Saturday, June 18, 2005


Why is the programming on VH1 so damn good? On the one hand, VH1 has become MTV--there are more 'shows' than music. Where are the video hits? On the other hand, the shows are hilarious.
Currently I am TiVo'ing Best Show Ever (genius) and when it comes back I'll get my doses of Surreal Life and Celebrity Fit Club. I accidentally started watching Kept and Strip Search too. I love all the special top 100 countdowns. In short, I'm addicted!
Maybe I should be worried. My certain amusement at these shows must signal some decline in brain cell activity. But who can't laugh at guys who are competing to become strippers or Jerry Hall's man-whore? Weekly sendups of the most ridiculous goings-on in pop culture have completed skimmed the limelight off what used to be Talk Soup--now just The Soup and a shadow of its former hilarity.
They've got Wendy Brings the Heat, I Love the (decade), Ego Trip's Race-O-Rama...There isnt' enough time in the day for me to watch all this!
Maybe my brain is turning to mush...But I like it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Not Guilty

So I was asked if I thought Michael Jackson was guilty and if celebrities 'get off' becuase they are rich and famous. Today I heard more scuttlebutt around the shampoo bowl. I'll share what I had to say about the whole matter; luckily I had a chance to think all this through for the unfinished diss of mine.
I actually think rather than getting a different standard of treatment in the courts, celebrities are able to purchase the illusory construct the average defendant cannot "innocent until proven guilty." The average person--accused, arrested and charged by the state--would be hard pressed to field 12 people who could honestly set aside all their presuppositions about their guilt. In my experience, most people think if a person has been arrested or charged with an offense, they probably did it--the old where there's smoke there's fire. Since most people feel a sense of false familiarity with celebrities, they are more likely to see a famous defendant and think "Hmm, I'm not sure I think this guy would do that." And that is exactly what they are supposed to think. Setting race aside, the state-- in the Simpson, Bryant, and now Jackson case--put forth some flawed presentations. And the respective jurors were underwhelmed. For some unknown, I would hope juries are as stubbornly divorced of their presumptions of the accused innocence as they are with celebs.
Do I think MJ is a sexual predator? I waffle. I think he's looney tunes and definitely has an unhealthy preoccupation with 'boyhood.' But my opinion is not evidence, is not grounds for conviction. Is it possible he's a manipulative deviant who has perfected the pursuit of his prey--isolating the least credible, least sympathetic victims ever? It is possible. My friend wondered why the state didn't have any experts testify about how predators choose their victims. That would have been helpful. No. The state paraded a bunch of famewhores to the stand-- the accuser's mother being the ringleader-- and said there, convict him. The jury-- who apparently has stated they don't believe MJ has never assaulted a child-- said sorry, not today.
So the story continues to unravel. It is clearly tragic. The headlines today: no more sleepovers. Well, it's about time. I hope someone of conscience has convinced this man to get some help. But cynically, in due time I think he'll be at it again.
Additionally, despite the press' ostensible standard of objectivity-- I actually heard Bryan Williams go on NBC forever about what a freak MJ was. I mean, that's hardly journalistic. That's opinion. We don't even pretend that we don't give people a fair shake. They are guilty even if acquitted. I won't even bother with Nancy Grace--I think she has some sort of psychological problem.
I would never ever allow MJ to watch my kids. But I wouldn't let any grown male stranger do that. I also believe that I have no right to judge a person that I only know from tv and pop culture. Maybe he's weird--that's not a crime. Maybe he is a sexual predator. Maybe is not grounds for my condemnation. Twelve people were selected to make a decision, They did. I think the reasonwhy these spectacles are so interesting, especially related to race, is that the reveal that we never suspend our prejudices and presuppositions...until perhaps we asked under oath to do so.
This case is closed.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Cookie Puss Requiem

We had to put our family cat Sugar to sleep this past Saturday. She was around 18 or so. She was my Cookie Puss. I took some pictures of her a few months ago and I thought it would be a fitting tribute to put her face on my blog. She enjoyed having people compliment her face anyway. Over the past few weeks, she lost a great deal of weight and almost all her energy. In her heyday, Sugar was a bitch on wheels. She bit people, scratched too and was generally cranky. But she was well-loved and had a great capacity for affection when it suited her. When we first got her, Sugar would climb into bed with me and she was quite heartbroken when I left for college. When I'd return for breaks, she'd give me a piece of her mind so I'd know how displeased she was. When I introduced first Nairobi, then Sam into her life, Sugar was hardly gracious. She let them know she was not interested in making new friends. In fact, she let them know everyday, screaming kitty expletives, demanding they move aside. In short, she loved having them around. They loved her too. Robi has been looking in corners for her for days. And Sam is absolutely heartbroken. He knows that Sugar is neither inside nor out. He spent the last few weeks, quietly following Sugar around making sure she was OK. Though she doesn't go outdoors, I think Robi knows Sugar is gone for good too. There haven't been any canned meals for her to finish. The vet says they'll get over it soon. I'm not sure if we will. My mother had bought a few weeks worth of canned food for Sugar even though she had stopped eating. every morning Sugar would stand at the pantry screaming and cursing until my mother came and fed her. She'd do the same at lunch and dinner. She'd find me to open doors for her, check her face, lift her onto the couch. She'd bother my dad for his dinner and bask in his baby talk. We're all bereft. It's good that Sam and Robi are here, but we all miss Sugar. Goodbye Cookie Puss, I miss your cute face!
Sugar's last close-up!

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Monday, June 06, 2005


The cliche goes...patience is a virtue. That and other crap I have gullibly believed. Long I thought patience fell down upon us like grace, like sweet little raindrops. That, in fact, may be the case for others. For me, patience is a tortuous ordeal. I thought it was some charactersitic, like height and weight. I felt inadequate because like diabetics and insulin, I apparently lacked an adequate supply. I fake patience. I sit with my hands folded nicely, but inside I scream like a willful two-year old. NOW! I want what I want right now. I want to know the answers. I want dessert. I want to ride up front. I want to go first. I want to go again. I want to open the box. I want my cookie. I want, I want, I want. At least that's not broken. For a long time I couldn't muster a want for anything. Now I want...not specifically, just diffuse. But soon, I hope, I'll gain control of my powers and focus with laser precision on something or other.
I wonder how many other people pretend to be patient. Maybe it's fake it until you make it. I am tired on sitting on my hands. I want to just scream! Gimme! Tell me! Let me! Show me! ME! ME! ME!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

So it begins

I woke up this morning and felt pretty good. I have a little discomfort but my spirits are high. My plan was to begin daily five mile walks today, but I just wasn't up for it. Instead I remained still and just tried to observe myself objectively. This past weekend it rained continuously and today was overcast and grey. I do feel relieved that I have more knowledge about what's going on with my body, but this journey is only just beginning. Now I have to master my mind and thoughts.
Tomorrow my mother and I are driving my father to Convent, LA for a retreat. That should be interesting.
In national news, the infamous Deep Throat's identity has been revealed. I was hoping it was the Supreme Court justice. Instead it turns out to be W. Mark Felt who may or may not have had an axe to grind with the Nixon admininstration and ended up getting in hot water himself for doing a little breaking and entering. An interesting historical development nonetheless. I think the man, regardless of his political or personal motives, did the country a great favor. We must always remain critically engaged with our government and administrators. Nixon relied in part on the nation trusting the infallibility and virtue of the office of president and falling short of questioning the person in that position. In recent years, we've swung back toward that position. The "you're with us or against us" variety of unscrutinized patriotism is used to suppress, distort, or stifle debate and critique. It is still the case that absolute power corrupts absolutely; hopefully the case of Deep Throat will continue to remind us that government should be for the people...