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The Culture Mulcher: La vie en mulch

I’ve been writing this column for the best part of a year now. They told me it’d stop the voices in my head but it hasn’t, but I keep doing it anyway. In the course of my run as Culturus Mulcherus, to give it its scientific name, there’s definitely a progression (or should that be regression?) of my alter-ego that can be charted. The broad strokes of a human being are there, but, as Bret Easton Ellis said, “I simply am not here.”



by Paul Brammer (News & Opinion Editor)

Basically, reading my Mulchers over the last months can give you a rough sketch of what type of person I am – a pretentious, boring, hateful little shit with no friends who has inexplicably been given a soapbox to rant and rave from.

My invectives have been far-ranging and scattershot, and my profundity has been in even lesser supply. There is, however, some definite conclusions that I think can be drawn from my emaciated body of work.

If you were building a Frankenstein’s monster of a melange of all the attributes and qualities that I hate, it would probably go like this: someone beautiful; someone involved in some kind of popular activity or pastime; someone who does advertisements; someone whose talent and fame seems to come from them completely effortlessly; someone who has all the women of the world weak-kneed with carnal desire; someone who was in a boy band.

The more perceptive of you will have recognized that this description fits perfectly with one Justin Timberlake. Why, then, do I love Justin Timberlake? I physically love him in a way as close to gay as possible without being completely gay. It’s about two-thirds gay, if I’m being honest.

Justin Timberlake was in the boy band N’Sync – you may also remember that his hairstyle during his N’Sync days looked like he’d taken a load of pube shavings off the floor and glued them to his head. He has been romantically involved with former sex symbol (now shame symbol) Britney Spears and Cameron Diaz. He’s never off adverts for shitty aftershaves like Davidoff’s Cool Battery Acid. He seems to never get out of third gear, and can become a millionaire just on the twinkle of his eyes and his bastard good looks.

In short, Justin Timberlake may be the embodiment of everything I’ve ever hated in this pallid world. However, he is somehow infinitely more than the sum of his parts. I unashamedly love his music, and I must admit, all joking aside, that he is carving out an impressive niche in his fledgling acting career – he legitimately almost stole the entirety of David Fincher’s The Social Network, and his turn in Alpha Dog rightly earned him rave reviews.

What next for JT? A run for public office? A cure for cancer? A sustainable, funky alternative to fossil fuels? I mean, this man started out his career as a child star on the frigging Disney Channel. Pretty much everyone else who was his contemporary on the show is now either cracked out, dead in a ditch somewhere or on the shopping networks. JT seems to have avoided each and every pitfall of fame and fortune that America throws at its young stars. Perhaps by the time this goes to print news of some kind of bestiality ring in his house will surface, but I’m sure we’ll all just laugh it off and listen to “SexyBack” again. The man can do no wrong and I should despise him for it. But I can’t.

I don’t know what can be done – if I was getting off on videos of murderous dictators or enjoying the company of rapists and cannibals then there are professionals who can look around in my head and prescribe me some meds, and possibly secure facilities where I can take up residence until I stop smearing excrement on the walls like Geoffrey Rush in Quills. But there is no prescription that can be given for inexplicably loving someone that you should hate. It’s a bit like Fox and the Hound, except I’m not a hound and JT’s not a fox. And we don’t live in a forest. And this isn’t an animation. I bet JT’d make a great fox, while I bumbled around as a mangy old mutt, fit for nothing except lolling around and licking my own testicles. So it wouldn’t be that different from my life now, then.

We all have guilty pleasures, I suppose, and that’s natural – like the way that all the tight-jean brigade secretly love listening to dross like Lady Gaga, but use alcohol and the murky darkness of some sweaty club to hide their adoration for the Queen of Shit Music.

There, you see? In two sentences I’ve managed to unfairly lump together all people who wear ridiculous tight jeans, and I’ve also managed a pop at Lady Gagger, but I can’t even pretend to dislike JT. Maybe I should start stalking him and/or shoot him to death. That worked for Mark Chapman, right? Right?

I have given my affection to the wrong people before, I must admit – I was a big fan of Michael Vick, O.J. Simpson and Josef Fritzl back in the day, but, after the whole killing animals for fun/NOT murdering his wife/locking daughter in basement and having children with daughter and being a father and a grandfather to the bastard children before getting caught, my enthusiasm for them waned somewhat. Maybe I’ll write to JT and ask him to tear some dogs’ throats out and begin incestuous relations with a close family member so I can get over my awkward love for him. That’s not too much to ask, I don’t think.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jeff

    October 14, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I concur with the intro, the rest of the piece. Not so much.

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