This is intensely personal to me, as I, along with my father, Hutton, have been a long-time supporter of Nooky's Erotic Bakery in Houston. Nooky's and I have built a partnership and it pains me to have personally offended them along with all their compatriots, like Masturbakers of Seattle and That's Breast Delicious! It is not so soon that my family will forget the complimentary red velvet "Breast Wishes" cake we received when dad was in the hospital.
Nor will Jim Caviezel and the rest of the hardworking crew on "Passion of the Christ" forget the delicious craft services Nooky's provided.
How thoughtful of you to customize your "Chesty" cake to provide 33 nipples spelling out "Tits Your Birthdays! I have battled the disease of "getting a sugar high" and "coming down off a sugar high" and not just when I need a fix around 3 PM. This has been an ongoing problem and I apologize for any behavior unbecoming an anti-Semite. I am already taking the necessary steps, working with the good people at Splenda, but again, I am reaching out to the erotic exotic cake community for its help. I know that there will be many in the erotic exotic cake community who will want nothing to do with me — I saw Ron Jeremy's full-page ad in the trade "Sugar n' Spice," refusing to be cast in the next "Lethal Weapon"— and that would be understandable.
I pray that the oven door is not forever closed. This is not about a film. Nor is it about artistic license. This is about free Nooky's. It's about making sure that the dessert catering is in place at the hundred-year anniversary book party for the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" that I'm hosting tonight. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you.
Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus. MORE: Entertainment. Real Life. Real News. Real Voices. Let us know what you'd like to see as a HuffPost Member. Yubaba Suzanne Pleshette , a Grimmish witch who looks like a bobble-headed whorehouse madam, binds the girl's contract by literally stealing half of Chihiro's name away, leaving her with only the character " sen.
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With that, Sen embarks upon a crazy fever dream of a journey, a set of trials to prove her mettle that rival any in the Psyche or Orpheus myths. The work is tough -- huge, reeking stink spirits to scrub, food to serve -- but Sen manages to make a few friends, including Haku Jason Marsden , Yubaba's mysterious boy apprentice, and a menacing black-robed figure wearing a mask.
Miyazaki portrays these relationships with a good deal of ambivalence and complexity. Is Yubaba all evil and Haku all good?
What is the black-robed creature after? We're not sure, and neither is Sen. Run by forced labor and powered by avarice, this bathhouse of the spirits has its own ambivalence, and its own darkness.
When one visitor conjures up fistfuls of gold, the bathhouse staffers launch an all-out hospitality offensive, stuffing the spirit with roasts and fish and soup and noodles to sate its ever-increasing appetite. In this world just like in ours, greed begets greed. The real world and the spirit realm rub up against each other in other ways, too, as when a river god comes to clean himself and coughs up a great flood of bicycles, refrigerators and cans.
Miyazaki has toned down the green message from his last movie, the heavy-handed eco-Amazon fable Princess Mononoke , but he's still managed to infuse this film with a gentle warning: If humans don't tend to the earth, how much can the gods do? The stakes are high, especially in the world Miyazaki dreams up -- one that's seethingly alive, populated with talking foxes, frogs, dragons and harpies. Women from the ancient Heian era flutter about, their eyebrows plucked off and redrawn as surprised black dots high on their foreheads.
Kappa -- prankish water spirits that prey on humans -- also make an appearance. As legend has it, if accosted by a kappa , one should bow to it.
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It will then bow back, emptying the water that gives it magical powers from the indentation on its head. Or throw cucumbers: Kappa are fond of them, hence kappa maki. As his use of Japanese fable testifies, Miyazaki's films are shot through with a sort of nationalistic nostalgia. He yearns for a Japan -- mythic, natural, animistic, harmonious -- that is disappearing beneath a blitz of neon lighting, TV dramas and piggish consumerism.
But he also taps into the mythology of other nations more than he's ever done before, hinting that perhaps the malaise is not Japan's alone, that the disease has spread. Miyazaki is not so simpleminded as to locate a perfect vision in the past or the spiritual -- remember the fat-assed, gold-wielding creature that eats the screaming bathhouse staff? What he does suggest is that something is awry, that we've all lost touch with the richness and complexity of the natural world, our Jungian unconscious, our myths and stories.
Who makes a better bridge to that vibrant dream world than a year-old girl? And who can better appreciate the waking life of mono no aware -- the delicious melancholy that attends the beauty of all fading things -- than the adults in Miyazaki's audience?
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It's that last sentiment that lingers as we leave the theater, blinking like Chihiro does as she emerges from that dark tunnel into the real world. After all, watching Miyazaki's movie is like being spirited away ourselves, dreaming with our eyes open about the joy and the hellishness of growing up as a child and perhaps as a nation. Don't look back, we're admonished at the end of the movie. The pull of the underworld, both beautiful and terrifying, may be too tempting to resist.