Hideous Celebrity Wankers, George Speaks (kind of), Ari Crashes and Burns, and the Hits Just Keep on Coming

By Warren Pease

Celebrities are flakes of dandruff on society's shoulders - occasionally embarrassing, mildly irritating, and ultimately irrelevant. Who's Tom boffing this week? Is Britany's hymen still intact? Does Madonna still breastfeed? What's Oprah's weight these days? And what about those rumors that Rush does it every Tuesday afternoon with that Senate page boy?

WHO THE HELL CARES?! Except for the part about Rush, that is. I mean, he could crush the poor kid.

One of the few positive side effects of "America's New War" (copyright CNN, 2001) might be the slow death by indifference of the cult of celebrity. How much did Robert Downey, Jr. have to pay to stay out of jail this time? Is Ben Affleck still puking his inebriated guts out on the shoulder of Highway 1 in Malibu? Has anyone bitch-slapped Dennis Rodman lately? Is there any truth to the rumor that Christina's turning tricks backstage for extra pocket change? Is Mariah over her latest identity crisis and ready to rock?

And how come I'd rather eat razor blades than read or hear about a single one of these useless twits ever again in this lifetime?

So maybe, as the country sits enthralled in front of the TV again, this time watching as the dumb-as-a-post smart bombs go miles off target, waiting for the inevitable reprisals, trying to psyche out psychotic terrorists to figure out the most likely next target and stay as far away as possible, grimly boarding airliners to carry out our Shill-in-Chief's dictate to "get about the business of America," whatever the hell that means in English - as we all hang around scared or furious or disturbed or frustrated or drunk or heavily armed or wearing gas masks or waving flags or just sitting out in the open drinking coffee in total patriotic defianceŠ

Maybe we've finally put the stake in the heart of the kind of suck-up celebrity "journalism" that's turned so many Americans into vegetative consumers of useless trivia while keeping us cheerfully oblivious to anything of even remote relevance in the great wide world. Of course, a brain-dead Cher fan is always going to be a compliant consumer, so it makes solid marketing sense, like virtually everything else these days. But still, is it really necessary to create and nurture two generations (and counting) of ignorant isolationists whose idea of international affairs begins with those sleek topless sunbathers at Cannes and ends with the weird escapades of the British royals.

And as missiles and bombs rained down on Kabul, ripping military targets and civilians alike to shreds, somebody with a clue cancelled the Emmys. Or is this just caving in to terrorism? Maybe our brave, patriotic celebs should have gone on with the show. Who knows and who cares? At least we'll be spared posturing producers, self-important directors, strutting actors, weeping actresses and lame-ass emcees - all wearing trillions of dollars in one-off couture fashion and insanely ornate jewelry and making a fairly good case for a modest but effective terrorist strike just to the right of where Callista Flockhart's entourage would have been sitting.

Instead of attending the Emmys, celebrities major and minor reportedly gathered at an underground bunker out behind David Hasselhoff's place - impervious to nukes, biohazards, toxic chemicals and conscious thought - where they drank like fish and ingested the very finest Peruvian flake to demonstrate solidarity for our men and women in uniform. And for Versace and Dior and YSL and all the hairdressers and makeup people and dressers and the rest of the overpaid, undertalented fops who make our celebs glisten and glow and shimmer in the moonlight. Not to mention the Cali cartel and a few of the smaller single-malt distilleries grouped around the peat bogs of western Scotland.

In an address to the nation on Sunday evening, the resident-select said something like, "We will not favor, we will not wire, we will not alter, and we will not tail," while wiping the drool off his chin with one conservatively tailored sleeve as Poppy patted him on the head for getting the poetic parallelism right, even if he did blow all four of the verbs. White House spokesvampire Ari Fleischer tried to clean up after the resident, telling the alleged journalists in the briefing room, "What he meant to say was, 'we will not savor, we will not eat fire, we will not Gibraltar and we will not sail,'" in an apparent mixture of culinary and nautical references that left even the cynical Washington press corpse (and observers in various secret Middle Eastern locations) collapsed in a helpless heap and gasping for air.

"So now we know what the administration's NOT going to do," the intrepid Sam Donaldson of ABC called out in a last-ditch effort to prop up what's left of his sagging reputation as an actual reporter. "But can you tell us what they ARE going to do?"

"Classified, Sam. We can't comment on ongoing operations, operationally-speaking, without operating negatively on our co-operative opportunities, oppositional-wise," Fleischer replied, just before finally losing his job and being sent unceremoniously packing back to a horribly failed little life hot-tarring roofs in rural Mississippi - to the wildly unrestrained cheers of millions of normal people who had gotten a little damn sick and tired of watching the poster boy for the Peter Principle every single evening on the network news.

And everyone with nothing better to do stayed home and watched CNN again, as "America's New War" unfolded and snippets of pre-packaged information drifted across the Atlantic and into briefing rooms in Washington, where they were carefully scrubbed of all relevant content and the remains delivered to the major networks, who fought over the gristly scraps of half-truths like starving ferrets. And as Operation Infinite Arrogance morphs into Operation Enduring Pain in the Ass, Americans everywhere wait for the other shoe to drop.

# # #

The author realizes that today's column is sort of a stream-of-consciousness, barely coherent riff, but the bombs are falling and Brahms' Requiem is on the box and Rumsfeld's lying again on CNN (you can tell because his lips are moving) and it's cold and grey outside (just like the chambers of Cheney's basaltic heart) and the coffee's gone so what the hell. Might as well get all whiny and self-indulgent. Nonetheless, do as many of your peers have and correspond with him at war_on_peas@yahoo.com. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll crawl on your belly like a reptile and, thanks to another bloody and protracted televised war, you'll never, ever have to pretend that John Tesh merits your attention again.

Copyright SRC, Inc. 2001. All rights reserved.

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