Thursday, March 31, 2005
Well, the Schiavo lady is dead. Now what?

Where does a weary nation turn for comfort, to distract us from the pain of losing our latest distraction? We either find something else to obsess about as a nation or--horror of horrors--we will be forced to turn inward, to face the little laboratories of nihilism that are our homes and families and embrace the sweet emptiness of the day-to-day every day.

Most of us can't afford that kind of backsliding. You give your kids one slight hint that you might be engaged in the here-and-now and next thing you know they expect you to drive them to baseball or dance class or worse, attend games/practice/recitals. That's a slippery slope at the bottom of which lies the tangled, thorny briar of mutual love and respect, something no parent should ever have to face.

Remember, they're going to reject, resent and despise you when they're teenagers no matter what you do. You're actually doing them a favor by laying the groundwork now. Imagine the confusion it would cause if they loved you for the supportive, nurturing soul you are one minute and then irrationally hate your stinking guts the next while in the grip of hormonal instability. If you ask me, that kind of emotional dissonance risks a true psychotic break. For me, I think it's safer if my son(s) were to say "Jesus, my dad is a prick" and really really mean it. Not being loving and attentive now is the most loving and attentive thing I can think to do.

The problem is that now, in the post-Schiavo meantime, what do we have to draw our attention away from the people who need it most?

This morning I opened my paper to find out that Oscar winner Hillary Swank has been convicted of a crime! Celebrity trial! Freshly-minted wholesome celebrity brought low by some kind of horrible debauched lapse in judgment, maybe by her Oscar-fueled feelings of legal invulnerability, perhaps? And a chance to see that ponce Chad Lowe cry again!

I devoured the story with glee, only to be bitterly, bitterly disappointed.

Hang on, she was convicted of bringing an apple and orange into New Zealand? And fined $230.

Worst. Gossip. Ever.

I mean hell, the trial's even already over. And that fine, that's in New Zealand dollars. What's $230 NZD converted to American currency? I think it work out to two buttons and an old gum wrapper. I think that fucking Chad Lowe probably had that on him at the time. I'm sure they laughed when they paid it, amused by the primitive Kiwis and their quaint system of justice.

The upside I guess is that Hillary and Chad might leave this skirmish drunk with their own power, feeling like there's no law in the world that can touch them now that they've so easily sloughed off this challenge to their God-given celebrity right to do whatever the fuck they want. Maybe next time, just for the thrill of it, they'll do something really really crazy like smuggle a pineapple into Norway or sneak a bag full of pluots into Bangladesh.

OK, I admit it, there's no way to sex-up this story. I guess it's just me and the kids.

Oh! Oh wait! Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne had to escape their burning mansion!

Man, that Ozzy. You can always count on that shuffling, mumbling bastard to get caught up in something crazy to keep you occupied. First the reality show, then he almost kills himself on an ATV, then the he fights robbers single-handedly and now this. The imagined visuals alone are enough to chase away my childrens' pleas for attention for a few blissful seconds.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.0



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