I had a couch-jumping epiphany while listening to Robert Towne expound last Friday evening at Santa Barbara’s Victoria theatre. I’m referring to the media meltdown that Towne’s friend (and Ask the Dust producer) Tom Cruise went through last year, which led to the term “couch-jumping” or “couch-jumper” being added to the dictionary after Cruise’s burst of athletic jubilance on Oprah Winfrey’s show last summer. Listening to Towne led to thoughts of Cruise, and it suddenly hit me that we’re all seized at one time or another by a couch-jumper mentality (exuber- antly manic, a hyper-edgy attitude). We all go there from time to time, depending on the breaks or the turns in the road. Cruise’s error wasn’t to be in this head-space, but to allow this phase to be dramatized in the media.