Unlike a great celebrity or an internationally renowned event, my annual Felix Awards do need an introduction, but rather than waste time trying to come up with a truly appropriate one, let’s just get on with the honors—the wacky wrap-up of the year in tears, fears, queers, and male brassieres. These tawdry trophies make the Golden Globes look relevant. And the Felixes go to . . .
KOOKY BEHAVIOR: Scott Peterson‘s amour, Amber Frey, held a press conference to announce that she didn’t want any more publicity.
KOOKIER BEHAVIOR: Madonna said, as her fame threatened to wane, that she’d just gotten her values straight. and fame is not that important anyway.
KOOKIEST BEHAVIOR: Michael Jackson said in a televised interview that he regularly conducts sleepovers with kids, sharing cookies and stories with them. “It’s charming,” he cooed, insisting on the sweetness of the whole scenario. “Who’s Jack the Ripper in the room?” Gee, I don’t know . . . you?
SHEER INSANITY: We were fighting for the liberation of Iraq, but on our own shores, celebs who spoke out against the war—the Dixie Chicks, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, and Janeane Garofalo—were crucified, making one wonder when we were going to liberate the freakin’ U.S., you know?
AND IN 100 YEARS, WILL ANYONE BELIEVE . . . : That, furious at the French for not joining our attacks on Iraq, righteous Americans consumed shitloads of french-fried potatoes with the stipulation that they be called “freedom fries”? Can someone say “les morons”?
EVEN BEYOND THAT: Disgraced “reporter” Jayson Blair tried to turn his shameful career of lying and evasion into a near triumph, whereby he gloriously brought down the archaic house of The Washington Post. (Yes, I know it was The New York Times. I purposely threw in that mistake to see if it would make me famous and get me a book deal.)
WAIT, EVEN BEYOND THAT, PEOPLE: Critic Roger Ebert hated Vincent Gallo‘s The Brown Bunny, so Gallo publicly wished Ebert would get cancer. Not long afterward, Ebert announced he had cancer. Note to Gallo: I loved The Brown Bunny!
COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR: You’re getting into an elevator to go up to your apartment. You’re only 30 seconds from the home front, but you still pull out your cell phone and call your machine to see if you have messages. Friends of mine have done this!
EXTRAORDINARILY FUCKED-UP BEHAVIOR: All those Nick at Nite types on those E! True Hollywood Story shows who act as if their cheesy sitcoms were the television equivalent of Death of a Salesman. You know, “The writers were very careful never to violate the integrity of the relationship between Chrissy and Mr. Roper,” blah blah blah. What integrity? Shuh-up.
TACKIEST PERSONAGE OF THE YEAR: Ned Beatty trashed his Cat on a Hot Tin Roof co-stars Ashley Judd and Jason Patric in a New York Times interview, saying they don’t really have the chops for theater. Even if they’re awful (and Patric practically is), Beatty’s condescension was appalling, especially since he was disrupting an ongoing production. What’s more, Beatty’s best known for going “soo-eee, soo-ee” in Deliverance! Shuh-up double time!
BIGGEST BORE: Angelina Jolie, who used to wear vials of blood and publicly make out with her brother and surrogate daddy, suddenly started exuding a maternal glow, radiating an inspiring sense of purpose while clearly knowing all the answers (if not the questions). Boring! Hey, girl, you were way more fun as a fucked-up refugee from The Addams Family. At least Courtney Love has the friggin’ decency to still act messy once in a . . . a lot!
HE’S GOT A GREAT FACE FOR RADIO. IN FACT, TWO OF THEM: Right-wing blabber Rush Limbaugh, who for years had demonized drug abusers as practically inhuman, was suddenly revealed to be a painkiller addict who’d allegedly procured his piles of pills through a black-market drug ring. “I’m no role model,” admitted Rush, finally saying something I fucking agree with!
SOUR KRAUT: Days before the election for California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger was accused of having praised Hitler and, worse, wanting to lick a woman’s asshole!
THAT BITCH OF A BLACKOUT: A real reality show, honey. No lights, water, elevator, TV, computer, nada—please, I am so not cut out for that sort of thing. If I had read the second day’s headlines about what a party the whole mess had supposedly turned out to be, I really would have gone out of my gay gourd. Fortunately, I couldn’t climb down the stairs in the dark to stumble my way to a newsstand and buy a paper, which wouldn’t have been there anyway.
AND WHAT ABOUT THOSE FREAKIN’ REALITY SHOWS?: When the game show scandal erupted in the ’50s, at least the viewing public managed to act outraged that they’d been so shamelessly manipulated and lied to. Now we gleefully subject ourselves to a barrage of obviously contrived and scripted docudramas without giving a shit that they’re so blatantly full of hooey. How ill. How Jayson Blair. Really.
BUT I LOVE ME SOME GAME SHOWS, ESPECIALLY WHEN JEOPARDY IS FEATURING WILD-ASSED CATEGORIES LIKE: “Chicks With Bics.” Yes, it was a completely innocuous reference to women who write, but it was also clearly a takeoff on the familiar phrase “chicks with dicks.” This was so not Jeopardy-like, and the twisted sister in me absolutely adored its subtle subversion. On the other hand, I don’t care for the show’s introduction of product-placement categories like “Necco SweetHearts.” You can buy a Jeopardy category now? What is: That’s sick!
AWARDS-SHOW KISSES IN DESCENDING ORDER OF FABULOUSNESS: Creepy comics Garry Shandling and Brad Garrett on the Emmys; longtime collaborators Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman on the Tonys; trophy-holding overenthusiasts Adrien Brody and Halle Berry on the Oscars; strangers in the night Scott Wittman and Sarah Jessica Parker on the Tonys; and finally, floozy chantoozies Madonna and Britney Spears/Christina Aguilera at the VMAs. The same-sex aspect of it was fine—but ewww, the age difference!
BEST MOVIES I SAW: Irreversible, Raising Victor Vargas, Capturing the Friedmans, Finding Nemo, 28 Days Later, School of Rock, The Triplets of Belleville, and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. (All right, I’m hopelessly lowbrow, but at least I like a good old time and maybe even a greasy grope in the dark. Oh yeah, and I loved The Brown Bunny! A lot!)
WORST MOVIES: It Runs in the Family, Anger Management, Gigli, The Hulk (the first half—I couldn’t make the second), Wonderland (ditto), Pirates of the Caribbean (sorry, I found it a big bore, and I usually like moronic romps), Anything Else, Mystic River, 21 Grams, Love Actually (which was shit, actually—and shouldn’t it have a comma?).
MOVIE TRENDS: Teen violence, little people, conjoined twins, Japan, fish, the 19th century, crappy movies.
SADDEST “FUN FACT” THAT I SAW FLASHING ON-SCREEN BEFORE A FEATURE: “Which star lost 80 percent of her hearing in one ear from a physically abusive boyfriend? Answer: Halle Berry.” Party! (By the way, I hope she didn’t lose the other 20 percent when Adrien Brody kissed her.)
WHOM DO YOU MISS MORE?: Katharine Hepburn or Buddy Hackett? Johnny Cash or Fred “Rerun” Berry? No, I’m really asking.