Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why Hugh Hood And I Hate Seth Rogen

Though he's been dead for about eight years, Hugh Hood and I still chat. Mostly through my Ouija board.

When I was thirteen, back when Hood was still buying subway tokens, I found The Swing in the Garden in the garbage bin outside my high school's library. "Excuse me," I said, showing the book to the librarian, "I think someone might have accidentally thrown this out."

"You want it?" she said. "Take it."

"Don't I have to sign it out?"

She shook her head, mumbling: "Just burn it when you're done."

So I took the book home, read it, and became a fan of Hood. I looked up his address in the Canadian Bookman and wrote him a letter, introducing myself and asking whether he could recommend other Canadian writers whose work I should read. My English teacher had never heard of Hood, and I needed to learn more about Canadian writing.

Hood wrote back, weeks later, telling me to "Fuck off." I sent him a prompt reply, making sure to rub both the envelope and the sheet of paper on a used condom that I'd found in the park across the street from my house.

Hood's response to the second letter was a little more favourable, urging me to come to visit him only if I was prepared first to deliver his paper route. I did, and we became instant friends.

Now I'll get to the Seth Rogen thing.

Hugh Hood hates Seth Rogen. Nine years ago I was with Hood in a Christie Street coffee shop, and we were talking about the future. Hood dabbled in palmistry and fortune telling, and considering himself a minor prophet.

"There's going to be a Jew," he told me one day, "who's fat, ugly, and stupid. Just like you, but much heavier." I was 150 pounds at the time. "He'll be around two-fifty. Maybe even three hundred. I can't stress enough the importance of his weight."

"Why?" I asked. "What does that have to do with anything?"

"Because he'll be so grotesque that no woman would ever want him."

"And you see a person like this existing in the future?"


"Wow. And, tell me this: Will we also have bread? Will there be bread in the future? Will ice still form in sub-zero weather? Can you see that in your crystal ball?"

"Fuck you," he said.

"Did you just drink my tea?"

He ignored me. "This person will be an actor. A big, fat, Jewish actor. And in his films he'll be a loser. But he'll always get the girl."

"That's Hollywood," I said. "There's a reason why Scott Fitzgerald said that it was the only place in the world where they hung toilets on the wall."

"Remember that prediction," Hugh told me. "Just remember it."

"I will."

"And the girls will be Gentiles. Every single one. And golden-haired. They'll be successful, beautiful. And, through a series of interrelated coincidences, they'll learn to love him."

"But why would they learn to love him? Why wouldn't they just find someone equally attractive, someone smart and rich, whose company they could actually enjoy?"

"That's my point!"

"Oh, I see: This loser'll give hope to all the other average guys out there who will, in all likelihood, meet and marry A-list actresses."


"And all they'll have to do is find said actresses, stalk them, stick around long enough, and everything'll work out in the end."

"I can't see how it wouldn't."

That was Hood's prediction nine years ago. And now with the rise of Apatow and Rogen it's all come true. Superbad, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Knocked Up, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall; all Apatow-influenced, Rogen-ish vehicles that tread heavily in Who's the Boss? territory.

So, obviously, it'll just be a short period of time 'til we see an ugly, overweight, cloying, Jewish actress bag Chad Michael Murray, then encourage his love through a series of hilarious misunderstandings.


Overweight Jewess and CMM jump on a trampoline. OJ lands, causing CMM to be launched into the air, landing on OJ's head.

OJ: Oops!

CMM: No, don't worry. That happened all the time at Exeter.

Wait, let me just think of an overweight, ugly, Hollywood Jewess...Let me just think...

Well, I'm sure we can find someone in Glendale.

Rogen and Heigl. You know, Woody Allen didn't even have the balls for that. Mia Farrow was the furthest he'd go. And while she was a handsome woman, in my wide travels through adult circles I have never met anyone who's said, "I'd leave my wife for Mia Farrow." "I'd eat dinner with her; I'd take her on my boat. But that's about it."

Hugh understood Hollywood.

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