FBLA 20 Questions: Alex Ben Block


Entertainment journalist and author Alex Ben Block writes a column for Hollywood Today but still gave in to our pestering and answered those “so vapid they must be insightful” questions.

1. What newspapers do you read? L.A. Times, NY Times, Wall St. Journal, Variety, Hollywood Reporter and online gossip columns at NY Post, NY Daily News, Washington Post and where ever else tea leaves are being read.

2. Which ones do you move your lips to while reading? The LA Time-waster and WS Jerk when the articles are longer than the wars in Iraq, Vietnam and the Civil War combined.

3. Which Web sites are on your favorites–besides FBLA? Hollywood Today.net, of course; LA Observed, Defamer, Drudge, HuffPo, Roger Friedman (Fox News), Poynter, TV Newsday, CNN, LAPressClub.org, TCM, and for pure intellectual stimulation, The Sun from London.

4. Where do you get your car washed? If only it would rain in SoCal I wouldn’t have to do this at all but instead I go where ever they accept discount coupons.

5. Do you know your dentist’s first name? Bella. She’s from Russia.

6. Do you believe newspapers are going to die? If so, when? No, newspapers will be around until the end of time. There will be fewer but print remains the easiest, most efficient, portable way to rapidly scan and receive masses of info. However, they will look different, have shorter articles, be more analysis oriented, more opinionated, more oriented toward service, and serve as the central element of a range of distribution platforms online, wireless and stuffed into intellectual multi-vitamins for your brain. Of course they will be delivered online as a pdf file.

7. What was the last book you read? The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda And The Road To 9/11

8 .What’s the last book you say you read? The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream by Barack Obama.

9. If you got a unicorn what would you name it? What’s the point? After it pokes you a few times with its nose horn, it will just run off any way. They always do, and they never call like they promise. Lucky to get a post card (Unicorns are notorious Luddites who do not use email for fear of getting a virus or carpal tunnel syndrome, which is hell on hooves).

10. What does you TiVo think about you? That I am obsessed with game shows, documentaries, show biz biographies, political talkers, old movies and ancient sitcoms.

11. Character of fiction you most resemble? Howard Beale. I really can’t take it any more W.

12. Who plays you in your bio-pic? Cary Grant as the young Clark Kent and Orson Welles as Citizen Block. No living actor is up to the challenge, with the possible exception of Rowan Atkinson, but can he write? Report? Post? Juggle assignments? Edit garble?

13. Do you floss?
Not nearly enough. But I do have my own teeth and have plans to keep them.

14. Did you ever believe your toys come alive when you leave the room? Absolutely. Toy Story was straight out of my childhood, except all the toys in my house were off-brands and knock-offs that had failed to sell the previous Christmas season at my father’s store in Syracuse.

Do you still? No, unless they are being carried around the house in Chloe the Maltese’s mouth.

15. How many old cell phones do you own? None. After they melt from the hot conversation, I bury them with ceremonial honors in a polluted land fill or trade them in for brain implants.

16. Best show legendary biz/movie star encounter.
We were meeting Richard Dreyfuss for brunch on a weekend morning at Jerry’s Famous in Studio City. We got there and it was extremely busy, every table full, but we spotted Richard already seated and went over. We said we’re so glad he got there first and used his famous face to get us such good seats. He replied, “yeah, it was simple. I told them I was Al Pacino.”

17. Do you get satellite radio? No, I am holding out until they merge so I can get both the old time radio channel on XM and Howard Stern on Sirius all for one price.

18. And as a follow do you “get” satellite radio? Sure, there can never be enough program choices, and you need an electronic elephants grave yard as a place for faded stars. Paging Imus.

19. Do you read the Enquirer/InTouch/US/People? Only every other issue, since it’s always the same people doing the same stuff, allowing me to read it in half the time of real news. The real void is the loss of the Weekly World News, where there is never a dull issue, cause they make it up. If only all journalists could do that it would make life much simpler.

20. Do you lie about it? Never, unless I am talking to an employer or my wife Jodi or need to protect the innocent, naïve, stupid, gullible or Republicans who think the surge is working.