I Like to Watch

Warning: It's "Deadwood"-speak week, whores and whoremongers! Those with fragile sensibilities should follow their fancy elsewhere!

Published May 1, 2005 8:03PM (EDT)

Deadwood phrases
Welcome, fair cocksuckers, to the latest fucking dispatch, hot off the presses, typed by the humble hand and surveyed by the sullen jaw of one who eyeballs far more of the televised entertainments than can be good or natural for any man, even the sorts of dimwits and hoopleheads and crusty old relics who favor such sorrowfully empty pastimes over fresh air or a good fuck.

But far be it from me to lament my circumstances in any way! I'm feeling less than my full fucking self, but that doesn't change the fact that the so-called puerile habit of amusing myself with frivolous narratives and elaborate games of fancy has only served to enrich my understanding of humankind, and I'm wed to these unpredictable narratives as the dope fiend is to his opium. Lest my initiative and leadership abilities and stick-fucking-to-itiveness all be in fucking question, you may rest assured that I continue to enjoy myself and relish the countless rewards of my employment here despite my utter inability to locate the underlying charms of "Dog the Bounty Hunter."

If I might talk plainly, though, I admit I grow weary of one particular fucking branch of the reality genre, the subcategory that focuses most unmercifully on the demi-freaks and semi-untouchables of modern society, the types who, however their odd little quirks might beguile and delight, provide the sorts of distractions that surely turn us irreparably from the face of God. While the hideousness or unworldly ways of the captives featured in such foolish entertainments might serve to bolster our egos at the least, the repeated viewing of inane banter between repugnant strangers with no stated goal beyond preening and prancing before the camera's eye no longer holds my interest and will be deleted from my personal agenda henceforth.

I can help my delicate sensibilities by turning the fuck away. Thus shall "Gastineau Girls" and "American Chopper" and "Marriage 911" and the like be sidestepped in favor of more sporting or educational fare, featuring as it so often does compelling or at least vaguely intriguing individuals, whimsical competitions, world travel, or painting a young thing in bright colors like a celestial, then perching her on the hood of a '57 Chevy, bottom side up. Subsequently, I will restrict my viewing to spectacles whose participants strive for concrete goals -- immunity, contracts securing work as a whore for the garment makers, free trips to Florida to have your belly rubbed by a Seminole, employment among the sorts of millinery-samples-suitcase cocksuckers and society people of New York City who live with their heads up their asses, big bags of gold, and the like. Without such tangible goals, the species seems to devolve into incivility and vituperation. Personally, I'm waiting to be kept happy by another fucking fairy tale.

Family cocksuckers and the like
As for the rest of these mediocre entertainments it is my undying obligation to digest, the worst of which continue to be the so-called comedies that wouldn't make a roomful of halfwits and drunks chuckle softly, I will continue to subject myself as best I fucking can. Be that as it may, considering the piss-poor state of the sitcom, it's worth mentioning that "American Dad" (Sundays at 9:30 p.m. EDT on Fox), Seth McFarlane's latest confabulation of animated cocksuckers, has a few distinguishing characteristics that set it apart from the detritus.

To the casual observer, "American Dad" might appear an exact fucking replica of "Family Guy." To the less informed, it might seem odd that Fox, the dirtiest little whore of the network lineup, apt to lift its skirts at the vaguest whiff of gold, would not only revive the once-canceled "Family Guy," but also add a second show by McFarlane about a poorly drawn man and his family of miscreants. In fact, it is strange indeed that Fox should do so, but I'll try touching the moon before working on a whore's thinking.

In truth, gentle cocksuckers, "American Dad" seems to thwart the original intention of Rupert Murdoch's enterprise, being as it is a parody of the conservative, ball-busting, post-9/11 type of family. Dad works for the CIA, the modern-day equivalent of the Pinkertons, and there's plenty of ripe, low-hanging fruit to harvest in this land, from color-coded threat-level charts to government officials of various stripes to patriotic chest thumping. Furthermore, while I find the wisecracking British infant of "Family Guy" nearly intolerable, his counterpart in "American Dad," a slightly fey alien, is far more supportable and, dare I say, at times quite amusing.

Overall, though, the laughter isn't quite sufficient to warrant indefinite fucking viewing. Ah, but just as there are those who love their liquor, so too are there those who love their Seth McFarlane! Since I do tend to be prickly when in the wrong, I'll resign myself to witness a few more showings of this ludicrous offering before I set forth my judgment. I don't pretend to know the future, and a man's got to work a few dogs to know how the world wags its tail.

Terrorist cocksuckers and the like
And when the world wags its tail and then squats and grunts out a big messy pile, who's there to clean it up? A gentleman who answers to the name of Jack Bauer, that's who! After working on his deployments and flanking maneuvers for several days, Jack risked his hide to put the screws to one of those terrorist cocksuckers, and then set out in search of the head honcho cocksucker, all on his own fucking volition, in total fucking violation of due process and checks and balances and every other fucking policy or standard on which this great land of ours teeters precariously. Did he get a word of thanks from those cocksuckers in the Oval Office? Hell fucking no, he did not. Instead they arrested him mid-flanking-maneuver, then cried like girls when the terrorist cocksuckers absconded with the privileged information on the government's deadly armaments.

Even his erstwhile semi-regular fuck Audrey had nothing but unadorned recriminations to hand to poor Jack on his return, so full of concern was she for her half-dead ex-husband. Gratuitous, hurtful, unnecessary! Now, it's true that Jack should learn to show interest in a girl without murdering another person, but he still should've put the woman in her place, telling her, "Sayin' questions in that tone and pointin' your finger at me will get you told to fuck yourself!" Instead, he maintained his composure, as gentlemen so often do. Still, I'm thinking the little miss better lose that scoldy voice before Jack starts pickling his prick in the cunt brine of another!

Lord, why does Jack's misery please you so? What Godly use is his protracted suffering to you? What conceivable Godly use? What conceivable Godly use was the screaming of all those, like Edgar's mother, slain by nuclear fallout and the like? Did you need to hear their death agonies to know your omnipotence?

Alas, the pressing and urgent demands of God are so often met with silence: The callous winds continue to blow, the callous clouds drift by, undaunted, the callous grass shimmers in the sunlight, unmoved.

And then God answers in a thundering voice: "I was building suspense, cocksuckers!"

As far as "24" (Mondays at 9 p.m. EDT on Fox) is concerned, our moment permits interest in one question only: Will we of America be more than targets for ass fucking? Thus, at the end of last week's performance, when the call was made to former President Palmer to step in and save that jittery, second-guessing cocksucker in the Oval Office from screwing things up but good a second time, what with the terrorist cocksuckers having decamped with the warheads and the future of the free world in the hands of Chloe, for fuck's sake, the pig-eyed cocksucker might've chosen his words carefully and whispered to the former president, "To not grab ankle is to declare yourself interested. What's your posture, Palmer?"

But even if Palmer gets tangled in bureaucratic tape, as often occurs with bureaucrats of any stripe, we've always got Jack, whose steely gaze tells us, "I may have fucked my life up flatter than hammered shit, but I stand here before you today beholden to no human cocksucker!"

Which is a big relief, seeing as how the terrorist cocksuckers are well on their way to blowing some godforsaken city to smithereens. God rest the souls of those poor citizens ... and pussy's half price for the next 15 minutes!

Human suffering and the like
While we're beseeching God, we might revisit the little matter of the Holocaust, it being the most egregious fucking example of God letting his people hang out to fucking dry. Documentarian Frederick Wiseman personalizes the Holocaust with grace in his first dramatic feature, "The Last Letter" (Tuesday, May 3, on PBS; check local listings). In this startling, stark performance, French actress Catherine Samie portrays a Russian woman writing one last letter to her son, knowing that she's about to be killed by the Nazis. Simple and slow-moving as Wiseman's feature can be, Samie's performance is nonetheless absolutely riveting, and the little injustices and acts of kindness the woman experiences on the way to her eventual murder are as devastating as they are unforgettable.

Dearly beloved cocksuckers and the like
The hour has come to move on to another matter entirely, one far less worthy of your consideration: It seems that Rob and Amba, those notorious double-dealing cocksuckers from such entertainments as "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race," are planning an intimate wedding ceremony with a guest list numbering in the millions. Yes, they plan on pulling a Trista and Ryan for all the fucking world to see! The subtly titled "Rob and Amber Get Married" is, by all accounts, scheduled to air May 24 (9 p.m. EDT on CBS). But don't think for a single fucking second that they're in it just for the big bags of gold, like every squarehead within shouting distance of this camp.

"This is marriage," Rob told "The Early Show's" Tracy Smith last year. "This is not a joke. This is a serious thing. And we want it to be on our terms and our timeframe."

Spoken like a man of dignity and honor. "Yeah," Amber chimed in, "the way we would have done it even if we wouldn't have done it on TV."

Sounds like these two have been sucking on the funny pipe with some of the local savages. Nationally televised betrothals, not a joke? Even though the aforementioned cocksuckers previously won a million fucking dollars and stand to win another million, even though good taste and sound mind dictate a private ceremony far from the camera's (and my) cruel gaze, this sad pair plan to sign on to a lifetime of mutually induced misery in front of a million fucking limber-dick cocksuckers and the like.

Crass? Sure, but they've been called worse by better, and these two are not about to let the barbs and arrows of strangers slow them in their steady progress to becoming multimillionaires!

Without fucking question I will be watching, since such entertainments meet my requirements that the participants have a stated goal (becoming legally wed). Plus it's sure to be a disturbing, ungodly affair the likes of which the world hasn't seen since Trista swam through a hideous sea of pink to stand, smiling ingenuously, next to her awkward beau. The two of them were afloat in a fairy bubble: him, her snatch, and those stupid fucking helicopters circling.

And now my once-beloved Rob and Amba stand at the precipice of the self-same tragedy. Don't they know that every time a reality couple gets married on TV, a little kitty gets stuffed in a sack of rocks and thrown into a lake?

Not that Rob would care. Over time, his quickness with a cocky rejoinder must have gotten him many punches in the face. Still, he and his lady friend seem to have a fair shot at winning "The Amazing Race," although I must admit I've become partial to Uchenna and Joyce ever since Joyce agreed to have her head shaved in that celestials' ceremony in order to advance quickly to the next fucking pit stop. Rest assured that I'd readily shave my head as well if I looked half as fucking good as she does bald.

Lawless, calculating cocksuckers and the like
But enough of such frivolous concerns. If you ain't here to fuck or be fleeced, get on your merry way!

No, wait. We have one last matter to attend to here, and that is the discussion of "Deadwood" itself (Sundays at 9 p.m. EDT on HBO). Despite Al Swearengen's assertions to the contrary, things don't always sort out fast in Deadwood. However, as the pace slows, it affords a more thorough study of the town as a living organism, a metaphor that creator David Milch charitably offered us previously. Viewing the town through such a lens, each ripple caused by Wolcott (George Hearst's henchman) or the Lawrence County commissioner sets into motion a chain of reactions by those who'd like to keep control of the town out of the hands of greedy outsiders. The pleasure of "Deadwood" lies in witnessing a vast array of responses from the denizens: Cy Tolliver schemes and wangles and then overplays his hand, Joanie Stubbs casts a blind eye and pays the consequences, and Swearengen coaxes, seethes, plays all sides, and ultimately enlists the still-suspicious Bullock to further his cause. Taken as individuals, not much is happening in Deadwood; taken as a whole, enormous changes are afoot, and the citizenry is shifting and maneuvering and triangulating in order to limit the damage to their personal affairs. Or, as E.B. so nicely put it, "One hopes for the best. One perseveres. One reevaluates constantly. One is an asshole if one doesn't."

Even the simplest exchange can belie a strategic realignment, signal a power play, or just give way to a groundswell of unspoken resentment. When Martha Bullock pays a visit to Alma, her husband's ex-lover, the tension is palpable, yet the two seem determined to proceed as if there were no bad blood between them -- that is, until Alma, feeling like the ineffectual, pampered aristocrat that she is, stammers that tea would be more easily fetched for Martha if she were properly prepared.

Alma: On a second opportunity with adequate notification, we will meet you in order and readiness.

Martha: I seem always to come upon you with inadequate notice.

Alma: As you remarked, simple courtesy would forestall that.

Martha: I'm trying to imagine what courtesy of mine would have forestalled the last awkwardness between us.

Oooh, snap! And the like! Martha is referring, of course, to rolling into town only to find her husband pickling his prick in the cunt brine of another. Thus rebuked, Alma soon regretted playing the class card and the damn-you-for-being-my-lover's-wife card, and our sympathies shifted ever so fucking slightly closer to Martha, despite her having interrupted some seriously provocative prick pickling.

And indeed, the shifting of sympathies never ends in Deadwood, what with Swearengen passing swiftly from violent demon to pitiable dying man to charismatic schemer all in a matter of weeks. Meanwhile, Trixie, that loopy cunt, has progressed from bloodied victim to overachiever, bettering herself at the hardware store while keeping a finger in Swearengen's pie and most graciously looking out for Alma. In truth, the amiable in Deadwood outnumber the repugnant by a cunt hair or two, what with Ellsworth and Charlie Utter and Doc and Trixie and even Jane all giving of themselves for the sake of those under duress or out of their depth.

All in all, the charms of "Deadwood" are impossible to describe to those who haven't abandoned themselves to this daring and delightfully odd narrative. Those that doubt me suck cock by choice!

Concluding remarks and the like
That's all for today, you conniving, heavy-thumbed motherfuckers. I may be quite an object lesson in the career-advancing powers of obstinacy and a hostile disposition, but my sensibilities do not need coddling. "Advance the subject or pick up a broom" is my motto, and I hope to avoid picking up a broom indefinitely. Still, I know when to pocket my notebook. Whatever lurks ahead, grievous abominations and disorder, you and me walk into it together as always.

I'm off, you're on. Go fuck yourself!

Next week: I said go fuck yourself! Why do you linger? The stages are frequent, and you're past your stated purpose.

By Heather Havrilesky

Heather Havrilesky is a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine, The Awl and Bookforum, and is the author of the memoir "Disaster Preparedness." You can also follow her on Twitter at @hhavrilesky.

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