Sunday, August 25, 2013

An Open Letter to Actor James Woods

Dear Mister Woods:

I am a fan. Videodrome is one of my all-time favorite films. I also think you were just great in Contact and in that other movie. You know, the one where you played the jewel thief?

That was great stuff. Whenever you roll your eyes and act annoyed, man, no one can hold a candle to you.  The screen belongs to you. It is my belief that at the end of the day, you will go down as one of the greats, like Roy Scheider or like Peter Weller, one of whom actually might have been the actor who starred in the jewel thief flick I mentioned, now that I think about it.

Now, I know you are a big-time celebrity. I know you must get a ton of fan mail. I know that a lot of these fans probably believe that, because they relate with the characters you play, they somehow understand you.

I do not want to be one those fans, Mister Woods.

I do not want to be presumptuous about how you think or about what matters to you.

Still, I do hope it will not be overly presumptuous of me if I presume that you noticed a certain news story about something that happened just last week.

Three kids in Oklahoma were arrested for murdering a high school athlete from Australia. Did you see that story? It was horrible and it was all over the news, but then, you might be shooting a movie on location somewhere that does not get a lot of news.

James Edwards
Mister Woods, I thought of you when I saw the story about the three kids they arrested. There was Michael Jones, who is 17. There was Chauncey Luna, who is only 16. They also arrested a 15-year old kid named James Edwards.

When I saw the thing about James Edwards, I said this to myself: “Oh no. This is a problem that my hero, Mister James Woods, is not going to be able to ignore anymore!”

I really said that, Mister Woods! Out loud, too, even though there was no one around to hear it. You will have to take my word for it.

I know that story could not have been easy for you to see. I know it had to be made so much worse by the fact that it has not even been two full weeks since James “Whitey” Bulger’s convictions for racketeering and for conspiracy to commit murder.

Then, last week, James Wilder III was arrested in St. Louis on six counts of aggravated sodomy.

On August 14, a guy named James Meyer was arrested for illegally selling pictures by artist Jasper Johns.

On August 11, James Mouton was arrested in Scot, Louisiana after he (allegedly!) rode a horse into a bar, lassoed a man, and then tied him up out in the parking lot.

In June, ex-Miami Dolphins star James McKnight was arrested in Miami for domestic violence. That same month, former world title boxing contender James Kirkland was arrested in Austin for “causing bodily harm to a family member.”

I could go on and on and on, listing more bad acts by bad people all day and all night and probably on into tomorrow, too. A recent online search I did of Harris County revealed that there are HUNDREDS of men named James who are registered sex offenders in my city alone.***

James Earl Ray, convicted
of killing Martin Luther King
I hate to have to be the one to throw all of this bad news at you all at once, Mister Woods.

I know you had nothing to do with what James Edwards did to that Australian athlete. I know you do not support what James “Whitey” Bulger did to all of those people he hurt. I know you are not targeting my children to try and rape them.

But I also know that if it had been someone named Katy who did those awful things, I would want to disassociate myself from the crimes. More than anything, I would want to make sure that my fans and everyone else knew I condemned the entire James-related crime spree that is spreading across America.

I feel that I know you, Mister Woods, and I know that you would not want people to interpret your continued and confounding silence on this matter as approval. As support. As acquiescence, even!

That is why I am calling on you to clear up any misunderstanding once and for all. I am calling on you to publicly and unequivocally and unambiguously condemn all of this James-related crime. Use your celebrity bully pulpit to speak out against these criminal Jameses.

Make sure the world knows not all Jameses are like those Jameses. Make them see that you are one of the good ones.

James Warren "Jim" Jones, founder of a suicide cult
Maybe, by your positive example, you will even be able to inspire some other young James out there who might be considering a life of rape or domestic violence or… riding into a bar and lassoing a man.

It has been a very long time since a James has contributed anything positive to society… other than your work as Security Guard #2 in that 2009 episode of “iCarly,”  I mean.

As of this moment and this writing, it has now been five full days since James Edwards was charged with the murder of Christopher Lane. I pray that you make your position clear before we reach Day Six.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and thank you for all of the years of fantastic movies and television you have given us all.

I hate to cut this letter so short, but I still have to write to James Earl Jones and that Van Der Beek guy.

Sincerely Yours,


***Below is just a sampling of the many registered sex offenders named James in Harris County, Texas, according to There were hundreds more. Mister Woods, please remember that I am trying hard not to connect you with any of these horrible crimes.

James Douglas, aggravated assault with intent to rape, 10/23/2003.
James Eric Brown, sex offense other, 03/05/2007.
James Jackson, indecency with a child, 02/26/1999.
James Wattley, indecency with a child, 12/13/1999.
James Walker, attempt to commit indecency with a child sexual contact, 12/11/2007.
James Elerson, sexual assault child, 07/01/2007.
James Bizor, indecency with a child by exposure, 05/03/2001.
James Williams, sexual assault, 05/21/1986.
James Williams, indecency with a child by exposure, 11/13/1992.
James Gonzalez, aggravated kidnapping, 11/17/1992.
James Shields, sexual assault child, 02/27/2002.
James Thompson, sexual assault child, 03/11/1983.
James Hargrove, indecency with a child sexual contact, 12/21/1987.
James Dillard, sexual assault child, 03/10/2006.
James Carpenter, indecency with a child sexual contact, 09/22/1995.
James Watson, aggravated sexual assault child, 07/26/2000.
James Wiinfree, aggravated sexual assault, 02/22/1994.
James Guthrie, aggravated sexual assault child, 09/10/1992.
James Chaney, sexual assault, 03/24/1994
James Hopper, aggravated sexual assault child, 05/03/2001.
James Trejo, indecency with a child by exposure, 09/09/2008.
James Gonzales, indecency with a child by exposure, 09/09/2008.
James Hunter, aggravated sexual assault, 09/13/1985.
James Alexander Rivera, aggravated sexual assault child, 10/23/2003.
James Alfred Kelly, rape, 09/14/1989.
James Allen Taylor, indecency with a child sexual contact, 06/18/2004.
James Alonzo Nelson, sexual assault, 08/09/2002.
James Andrew Myers, sexual battery, 11/08/1996.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Right off the bat, there are a couple things that you ought to know about my friend, Bi-Po.

The first is that when it comes to bipolar people, Bi-Po is the bipoliest. His depressions are the deepest and the most depressive. His manias are the highest and the most maniacal.

One morning, we’ll find him comatose on a downtown bench, looking like he hasn’t eaten or bathed in forever. Then, only a few weeks later, he’ll come running up to us full-speed and unannounced, lecturing us – complete with charts and with graphs – about how the mayor is spying on him by means of the city’s sewer rats.

The second thing you should know about my friend, Bi-Po, is that when he tells you the thing about the sewer rats spying on him, after about a half hour, you almost start to believe it. This guy can find connections anywhere. He could have been the World Champion of the Kevin Bacon Game if only his life had turned out a little different and there was such a thing.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Everything is Covered with Shit

To my daughter, Rachel, who renounced her love of pedicures after seeing a news report about staph and feces in the soak tubs:

Everything is covered with shit, Rachel!

Door handles. Elevator buttons. Handrails. The towel you just used to dry your hands.

Fresh fruit in the grocery store and your neighbor’s dog and the keys on the computer you’re using at this very moment.

They’re all covered in shit. So get used to it. Make your peace.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

I Have a Girlfriend?

She called me her girlfriend.

This happened the other day.

We were lying in bed and we were talking, her forehead pressed up against my forehead, the way we do whenever we are lying in bed and we are talking. Whenever we do this, her eyes look enormous to me. I cannot imagine how enormous my eyes must look to her, since my eyes are pretty enormous already, even at a great distance.

Anyway, we were doing this and we were talking, and that is when she called me her girlfriend.