Illustration by Bob AulClockwork recently pulled into the parking lot of a Costa Mesa hardware store, where we'd gone just before closing to pick up supplies for our annual nude grout party, when out of the darkness emerged a lad, about 14 years old, pushing a shopping cart carrying another boy, also about 14. The first lad purposely rolled the cart into a curb, launching the passenger head-first into a hedge. Dutifully videotaping this stupidity was a male cinematographer of similar age accompanied by a young girl with the worst production-assistant job ever. Yes, MTV's Jackass has captured the hearts and imaginations of Orange County's youth. And it's not just a local phenomenon, as Jason Lind proved on Jan. 26. The 13-year-old Connecticut boy tried to re-create the Jackass stunt in which star Johnny Knoxville, wearing a fire-resistant suit, is set ablaze. There was just one hitch: Lind wasn't wearing the all-important fire-resistant suit when he was doused with gasoline and torched like an underachieving Oriental rug store. He wound up in critical but stable condition at a Boston hospital with second- and third-degree burns to his—owie!—lower extremities. Joe Lieberman, wearing his "I'm the country's popularly elected vice president and all I got was my stupid U.S. Senate seat back" T-shirt, urged MTV to deep-six Jackass. But network brass defended the show, noting the numerous "don't try this at home" disclaimers they air and the producers' unwillingness to view—or even open—video submissions. By the way, the second season of Jackass begins on Feb. 18. Fire up the VCRs (and camcorders), kiddies.
AND BABY MAKES MEGAWATTS A group called Californians for Population Stabilization faxed Clockwork on Jan. 31 to announce that the state "doesn't have an energy shortage. It has a population 'longage.'" The group pointed to statistics that show the Golden State's population ballooned from 23 million in 1979 to 33 million in 1999, mirroring the increased need for energy. "California's annual growth rate of 1.7 percent exceeds that of Bangladesh," notes the group. And George Harrison ain't throwing us no concert! Their final solution? "Take steps to curtail the increases in the human population." The first ones we should curtail are the politicians, developers, college presidents, business-page writers and assorted scumbags who maintain Orange County must build more houses to stabilize our economy.
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'CLUB FED' TED As he was being sentenced to five years in federal prison for extortion and money-laundering on Jan. 31, disgraced former Santa Ana City Councilman Ted Moreno told the court that he sought money from an FBI informant so that he could save the city from moral decline. His proof: Santa Ana's multimillion-dollar effort to create a downtown arts district, which, as everyone knows, are gay and lesbian magnets. "I just know the gay lifestyle is a sin and offensive to God," barfed Moreno, who obviously doesn't think God has a problem with extortion and money laundering. His sentiments moved Rude Guerrilla Theater Company co-founder Dave Barton to dedicate the next production he's directing at the Santa Ana Arts Village's Empire Theater to the "ex-councilman/soon-to-be jailbird." The play: Mark Ravenhill's Shopping and Fucking (look for it elsewhere as Shopping and F***ing), which opens on Feb. 16 and centers on graphic gay sex, heroin addiction, snuff films, Chekhov monologues in the nude, statutory rape, drug dealing, phone sex, masturbation and petty crime—just like 7th Heaven. "We feel it's the least we can do under the circumstances. I mean, hey, he called us artists!" explained Barton. "In fact, if he can get out of house arrest for an evening, we'll even give him two free tickets for opening night. All he has to do is show up at the box office. And if he needs a couple of dollars in order to make that appearance, we're willing to be accommodating." Mr. Moreno, box-office operators are standing by at (714) 547-4688.