Thursday, February 01, 2007

 

From the archives

In early 2002, the president was trying to convince the U.S. that it would be a good idea to go to war with Iraq. Also, Ozzy Osbourne was soaring to heights of new popularity thanks to his (mercifully) short-lived reality series. Here's a column I wrote for Star Newspapers at that time, which I though was one of my better efforts:


He’s a dangerous man representing a dangerous regime. Something must be done, and fast.
Sure, when we see him on television, he doesn’t seem all that evil. Rather, he’s a caricature, someone to laugh at, what with all the unintelligible sputtering and indignance. People will tell you he’s entertaining. They’ll say the internal strife he has to deal with and his spats with his neighbors are harmless.
I say don’t believe them! This man is not to be trusted. Let’s not forget that it wasn’t too long ago the nation was in a different uproar over his activities. He was the subject of sermons and parents tried to shield their children from him.
Yes, let me tell you people, Ozzy Osbourne is a menace and must be stopped before further damage is perpetrated upon this great country.
And what’s more, his earlier offenses are puny in comparison to his current atrocities.
What are these atrocities, you ask? Well lemme tell ya....
Okay, it appears Ozzy’s evil, rodent-head gnawing days are over and he’s now a gruff but lovable curmudgeon.
And actually, the only thing that I can really blame him for is the further celebritizing of Anna Nicole Smith and his equally large kids.
Still, in the current climate, that’s a grave offense. Celebrities are already everywhere. It used to be, actors, singers and people in the news would gracefully bow out of the public view after a while, making room for the next hot topic. Only the great ones deserved to linger for any length of time and some of them did.
With the exception of trivia buffs, people of my generation do not know the short-timer celebrities of the 1940s, ‘50s and 60s. We’ve heard such names as Liz Taylor and Cary Grant, but they are far removed from being a sex symbol or alive (respectively). But the supporting players have all faded away entirely.
Now it’s different. We must contend with televised images, print articles and talk of such nobodies as Cory Feldman and the Guy Who Played Willis. Or is it Webster? No matter, both have been re-entered into the realm of celebrity at the whim of some reality television producer. They join such personas as Jared (the former fat guy), Adam West (the former bat guy) and Michael Jackson’s brothers.
These days, being on a game show qualifies someone as a celebrity. One can’t even read a newspaper without being subjected to “news” about former “Survivor” contestants.
If this trend continues unabated, the celebrities will soon outnumber the common folk. Regular, non-famous people might have to contend with minor celebrities vying for their attention everywhere they go. In line at the supermarket, the Guy Who Played Willis and the winner of The Mole a couple of seasons ago could each be tugging at an arm saying, “look at me, look at me!” Such a scenario could only lead to another stabbing by Willis, which in turn, would probably create another celebrity as the Guy Who Was Stabbed By Willis travels the daytime talk show circuit.
Mark my words, friends. These are dangerous times.

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