THE WEEK FROM MY VIEW

by James Killough

As tedious as it is, I suppose I do have to comment on Governor Chris Christie—so evil they named him twice—vetoing the New Jersey State Legislature’s vote to legalize gay marriage.  In a nutshell, I basically agree with Karl Lagerfeld when he said that Christie “is a little too fat.”

26-year-old Zylka is in the upcoming "Spider-Man" reboot. He's a total hunny. Period. (Photo: Arnaldo Anaya-Lucca)

“No one want to see curvy American politicians,” Lagerfeld continued.  “You’ve got fat straight men with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that all thin homos are ugly.”

Lagerfeld didn’t really say that about Christie, or about blubbery Str8s like him.  He said it last week about Grammy Award-winner Adele and fat women in general.  Herr Karl is far too lofty to pay attention to regional American politics, even though the outcome state by state affects all Gheys nationwide.  Because he hopefully doesn’t have sex any more, Lagerfeld has ceased to be gay in the strictest sense, anyway, and has simply become a zombie-troll version of that most fatuous of all gay subtypes: the fashion ninny.

Even though I am a huge fan of his comedy, Brüno was by no means my favorite of Sacha Baron Cohen’s films or sketches: the plot was thin and uninteresting, even for broad comedy, and the character was grating after a while, as all fashion ninnies are.  Like all great satire, Brüno is based on real stereotypes; even GLAAD, a.k.a. the Swish Inquisition, was unable to condemn either the character or the movie outright because there are too many Lagerfeld-ish air-headed fashionistas out there who prove Cohen right.

Admit it, the similarities are staggering.

Fat fuck Governor Christie says the people of New Jersey should make the decision whether to give us equal rights in a referendum; he must think the people’s representatives in the state legislature are not really representing the people who voted for them.  As one wag in the comments section of The Daily Beast said, maybe the people of New Jersey should also vote on whether morbidly obese people should be forced to eat only salad.

To her credit, Adele shot back at Lagerfeld: “I’ve never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines.  I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that.”  Of course, Vogue successfully twisted Adele’s arm and forced her to appear on the cover of their March issue, if not representing for the fat bitches, then certainly representing for the buxom divas.

I’ve never understood what all the fuss is about Lagerfeld, even when he was almost as fat as Christie.  While I won’t say the emperor has no clothes, he certainly doesn’t design them very well, in my opinion, and he dresses like Pee Wee Herman’s lovechild with Isabela Blow.

I agree with Joan Walsh when she wrote today that Republican fat bastards like Rush Limbaugh must be secret Democrats what with their rhetoric and deeds working so much in Obama’s favor.  The same applies to Christie.  Keep sharpening those swords, boys: all the better for you to fall on.

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You can always bank on straight ninny Sean Penn to open his mouth for more than just churrasco with extra-garlicky chimichurri sauce while in Argentina.  He called the British rule over the Falkland Islands “colonialist, moronic and archaic,” which understandably caused an uproar in the UK.  Of course, said uproar was barely heard in the States because we haven’t taken Penn seriously since Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Penn looks ready for a tango lesson from La Presidente Kirchner.

Britain’s position is the people of the Falklands should decide who rules them.  Being of British descent, the English-speaking islanders naturally want to stay with their mother country, and are understandably terrified of coming under Argentine rule.  That would be true colonial aggression.  The Falklands might be close to Argentina physically, but culturally they’d might as well be part of the Channel Islands half a world away.

The islanders themselves showed Penn what they thought of his comments with a display of patriotism today: they drove a mile-long convoy of SUVs out of the capital, Stanley, into the countryside, and presumably had a lovely picnic of warm beer and soggy sandwiches, not vino tinto y churrasco.

British historian Dr. Tim Stanley wrote a fairly humorous piece in the conservative broadsheet The Telegraph about how Penn was occupying part of Mexico with his Malibu estate and should give it back, a comparison which really drove home just how scary it would be for the Falkland Islanders if they came under Argentine rule.  Anyone who has driven from San Diego in the former “Alta” California, to Tijuana, the capital of Baja California that is still part of Mexico, can see the world of difference between Anglo and Latino governance on the exact same stretch of terrain.  And that difference is alarming.

An oppressed colonist shows what he really thinks about Argentina.

Indeed, Dr. Stanley has a point; percentage-wise, there are more Spanish speakers in Penn’s hometown of Los Angeles than there are on the Falkland Islands, which is self-governing (the UK provides defense and takes care of foreign affairs).  Mexico has a far stronger right both historically and geographically to reclaim Alta California; at least the territories are contiguous, not islands off Mexico’s coast.

In any case, why Penn would want to go against the wishes of the Falkland Islanders themselves and force them into a true nightmare of colonialism under a chaotic Spanish-speaking South American government is just bonkers.  Then again, we’re talking about one of Venezuelan looney-tunes dictator Hugo Chavez’s biggest celebrity endorsers, so it’s not really that much of a surprise.

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History is replete with stories about groups of girls being gripped with what used to be called “hysteria,” which has now be renamed “mass hallucination.”  The Salem witch trials weren’t nearly as funny as the current outbreak of Tourettes symptoms among a clutch of twenty girls in rural upstate New York.  The town of Le Roy, hitherto world famous because of its Jell-O Museum, has in recent months been besieged by journalists trying to uncover the truth behind the outbreak of twitching.

Not exactly the Guggenheim.

As readers of this blog know, there is nothing I love more than a crunchy case of mental illness, and if it’s a group case then all the better.  After months of methodically ruling out any possibility of toxins in the local water supply—the good burghers of Le Roy even called in environmental crusader Erin Brockovitch to see if she could unearth something organic as an cause—it seems that the townsfolk are resigning themselves to the fact this is indeed a mass psychogenic illness, a rare phenomenon that happens exclusively to groups of girls in rural communities.

The girls and their families seem to be ashamed that there isn’t some deeper, more nefarious outside influence at the root of their tics.  I disagree.  I think these symptoms are very real, even if they are psychogenic.  Mass hysteria is fascinating, provided you aren’t the one being accused by a group of writhing, frothing nuns in a medieval convent of being the devil, like no doubt I would be had I lived back then.  That sort of hysteria tended to have dangerous consequences, as it did in Salem.

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Someone Lagerfeld would no doubt call “ugly and unfashionable… and, please, there is no excuse for all those chins in this day and age,” is the extremely gruesome Frank VanderSloot, co-chair of Mitt Romney’s national finance committee.  VanderSloot is, of course, a Mormon and a billionaire whose fortune has been made on a pyramid scheme of health products called Melaleuca.

"Who you callin' four eyes?" Herr Vandersloot mit Herr Romney.

Not content with backing virulently anti-gay campaigns, such as the one in support of Prop 8 in California, VanderSloot has for a long time been going after bloggers and journalists who print the slightest negative comment about him.  Salon has an alarming, in-depth article by Glenn Greenwald here, which I urge everyone to read.  And in retaliation, everyone should blog just the most gratuitously slanderous stuff about him until his lawyers drop from exhaustion.

What is so amazing is that even a magazine like Forbes would capitulate to frivolous threats of defamation lawsuits by VanderSloot’s lawyers and take down an article.  While I have a funny feeling that Forbes did it merely out of Republican Old Boy Network loyalty, I can barely understand why so many bloggers and smaller publications can be so ignorant of their First Amendment rights that they would give in to this distinctly un-American form of plutocratic tyranny.  Even Mother Jones, of all pubications, succumbed to VanderSloot’s pressures.

As I have blogged before when I was threatened with a defamation lawsuit by Seema Khalia and responded by thumbing my nose at her in a follow-up post that dared her to do it, these things are at best idle threats.  VanderSloot is definitely a public figure who would have no chance of winning any of the lawsuits he has threatened against bloggers and journalists if he actually followed through with them.  What surprises me is that people who are so good at digging up the dirt on monsters like VanderSloot—and, yes, Frank, that is my opinion about you, which I am allowed to express free of any fear of retribution from you, just as you are free to have your no-doubt bigoted opinion about my sexuality—can’t do a little bit of homework about their rights.

At the end of the day, there is nothing to fear even from billionaires with deep pockets.  In fact, lots of money just makes the not-so-frivolous countersuit all the juicier for the pro-bono legal pit bull I’d engage if I were indeed ever slapped with a SLAPP lawsuit.  (Such a countersuit is delightfully called a SLAPPback, which Lagerfeld agrees is just so moi.)

So, to LGBT activist Jody May-Chang and everyone else out there uncovering the truth about this VanderSchmuck and others like him: Go get ‘em, tigers.

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Between the fat-obsessed former fat bitch Lagerfeld and Sean “Whatever, Dude” Penn and teens with twitches, there’s already been so much madness in this weekly roundup it almost seems like gilding the lily to name a Schizo of the Week.

Once again, I had little luck combing the streets of Hollywood for a specimen, namely because I was laid up with a cold most of the week and barely even made it to the gym, which for a homosexual is like a misguided pyramid-scheming Mormon not being able to pay his tithe to the LDS.

Without doubt the craziest person I ran across this week was Daniel Kaufman, a.k.a. The Montauk Grifter.  From the extensive coverage on Gawker, Kaufman is the most fascinating case of pseudologia fantastica, or compulsive lying, that I’ve run across in years.

Rather good montage of Kaufman lifted from Gawker.

What always amazes me is how well these characters do, how far their lies can take them for so long, even after people have uncovered the truth.  It must be thrilling to be them, to see how much you can get away with.  And if you get busted?  Just break down in tears like the profusely lachrymal Kaufman and confess you have a malady… and then somehow swindle people for more.

Another thing that amazes me is these mythomaniacs seem to thrive in New York City like nowhere else.  Maybe Washington, D.C., too.  You would think that Los Angeles, home to an entire industry built around fiction, would attract its fair share of liars and grifters, but its not something I’ve encountered here as much as I have back in my hometown.  Maybe it’s because there is a healthy outlet for the imagination out here, and maybe because we all have such devious minds that we wouldn’t fall for this kind of crap from somebody with a similarly devious mind.

Going through the extensive emails that people sent in to Gawker about their experiences with Kaufman, I’m going to give my usual amateur quack psychologist opinion and diagnose him with Borderline Personality Disorder, always a reliable standby when you don’t have the benefit of training much less firsthand experience of the patient.  Or maybe the flash tears and lying mean he’s a rapid-cycling Bipolar.  Or, given his active imagination and his ability to inhabit his own lies as if they were the truth, he could also really be Schizotypal.  Fuck if I know.

Whatever you are, enjoy your time in jail, Dan.  I hear the sex is awesome, and apparently you’re pretty charming.