliefs to be harmful (and any casual reader of this blog knows I am just as critical to certain Christian's "beliefs" that I find harmful). I find Scientologists' beliefs to be harmful.
Want a new Wikipedia link?
Yeah, you do!
Here is the one to L.Ron Hubbard. Want to follow this man's "teachings"? Scientology really pisses me off. Why do Scientologists have to act like little bitches all the time? Why can't they take it when they are criticized? You see Kirstie Alley's letter to Rolling Stone magazine after RS's expose? You hear about Tom Cruise reportedly keeping South Park's "Trapped in the Closet" episode out of Europe?
If Scientologists don't have anything to hide, why are they acting like paranoid-schizo maniacs? As a Christian, I am not worried about the coming "DaVinci Code" movie because I know the movie and book are bullshit. I am not going to write the movie company producing it and call them "intolerant bigots". I'm a man. People are going to disagree with what I believe.
And on to matters where I do not piss off thousands of whiny little pussies, let me issue an open letter of apology to Zach Braff.
Dear Zach Braff,
Zach Braff, I have always liked you as a media figure. I enjoy the program you star in, Scrubs, and I enjoy your performance in that program.
When I heard of a new film you were writing, directing, and staring in, Garden State, I was surprised and a little apprehensive to hear it being described as this generation's The Graduate. After an initial viewing of the film, I was disappointed. While I enjoyed aspects of the film, I made it widely known that I found it to be nihilistic and empty.
Well, after watching the film again recently, I must say that I was wrong, wrong, wrong, in assessing your film as such. Your film is not nihilistic or hopeless. While I do not think Garden State is this generation's Graduate (and I doubt we will have one--and anyway, I don't think you were going for that. It's not your fault people compared the two films as such), and do not think that Garden State is a great film, I think that it is a good film, refreshing to watch, hopeful in outlook, and an admirable first effort. I think you did a good job of crafting an original romantic-comedy/coming of age film, and I seriously look forward to any other films you make. You are quite good in Scrubs, and there are many times I empathize with your character, which is not only due to the show's writing, but also to your performance. I am sorry that I initially came out so aggresively against your film. I was an asshole. You did a good job.

If anyone can get this to Braff for me, please due so. Also, if anyone knows where I can go to "Paranthesis Overuser's Anonymous" (POA), please let me know.


Jon said...

POA is currently working on opening a chapter here in Baton Rouge. Apparently there are a lot of english majors such as yourself at LSU and Southern who need help, but just don't know where to go.

leslie said...

i'm signed up for POA. i just can't seem to write a sentence without needing to include a side-thought in parentheses (though i do enjoy bracets, but only occasionally).

you misspelled hilarious. it only has one l.

-E said...

You know, you could really get that to Zach Braff by posting it as a comment on his blog...he claims to actually read them (though how he reads them all I don't know) but he refers to some of them. He doesn't post frequently though. Yes, he is my celebrity crush and I would drop trou on command should he so desire.

That said, I thought Garden State was good (love the soundtrack) and bought the DVD. But I don't find it to be the transcendental film of my lifetime. In fact, I thought the ending of it sucked. It went on longer than it needed to. Movies don't need to spell everything out for me. I like them better when they don't.

Oh, and hey there. *hug*

Anonymous said...


It was pretty funny after Neal and I saw this in the theater because I wrote him an email in which I tell him it reminded me of "The Graduate," which he hadn't seen yet (at that time). Only then did he tell me that many people were saying that on the critiques he was reading online. I was oblivious to this until he told me this.

Let me explain MY reasoning for saying this, though, which had nothing to do with the automaton attitude or the coming home, semi-rebellious, don't care anymore feel. The movie itself didn't feel like The Graduate as much as the music made it feel like The Graduate. Without the soundtrack it had (including, fittingly enough, a S&G track), this film would not have reminded me of TG at all. My feeling (and it was a feeling more than something I could explain, at first, due to the feeling coming from the music and not the actual movie) was that the music fit the scenes so well just as S&G fit TG quite well, blending the characters, dialogue, and action so seamlessly with the songs that they seemed to be part of the dialogue itself.

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