January 02, 2006

Not-So-Top Gun

Well, dear reader, it’s officially 2006 AD (or CE, if you prefer). Although we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” will still sign our checks 2005 for about three months, the New Year has arrived.

And, if you are anything like us, dear reader, you are wondering one thing: Will 2006 treat Tom Cruise better than did 2005? You may not admit it, but you’re stuck pondering that brain-teaser. That’s one of the things that makes you, like Clement Greenberg, a highbrow.

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” hate to say it, but we have the sneaking suspicion that 2006 will not be any kinder to our beloved diminutive homosexual film star than 2005. In fact, Mr. Cruise, upon hearing the following news, may very well jump on a couch out of anger.

A dutiful reader of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” who may or may not have preferred to remain nameless sent us word of an Associated Press report regarding the Most Irritating Star of All Time. As the AP informs us, the British magazine Empire conducted a survey of ten thousand film fans, and they overwhelmingly ranked Mr. Cruise the most annoying.

Yep, that’s right: Moviegoers found Mr. Cruise the most irksome actor ever. Which, if we recall correctly, is a long, long time. That, we feel, is an insult.

Ponder, if you will, the myriad film stars who have bothered you in the past: Queen Latifah, Hugh Grant, Peter Lorre, Eric Roberts, Al Jolson, et al. It’s a pretty irritating parade of people, isn’t it? And, if the undoubtedly deeply intellectual readers of Empire magazine are to be trusted, Mr. Cruise outflanks all of them in irksomeness. We bet L. Ron Hubbard didn’t see this coming.

We must note, however, that moviegoers—even moviegoers as cosmopolitan as Empire magazine’s readership base—tend to be a little “presentist” in their choices, if we may employ a recent academic coinage. That is to say, asked to name the best singer of all time, contemporary audiences are likely to choose Diddy. This, quite naturally, demonstrates an appalling lack of historical knowledge: Don’t these buffoons know that he was previously Puff Daddy and P-Diddy?

So, our words of consolation to Mr. Cruise are the following: You may not, in fact, be the most irritating film star of all time. That may be Martin Lawrence. Rather, you are merely the most irritating film star of recent memory, which, quite frankly, isn’t very long.

There, there, Mr. Cruise, don’t you feel better? Or perhaps the news will drive you to take some prescription medication?

Posted at January 2, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack