Smell the shedding skin of the new spin
[ opinion - october 03 ]
"Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens." - Britney Spears
In case you missed it, in the run-up to and during the 'Military Phase' of the Iraq Liberation, Iraq War II, Gulf War - The Sequel, Fiasco in the Desert, Showdown with Iraq, Operation Codename 'Bring Me the Head of Alfredo García' (spitting image of Saddam, isn't he?) ... or whatever you may want to call it, a mighty entertaining American cultural phenomenon poked its lice ridden and mole chewed face from the subterranean depths of American television media. This family fun, G-rated, prime-time slot entertainment festered on the hairy backs of some cable networks for around six months like some gruesome false trial tomato tossing fest. Bash a Celebrity Hour, you know. If it has continued lately, I don't know. I had to put my TV out of its misery.
This Bash a Celebrity Hour often took form in the following way. First, a celebrity was picked, seemingly at random, a sack tied around their head, abducted from behind the backs of their publicist and ushered off to some remote gulag archipelago TV studio where they were fed doughnuts until bloated and severely caked with makeup so they won't shine so much on the TV (or sometimes, refused makeup so they DO shine, which makes them look all the more insidious after being bloated with doughnuts). Next this person is shoved in front of bright lights in a room, alone with a camera pointing at them and a voice counts down before they will go on air. Blastoff. And they go on air, you know, and there is this well made up face of the Comment-Actor on the other side with a god-fearing American club in his hand, his knees jerking with patriotism, and on that club is a big sticker saying 'Be faithful, or else'. He blows a fox horn and out rush the hounds, you know.
The exchange usually went something like this.
Comment-actor: "Good evening, I'm Wright Wingnut and welcome to 'Straight Talk'. I'll just come right out and say it, because our motto is 'Straight Talk' and we shoot straight. No spin allowed. You are a celebrity, correct? Why the hell should we listen to you?"
Celebrity: "Well, I used to be an actor, but I don't really act anymore. Sometimes I do off Broadway shows, but that's just for the art of it. I was on a sit-com back in the 80s. I actually don't know what I am doing here. I'm still rather confused after having that bag over my head. I think there was something in there before, rotten apple pie or something."
Comment-Actor: "You said you are against going into Iraq. We have a quote here from the Sacramento Daily-Slimes saying you wished we could all live together in peace. It's peace loving ninnies like yourself that we are protecting, protecting your right to say whatever comes first into your brainwashed liberal head. Weren't you that cross-dresser that tried to get out of the Korean War?
Celebrity: "No, I was a doctor on that show. That was the character of Corporal Klinger. It was just a television show. We were just actors."
Comment-Actor: "Oh, so you are an ak-tor. Excuse me, not all of us can be Hollywood starlings like yourself."
Celebrity: "Well, my show actually went off the air a long time ago. I'm not sure why you are even calling me a celebrity. We are in syndication, but I have no say in that. I just spend time with my cats now."
Comment-Actor: "But you were quoted by the Daily-Slimes saying you opposed the war. You said, and I quote "We should try other ways to resolve our conflicts, try to use our allies and get world opinion in our favour to exert pressure." But you are just a Hollywood ak-tor. Why should we listen to you? You are an idiot, sir. And have very weird opinions to boot. Haven't you seen the polls?"
Celebrity: "Well, I just said what was on my mind. They called me in the middle of the night and I was being honest. You don't have to listen to me because I was an actor anymore than I have to listen to Arnold. I'm just an American like everyone else. You brought me on the show anyway."
Comment-Actor: "An American like everyone else? Not every American has a publicist, a Rolls Royce, a mansion full of cats, a summer home in FRANCE, and a sit-com in syndication. You really should get a new publicist, you know. Thank you for coming on my program, you really helped our ratings. I hope you and the Dixie Chicks never sell another record."
Celebrity: "But I don't even have any records. I don't even sing in the shower. I just have my cats now. And I drive a Honda. It gets good mileage."
Comment-Actor: "Well, if I see you on the street I'll be sure to drive over you with my SUV. Thank you for coming and have a good day. This is Straight Talk and now we must go to commercial. Have to pay the bills, you know."
And that is usually how it went, you know. The celebrity was then bagged and gagged and dumped somewhere in the bushes in the Hollywood hills to wake to some surreal Mullholland Drive nightmare. Later in the show the Comment-Actor would bring on some bleached young half-naked paedophiliac wet dream girl saying she'll always be faithful, no matter what happens. You go, girl. Daddy loves you. Uncle Sam has the hots for you. After that some clean shaven country singer wanting to plug his new record takes the chair and sings some awful pap with no SOUL, has Johnny Cash rolling in his grave before he even died, some lyrics he scribbled that morning, a lament to the death of the American dream on that beautiful Autumn day, and they want to blow him right there on in front of the camera and say he is the bread and butter, mom's apple pie, a Southern sweet potato patriot like no other. He sings 'Swing low sweet chariot, Georgie's gonna carry your body home.' Encore. Though the Comment-Actor fails to mention no one will see the funeral on his network, they hardly ever show them, because funerals are really too damned depressing, and quite repetitive, you know.
Some of the funniest television I've seen in years. Welcome to the new spin. Ridicule. The ridiculed don't sell records or movies. The snake has shed its skin. Win One for the Gipper.
"I'll be back." You know?