Best of C+S 2014: Things I’m Willing To Believe About Ben Affleck

2014 was a big year for Ben Affleck. He got to strap on the Batfleck Batman suit, he showed his peen on the big screen in Gone Girl, and he got his wifey pregnant. Or maybe not so much the last one. But the other two are true. Ben’s constantly in the tabloids, so what can we believe about him without dismissing it as another absurd rumour?


Well, friends, we’ve cycled back into that biennial rumor that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are having another baby. Frankly, I just don’t know why this is a concern. Is it because people are worried about overpopulation? Because it’s not like the world is overpopulated with charming, well-dressed children who are genetically suited to star in romantic comedies and movies where they avenge the deaths of their blue-collar family members. If there even is a quota on that, we haven’t hit it.

The worst thing about these rumors is they usually say that Affleck is a massive jerk, and Garner is having another kid to “hold onto him.” I have a very specific, mostly baseless mental concept of Ben Affleck, and that just doesn’t fit with it. My Mental Ben Affleck could best be described as a “classy Masshole.” He has a heart of gold, or maybe the outside is gold and the inside is some kind of craft beer.

There are some fictional facts I’m willing to believe about Ben Affleck, but they’re more like this:

  • Ben Affleck’s first swear as a child was “Jesus, Mary and Joseph!”

 

  • Ben Affleck’s first job was giving tours of Old North Church.

    Old ladies loved how into the “one if by land, two if by sea” bit he got.

 

  • All of Ben Affleck’s high school girl friends had names that ended in “een”: Maureen, Colleen, Eileen, etc.

 

  •  The city of Boston has issued Ben Affleck a platinum Charlie Card.

On the regular CharlieCard, Ben Affleck is also the artist’s model for the guy in the ball cap blocking the door.

 

  • Ben Affleck lost his virginity at Fenway (it was closed), at whichever age you, personally, consider neither too young nor too old.

 

  • Every year, Ben Affleck makes a “Good Will Hunting” pun at his annual hunting weekend with the boys. Nobody thinks it’s funny, ever.

 

  • But make no mistake, Ben Affleck is freakin’ cherished by those guys.

 

  • When there’s a mosquito or a fly around his head, Ben Affleck is the only living human person who actually tells it to “buzz off.”

 

  • Whenever you see Ben Affleck carrying a Starbucks cup, don’t be fooled: it’s actually Dunkin’ Donuts inside.

 

  • In Ben Affleck’s wardrobe, Friday is Polo Day.

 

  • Ben Affleck was a very early member of New Kids On The Block. He named the band.

    They were initially called “Kids On The Block” but Ben Affleck said they needed something that “sounds newer.”

 

  • Ben Affleck’s one true regret in life is never joining a frat.

 

  • Ben Affleck had to work with a dialect coach for Good Will Hunting. He kept getting psyched out and using his “acting voice.”

 

  •  Ben Affleck has quite the collection of Hummel figurines. He inherited the first ten or so from his meemaw, but kept buying them because “fuck it, I think they’re cute.”

“If you don’t think this is fuckin’ adorable, you’re probably an asshole.” – Ben Affleck

 

  • What you may know (via IMDB) is that when he was a kid, Ben Affleck’s mother told him that in order to get a dog, he’d have to pretend to walk a fake dog for a week. He quit after five days and never got the dog. I like this because it has the air of an origin myth, like George Washington and the cherry tree, only possibly even more fake-sounding. What you may not know is that Ben Affleck’s imaginary dog lived to the ripe age of 17, and Ben continued taking it out for walks and to the dog park well into his early 20s.

 

  • Inspired by Ben’s mom, Matt Damon told Ben that he’d only collaborate on Good Will Hunting if Ben would show his commitment by writing a pretend screenplay for a week. By the end of the week Ben had written the first ten pages of Good Will Hunting, a children’s story heavily influenced by Make Way For Ducklings, and a limerick calling Matt a “doosh bag” (spelled exactly that way). The rest is history.

 

  • When Ben Affleck takes his wife for ultrasounds, he always looks up at the bulletin board and comments that the doctor “has a lot of babies.” Nobody’s sure whether he’s joking or not.

    Now’s a good time to mention that Ben Affleck loves babies and babies love Ben Affleck.

 

  • In the mid-90s, Ben Affleck told Movieline magazine that his favorite TV show was “Singled Out.”

 

  • Whenever Ben sees a lady with a French manicure, he tells her that she “looks real nice.” He appreciates when you make an effort, you know?

 

  • Ben Affleck was at the receiving end of this – with a super soaker:

 

  • Ben Affleck has seen every episode of Dawson’s Creek, but hates “that doosh [sic] with the big forehead.”

 

  •  Ben Affleck was in the original cast of Goonies, but his scenes were reshot with Sean Astin when it became clear that Ben’s baseball team had a real chance of making it to the Little League World Series.

    They’re cool now, though.

 

  • Ben Affleck’s son, Samuel, is named after Samuel Adams. The patriot and the beer.

 

  • Ben Affleck hates Chicago. Says it “gives him the creeps.”

    Gives Ben Affleck the willies.

 

  • Ben Affleck’s confirmation name is Matt. Matt Damon’s confirmation name is Ben. (Imaginary Ben Affleck is Catholic, although Real Ben Affleck is, evidently, not).

 

  • When they’re making fun of Gwyneth Paltrow, the Garner-Afflecks use an affected British accent. Violet’s is particularly good.

 

  • Ben Affleck is constantly scheming to become best bros with Bradley Cooper.

    Can you blame the man?

 

  • Ben Affleck has a tattoo that incorporates the logos of all of the Boston teams – and you’ll never guess where it is!

 

  • Did you guess his butt? It’s there.

 

Pop Culture Moments That Make Me Cry

Some pop culture moments are engineered to make you cry. Any time they show you an old man who is alone, or a beloved dog bravely facing his mortality, you know they’re trying to make you bawl.

Others aren’t supposed to be sad, but for some reason they grab onto your feelings and twist them until your eyes water. For instance: any time a child sings and it’s very beautiful.

Then there are those moments that were meant to be sad, but came out hilarious instead. I present for your approval:

This is the rare tearjerker scene that makes us weep – because we’re laughing so hard. So with Dawson Leery as our patron saint of pop culture crying, we’re listing those moments in entertainment that brought us to tears. Our scale stretches from one Crying Dawson (your eyes are lightly watering, but there’s no real tearstorm) to five Crying Dawsons (or as we like to call it, a Full Leery). And disclaimer: there will be spoilers ahead. Consider yourself warned.

One Crying Dawson1 crying dawson

  • The final, heartrending scenes of The Notebook. And I’m only putting it here because zero crying Dawsons wasn’t an option. I’m a monster, I know.
  • The end of Bridesmaids where Maya gives one last glance back at Kristen before she gets in the limo with her new husband. There’s an unspoken understanding between two best friends that just gets me.
  • Any time an actor/actress that is announcing Emmy/Oscar/Golden Globe nominations at the asscrack of dawn, only to announce their own name as one of the nominees.
  • Cyrus realizing he was the reason his hubs got killed on Scandal. You brought it on yourself dude.
  • When Little Michael Scott wants to grow up and have 100 kids so he can have 100 friends and no one can say no to being his friend.
  • The end of City Lights (taking it way back to the 1930s here!), when the blind girl sees the tramp for the first time.
  • When Mary is sort of mean to Martha in A Secret Garden but it’s because she doesn’t know how to play or love and her parents are dead and she lives in a creepy house in the middle of nowhere.
  • The “Love Is A Dream” sketch with Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks, serving the one-two punch of old people thinking about their youth, and people who died before their time.
  • When the now-elderly Peaches take a team picture and sing their song one last time in A League Of Their Own.
  • In The Great Gatsby, both the book and film adaptations, when Daisy delivers the “beautiful fool” line. Gut punch.

Two Crying Dawsons2 crying dawsons

  • When Papouli taught us about Greek dance, the love of family, and brief character arcs on Full House.
  • The look on Louis’ face when his daughter plays the violin duet with the neighbor on Louie.
  • The episode of The Simpsons where Homer gets the crayon lodged in his brain removed and suddenly becomes smart. At the end Lisa reads a letter he wrote her from before he got dumb again and it was the first time anyone in her family understood her.
  • Also, after Maggie is born and Homer goes back to work at the plant, he covers the mean plaque from Burns “Don’t Forget, You’re Here Forever” with her pictures so that it now reads “Do it for her.”
  • When Brian Williams reported on the NBC Nightly News that his daughter Allison Williams had been cast in the live version of Peter Pan. No matter what you think about the casting decision itself, you have no soul if you don’t get emotional watching him be so proud of his daughter.
  • Mr. Feeny dismissing class one final time.
  • Jen Lindley’s final conversation with Jack. And TBH, I might have cried more when Jack and Dougie declared their commitment to each other on the beach.
  • When Will believes his father isn’t going to leave him again on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air but Pops lets him down again, and Will breaks down in the arms of Uncle Phil asking why his dad doesn’t want him.
  • The voiceover at the end of The Time Travelers episode of How I Met Your Mother, when Future Ted says that he wants 45 extra days with The Mother… probably because at that point I had a pretty good idea of what that darn show was going to do to us.
  • Leslie saying goodbye to Ann on Parks and Rec. Uteruses before duderuses.
  • When Mel Gibson is getting ready to leave in The Patriot, and his mute daughter runs after him screaming “I’ll say anything!” Doubly so now that she’s passed away.

Three Crying Dawsons

3 crying dawsons

  • The final moments of that old dog in Homeward Bound.
  • The Muppets (2012), just in general. It made both of us cry and neither of us knows why.
  • Jessie singing When Somebody Loved Me in Toy Story 2.
  • The little girl singing Desperado in In America.
  • I was in a hotel a few months ago and came across a documentary on like the Travel Channel or something that was about the new Diagon Alley attraction in Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Orlando, and the planning, construction and attention to detail that went into it before they opened the doors. Before opening it to the public, a select group of young HP fans were let into the park as a sneak peak and the look of awe was astounding. I can’t imagine being a kid, being obsessed with the books & movies and finally being in Diagon Alley for real.
  •  In what is one of my favorite dances over all the seasons of So You Think You Can Dance, golden child Travis Wall choreographed an emotional contemporary (and Emmy nominated) piece to Coldplay’s Fix You, a dance based on his own experience of helping his mom through her bout with cancer. While Fix You is always a tearjerker, add on the brilliant dancing by Robert Roldan and Allison Holker and you have a piece of pure art that will leave you breathless.
  • Speaking of SYTYCD, season 11’s Ricky Ubeda was one of those winners who actually deserved the victory, thanks to his combination of talent and personality. But during Hollywood week, it was his solo that made me (and a lot of other viewers) single him out from the crowd, thanks to vulnerability and emotion he brought to the dance.
  • Lily telling Marshall his dad died on How I Met Your Mother.
  • The final scene in Friends when they all walk out of Monica & Chandler’s to go to Central Perk and there’s one final sweep of the empty apartment with swelling music in the background.

Four Crying Dawsons

4 Crying Dawsons

  • Carrie Underwood singing. Pretty much singing anything. Especially if it’s live. I’ve seen her in concert three times and every single time I was brought to tears. She sings with such passion and conviction. And if she’s singing any kind of religious song, you know she’s channeling the big JC, making her voice even more powerful for some reason.
  • The scene in both the book and movie version of The Fault in our Stars where Hazel is giving the ‘eulogy’ for Gus in the church.
  • The Normal Heart. All of it.
  • Friday Night Lights – pretty much the entire show. However, I’ll pinpoint one that stands out, which is when Coach throws Matt Saracen into the shower, but QB1 breaks down, insisting that his loved ones always abandon him. And to continue this Zach Gilford lovefest, the entire episode of The Son is heartwrenching, but I won’t ruin it for you if you haven’t seen it.
  • Call it the Jason Katims effect because Parenthood also makes me cry during every episode, no matter what. Again, it’s hard to pick just one, so the scene where Kristina tells the family that she has cancer – a scene so powerful with no words at all. This current season hasn’t been lucky for Zeek, and because of personal reasons, I’ve found his storyline extremely upsetting. Also Mae Whitman crying. Legit the best crier in the biz.
  • The series finale of Gilmore Girls in which Rory assures Lorelai that she’s “already given her everything she needs” before she goes on the road following Senator Barack Obama. In fact the final like 20 minutes of that show including Rory’s speech under the tent make me cry so hard that I’ve only watched the finale approx thrice, as opposed to like the 30 times for all the other episodes.
  • The finale of I ❤ Nick Carter where he and Lauren get married. Legit stayed up til 4am watching it and it was totally worth it. His family sucks but good thing they have the rest of BSB and other friends and family – that’s what got me.
  •  Jim Halpert learning he and Pam are having a baby after she injures herself at the company picnic. The whole office singing Seasons of Love to Michael on his last episode. The ‘Forever’ flash mob at Jim & Pam’s wedding and them getting married on the Maid of the Mist and Jim cutting off his tie. The entire series finale. I had a hard time saying goodbye to The Office.
  • The first 5-ish minutes of Up.
  • When Mary and Edith realize that they’re the only ones left after Sybil dies.
  • I was never big into Buffy, but that scene where Buffy tells Dawn that their mom has died, and you’re watching it through the window of her classroom? Nope.
  • DOBBY. RIP.

Five Crying Dawsons

5 crying dawsons

  • The Quarterback episode of Glee where Finn (Cory Monteith) dies. I literally went through almost an entire box of tissues during that and I’m not even a huge Glee fan. The pain on everyone’s face was real, and watching Lea Michele sing – forget it.
  • The end of The Best Man Holiday – what in the fuck was that all about?! I paid $15 to see Taye Diggs and his fellow HBM co-stars possibly take their clothes off and it turned out that I needed extra sleeves because my tears and snot were all over the shirt I went in with.
  • Right before Leslie and Ben get married, when she’s talking with Ron in the hallway. I’m a wedding crier anyway, but jeez.
  • In Little Women, when Jo is going through the trunk in the attic after Beth has died (note: Beth’s death gets knocked down to 4 Crying Dawsons because of the weird brogue Claire Danes starts speaking in).
  • Everything that happens after Sara Crewe goes to live in the attic in A Little Princess. This is the second Frances Hodgson Burnett appearance on this list so I hope wherever she is, she’s proud of her vast legacy of children’s tears.
  • The funeral scene in Philadelphia, when they show the home movies of Beckett as a kid with his mom.
  • Good Will Hunting: 4 words – “It’s not your fault.”
  • My Girl: 6 words – “He can’t see without his glasses!”
  • Dead Poets Society: 4 words – “O Captain! My Captain!”

Things I’m Willing To Believe About Ben Affleck

Well, friends, we’ve cycled back into that biennial rumor that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are having another baby. Frankly, I just don’t know why this is a concern. Is it because people are worried about overpopulation? Because it’s not like the world is overpopulated with charming, well-dressed children who are genetically suited to star in romantic comedies and movies where they avenge the deaths of their blue-collar family members. If there even is a quota on that, we haven’t hit it.

The worst thing about these rumors is they usually say that Affleck is a massive jerk, and Garner is having another kid to “hold onto him.” I have a very specific, mostly baseless mental concept of Ben Affleck, and that just doesn’t fit with it. My Mental Ben Affleck could best be described as a “classy Masshole.” He has a heart of gold, or maybe the outside is gold and the inside is some kind of craft beer.

There are some fictional facts I’m willing to believe about Ben Affleck, but they’re more like this:

  • Ben Affleck’s first swear as a child was “Jesus, Mary and Joseph!”
  • Ben Affleck’s first job was giving tours of Old North Church.

    Old ladies loved how into the “one if by land, two if by sea” bit he got.

  • All of Ben Affleck’s high school girl friends had names that ended in “een”: Maureen, Colleen, Eileen, etc.
  •  The city of Boston has issued Ben Affleck a platinum Charlie Card.

On the regular CharlieCard, Ben Affleck is also the artist’s model for the guy in the ball cap blocking the door.

  • Ben Affleck lost his virginity at Fenway (it was closed), at whichever age you, personally, consider neither too young nor too old.
  • Every year, Ben Affleck makes a “Good Will Hunting” pun at his annual hunting weekend with the boys. Nobody thinks it’s funny, ever.
  • But make no mistake, Ben Affleck is freakin’ cherished by those guys.
  • When there’s a mosquito or a fly around his head, Ben Affleck is the only living human person who actually tells it to “buzz off.”
  • Whenever you see Ben Affleck carrying a Starbucks cup, don’t be fooled: it’s actually Dunkin’ Donuts inside.
  • In Ben Affleck’s wardrobe, Friday is Polo Day.
  • Ben Affleck was a very early member of New Kids On The Block. He named the band.

    They were initially called “Kids On The Block” but Ben Affleck said they needed something that “sounds newer.”

  • Ben Affleck’s one true regret in life is never joining a frat.
  • Ben Affleck had to work with a dialect coach for Good Will Hunting. He kept getting psyched out and using his “acting voice.”
  •  Ben Affleck has quite the collection of Hummel figurines. He inherited the first ten or so from his meemaw, but kept buying them because “fuck it, I think they’re cute.”

“If you don’t think this is fuckin’ adorable, you’re probably an asshole.” – Ben Affleck

  • What you may know (via IMDB) is that when he was a kid, Ben Affleck’s mother told him that in order to get a dog, he’d have to pretend to walk a fake dog for a week. He quit after five days and never got the dog. I like this because it has the air of an origin myth, like George Washington and the cherry tree, only possibly even more fake-sounding. What you may not know is that Ben Affleck’s imaginary dog lived to the ripe age of 17, and Ben continued taking it out for walks and to the dog park well into his early 20s.
  • Inspired by Ben’s mom, Matt Damon told Ben that he’d only collaborate on Good Will Hunting if Ben would show his commitment by writing a pretend screenplay for a week. By the end of the week Ben had written the first ten pages of Good Will Hunting, a children’s story heavily influenced by Make Way For Ducklings, and a limerick calling Matt a “doosh bag” (spelled exactly that way). The rest is history.
  • When Ben Affleck takes his wife for ultrasounds, he always looks up at the bulletin board and comments that the doctor “has a lot of babies.” Nobody’s sure whether he’s joking or not.

    Now’s a good time to mention that Ben Affleck loves babies and babies love Ben Affleck.

  • In the mid-90s, Ben Affleck told Movieline magazine that his favorite TV show was “Singled Out.”
  • Whenever Ben sees a lady with a French manicure, he tells her that she “looks real nice.” He appreciates when you make an effort, you know?
  • Ben Affleck was at the receiving end of this – with a super soaker:
  • Ben Affleck has seen every episode of Dawson’s Creek, but hates “that doosh [sic] with the big forehead.”
  •  Ben Affleck was in the original cast of Goonies, but his scenes were reshot with Sean Astin when it became clear that Ben’s baseball team had a real chance of making it to the Little League World Series.

They’re cool now, though.

  • Ben Affleck’s son, Samuel, is named after Samuel Adams. The patriot and the beer.
  • Ben Affleck hates Chicago. Says it “gives him the creeps.”

    Gives Ben Affleck the willies.

  • Ben Affleck’s confirmation name is Matt. Matt Damon’s confirmation name is Ben. (Imaginary Ben Affleck is Catholic, although Real Ben Affleck is, evidently, not).
  • When they’re making fun of Gwyneth Paltrow, the Garner-Afflecks use an affected British accent. Violet’s is particularly good.
  • Ben Affleck is constantly scheming to become best bros with Bradley Cooper.

    Can you blame the man?

  • Ben Affleck has a tattoo that incorporates the logos of all of the Boston teams – and you’ll never guess where it is!
  • Did you guess his butt? It’s there.