Ben Affleck, You Ignorant Slut!

affleckI’ll freely admit that ever since Argo, Ben Affleck has been off my Christmas card list.  Quite frankly, if you’re going to rewrite history, (“lie” is such a harsh word)  it’s indecent to make millions doing it.  Nor should you stand up before God and everybody and accept an Academy Award for your sins — that’s just straight chutzpah.

To be fair, in the early days, Ben did some good work, notably Dogma and Good Will Hunting.  However, take a peek at who’s standing right beside him — Matt Damon.  On his own, Affleck is noticeably underwhelming in Reindeer Games, Pearl Harbor, Daredevil and a cornucopia of other forgettables.  (I’m not going to even mention Gigli; that would be hitting below the belt.)  And this guy is a Hollywood mover and shaker?  Puh leeze!

So what’s Mr. Affleck  been up to lately?  Nothing less than strong arming PBS to whitewash his family history.  According to Finding Your Roots, Ben’s great-great-great grandfather was a slave owner before the Civil War.  Like it or not, a lot of Southerners were.  Apparently, Ben didn’t like it.  He thought it would be bad for his image to be that closely associated with racism.  He also thought it would be a good idea if PBS touched-up his roots before they broadcast the story; a kind of intellectual Photoshop for the Affleck family archives.  PBS complied, and the rest is history.  Well, not really… it’s kinda History According to Affleck.

It should be noted that Finding Your Roots has found slave owners swimming in other celebrity gene pools with no ill effects.  After all, it was more than 150 years ago — styles do change.

But look at the out-and-out arrogance of the guy!  He felt it was necessary to take his holier-than-thou attitude back five generations!  How much more self-righteous can you get?  And the size of his ego?  OMG!  Minor statistics from a census taken in the 19th century — and, of course, that’s a direct reflection on MMMEEEEE!  I think Mr. Affleck has forgotten he’s just a movie star (“actor” is such a talented word.)  He believes he’s some sort of handsome Dalai Lama (pure to the last incarnation — himself) who must use his rugged good looks to spread compassion and justice throughout the land.  Either that, or he’s let this Batman thing get out of hand.

Ben, there was this guy called Copernicus, and he’s got proof you’re not the centre of the universe.  Get over yourself!

The British Are Comi … They’re Here!

flagIn North America, just like fishnet stockings and a push-up bra, a tuxedo and a British accent is so close to being soft core porn it should have a warning label.  This is why we’re up to our entertainment elbows in expat Brits.  They’re all over the place, from John Oliver’s weekly dose of escalating indignation to this new guy, James Corden, whose nightly impression of Ricky Gervais isn’t actually all that bad.  But that’s the secret.  The British accent is so sexy on this side of the Atlantic, Brits don’t have to do much except show up.  You could give Bobo the dancing bear a bowtie and a few long vowels and even PETA would tune in.  There’s nothing wrong with this, BTW, I just find it fascinating.

Check it out.  Need a Lincoln?  Look in London.  Batman?  Same again, please.  Superman?  One more time.  Even Spiderman is a Brit, if not by birth.  How about a villain who will literally steal the show?  If Alan Rickman’s busy, try calling Tom Hiddleston.  David Tennant could read the Ipswich telephone book and get an Emmy, and Benedict Cumberbatch has so many Cumberbitches is tow he wouldn’t even have to read it.  Mark Strong, Kit Harington, Henry Cavill — the list goes on, and I haven’t even cracked open the Who’s Who of the Harry Potter franchise yet.  There are so many Brits kicking around the American media these day that Jude Law, Hugh Laurie and Damien Lewis don’t even count anymore.  It’s a wonder Clooney and the boys aren’t reduced to marrying rich lawyers or doing Chanel™ commercials just to make ends meet.

So what’s the deal?

Some people say our Anglophilia comes from watching too much PBS as children.  After all, Masterpiece Theatre has been American highbrow for over forty years, from Upstairs, Downstairs (the first time) to Downton Abbey, with any number of Emmas thrown in the middle.  Plus, for decades, Public TV has been so successfully murdering Brits every week that they’ve worn out one Sherlock Holmes and possibly three Miss Marples!  That’s a lot of cultural tea and crumpets for impressionable young minds to digest.

Personally, though, I disagree.  I believe our insatiable love affair with the Brits started here (see video) and is now irrevocably twisted into our DNA.  (And kids, if you don’t know who this is, ask your grandmother — she’ll remember.)