23 February 2007
In the years since I have left the US, I have found myself rather obsessively looking over my shoulder as if watching the Titanic from the vantage point of a nice dry life boat.
"Row, people! Row" I say, lest we should get caught in its' wake. I can still hear them playing Nearer My God to Thee on deck, but it's getting awfully gurgly.
So I watch CNN International fairly regularily because, ya know, it's good to keep connected and also it's good for lazy old me to watch a news broadcast that isn't in Dutch. I don't have to concentrate so much. I can enjoy my morning coffee. And mostly, CNN International is pretty informative. They have nice British and Australian people telling me the weather in centigrade and they have reports about different stuff going on in the world, sometimes puncuated by cool rock and roll licks if it's Anderson Cooper. And they have......Larry King.
Larry King seems like a pretty intelligent guy - that's what threw me at first. I thought ah, this is nice; an American interview show hosted by a kindly old grandfather of a man. He kind of looks like one of those old guys who insists on wearing a suit and tips his hat to you as you pass him on the street. He's got one of those no-nonsense faces and old guy slightly gruff been-there-done-that voice. In short: I trusted him.
A while back I started to notice a creeping proliferation of tabloidy topics on his show; but I'd sort of dismiss them and think well maybe there's a lot I don't understand in American news. Maybe the fact that Scott Peterson murdered his pregnant wife while maintaining an uncanny resemblance to Ben Affleck is important. Who am I to judge? Larry would still cover other stuff like when people would shoot Amish kids or when Hugh Hefners girlfriends had their own TV show. I was OK with that.
Then I started noticing that Anna Nicole Smith was getting an awful lot of airtime. Who was the father of her baby? What happened to her son? It was relentless. And I started wondering how can anyone think Anna Nicole is this important? Her live-in-lover/lawyer Howard K. Stern became a a constant fixture on the other side of Larry's desk with all the articulation of a surfer with a head injury and I learned that gee, maybe it isn't that hard to pass the Bar. Then Nicole figured she wasn't getting enough publicity so in a daring career move she died and now Howard K. Stern has his own little cot in Larry's studio. Dear God. I was thinking where will the madness end and then along came Britney.....
.........to deflect attention. Thank God, I thought, anything so I don't have to look at footage of that sedated tranny anymore. Now don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to speak ill of the dead or anything, but I think we (and this includes Anna) could all agree that her's was a life that had sort of run the gammit of it's potential. Does it make me mean to say that? Am I supposed to imagine that she was going to suddenly sober up, be given some sort of Flowers for Algernon transformation and find a cure for cancer? Or am I just a realist who recognizes that there's a limit to the entertainment value of a mentally challenged silicone enhanced celebrity? In that wisdom and awareness that we all achieve when we leave this mortal coil, I imagine even Anna Nicole is looking back thinking, "Well that was silly." Perhaps she'll try to compensate in her next life by coming back as a Nuclear Physisist. One can only hope.
So America turns it's entertainment starved eyes to Britney and her newly shaved head. I thought this was a good thing, until Larry had a team of psychologists and pundits and even a guy who gave Britney a tatoo on his show to talk about this National Tragedy. Here's an excerpt from the transcripts of that show:
DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSY.D. PSYCHOTHERAPY:
I think she was making a statement that she doesn't want to be aligned with this Britney image anymore. It did not work for her and she had a little bit of a tantrum. And I think she was saying I'm not doing well. And I don't think it's -- it's reading too much into it. I think we really need to take -- when celebrities act out seriously before something dangerous happens.
You get it people? She was trying to tell us something. Us. You and me. The public. She can't say stuff to us in a normal way like in an email, there's just too many of us. So she has to do it in a cryptic way like by shaving off her golden locks of pretty pretty hair. She knows that we'll know what's up. And God love her, we do. Something dangerous is happening. A girl shaved her hair. Please call for help. Someone.
So now this Kevin Federline person that she used to be married to has got a lawyer to try to get custody of their kids because clearly anyone who would shave her head is not a fit mother. I mean who knows what she'll do next? Stop wearing makeup? Stop hanging out with Paris Hilton? This could get seriously out of control! Get those kids out of there and into the stability of a household headed by a male gold-digger!
Needless to say, this whole fiasco has seriously stolen focus from the antics in the courtroom of those trying to decide where to bury 140 pounds of silicone formerly known as Anna Nicole. The judge (who coincidentally had earlier pitched an idea to a television network to become the next Judge Judy) had to resort to tears, yes folks, tears, just to get the attention that this important case deserves.
Good move, your honor.
So now the collective mind boggles as to what Britney will have to do in retalliation. She might choose to hack off a limb or be caught in public reading a book. Whatever happens, it won't be pretty.
Watch this space.
(Not literally. Go out and live your life.)
The only thing we can really count on is that uncle Larry will be there to tell us all about it. God Bless America.
11 February 2007
So this week this lady astronaut thought she might like to kill this other lady astronaut who was doing stuff with her astronaut boyfriend. And then, in what will surely become legend, (and all anyone in her prison wing talks about), she put on a pair of adult diapers, drove 900 miles, and attempted to do damage to the other lady.
When I heard this news item I thought, Finally, someone who's not afraid to use adult diapers for recreational use. Years ago, when I was living in Los Angeles but doing shows in San Fraancisco whenever I could because, well, Los Angeles is an awfully nice place to leave, I used to drive 5-6 hours each way along the I-5. Sure it's a long drive, but I didn't mind it. The only thing that really bothered me about the drive was the fact that I am one of those people who has to pee all the time. So I was constantly having to pull over and use the facilities somewhere. Wouldn't it be great, I'd muse while clutching my Mountain Dew Big Gulp, if adult diapers didn't carry wit them such a stigma and I could, you know, just "go" while you drove? Whenever I would bring this idea up in conversation, my friends would usually react with "That is just sick" and I'd say yeah, heh heh, it's, you know, just a joke I'm working on, tee hee hee. And the subject would be dropped.
But dammit. It just makes so much practical sense. I really considered doing it. I didn't do it, but I sure gave it a lot of thought. My only worries were A) where would you dispose of the diaper? This is a valid consideration if you are going to be staying on a friend's couch in San Francisco; and B) What if I'm in an accident and they see me in a damned adult diaper? I mean the last thing I would want is to be mistaken for one of those diaper freaks.
"Those diaper freaks". Ah. Let me explain: It's an image that is unfortunately permanently emblazoned on my mind. Years ago, in San Francisco as a matter of fact, I was at a party at a guy's house, and this guy worked at a video place where people have their videos duplicated or something to that effect. Anyway, he had come into possession of this series of tapes made by a group called "the Diaper Pail People", who are basically people who get off on pretending to be babies, wearing adult diapers and changing each other. Yup. Go ahead. Google it if you don't believe me. Put in the words "diaper" "adult" and "baby" and see what you get.....Anyway, there I was at the party and they put on one of these tapes for shock entertainment. It was sort of an instructional video showing an "ordinary" couple who were enjoying a weekend of infantilism. The tape had an air of "Hey, we're normal folks who just happen to have converted our garage into an adult sized baby room." Everyone else at the party had the fortitude to laugh at it. I just stood there in horror. (OK, maybe I was a little stoned). And the thing is, this is a HUGE thing. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there; so many that there are businesses that cater to these people, providing them with adult sized baby clothes and changing tables.
If this isn't a sign of the apocalypse, it bloody well should be. What baffles me is: How do these people meet? I mean how does a person go about bringing something like this up in conversation? Like you're just getting to know this really great guy, having a romantic candle-lit dinner, he gazes lovingly into your eyes and says, "How 'bout I shit myself and you clean it up like you're my mommy?"...And the thing is that this line has apparently worked on many people, hence the heavy web presence.
Well these Diaper Pail People must be all over this latest astronaut news item. Probably they're patting each other on the back (while burping each other?) and giving each other that knowing look that says, "See? We're everywhere."
And here's the scary thing: As happens sometimes, the Cosmic Unconsciousness being what it is, this diaper-wearing for long journeys thing is catch on. Why just look at this item from www.chinaview.cn: The headline is Sales of adult diapers soar over holiday journeys. This was just January 24th. What the hell is going on?
So, while the lady astronaut may not have successfully thwarted her love rival, she has unwittingly become the vanguard of a whole movement. Freaks and lazy drivers the world over will be holding her up as their leader.
I'm sure none of this even occured to her as she was being arrested. To have made such an effort, driven so long, and gone to such lengths only to be caught must have been overwhelming. She must have been shitting herself.
Good thing she was prepared.