I can’t pinpoint the exact moment in my life when I made Sandra Bullock the butt of all my jokes, but I know it started fairly early on in her career. I first remember utilizing her name during the early ‘90s when I went to see the band Surgeon General play in a club in New Jersey. Some skinny punk kept smacking his hands into my face in the pit, so I threw an elbow into his stomach, knocking him down. As I helped him up, I screamed into his ear, “Sandra Bullock sends her regards, bitch!” Then I threw him back into the mosh.
A few years later I featured a nude Bullock on the cover of a zine I published. I had grabbed the photo off the Internet from one of those newsgroups that runs fake photos of naked celebrities. People believed the photo was real, though, and that’s when the ball really got rolling.
Bullock, the girl-next-door actor who is the Hollywood equivalent of Katie Couric, always seemed to me to be someone who just sort of fell into a career. (Oddly enough, both Couric and Bullock were born in Arlington, Virginia about seven years apart.) She does a passable job, but there really isn’t much there, and I think that’s why Americans love her. They see her driving a bus really fast and think, “Yeah, I could do her job. She’s barely acting. She’s one of us.” I don’t share the public’s adoration.
There are far better actresses out there. Beth Ulrich, for instance. She’s someone who can kick Bullock’s ass in any role, yet you don’t see her in enough movies. Why? I’ve ragged about this for a while, but I still don’t really get it. Studios would apparently rather have the talent starved Bullock in their films because she’s proven. Like a car accident, she draws an audience. My God, how far have our standards fallen?
Bullock isn’t a threat to any status quo. She’s a fun interview, and her movies are ice cream. You hear her name, and you think of bubbles. When she takes on a more serious role, such as that of Cassie Mayweather in “Murder By Numbers,” she says all the required sentences in interviews and discusses how she wants to branch out, while the interviewers always comment on how the role must have been a challenge. The problem is — it isn’t.
You can only challenge people who have genuine skills and talent. If you’re a good swimmer, making it across the English Channel is a challenge. Toss a chap who can only do the doggy paddle in there and he’ll flail around like a monkey on fire. That’s Bullock. She can wade around in the kiddie pool like a pro, but throw her in the Channel and she’ll sink faster than that show “Skin.”
Whenever Bullock stars in a movie, you read about America’s love affair with the actress. This is written without a bit of irony. Americans, me excluded, simply adore her. Keep in mind that these are the same people who worship Will Smith, “Everyone Loves Raymond,” TGIF on ABC,
“Kangaroo Jack” and “Saturday Night Live.” You can’t take these people seriously. They love every non-threatening thing that’s shoved in their faces.
I’ll say what other “entertainment journalists” are afraid to speak – Bullock is marginally talented at best. At worst, she was in the right place at the right time to become a star without an ounce of the skills necessary to reach greatness. She is overpaid and under produces. She’s an easy box office draw, a feature she shares with Sharon Stone’s vagina. She may be slightly pretty, and most men would have sex with her in an instant, but no man whose intellectual level is two steps higher than that of their high school gym teacher would ever think he could have a serious, meaningful conversation with her. Face it, Bullock is the pretty girl at the checkout line who amazes you every time she doesn’t screw up your purchase.
Maybe in the future Americans will stop worshipping actors with little talent. Maybe they’ll stop going to see movies just because some brand name stars in them. Maybe. Until that future arrives, however, try to remember that the same people who brought you Sandra Bullock are also responsible for manufacturing Kevin Costner, Keanu Reeves, Julia Roberts and Julia Stiles into soul-sucking stars. It’s Hollywood and the American people who are to blame, a duo that has consistently tried to destroy anything even resembling art lest it corrupt entertainment. How these people even think they know talent is a mystery to me, but at least I can take solace in the fact that in another twenty years Hollywood will have discarded her like so many others in her position. There will be someone to take her place, though, and the process will start all over again.
Sandra Bullock sends her regards, bitch! God, that was a good one.
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Posted on December 9, 2004 in Features by Doug Brunell
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