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31 January 2006

mystery surrounding Tom Cruise; also, sound made by blowing wetly and hard on forearm

Tom Cruise
(Agence-Vleeptron Presse photo)

[VLEEPTRON MEDIA & AUTO INSURANCE ADVISORY: Cleveland, Ohio may be nothing to write home to Mom about -- it also ranks high on the Galactic Boring Cities list which Vleeptron is trying to compile -- but The Plain Dealer is an ancient and very highly regarded daily newspaper with a tradition of top-drawer and award-winning national political coverage.

State Farm and Farmers are two well-known USA automobile insurance companies. The JayCees are the Junior Chamber of Commerce, a social and service organization of businessmen and businesswomen under the age of 40. The JayCees are superbly depicted in the remarkably hysterical movie "Smile" (re-zapped into DVD) with Bruce Dern and Barbara Feldon, featuring a very rare and brilliant dramatic role by the choreographer/dancer Michael Kidd.

The United Way is a huge annual charity fund-raising campaign usually run by community business leaders.]


The Plain Dealer (Cleveland Ohio USA)
Tuesday 31 January 2006

Couch jumper
in contention
for 3 Razzies

Chuck Yarborough
Plain Dealer Columnist

Tom Cruise's name is absent from the list of contend ers during this award- show sea son. But fear not, Gentle Reader. I believe he soon will have some new hard ware for his mantel. Cruise has been nominated for three Razzies. The awards - named after that wonderful whoopee-cushion sound we all learned to make as children - are the anti-Oscars, designed to acknowledge Hollyweird's worst efforts. Cruise is up for worst actor for "War of the Worlds." Sure, he's facing some tough competition - Will Ferrell for "Bewitched" and "Kicking and Screaming," Jamie Kennedy for "Son of the Mask," the Rock for "Doom" and Rob Schneider for the horrific sequel "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo." But his biggest battle will be in the brand-new Most Tiresome Tabloid Figure category. Five people are nominated and two of them are Tom Cruise (once for the couch-jumping rant on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and once for his PDAs with fiancee Katie Holmes). Holmes herself is nominated for Worst Supporting Actress for her lackluster performance in "Batman Begins." Check out for a complete list. But don't do it on a full stomach.

From ear to there:

Kevin Federline came this close to big trouble from Big Mama, aka Britney Spears.


This column gleans from wire and Internet reports.

Contact this Plain Dealer columnist:

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^, 216-999-4534


SUBJECT: origin of Razzies, & can you help me out with this Cruise thing?

Dear Chuck Yarborough,

Stop the presses. I think "Razzie" isn't the sound of the Whoopie Cushion, but rather a Raspberry is the (similar) sound made by sealing your wet lips on your forearm and blowing hard.

A few weeks ago my wife treated us to a NetFlix evening with Mr. Cruise in "War of the Worlds."

I haven't done a very good job over the years of keeping up with Mr. Cruise's oeuvre, but I was stunned -- exactly the way I was stunned by the anesthesia during my colonoscopy -- by how vapid and uninteresting a movie star he is. While Martians in giant Death Ray Terror Bots devastated New Jersey and the Northeast, and Cruise and his children's lives hung by a slender thread, all I wanted to do was make popcorn in the kitchen and visit the bathroom.

Color me totally clueless about why he is A Big Hollywood Superstar. (Color me almost as clueless most of the time about why Spielberg is A Big Hollywood Superdirector. There's "Empire of the Sun," and help me out here, what else?)

Kubrick proved it is possible to wrap a reasonably interesting 90 minutes around this dead flounder, but a lot of that might be attributable to hundreds of naked rich people and supermodels having a forbidden masked orgy that the dead fish managed to sneak into; "Eyes Wide Shut" might have been equally fascinating if that had been PeeWee Herman under the mask and seeing ob/gyn patients. Under Kubrick's direction, Cruise gave new meaning to the word Adequate.

To coin a phrase: The guys today that women prize today are all silly gigolos. I just don't get this Cruise thing. My wife is responsible for validating movie and TV Young Hunks, but even she lapsed into deep snoring during the noisiest parts of "War of the Worlds." I think he would be excellent as the manager of a medium-size State Farm franchise and president of the local JayCees, an aggressive and well-liked leader in the annual United Way campaign.

Well, anyway, if you can help me out here, perhaps with a Cruise Must-See Filmography, I'd be grateful. 'Cause I really just don't get it. Are people renting Cruise's movies as sleep aids? Do women by the gazillions dream of getting lucky with Tom Cruise?


Bob Merkin

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Mr. Merkin:

thanks for writing. I think if Cruise were to manage a state farm agency and head up a local JayCees, i would be A) exceedingly grateful that my coverage is provided by Farmers; and B) inquire about openings at the Kiwanis.

Seriously, well reasoned rant. Can't disagree with you at all.

Except that if you sit on it correction [ * ], a whoopee cushion DOES make that sound. But it's entirely acceptable to make it by pursing your lips and expectorating noisily, or by doing same to your forearm!



[ * ] a typo, he meant "... if you sit on it correctly ...". I made a typo once, in 1989, I think.


Anonymous Jim Olson said...

Agreed, Tom Cruise is dull. Years ago, he was a hormonally-induced fantasy of mine, but he has not aged well.

FYI, the national headquarters of the UCC are in Cleveland, 700 Prospect St. It's in a bit of a run-down area, but right near Rich Stadium.

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

I admit, I didn't post a very flattering photograph of him.


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