Friday, December 11, 2009

Tis the Season...

...for obligatory "Best Of" lists. Were I a more ambitious, skilled writer, I'd try to cover the whole decade. Or this year. Or this week. But I'm not. So just let me muse a while.

I didn't even realize it was the end of a decade til a week or so ago. It's amazing to think of the amount of pop culture trends the Oughts have encompassed. The Boy Band Craze was still in full effect at the turn of the decade/millennium. God, that gives N Sync a bit more credibility, right? "Which band was #1 at the beginning of the Third Millennium of the Common Era?" And at the end of the decade, "No Strings" is still the best-selling album. Because everyone stopped paying for music somewhere around 2003.

It was quite a decade for me personally. I became a man in the truest sense of the word, which for my people means drinking the blood of your enemy. I should mention my people live in Bartertown and compete regularly in the Thunderdome. I started the decade a man-child, and finished it a married man-child.

This was the decade of Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, and that adorable Anakin Skywalker with his bestest buddy sidekick, Uncle Jar Jar Tom. Comic book movies, Xbox, and Halo. At the end of the decade that truly solidified my tastes as 100% Geek, it's hard to imagine a better collection of movies and cultural phenomena in the future. Fortunately that future ends abruptly in two years.

This was also the decade of Reality. Which is unfortunate, considering that the reality of the decade was so depressing. Television ceased providing the escape that it has provided for us for over 50 years, and instead served as a crushing reminder of what man becomes when he has everything he wants. He becomes Bret Michaels. He becomes Flava Flav. Speidi. Omarosa. The naked guy from Survivor. What has this trend taught me? Within our heart of hearts resides a power-hungry stripper who loves money and doesn't understand that character is a finite resource, nor that fame is a shimmering, translucent, double-edged sword.

We've been so knee-deep in batshit crazy these last couple months, it's hard to get perspective over that molehill to see the decade behind us. We finally turned the corner away from the Heenes only to be met with the professional do-nothing Salahis asking us to take a picture of them with the Pope and Elizabeth II. We ducked into the nearest doorway and there was Tiger Woods, busy becoming the Wilt Chamberlain of golf (or if the body count keeps rising, the Wilt Chamberlain of Wilt Chamberlains).

What a strange and wonderful journey it's been. Have a great summer and keep in touch*!

*we won't keep in touch


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

News of the WTF?!

Apparently the military actions (or "wars," if you like) in which the US has been engaged have been resolved, the economy has stabilized, and everyone has totally free health insurance, because the two news stories dominating my world are Tiger Woods forgetting how to drive a car and two very privileged people complaining their lives have been ruined because they achieved their goal of infamy after crashing a White House dinner.

Tiger Woods celebrated the Thanksgiving weekend by banging up his SUV in front of his house at 2:30 in the morning, then hiding in his bedroom for a few days hoping everyone would forget about it. This guy's been a total Boy Scout in the many years he's been a superstar, so I have to assume the worst here. He and his wife got hopped up on meth and accidentally killed the 12-year old Thai hooker they ordered, and he flipped out trying to ditch the body. Or, you know, he had his first Zima and tried to satsify a Cheetos craving. Either way, he'll be fine.

Tareq and Michaele (pronunciation? anyone?) Salahi, on the other hand, are rapidly approaching the Heenes on the patented Gosselin scale of oh-my-god-go-away. They crashed a dinner at the White House in honor of India's Prime Minister. Or, according to them, "no we didn't." Were they on the guest list? No? Then "yes they did." So they committed the minorest of minor Secret Service security breaches. They ate samosas. No one got hurt. OK. Cool.

But what's this? They say their lives have been "destroyed." Really? You lost all your money? No? Got fired? No? Someone took your house away? No? Threats of physical harm? No? Oh, a lot of people are taking pictures of you in advance of your media circuit? I see. Yes, yes, that certainly could qualify as having your life "destroyed," if you've never heard the word "destroyed" before. From CNN:
"We will begin doing press and media next week providing exclusive interviews and press junkets," Jones said in an e-mail to CNN on Thursday. "If you would like to be considered in our media circuit we request that you hold your proposed published profile until then."
I'm thinking, just maybe, if you're not crazy about having people inquire into your lives and follow you around and whatnot, you do your best to keep from crashing public dinners at the house of the most famous man in the world. I don't know. Just spitballing here.