Whose Online is it, Anyway?

Funnyman Rodney Dangerfield-he of “I don't get no respect” fame, of “my wife's cooking's so bad the flies go to our kitchen to die” fame, of “I went to my doctor, and he told me I had six months to live; I asked for a second opinion, and he said, 'Okay, you're ugly, too'” fame . . . that Rodney Dangerfield-settled a dispute with an Irvine-based Internet provider, it was reported on Dec. 3. Dangerfield sued Epoch Networks Inc. in U.S. District Court last year for $2.8 million, claiming the company misappropriated his image for commercial gain. Terms of the settlement were not released. Epoch issued no statement with regard to the resolution but had earlier called Dangerfield's suit “meritless.” Dangerfield entered an agreement with Epoch in 1995 to design and maintain his Web site with the understanding, he claimed, that advertising would not be sold on the page. But the comedian later discovered a banner ad for Microsoft and learned that ads for Visa, the Ford Motors Co. and Life magazine had previously appeared without Dangerfield being notified or compensated, his suit reportedly alleged. He's since switched Internet providers (you can log onto his site at www.rodney.com).

DON'T BOX ME IN Does anyone else find it amusingly ironic that the new federal building and U.S. courthouse in Santa Ana that is named after reputed government-regulation terminator Ronald Reagan-of “History shows that no government has ever voluntarily reduced itself in size” fame-is nicknamed “The Bureaucratic Box”? How about “The Fuck the Poor Triple the Debt CIA Crackhead Trickle Down Me Elmo Central American Death March Box”?

IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR You could have knocked Clockwork over with a feather boa when we opened the LA “By God” Times on Dec. 6 and caught the headline “Ex-GOP Hopeful Huffington Says He Is a Homosexual.” In an interview in the January issue of Esquire magazine, 51-year-old former oil tycoon, congressman and unsuccessful U.S. Senate candidate Michael Huffington acknowledges he is a homosexual. “I know now that my sexuality is part of who I am,” Huffington says. “I've been through a long process of finding out the truth about me.” Columnist Arianna Huffington, whom Michael Huffington divorced last year, reportedly issued a statement wishing her ex well and saying, “All that matters to me is that he's a good father to our daughters.” Mr. Huffington's struggles with figuring out who he is were evident in the Esquire piece and in a conversation he had with Weekly editors before the November election. (He popped in to push Proposition 10, the barely approved voter initiative that raised tobacco taxes to fund early childhood-development programs. Of course, he chose Esquire over us to delve into the homosexual part. The shit.) Huffington says he's homosexual but not “gay” because “gay” carries so much cultural baggage he's unwilling to pick up, while “homosexual” denotes he's had no choice but to be drawn to the same sex no matter how hard he's tried to resist it. He was a Houston oil tycoon but didn't have the stomach for the industry. He ran and served as a Republican but thinks he now may be a Democrat. He spent $28 million in an attempt to unseat Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), but he'd already grown sick of politics before that campaign. He told us he has reinvigorated his spiritual side through the Greek Orthodox church and is looking forward to his film-production company developing morality tales. But he told Esquire he's selling the film company because he's not cut out for the biz. This is one conflicted puppy. So how come we can't help but love the guy?

IF IT'S BROWN, CHUG IT DOWN The Orange County Water District and Orange County Sanitation District teamed up to hold a meeting on Dec. 8 to explain their proposed $400 million Groundwater Replenishment System. The project would treat about 40 percent of the water that goes into the sewer system until it becomes as pure as bottled water. The pure water would be pumped into the ground-water basin and eventually drawn by water districts throughout north and central OC. The districts held the public meeting because they figured folks might be a tad squeamish about drinking what used to be shit water. Duh! Clockwork does have a suggestion for the districts: make damn sure that you don't do with the newly treated water whatever Costa Mesa's doing to make brown water come out of our taps.

Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

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