Despite my disgust for actor-vist Sean Penn, I feel like I'm performing a mild public service by periodically pointing out his absurd, America-hating drivel to fans and consumers of his work. When you watch his movies, this is the anti-American vacation you're funding:

It's the week preceding presidential elections. Candidates attack one another's credibility. Activists push to boycott the vote. Traffic and pollution choke the cities. Leftists support a no-win idealist. Preachers guide their flocks toward political starboard. The media have fallen under the grip of standing power, and should they defy it, they're imprisoned. University students promote human rights, while fundamentalists deny them. It is a culture in love with cinema. With Brad Pitt. Angelina Jolie. And anything Steven Spielberg. It is a nation of nuclear power, where the lobbies of the religious right effectively blur the lines between church and state. But it is also a country of good and hospitable people. And when the local team wins a big match, there is dancing, kissing, drinking and drugs in the streets. Women are graduating the campuses in higher and higher numbers, occupying government in higher and higher numbers. Sound familiar?

It's Amerikkka, right?

But wait. The women. Look at the women. All is not well. I'm thinking about the women. This is Iran.

Oh! Gosh, you almost had me fooled, what with all the recent behandings around here, and the opposition politicians being thrown out of office and into jail, newspapers shut down, elections cancelled, fatwas issued, and whatnot. America and Iran are practically indistinguishable! The real danger is that fundamentalist Christians in America might start making women wear burkhas at any moment.

Meanwhile, in Sean Penn fasntasyland (a.k.a., California), the application of an upstanding, law-abiding citizen (a.k.a., me) for a permit to carry a concealed weapon is continually denied, while that of a violent drunkard (a.k.a. Sean Penn) is granted.

In particular, some of the alleged quotes by Penn on his violent past are enough to give one pause:

"I hate journalists. Or better. I hate paparazzi. Yeah, I punched them out and I'll do it again if it's necessary. I think a fist in their face is the only way to protect my private life. I demand my freedom. And I must have it."

"Family makes me feel there's a reason I'm alive... I'm feeling my life, which I didn't always do partly because I'd be drunk a lot."

Of even more concern is an alleged timeline of Penn's criminal past, as compiled via public sources online:

In 1985, Sean Penn was arrested in Nashville for assault and battery for attacking two photographers with a rock. He plead guilty, paid a fine and was given a suspended sentence.

In 1986, Penn slugged a man he accused of trying to kiss his wife. Again he plead guilty and was placed on parole.

In 1997, while on parole for his previous conviction, he punched an extra working on his film "Colors" who tried to take a picture of him. He served half of a 60-day jail sentence for parole violation.

In 1998, Penn was accused of hitting a photographer with a rock. Penn claimed the photographer attacked the rock in Penn's hand with his head and injured himself. No arrest was made.

Gosh, I wish Sean Penn would write an article to explain this conundrum.

Here's a little more about Sean Penn's CCW. I'd be willing to go through the same process!

He [Sean Penn] even had a private security firm review all the crank calls and letters and give him "threat assessments."

Most were nothing, but one former employee was rated as being "in the worst category of pursuers," according to a report submitted by Penn's security outfit to Ross police.

The man -- who according to the threat assessors was trained in martial arts and had prior arrests for possessing a concealed weapon -- repeatedly tried contacting Penn after he was fired.

Penn admitted to using marijuana 20 years ago and had a couple of arrests for assault and driving recklessly, factors that could have disqualified him for a permit for carrying a concealed weapon. In this case, however, Penn got FBI and state Department of Justice clearance and completed firearms training early last year.

How many movies to have I have to star in to get the FBI and the California Department of Justice to do a special background check on me? I hope they can be ready to come over as soon as my personal private investigation team finishes assessing the threat-levels of all the ninjas and pirates who are stalking me.

Unfortunately, last time I applied for a CCW the FBI and the DOJ didn't seem to be interested, and the Hawthorne Police Department basically threw my application straight into the trash.

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