Area Girlfriend Still Hasn't Seen Apocalypse Now

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Vol 36 Issue 07

CNN Headline News Reporter Unafraid To Face The Cold, Hard Factoids

ATLANTA–In an interview in the March issue of Brill's Content, CNN Headline News anchor Lynne Russell described herself as "committed to reporting the cold, hard factoids, no matter what the cost." In the candid interview, Russell is quoted as saying, "Americans eat 850 million pounds of cranberry sauce each Thanksgiving. You may not want to hear that, but it's an undeniable factoid, and I am going to report it." Russell came under fire last year for a controversial report alleging that the average pair of shoes is worn for 14 months.

Alex Trebek Deftly Prolongs Agonizing Small Talk

BURBANK, CA–Alex Trebek, host of the popular quiz show Jeopardy, deftly prolonged a mid-show chat with contestant Paula Riel into an agonizing 45 seconds Monday. "So, do you meet many interesting or famous people in your job?" Trebek asked Riel, a 33-year-old Norwalk, CT, flight attendant, during the informal "meet the contestants" portion of the broadcast. Upon hearing that Riel had once served a Diet Coke to actor Jeff Daniels, Trebek responded, "He's a very talented actor, although I understand that his latest film was not such a big hit. That's very unfortunate for him." Riel responded by nodding in a non-committal manner.

Local Welder Suffering From Welder's Block

EASTON, PA–Area welder Bruce Meacham admitted Monday that he is suffering from a severe case of welder's block. "I know what I want to do," Meacham said. "I need to get this supporting strut attached to the main body of this girder. But I keep running into a wall every time I sit down and try to actually weld." Meacham said he spent the better part of last Saturday putting on his goggles, starting up his acetylene torch, and then merely staring at the two pieces of metal for hours. "You've got to understand, welding is a creative act," Meacham said. "It's not the kind of thing where you can just punch the clock and do it from nine to five."

Hillary's Last Name Dropped From Senate Race

ONEONTA, NY–Ending weeks of speculation, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager confirmed Monday that the Democratic candidate is dropping her last name from the New York Senate race. "After much consideration, Hillary has decided that she can run a leaner, more effective campaign with just her first name," Howard Wolfson announced at a rally in Oneonta. "We thank all of Hillary's supporters, and all the citizens of the great state of New York, for standing by her on her road to becoming 'Senator Hillary.'" Hillary is married to politician Bill Clinton.

Violence On Ice

On Feb. 21, Boston Bruins defenseman Marty McSorley was suspended for the rest of the season for a savage stick hit to the head of Vancouver Canucks left winger Donald Brashear. What do you think of this latest incident of NHL violence and the possibility of criminal prosecution?
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Scientists Posit Theoretical ‘Productive Weekend’

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Area Girlfriend Still Hasn't Seen Apocalypse Now

AZUSA, CA–In a discovery prompting exasperated forehead-slapping and stunned expressions of incredulity, Mark Tillich learned Monday that girlfriend Brandi Jensen has never even seen Apocalypse Now.

Mark Tillich and Brandi Jensen, who, unbelievably, has never seen <I>Apocalypse Now</I>, "one of the greatest films of all time."

"You gotta be kiddin' me, Bran!" said Tillich, 21, a senior marketing major at Azusa Pacific University, upon discovering Jensen's ignorance of the 1979 Francis Ford Coppola-directed Vietnam War epic. "It's only, like, arguably the most ambitious anti-war statement in American movie history. Jesus!"

"I cannot believe you've never seen Apocalypse Now," he added. "That's insane."

Tillich, who first saw the critically acclaimed film on HBO at age 14 while sleeping over at a friend's house, was particularly distressed by the fact that Jensen had not only never seen the film, but was wholly unfamiliar with its basic premise.

"Hello? Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness updated from 19th-century British imperialism in the Congo to a critique of 20th-century U.S. imperialism in Southeast Asia? Hello? Any of this ringing a bell?" Tillich said. "Come on, that's like saying you've never seen Full Metal Jacket."

When Jensen replied that she hadn't even heard of Full Metal Jacket, Tillich threw up his hands in an "I give up" gesture and stormed out of the room.

"It's not like I don't like movies," Jensen said. "I loved Notting Hill, and I'm totally psyched to see Hanging Up–I'm the biggest Meg Ryan fan. I even used to have a When Harry Met Sally poster in my dorm room. And have you seen My Best Friend's Wedding? Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz are so amazing in it. My all-time favorite, though, has got to be Beaches."

Tillich, however, is unimpressed. "He called my movies overwrought, weepy chick dramas lacking in any genuine visceral impact,'" Jensen said. "Well, excuse me for living, Mr. Big Army Guns."

Tillich responded to his girlfriend's shocking Apocalypse Now revelation by making plans for her to see it that night, claiming that "to deny [her] the pleasure [she] would experience in viewing such a cinematic masterpiece for even one more second would be a crime."

Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz, a "mind-blowing" character with whom Jensen is unfamiliar.

Though Jensen declined, telling him she had to study for a test, Tillich persisted, trying to convey to her "the urgency of rectifying this situation as soon as possible."

"After class yesterday, I was hanging out with them, and he wouldn't shut up about it," said Melissa Ayler, Jensen's best friend. "He was like, 'But it's got Robert Duvall's classic turn as the surfing-obsessed helicopter squad leader!' Then he started quoting all these lines from it, saying stuff like, 'Charlie don't surf,' and 'I love the smell of A-bombs in the morning.' At least, I think that's what he said–I've never seen the stupid movie, either."

Tillich housemate Howie Fuller said that while eating dinner with the couple and several of Jensen's friends, Tillich described in detail the film's climactic scene, in which villagers hack an ox to pieces as The Doors' "The End" plays.

"She was like, 'What's so appealing about an ox getting violently slaughtered? It really doesn't sound like something I'd enjoy, Mark.' And all the girls at the table were like, 'Yeah, that's gross,'" Fuller said. "But that just made him lose it even worse. He started screaming, 'You don't understand! The destruction of the ox parallels the destruction of Colonel Kurtz! Can't you see that?' It was sad."

According to Tillich, Jensen's failure to see Apocalypse Now is her worst cinematic transgression since last October, when the couple was browsing a Blockbuster video store and she casually pointed at the box for Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver and said, "I've seen that. Yuck!" Jensen further outraged Tillich when she rejected such proposed rentals as A Clockwork Orange, Glengarry Glen Ross, Wall Street, and True Romance.

Other infamous episodes that have occurred during the couple's 18-month relationship include Tillich's August 1999 insistence that Jensen listen to all of side two of the Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat, his January 1999 failure to talk Jensen into visiting the grave of Philip K. Dick during a Colorado road trip, and his ongoing unsuccessful efforts to get her to read Alan Moore's Watchmen, a 1986 postmodern-superhero graphic novel she described as "a comic book about a big blue space guy" and that he calls "nothing less than a total, devastating deconstruction of virtually every archetype in the genre's history."

The most frustrating thing, Tillich said, is the fact that Jensen is "exactly my idea of the perfect woman for me," making her ignorance of the seminal film all the harder to fathom and forcing him to call into question, at a profound level, the basic foundation of their relationship and future together.

"You've got to realize, Bran is not just some airhead," Tillich told Fuller over drinks at the Azusa Pacific student union. "She's intelligent, involved, and culturally aware. So how the hell could she not know about Brando and Sheen's classic encounters in Kurtz's depraved jungle fortress? What in Apocalypse Now could possibly be unappealing to a smart, deep, complicated, interesting 22-year-old woman? It just doesn't add up."

"I just don't know if I can be seriously committed to somebody who has no interest in seeing Apocalypse Now," Tillich continued. "She's just really missing out. I bet she'd love it I could just get her to sit down and watch it."

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