I know by now that most of you have read (or at least read a summary of) Lawrence Wright’s astonishing “New Yorker” article on Scientology. In it he and writer/director-of-dubious-talent Paul Haggis unveil the troubling and criminal aspects of the church and its more powerful members. When I read the article, my feelings of ambivalence towards Scientology evaporated. Those involved were not only cuckoo birds of the highest magnitude, but (at least at the very top) completely nefarious individuals. Now, the folks on this list may only be guilty of willful ignorance about the Scientology and its practices or serious gullibility when it comes to the stranger tenets of the church, but their association taints my good opinion of them nonetheless. That is to say, I don’t think these folks are monsters, some of them, in fact, were born into the church and I understand, from the “New Yorker” article that it is a very isolating faith and notoriously hard to shake without irrevocably cutting ties with your family and loved ones. Nevertheless, they and their body of work is now tainted for me. Joey Potter, I sort of feebly miss you, but these people? My heart breaks.
POP CULTURAL COLLATERAL DAMAGE: Enjoyment of the phrase “beefcake pantyhose” oh, and all the music from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Awww, tr*ck, tr*ck, tr*ck.
POP CULTURAL COLLATERAL DAMAGE: Seasons One and Two of “Veronica Mars.” I can blame the distaste I have for Season Three on neither Dohring, Hubbard nor Xenu.
POP CULTURAL COLLATERAL DAMAGE: “Mad Men,” some seasons of “West Wing.” Like, all of them except Season Three.
POP CULTURAL COLLATERAL DAMAGE: The Early Good Stuff That Kevin Smith Made Before He Lost Perspective and, oh yeah, my favorite Cameron Crowe film. No, not Vanilla Sky, smart *ss. That’s right, Almost Famous. Oh, Feeeever Daaaaawg.
POP CULTURAL COLLATERAL DAMAGE: OH JUST MY FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME, “GOOD OMENS.” Also, all his other stuff. But, “Good Omens?” That burns deep.
Joanna Robinson will someday, Xenu willing, be a famous player in Hollywood and will, on that day, use all her influence to make a movie of “Good Omens.” Maybe even a miniseries. Dreamcasting it is her favorite diversion. If he’s old enough at that point, Caspar Salmon will play Crowley.