Sunday, February 11, 2007

Blog Gone Wild!

Back when I was performing regularly with Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre, I had a character called “The Phantom Astronaut,” who washed out of the space program in 1962, and had spent his years since brooding and drinking in Florida motel rooms, until he hooked up with Success Guru Wex Wexler, and toured America with him, as a living example of how not to be successful.

I do love a loser, especially in these preening times, in which everybody’s a winner, or at least finding somebody else to blame.

And Lisa Nowak is obviously the big loser here. After traveling 900 miles in a diaper in a failed attempt to kill a rival for a lover, she has now become both an object of pity and a laughing stock. Her story has been optioned by Granada American. Access Hollywood tells me that Granada American “is the U.S.-based production entity of ITV, one of Europe's largest broadcasters and producers. The company produced the reality series HELL’S KITCHEN and NANNY 911 as well as the Lifetime channel movie THE FANTASIA BARRINO STORY.” Who’s Fantasia Barrino? The winner of the third AMERICAN IDOL competition.

So Lisa Nowak has gone from becoming the first Italian American woman in space, responsible for operating the robot arms of the shuttle and the International Space Station, to wronged woman on a failed rampage.

NASA is stunned. America is devouring the story, except for the sourpuss op-eddies who think there are more important things to think about. Well, sure, but hello? Astronauts! Adultery! Murder attempts! The chance of a Lifetime movie, with Tori Spelling in space! And diapers! That’s America to me.

Anna Nicole Smith
I was listening to a progressive chat show the other day, one of those round table discussions that public radio is so fond of, an examination of the news of the week – what stories were covered well, what stories were passed over… oh, you know the drill.

The host of the show was contemptuous of the fact that the war is still going on in Iraq, an American military presence is looming near Iran, and billions of dollars – real dollars, pallets of cold cash – have gone missing in the Iraqi reconstruction effort, while the media are ignoring all that in favor of covering poor Lisa Nowak, and the strange death of Anna Nicole Smith.

Tim Rutten, in the LA TIMES, wrote: “In the case of the unfortunate Smith, there was something almost touchingly retro about her wretched train wreck of a life. She wasn't, in fact, celebrated just for being a celebrity, as is the current mode. She'd earned her notoriety the old-fashioned way: She took her clothes off for it, then married rich — though like so much else in her ambit, that apparently didn't turn out very well. Americans have a hard time abiding a tale of struggle without reward, or a story without a happy ending, which is why we so often confer a disproportionate posthumous attention on the plucky but dubious dead. Depending on how you look at it, it's a reflection of either our collective good-heartedness or our common sappiness. Maybe the ultimate guarantor of the former is our unwillingness to worry too much about the latter.”

Well, okay, but again, hello? This story had everything! Anna Nicole Smith was the Last Starlet! After her, there will be no more! Her substance abuse issues! Her weigh gains and losses! Her gazillion year-old rich husband! Lawsuits! Paternity suits! Mysterious deaths! An adulterous prince! Zsa Zsa!

If, when the North Korea nukes start raining down on the Bay Area, and they find me curled up on the couch reading a thick paperback unauthorized biography of Anna Nicole Smith, with Ten Pages of Shocking Photos, well, there are worse ways to go.

Nancy Pelosi’s Plane
My opinion? Let her have the damn plane. And shut up.

Kim Kardashian
Like her pal Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian is described as a “socialite,” a word that has been much degraded in recent years. Grace Kelly was considered a socialite, remember? Back when they had debutante balls, instead of sex on camera? A sex tape, featuring Ms. Kardashian and some guy named Ray J, has surfaced. Sex tapes are never released, or distributed, please note. They “surface.” Like blind subterranean creatures, they crawl upwards through the ooze, towards the light.

The sex tape will be made public at the end of the month through the auspices of Vivid Entertainment Group, the outfit that made Jenna Jameson a star. Download and watch it, as North Korean nukes rain down on our heads. There are worse ways to go. No wait. There aren’t.

Rush Limbaugh
An outfit called the Landmark Legal Foundation has nominated Rush Limbaugh for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Limbaugh serves as an unpaid member of the Foundation’s Board, where I believe he soothes all ruffled feathers, and makes sure that fist fights do not break out during Power Point presentations. For that alone, all the nations of the world rise as one to thank him.

AP: “Isaac Daniel calls the tiny Global Positioning System chip he's embedded into a line of sneakers ‘peace of mind.’ He wishes his 8-year-old son had been wearing them when he got a call from his school in 2002 saying the boy was missing. The worried father hopped a flight to Atlanta from New York where he had been on business to find the incident had been a miscommunication and his son was safe.

“Days later, the engineer started working on a prototype of Quantum Satellite Technology, a line of $325 to $350 adult sneakers that hit shelves next month. It promises to locate the wearer anywhere in the world with the press of a button. A children's line will be out this summer.

"’We call it a second eye watching over you,’ Daniel said.”

I’m all in favor of safety, but do we have to know where everybody is, all the time? Stop the madness!

Finally… Beer
Have you seen the Bud Light commercial, in which a guy picks up an ax-wielding hitchhiker, despite his girlfriend’s concerns, because the hitcher also has Bud Light. The tag line is “Always worth it.”

Huh. Worth being hacked to pieces by a maniac, because you may or may not get a sip or two, before you die, of a beverage that tastes like carbonated urine? My tag line: “Hey whatever. Drink up! Here come the Korean bombs!”


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