by Joyce Marcel
American Reporter Correspondent
September 21, 2006
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Every Wednesday, I sit down at the computer and produce a polished (I hope) and coherent (maybe) column on a single topic.
Every day, bloggers sit down at their computers and string together their thoughts on as many topics as come to mind. Polished? Not so much. Coherent and entertaining? Surprisingly often.
I don't have a blog (yet) but I'm starting to wonder if this column thing isn't just a little too old-fashioned. So I thought I'd try my hand at blogging this one and see how it goes.
First on my mind, isn't it apparent to everyone now that President George W. Bush is officially insane? If nothing else, his message to the U.N. a few days ago showed that the man is living in an alternate reality. He told the "Iranian people" that the U.S. wants peace and has nothing but warm fuzzy feelings for them, then turned around and told the "Iranian government" that they had no right to do what they have every right to do - enrich uranium.
You don't have to read between the lines to hear the real message to the Iranian people: "Duck!"
If you don't think you're living in a Third World tinpot dictatorship right now, you should consider the fact that, according to MoveOn, "This week, the Senate is planning to quietly hold a vote that would pardon President Bush for breaking the law by illegally wiretapping innocent Americans without warrants." The last person to get away with that kind of crap was Generalissimo Pinochet of Chile.
Moving on, I have a question for all of you. Who made People Magazine, InTouch, Star and the National Enquirer the keepers of American morality?
Think about it for a minute. Jennifer Anniston (remember her?) had no sooner gone through a painful divorce before the magazines were all over her for hanging out with Vince Vaughn.
"When's the wedding?" they screamed. "When are you going to have children?" It's as if the only use they had for the poor little rich girl was a conventional life. Me, personally? I'd like her to find better scripts.
Hey! You don't get to be a movie star by wanting marriage and children. You get to be a movie star by wanting fame, attention, wealth, more attention, plastic surgery, and then maybe some more attention. You want it so bad that what the heck, you'll do anything, starve yourself, take drugs and sleep with anybody to get it. The one thing you can safely say about actors is that as artists, they are not like the rest of us. That's why we're interested in them.
So why force them into pretending to conform? This month's issue of Vanity Fair has a badly written story about Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy that claims they were not the icons of modern love that we always thought they were. Instead, they're a different set of icons: Will & Grace.
To me, Hepburn has always been fascinating, a symbol of strength, intelligence, eccentricity and originality. A role model. Not blonde. Not feminine. Not helpless. Not boring. In her movies, with and without Tracy, her characters had talent, careers and lives of their own. True, in the end these characters had to be cut down to size a little bit, but if you ignore the endings, Tracy and Hepburn symbolized the fact that authentic individuals could still find love.
According to this article, that love was deep friendship. They cared for each other, spent time together, traveled and made movies with each other, and, when the evenings drew nigh, Tracy slept with a male hooker named Scotty.
Does it matter? Not at all. Back when we had small-town gossips telling tales about their neighbors over the fence while they hung out the laundry, the tales did damage, but they were limited. "Did you see what she was wearing last night!!!!" one of them would whisper. And the other would say, "What was she thinking?"
Today, if you're famous and you look bad one day, you're on the cover of five magazines with the word "Worst Dressed" splashed across your face, and three television stations staffed by moral midgets airing their criticism of you.
If Oprah really found her "boyfriend" in bed with another woman, as the National Enquirer trumpeted this week, it could have been painful, or maybe she just didn't care, or maybe she paid the other woman to keep him happy while she ran around with her best friend. It's her business, not ours.
I resent the fake outrage and immoral morality that these magazines shill to the American people. It's not all happy marriages and happy children and happy families out there, and everybody knows it. The joy is that all of us are a bit unique, different, a little weird. We should be celebrating that, not trying to shove everyone in the same box.
I'd like to end this little diatribe with a salute to my favorite local billboard, one that truly celebrates the diversity of life - at least in Windham County.
We may think of ourselves as an "arts town," but we live in the midst of a rural community that's as lovely as any I've ever seen. Check out the windows at Agway. No ads for bands and book readings, but lots of horses for sale, a John Deere 20 HP diesel, two "adorable" cats free to a good home, a horsemanship clinic, and Shetland sheep for sale - "appointments are required." You can find a farrier or adopt two roosters, "free to a good home."
Yes, most of our culture is shrill, scary, hypocritical, loud, celebrity-drenched and valueless. But here we're still connected to the roots of reality, where someone is searching for a good home for two roosters and a horse named Charly.