Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Lesson In Verbal Sparring

I've mentioned in the past what a joke Loyola Marymount's administration has proven to be. Specifically, I've discussed the University's total mishandling of an election in which a candidate clearly cheated. However, I'm not here to rehash that. Instead I thought I'd share a debate I had with one of the cheating candidate's (Murphy) biggest supporters.

The backstory: a friend of mine tipped me off that I had been mentioned in a Murphy messageboard. So, I of course went to read what had been said. I found this:

Elyse wrote on Mar 29, 2006 at 5:00 PM

I think Everyone needs to read the letter to the editor in this week's Loyolan. Greg Dunaway is quite demeaning. He says "the most pathetic aspect of [the Loyolan's coverage] is the way you make excuses for Murphy"
In my opinion, the only Pathetic occurence is the fact that HE needs to get over the loss of his choice for presidency. I hope he reads this. GREG, get a clue. No one wants to hear your BS.

(The letter I wrote to the Loyolan can be found here. Read it and the rest of this will make a lot more sense)

Now, if any of my friends had been around me as I read Elyse's little posting, I imagine them shaking their heads, knowing what was coming next. And they would have course not been shocked when I responded to Miss Elyse with the following, charming letter.

Hello Elyse,

One of my friends forwarded me your message board quotation. Thanks for telling me to get a clue.

Also, thanks for keeping me updated. I thought for sure that someone might want to hear my "BS" but I guess I was wrong. I'll be sure to keep any future "occurences" from containing any more "BS."

With stellar arguments like that and kind, good hearted people like you working behind him, Stephen Murphy is sure to have no problem "Fixing ASLMU."

Have a great day!


With bait like that, I knew she would respond. How did I know? There is no easier person in the world to toy with than a college radical feminist. There are long on bullshit and short on facts. Would she respond? Of course she would. How could she not teach the chauvinist pig dog a lesson? (This is the unedited response I received. My responses are also unedited)

Oh Mr. Dunaway, I was hoping to speak to your pompous self. Your so called letter to the editor was in fact, full of shit, AKA bull shit or BS most candidly put, if you wish.

"Murphy continually lied throughout his campaign". Give me facts for that. Quite on the contrary, Murphy was a truthful, responsible candidate- a rebel in some people's eyes, for finally coming out and Saying that ASLMU truly does need to be fixed.

Shoddy reporting? I think truthful reporting is quite the opposite of shoddy. The Loyolan reported what was true throughout the campaign.

And Yes- youre so called Letter does document that Murphy was free to break election rules. WHY? Are you severely bollixed? He was a write-in candidate, thus his name was not even printed on the ballot. This allows him to do as he pleases. There are no rules for write in candidates! Were you unaware of this? If so, it might "behoove you to read the ruling".

Finally, I find your last paragraph in "[your] letter to the editor" to be quite pathetic in of itself. I want to know the exact excuses the Loyolan made for Murphy, along with his so called lies. Murphy is the new ASLMU president, and is/will be an outstanding one at that.

And by the way, you advise the Loyolan to join Murphy's campaign- Well HONEY, the campaign is over, and the presidency is in.

Have a GREAT DAY, and good luck in life!


P.S. Thanks for appreciating my argument, as it is stellar. I concur on that statement. And Don't worry, Murphy is sure to have NO problem whatsoever fixing ASLMU.

Not bad. Not bad. But I rubbed my hands with glee as I typed this rebuttal. I still laugh as I re-read it. Brace yourselves, it is LONG.

To Whom It May Concern:

The pompous Greg Dunaway no longer speaks in the 1st person. In all future correspondence you may refer to him as "Oh Captain My Captain" or "Supreme Ruler of the Universe."

However, he has, in his esteemed majesty, seen fit to address a few of your concerns. Consider yourself lucky. This letter is lengthy and the merciful Greg suggests taking breaks every five minutes or so.

As it pertains to cheating and just generally being a slimeball, Greg has found Stephen Murphy guilty of the following:

Murphy's campaign on several occasions both during the campaigning and voting periods was caught red handed in residence halls and apartments actively campaigning and begging for votes. Unluckily for Stephen, this was documented by Residence Hall Staff. Whoops. Supreme Ruler Greg reminds Elyse, that Residence Hall rules apply to EVERYONE, even slimeballs like Stephen Murphy.

Due to his large brain capacity, Greg will now list the following sections Murphy wantonly broke:

ASLMU Constitution Chapter XII Article IV Letter B eg 2.
ASLMU Constitution Chapter XII Article V Letter B eg 6.
LMU Student Conduct Code Section IV Letter P
LMU Housing Policy XIII Littering
LMU Housing Policy XXIV. Solicitation

Breaking these rules is called CHEATING, Supreme Ruler Greg reminds Elyse.

Furthermore, His Excellency asserts, your "rebel" hero is really nothing more than a dirty mudslinger.

During and after the election period your man-God Murphy harassed candidates, vandalized property and basically lied. Supreme Ruler Greg does not approve. Murphy's campaign vandalized real candidate's publicity, slandered people via a crappy rap song on his official (and in Greg's estimation, poorly designed) website, and issued baldfaced lies about the reasons for their disqualifications. Murphy refused to stand up like a man and own up for his cheating ways. In his Manliness, Greg would have volunteered for public lashings. Murphy, instead whined like a girly man.

Once again, His Excellency will list the violations for you- you may want to consider a gift basket for this generosity:

Student Conduct Code Article IV Letter B
Student Conduct Code Article IV Letter G
ASLMU Constitution Article III Letter 3 eg 3
ASLMU Constitution Article IV Section 9

As Supreme Ruler Greg wraps up his magnanimous letter, he would like to remind Elyse that it may indeed "behoove" her to stick to facts when calling people "idiots."

When you mess with people of superior intellect you had best bring your A game. In His Excellency's country we call what just happened getting "owned."

If Murphy is a "responsible" candidate, then perhaps Supreme Ruler Greg thinks Elyse needs to redefine some standards.

With Sincerest Arrogance,

In God We Trust,

His Holiness,

His Awesomeness,

His Really Good Lookingness,

His Supreme Ruler of Everything, Including In N'Out Which Is Delicious,

With Disrespect to Stephen Murphy and Cheaters Everywhere,

In Hank We Trust,

His Excellency,

Greg "More Roundhouse Kicks to the Face than Chuck Norris" Dunaway

Such ended my encounters with Elyse, as sadly, she never returned the favor of another response. I doubt she realized the error of her ways- some people are just too stubborn to remotely consider facts when they are consumed with emotion.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

My Summer Job: Swooped Part Two

Step into my shoes: Your "date" has turned into a threesome. There's an extra guy along and although it's not quite your fault, it's not really your counterparts either. So who pays?

In my case, fate intervened. Just as I was about to step into line next to Abby at the Mexican restaurant Justin came up and told me Tim was on the phone for me. I took the call, but watched through the window. Abby paid for herself. Strike one. Tim told me he was on the way down, he might skate a few laps, but he was going to leave with Justin. Sounded good to me.

As the three of us walked to the ice rink, I was in a better mood. I headed to my car to grab my skates while Abby and Justin headed in to the rink. As I walked up to the register I noticed that Justin's total was a little high. Like twenty-one dollars high. He had paid for Abby. Strike two. I headed down to throw on my skates, wondering how I had pissed off God so badly.

In a stroke of good luck, Abby needed help putting on her skates- something I was more than happy to help her out with. Skates on, ready to go, we headed out onto the ice. Now, ice skating, for someone who has never been on the ice- is tough. Which is why I was totally ready to grab for Abby as she stepped on next to me. I was stunned when she immediately started skating forward- ahead of me. I was shocked. She was skating fine, as if she'd been born on the ice. Pretty - check. Funny - check. Skates like a pro - check. I was sold.

Abby has a unique ability to relate to pretty much anyone. So when I whipped my head around and saw her talking and skating to a couple of young kids I wasn't surprised. I wasn't really offended either, it's hard to hold her attention. Not in an A.D.D. way, Abby is different. When's she's looking into your eyes, really holding your gaze, you are the most important thing in the world. But those times are few and far between. Often times, I've been in what I thought was mid-conversation with her, only to see her run over to a kid. It happens a lot. Was she giving me a hint? Was she really not that into me? Perhaps.

As the night went on the full fiasco took over. Abby did not really need lessons, so that avenue was out and Justin was more than happy to show her the ropes on any of the particulars. Tim eventually did show up and he did try to take Justin with him- it didn't work. He came up to me, told me he tried his best, shrugged his shoulders and took off. If Justin made one mistake- and let's be frank here, he was probably on cloud 9 at this point- this was it: he challenged me to a race. Now, I'm not in hockey shape, and I haven't been for a while. But I knew I could make it from end to end in six seconds and that was slow. Judging from how Justin was skating, I knew I had him. I even graciously declined his offer- the first time.

I beat him by a good two seconds, but it didn't matter. In the race that mattered he had me. He had charmed Abby on a date he didn't arrange, with a guy circling the whole time.

I'll never know how I came off that night. Maybe Abby appreciated my subdued approach to Justin's straightforward advances. As we left, I gave Abby a hug and halfheartedly asked if she wanted to go out again. Her quick response was "Sure," but "sure" was not the look she was giving me. With a last gleaming smile she took off in her red convertible and I wished to God things had gone differently.

As it turns out, first impressions might have killed me.

To be continued...

Monday, July 10, 2006

A Few Words With An Oscar Winner

I had just gotten done lifting weights this evening and was chatting with a friend, when I noticed her eyes repeatedly drifting off in our conversation. I turned around and didn't see anything out of the ordinary- some guys shooting some hoops. She pointed at a short, black guy in a white New York Yankees cap.

"Isn't that Jamie Foxx?"

I turned around to look and I saw a guy, about 5'10" reasonably strong. His hat was low, but I looked hard enough to see it was indeed Jamie Foxx. One thing you'll notice is that most movie stars do not look "it" in person. Cameras can do wonders.

I thought "Cool" and turned back to my conversation. I'm not a person who is overwhelmed with a desire to get autographs/impress/annoy celebrities. He looked like he was having fun shooting around with a former coach of the Phoenix Suns and some other buddies. No need to bother him.

I said good bye to my friend and headed upstairs to ride the bike for a bit (I'm trying to whip my butt into shape, seeing as how I have to have my shirt off a lot for this Lifeguarding gig I landed) A half hour later Mr. Foxx was still shooting around, playing pickup and having a good time. He wasn't overwhelmingly talented or maybe he just wasn't trying- who knows. Nonetheless, I wrapped up my workout and started thinking- should I ask him something? Would I regret it if I didn't? I'm a film student- what should a film student ask? How much time would he give me? Would he ignore me?

I walked past where he was playing and stopped to watch for a second. The coach was putting him through a drill. He finished and walked towards a chair a few yards away from me. His rather large bodyguard sat next to him. He looked bored, so I figured "What the hell?" and walked up to him.

Greg: Mr. Foxx, can I ask you a quick question?
JF: Yeah man, sure.
Greg: I'm a film student and was curious- what's the difference between a good director and a bad director?
JF: A good director and a bad director?
Greg: Yeah.
JF: Nothing, man no difference.
Greg: Really?
JF: It's just different ways to tell a story. Every director has a different way to tell a story. Sometimes you get the right people, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you get critical acclaim, sometimes you don't. You just got to get out there and tell YOUR story. The world is there for the taking man. Just tell your story.

And with that I thanked him and headed out.

On the drive home I thought about what he had told me. I think objectively, there are BAD directors. I've worked with people who I think legitimately are untalented directors. Some are nice, some are not, but they lack the talent to lead, to share their vision. Was he being coy with me? Doubtful. I think after a certain time in the business, you just come to accept that people with talent sometimes aren't going to get work. Sometimes idiots get lots of money to make stupid movies. But through it all, it is THEIR movie. It is THEIR story.

And telling stories is really what Hollywood is all about. From an Oscar winner to a film student.