Saturday, January 26, 2008

Book Review / Recap (cont.)

Chapter 11:
Sofia Vergara. Remember her? Yeah, didn't think so. She dated Tom ever so briefly in 2005 - only a few months before the Katie Holmes fascination began. Sofia got spooked (by the sci's), and ended up standing Tom up for a little trip they were to go on. She actually went in to hiding. LOL. Tom then meets Katie (requests meeting her through their agents, supposedly for a film role) and they magically fall in love. True love. Lasting love. Happily Ever After love. The kind of love that requires a prenup and a $19 million dollar trust fund... you know, just in case. Supposedly Katie was vibrant and outgoing before she was captured by scientologists started dating Tom. Then, after they started dating, this is a description given by a journalist, "Katie's natural animation seemed replaced by a sort of deadpan elation as she recited the liturgy of love." During interviews, when he couldn't actually be present to watch over what was going on and display his virile comportment (because he is NOT gay, right?) he would call her cell phone or send a gift that just happened to arrive during the interview. Chapter 11 is also when they talk about him going off the deep end (more literally following Sci's off the deep end like a lemming, but I digress) on the psychiatry stuff. Brook Shields, drugs used in psychological treatments, it all comes to the surface and people start thinking he is the one who is maniacal. And, isn't maniacal really a better reason to think badly of someone than possible homosexuality? I wonder if it bothers him as badly? Just in case being called out as a crazy doesn't bother him as much as speculation as his being gay, let's stick with gay. Better to push the buttons you know work. Katie also signed up with Scientology. It is a contract that fundamentally changed Katie's human rights. (page 278). She agreed that she must never use psychiatric care or psychiatric drugs. If she were to ever suffer from mental or terminal illness she must turn only to Sci's treatments. (all from page 278) But it's not a cult?

Chapter 12:
Matt Lauer interview. Craziness confirmed. The gloves come off and he begins full fledged battle for the views of sci's on the profession of psychiatry. Things get ugly.
Katie turns up pregnant. Out of wedlock. Which is against the tenants of Sci's... luckily they find the heart to turn the other cheek and support the pregnancy, as it is Tom's baby. (Proof that Tom was not only straight, but fertile. Manly. Copiously sexual.) Where others had been punished in the past for such behavior (along with homosexuality, premarital relations are frowned upon) and sent for re-education and such. Not Tom and Katie. They were celebrated. Katie has a silent birth (because LRon knew what is best for a woman during childbirth, as men usually do). Baby born. Celebrate!

Chapter 13: As Katie and baby Suri recover from birth, Tom continues to parade the message of Sci. Using movies as his platform, and selling the religion instead of promoting his acting in the productions. I have to admit, I'm a bit over him now. The rest of this chapter is really more of the same. He appears to be one thing, and is another. He wants Sci's to have world domination, and is now basically second in command. Look for his company, United Artists, to do more movies in countries that Sci wants to gain a foothold - things like that.

Wrap Up thoughts:
I know I ended that last chapter's recap faster than even John Grisham would have, but I had just tired of him and them. Him = Tom. Them = Scis. He is a very strange man, wrapped up in a cult of personality. He has become his own god, and wants more power. His relationships are all very carefully planned to either advance his personal goals or the goals of scientology. Although, now they are all but one and the same. I think the most interesting thing about the book was the manipulation Morton discussed. Not that I didn't know it was there, but I didn't really realize the depth. Remember how he said he was a functional illiterate in high school? Well, when he was trying to convince Anne Rice that he was perfect for the part of Lestat in "Interview with the Vampire" he claimed he "had read Rice's 352-page tome when he was a teenager - no mean feat for a young man who described himself as a 'functional illiterate' when he left high school". (page 175) It's like his whole life has been manipulating history to fit the story he wants to tell.

I'm all for religious freedom, but I am wary of cults. I do think Scientology is a made up religion, and I don't think it will ever obtain the mainstream acceptance that other religions have obtained. It's not about spirituality, it doesn't bring comfort, it is about power. I feel like a real religion doesn't want power over it's believers - it wants to walk side by side with them towards a relationship with God. A real religion wouldn't want it's members to sign away their freedoms or free will. ASKING them to follow certain rules that would qualify them for church membership is one thing. Demanding it is certainly another. There are some Christian religions that prove to be hateful to those who are excommunicated or dis-fellow shipped. Asking followers to shun family members and former friends who do not follow the orders. (I used to work with a former JW who had been dis-fellow shipped, and it was not pretty.) Is this cultlike? I'm not sure. I think so... but do I have all the answers? Certainly not.

Andrew Morton's book was composed of two things that really draw me in. My almost morbid curiosity of the strangeness of celebrity (it's like driving by a car accident - I can't not look!), and a curious religion. I love religions, I love the culture of religions, I love the good that religions can bring and the hopefulness they support. I also love reading about quirky "religions" and cultures. I would recommend this book to anyone who shares my morbid curiosity of the strangeness of celebrity life, and the want of knowledge regarding a religion I don't know much about. (I also discovered that I have a problem using the word "religion" in regards to Scientology. To me, it just isn't.) Now that I know that, I can move on. Turns out it probably was worth the $11.00 I paid on (I just checked, and the price has gone up to $14.27.) If any of you want to read the book, just let me know and I'll get it to you. I'd feel so much better if someone else got some use out of it. If not, it is going to end up in my (I swear I will be having it this May) garage sale that I have been talking about for 2 years!

I'm off to NY Monday - Wednesday. If there are any other unauthorized biographies you'd like me to review / recap let me know! I'm not interested in anything "authorized", as "unauthorized" is always more fun!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Book Review / Recap (cont.)

When we left off things had started going badly for the Mapothers Cruises.

Chapter 9:
This is a pretty big chapter as far as information it includes.
They (Tom and Nic) break up. He's a dick about it, which is so unexpected. While she has been seemingly unappreciative of all his spoiling of her (almost as though all the sentiments and gifts were expected because of her strange sense of entitlement), once he finally was like, OK - we're done... she was crushed. I think she is the type of girl who feels like they can constantly demand and feel entitled to adoration without giving in return - and is shocked when this backfires on her. (Hmmm, I'll bet we all actually know people like this, right Aimee?) Anyway, he's not innocent in all of this. He's a real dick about it. (BTW, I know I keep using that word... but it really does feel to me like the most accurate word to use, besides being easier to type than massive jackass.) Also, he has already met Penelope Cruz and has her waiting in the wings for the divorce to finalize. (Are we seeing a pattern here? Bet Mimi Rogers could have told Nicole this was coming!) The divorce with Nic was all drama filled and sad smut. Penelope is a Catholic raised religious free spirit (I'm sure that makes sense to anyone who knows me), so she starts to hang with the Sci's. (I'm tired of typing the entire word Scientologist, so from now on they are Sci's.) This free spirited feeling for religions is going to prove all too accepting and heretic for the Sci's, leading to the breakup of Cruise/Cruz... but not until Chapter 10. Speaking of which....

Chapter 10:
This is the chapter where Tom starts going off the deep end. Literally. This is the fundamentalist sci that we've all watched with uncertainty for the last couple of years. The behavior seems to get more fanatic as he travels up LRon's bridge toward becoming his own god. He now has the ability to detoxify those hurt in 9/11, can cure any learning disability because of Sci's Study Tech, can get a junkie off drugs, can cure mental illness (which doesn't really exist, don't you know), and a multitude of other problems that are causing the ruin of society. He even peddles his messages in Washington, DC... so great is his belief that he has the correct answers and those in the government are dying to know his opinions. (He is so annoying at this point.) He thinks he as the "answers" because he has "done the reading." His answers are crap, and the only thing he's been reading are LRon's words. Even his good Samaritan acts are full of the feeling that he did it for the appearance of doing it - for how it looked, rather than the acts themselves. The deeper he gets in to the religion, the more being able to control his appearance matters to him. I think this is why he is SO offended by people thinking he is gay. It has nothing to do whether he is gay or not... but he can't control what people think of him - and this is his Achilles heel if you will. He thinks that he has a mystique that he can control. Bugs the hell out of him when people have their own opinions of what he is or might be.
From chapter 10; "Although he has lobbied vigorously for freedom of expression for his fellow Scientologists, Tom Cruise has proved relentless at using the law or professional arm twisting to muzzle others' freedom of speech." Exactly the problem.

In addition, today, I am adding my favorite quote from the book thus far. It has to do with the gay issue and it so funny. From Chapter 9:
"Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 has even spoken publicly about the rumor that he and Tom were caught in bed together by his wife. "If I was gay, Tom Cruise wouldn't be on the top of my list, " he said. "It would be Brad Pitt."

Take that, Tommy Boy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Book Review / Recap (cont.)

Chapter 4:
Wait... he dated Cher?? Huh?
Tom reconciles with his dying father, whom he hasn't seen in over 10 years. He also signs up to star in "Legend"... which fails miserably at the box office. This is when Top Gun gets started. Yum. Guess who turned down the role of Maverick? Matthew Modine, Scott Baio, and Mickey Rourke. Betcha they kicked themselves for that. Oh, and Kelly McGillis? Lesbian. (Allegedly.)

Chapter 5:
Mimi Rogers. Insane and narcissistic. Seriously, this woman was a beyotch. This is when Tom gets introduced to Scientology, as her dad was in on Scientology early on and she was raised with their beliefs. Here is the weird part... She gets the number one celebrity of the moment to take a look at this controversial religion - and they basically hate her because her dad turned his back on their "church" and she didn't break off all contact with him. Grateful much, Scientology? We start getting more writing on Scientology this chapter - which a control freak like Cruise can embrace.

Chapter 6:
More on Scientology. It all sort of falls apart for them (for the second or third time, I can hardly keep up) in the mid to late 80's, so getting Tom in to the fold is like mission imperative. He becomes very good friends with David Miscavige, who runs the show now that LRon has gone on to meet whatever afterlife they believe in. Oh, and he meets Nicole Kidman, who seems a little bit strange and spoiled. After he met and started dating Nicole he divorced Mimi. And, Nicole never actually broke up with the guy she was dating in Australia when she met Tom. He found out they were no longer together when he saw Tom and Nicole walk the red carpet together at the Academy Awards in 1990. Very classy!

Chapter 7:
I think if there was ever a time Tom was going to turn his back on Scientology it was when he was married to Nicole. She never fully embraced it, and they were constantly surrounded by handlers from the "church." Also, while they were married they spent an awful lot of time out of the country - so the Scientologist's grasp seemed to weaken a bit. Seems like he was very romantic with Nicole. Lots of flowers and love notes. I think he probably did genuinely love her. She was a complete bitch to the household staff, I guess, and he was no easy control freak to work for either! The Xenu thing is discussed in this chapter.

OK the best part of the book so far is this passage from Chapter 7:
(his auditor) recalls: "My sense was that he was just acting rather than being genuine." He was not the first, nor the last, to come away from an encounter with Tom wondering if his whole life was just an elaborate act. *
*Sums up what I think of him perfectly.

Chapter 8: (OK, I was sick last night and lay in bed reading. It's really not that this is a book I simply cannot put down.)
Mission Impossible. (A movie that I did love)
Met Princess Diana.
Read a script of a movie he would make later, Jerry Maguire.
Stanley Kubrick approached Tom and Nic (I feel close enough to her now to call her Nic) about doing Eyes Wide Shut. If there was anything that was the undoing of their marriage, that was it. I guess neither of them wanted to know as much about each other as they learned during the making of that move - which took, like, 2 YEARS! Gah!
Oh, he also starts suing anyone and everyone who implies he is gay. Big shock.

Tune in tomorrow for more of my take on Tom Cruise, An Unauthorized Biography!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Book Review / Recap (cont.)

Chapters 2 and 3:

Still a dick. No other word for it really. Not nearly as boring as the first chapter, as the lies about his past start coming to the surface. (All of his High School Friends remember him being a B/C student, and he did just fine reading scripts for the school theatre productions. Tom, however, has stated in many interviews that he was a functional illiterate.) Chapter 3 has him as even more ego maniacal as his career starts taking off. A jerk with an attitude, and - as someone is quoted as saying - a personality "more bland than tofu, but without the taste." I guess he liked find out people's weaknesses and then call them out on it in public.

Ha Ha Ha! Always was a jerk. Always was this seemingly "intense" sort of guy that - after he was in the movie Taps (remember that one, ladies?) he took his ex-high school girlfriend aside at a party in NJ and told her, "I have taken Hollywood by the balls." Can't you just hear it??

Oh, also was a homophobe. Interesting.

More tomorrow.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Unauthorized Blog Review

OK, I received my Unauthorized Biography of Tom Cruise Mapother IV (aka Maverick) today. I think I'm going to blog as I go during the reading of this much looked forward to outing of the weirdness of a celebrity great. I feel in my heart that this book is worth so much more than the regular book review that I might normally write upon finishing the book.

Squee! I'm so excited!

Chapter One.
Oh help me Lord in Heaven! So far this book is dull.
So very dull I feel like this book may have been a huge waste of $11.00. Now, I am totally voyeuristic regarding celebrities lives, but this is ridiculous.
I'll struggle through the next few chapters just for the hell of it. Hopefully things pick up. So far all I know is he was sort of a dick in elementary and junior high school. I suppose I could have written that part myself.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Things have taken a bad turn

And I'm afraid it's all my fault.

Perhaps if I had set a better example for my daughter?
Perhaps if I wasn't so shallow she'd have stood a chance?
Perhaps if I had taken to heart that you can't judge a book by it's cover?

Because of my bad habits.
Because of my affinity to the books cover instead of it's contents.
Because of my magpie attraction to all things pink and shiny in the literature world.

On account of the fact that I cannot stop reading books such as these:

my darling daughter is now emphatically attracted to books such as this:

... and this:

My fear is what will come home from the library once she sees me reading this:

Karma? I'm still your bitch.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I should have guessed!

Because when you are a little girl and BEG for Santa to bring you THIS:

What you inevitably end up playing with instead is her stupid little dog:

I'm not complaining. At least she liked something she got for Christmas. All I'm saying is that Santa could have saved herself about $146.00 if she had known.

So, just to save me some aggrevation... is parenting always going to make more sense in hindsight?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

My children argue... a lot.

Which I know isn't a rarity. It happens.

But sometimes Husband and I cannot help laughing at what comes out of their mouths when the arguing hits a peak.

Like this morning. DD2 wanted to use the computer DD1 was using. Apparently this was less than acceptable to DD1, but it escalated when DD2 started to STARE at her. (The all effective little-sister-stare maneuver. A classic.) DD1's response to this historic tactic?

"AAAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH - - She is staring at me! Her veins are bulging and pulsing and RED!!!!!"

So, the mental image that Husband and I get is that this child...

has morphed in to this child...

(but with redder, more bulgy eyes)
Of course our laughing didn't help the hysteria that was going on in the other room - and already on the sixth day of the year our Parents-of-the-Year award is in the toilet... but who knew losing that award would be so funny?

Oh, is that wrong?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Only 355 days left till Christmas...

...just so, you know, you're prepared next year!

I've decided to keep you updated on such important information in 2008.

304 days left to decide your presidential vote. I'll also be keeping track of this... just so, you know, you'll vote for the right democrat for the job!

Peace out.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I don't care who you are.....

....because this? Is FUNNY!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

In case you want to see pics....

I posted a whole bunch of pics at my Flickr. The new stuff starts with sledding the other day, and goes back through Thanksgiving.

Again, Happy New Year!

How does an exciting family like mine spend New Years Eve?

The girls really wanted to stay up for the New Year... and Husband and I rarely go out for New Years Eve anymore - so it was a family event.

Mussels and calamari for dinner, followed by a little play time. Then it's upstairs for us girls to change all the sheets, because if ever there is a reason for "clean sheet night" it's New Years Eve! (My girls and I all love "clean sheet night". For some reason it's just cozier than other nights! Oh, another post idea!) Besides, it's a good way to kill an hour as DD1 and DD2 just love to spend time arranging their bed mates. (They have like 20 stuffed creatures on their beds. Each. Ugh.) Then it's downstairs to await the countdown of the ball dropping live from NY at 10pm (in case they don't make it to midnight) followed by all of us cuddling on the sofas with each other and popcorn for a family viewing of Shrek the Third. (Funny. Can't believe we hadn't seen it before.)

After that we had 18 minutes to kill until midnight - and DD2 starts the serious NOD. (Head back, mouth open, looked like JZ's kid!) The three of us managed to stay awake long enough to see Dick Clark countdown to our 12:00 (Which made me a little sad. Not because I'm one of the lame people watching the Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin Eve - which in itself is a little sad - but because Dick probably needs to retire. I felt pity for him, and I know that wouldn't make him happy.) 3........



Happy New Year!

And, off to bed.

Aren't we the lively bunch!!!!!!