Dick Off


Sargent

 

Welcome to Hotel
Satire, People…and you Gals. It’s summer and you
know what that means. It’s time for my semi-traditional
article on summer as a dick thing. By the way, I did not come
up with this concept, so men out there, don’t get all
worked up, if you catch my drift. It was inspired by a Spike
Lee movie. Yes, as the hero states (in
Mo’
Better Blues,
1990ish)
to one of the two gals he is juggling/dating, when she
protests his behavior, "It’s a dick thing."
She queries back bitchily, "A dick thing?" He
repeats firmly, "A dick thing!"

I did not care for
this movie much because there were too many gals in it, and
they actually completed their sentences (indicating
lesbianism), but I felt that Spike Lee had the right thing
with this "dick thing." As I’ve maintained
since I first instructed gals on this matter in 1990
("It’s A Dick Thing) and again in 1994 (It’s
Still A Dick Thing), summer is the quintessential "dick
thing." From the fireworks of July 4 (when gals slave
from dawn to dusk making sandwiches, salads, and barbecue
fixings so the menfolk can celebrate independence, and
remember those revolutionary days when gals couldn’t
vote and Spike Lee would have been a slave) to Labor Day
weekend (when gals work their butts off from dawn to dusk
making sandwiches, salads, and marinated chicken wings so we
can celebrate working people.

Gals, face it. Summer
is not your thing. In the summer, all gals go inside for the
duration, emerging only for food shopping, factory outlet
purchasing, or to drive the husbands and kids to various
venues so they can play with their balls. All gal attempts to
play softball, drive a motor boat, fish off a pier, or ride a
motorcycle should cease. Why? Because they are annoying to
guys who don’t want to see gals’ bouncing breasts
on the ball field or gals burning rubber on the highways or
grabbing rudders on the high seas. Don’t ask why.
It’s a dick thing.

Most importantly,
Gals, if there’s a motor involved, if there’s
horsepower in the vicinity, then we’re talking major
dick things. Never interfere with guys and their
throbbing…engines. Your job is to pose near it, showing
cleavage (if you don’t have any, get some) if you are
his girlfriend; providing the refreshments if you are his
wife. When in doubt, remember the Satire motto: accessorize
and/or serve. Any physical activity gals do during the summer
should be related to her guy: biking alongside him while he
jogs or jogging in place to keep the weight at concentration
camp levels so as to look good posing for photos near his
various motorized toys. Otherwise you are a lesbian.
Don’t ask why. It’s a dick thing.

Now, clearly, the
summer of 1997 has reached new heights of dick, so to speak.
How do I know? Hollywood. They know that summer is for dicks.
That’s why the summer spate of one and two dick movies:
Con
Airdicks, Dick Off, Dicks in Black, Hercudick, Airdick One,
Aging Dicks at Sea, Batdick and Robdick,
and
so on.

I was particularly
impressed with
Con Airdicks
(starting Nicholas Cage and John Cusack) and
Dick
Off
, (starring Nicholas Cage and John
Travolta). These movies make the Vietnam and Gulf Wars look
like a Sunday in the park, a tiptoe through the tulips, and a
picnic on the beach.

Con Airdicks
is about Nicholas Cage who is a Ranger in the Gulf War, where
he legally strafes and murders and so on. His first night
home, he meets his loving wife who is a waitress in a
roadhouse bar kind of place, where he is taunted by the same
three guys that taunt everybody in every Hollywood movie ever
made, cause that’s what unshaven working class guys do.
These three guys get aggressive about it, going after his
wife, humiliating him. So finally he beats them up, killing
one of them in the process. The judge gives him ten years in
prison, claiming that, as a civilian, his fighting skills as
a Ranger make him a lethal weapon. Already we are moved by
the plausibility of these events, and by the many challenges
to the stereotyping of working class guys.

Our hero Cage is
caged. But, being a Ranger, he is a model prisoner and a
loving husband and father, unlike the other prisoners who are
animals—except for one who becomes his buddy. He spends
his prison time dreaming of his release when he can see his
daughter (born shortly after he goes to prison) for the first
time. That day comes, and he is put on a special airplane
used to ferry the most dangerous criminals from one prison to
another, hence con air. Don’t ask why. It’s a dick
thing. The other cons on the plane all make Hannibal Lector
look like Jesus Christ, by the way. Two of them are locked up
tighter than Fort Knox. Yet, these dangerous cons are more
organized than the New Left and the Moral Majority ever
dreamed of being. Somehow they are able to take over the
plane, led by John Malkovich, and attempt to fly to South
America, after making a stop or two at some heavily guarded
airports on the way. Meanwhile, John Cusack, an FBI dick, is
on the case. He realizes that Cage is a good guy, cause he is
a Ranger, and the both try to save the day. In the process
more things are blown up, more people, including
"innocent civilians," are strafed, dismembered,
skewered, dropped from heights, stabbed, shot, impaled,
burned, smashed, and tortured than in all of World War I, II,
Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf combined. All of the above are
done by and to our heroes, by the way, but, for some reason,
they are still heroes, plus they don’t die. Don’t
ask why. It’s a dick thing.

In Dick
Off
(the highly-praised movie Face
Off,
in case you aren’t a
moviegoer), John Travolta is a cop and Nicholas Cage is a
psychopath (whereas in
Con Airdick,
although he killed large numbers of people, including half
the population of Las Vegas, he was a good guy). Travolta and
his team manage to capture Cage, after much shooting,
strafing, etc. Even after Cage is killed he doesn’t die.
They keep him alive on a life support. Meanwhile, Cage’s
brother, also a psychopath, is in prison and has planted a
bomb somewhere in Los Angeles. To find out where, they need
to get someone inside the prison. Guess who? Travolta. Guess
how? By turning him into Nicholas Cage. By literally taking
Cage’s face off, removing Travolta’s as well, and
then by putting Cage’s face on Travolta. This was so
real and believable, I can’t tell you. Medical science
can now take your face off and put someone else’s in its
place and match the voice and everything.

So then, after more
strafing and maiming, Travolta as Cage goes to prison and
finds out where the bomb is from the brother. Meanwhile,
Cage, who is lying virtually dead (and unguarded), rises up,
sees Travolta’s face sitting in a jar in the next room,
and succeeds in kidnapping the medical team, making them turn
him into Travolta. Then Cage as Travolta blows up the medical
center, with the team in it, thereby eliminating all evidence
that Travolta is Cage and Cage is Travolta. So Cage as
Travolta takes over Travolta’s job and Travolta’s
wife and daughter. Not only that, he gets his brother
released and saves the day by disarming the bomb, thereby
becoming the city’s hero and able to get all the
firepower he needs to enact worldwide terrorism. Don’t
ask why. It’s a psychopathic dick thing.

Meanwhile, after more
impaling and dismembering, Travolta as Cage manages to escape
from maximum security prison (surprise, surprise). By the
way, in this prison all the prisoners wear steel shoes that
magnetize to the floor, so the guards can control them
(zapping them with voltage when necessary). This prison is
more evil than Dachau, more secure than Alcatraz, yet
Travolta as Cage manages to escape, kill Cage as Travolta,
i.e., himself. This movie is so clever and plausible and
intelligent that one wonders why anyone else in Hollywood
bothers to make movies.

Anyway, after more
dismembering, impaling, and slaughtering of the inhabitants
of downtown Los Angeles, Travolta as Cage prevails. But only
after he and Cage as Travolta have bashed up a few boats,
dropped from great heights and beaten each other to bloody
pulps, unloaded machine guns into each others’ chests,
etc.—even then they don’t die, they don’t even
seem tired. Don’t ask why. It’s a dick thing.

And speaking of dicks,
when they exchanged faces, how did they deal with the dicks?
One can only imagine that procedure, since they did not show
us any dick lifting and exchanging. But then how did Cage as
Travolta fool the real Travolta’s wife, who was a
surgeon? And if she was a surgeon, why didn’t she, once
she knew he wasn’t really Travolta, inject him with
something to render him unconscious? We know why. Because
that would have involved a gal actually doing something
crucial to this fabulous and complex plot, which is out.
Complex plots are dick thing, remember.

So, Gals, get with the
proper summer protocol. Here’s how I am spending my
summer. Let it be a model for all of you. While your man is
getting roused over the many dick movies, or revving his
motors, start your day applying a nice shade of Max Factor
lip silks. Why? It hydrates better than the leading lip balm.
Next consult a women’s magazine for how to "get the
look of the moment." This will take most of the day, the
week even. Spend some time on the beach with the other gals
discussing which is the best shampoo and smoking Virginia
Slims. Gals who chat while smoking Virginia Slims aren’t
"gossiping, they’re fact-finding." Don’t
ask why. "It’s a gal thing."

Next, go to see that
wonderful gal summer movie "My Best Friend’s
Wedding." This movie has left me practically speechless.
It opens with a lovely rendition of "One Fine Day."
I think they meant it as a spoof on wedding’s but I
thought it was beautiful. Then we hear about Julia who is
talking to her gay guy editor about her best friend, who is a
also a guy, for the last ten years, whose birthday is coming
soon. They had made a pact that she and her best friend would
marry each other if they didn’t find anyone by the time
they turned thirty or whatever, I can’t remember and
does it really matter? This plot is nothing compared to Face
Off or Con Air, and hardly worth remembering. Next we find
that her best friend has found someone and is getting married
in just four days, and is just now telling Julia about it,
even though she’s been his best friend for ten years or
so. Her friend’s pending marriage clues her to the fact
that she has loved him all along! Even though she rejected
him ten years ago, that’s why they became best friends.

I am not making this
up.

So, Julia is
determined to break up the engagement and get him to marry
her, even though she is perfectly happy as she is, with her
job and her gay guy editor, who, by the way, is the only
interesting person in this picture, and also seems to be
Julia’s best friend, even though the movie is about the
other guy. Don’t ask why. It’s a gal thing.

The rest of the movie
consists of Julia, who has no galfriends at all, unless you
count the gay guy, buddying up to her best friend’s
fiancée in order to find out how to make her look foolish.
Don’t ask why Julia has to do this or why Julia Roberts,
pretty woman incarnate, can’t get this guy simply by
showing up. Anyhoo, Julia discovers that the fiancée is
going to quit college and follow her man (Julia’s best
friend) around from game to game, so he can write his sports
column. Julia tries to get the gal to assert herself (i.e.,
become a lesbian and a communist). She also tries to get the
gals very rich father to offer him a job with his company,
knowing that her best friend will hate this since he is not
impressed by money and all of that. (Frankly, he doesn’t
seem impressed by anything much, and we wonder why these two
gals are fighting over him, but don’t ask about this.
It’s a gal thing.) This doesn’t work. Then Julia
discovers that the fiancée can’t sing, so she takes
them to a carioca bar and gets the fiancée to sing. This
backfires. Don’t ask why. It just does. Then she gets
desperate, because her best friend seems to really love this
gal. Possibly because she’s ready to sacrifice
everything to follow him around from ball game to ball game,
and live on his crummy salary, even though her father has
enough money to by the world. And he doesn’t seem to
love Julia, the most beautiful woman since Helen of Troy.
Possibly because she won’t follow him around? Possibly
because she’s independent (therefore a nasty, scheming
bitch lesbian)

In desperation, she
calls her gay friend for help. He encourages her to tell her
best friend the truth: that she loves him and wants to marry
him. Alternatively, he tells her to just congratulate him and
say goodbye. Why she can’t be his best friend after
marriage is not explained, so don’t ask.

Through a mix up, the
gay guy must pose as Julia’s fiancée, and Julia plays
it up to make her best friend jealous. Which it does. But he
still persists in marrying what’s her name. Then Julia
writes an email on the fiancée’s father’s
computer, which gets her best friend fired from his job. Her
best friend thinks his fiancée did it. Julia confesses,
tells him she loves him, etc. But it doesn’t work. So
Julia gives up and acts and matchmaker, trying to bring the
two back together on the day of their wedding. In a really
inventive scene, Julia and the fiancée have a "cat
fight" in the gals’ rest room and all the gals in
their watch and urge them on and applaud when they make up.
This is a new and refreshing scene, having two gals fight;
and also having the people in the vicinity applauding (the
latter being part of practically every movie made since the
1960s).

Anyway, the wedding
happens, Julia is alone until her gay friend comes and dances
with her. Which might mean don’t have men best friends
unless they’re gay? Whatever. The movie is charming, so
who cares what it means. The main thing is: (a) two gals
fight over a guy, with marriage to him being the ultimate
goal; (b) the guy picks the one who best accessorizes and
serves him (although the fiancée indicates she might not do
this, in which case next summer’s sequel will be
My
Best Friend’s Divorce
); (c)
there’s cute guys and gals and gorgeous gowns and an
expensive wedding—perfect for its June release and for
planning next year’s weddings.

Remember, Gals, if you
fail to grasp the dick thing and the gal thing, if you fail
to do the right thing durng the summer thing, you clearly get
what you deserve: life without a man, a wedding,