Aaron R. Davis
I hate the winter. I hate the snow. I hate the holidays. So, of course, into this perfect storm of annoyed dissatisfaction must come news stories that, in the end, aren’t really worth the space I’m about to devote to talking about how they’re not worth my attention.
Yes, this is one of those slow periods in the news cycle, when a hungry media heads to old standbys that aren’t actually news, such as “snow is hard to drive in” and “lots of people go shopping on Black Friday.” Real wake-up calls like that.
Here are a couple that really got me irritated this week …
First story: a couple of idiots crashed a party at the White House and talked to the President.
Michelle and Tareq Salahi are a couple of socialites who are possibly being investigated for fraud. That they were able to get into a White House party and talk to the President when they weren’t invited is, I grant you, a security problem. But the immediate reaction of the media was to start blaming the woman who planned the party and demanding that she testify before Congress in an investigation.
Now, I understand how this is the fault of the Salahis. And I understand how this is White House Security doing a half-assed job. But I don’t understand exactly how the party planner is at fault here. Did the Salahis bluff their way in because of an essential error in how many hors d’oeurves were ordered? No? Then the media is, as usual, pointing the finger of blame at the wrong person.
About the only thing this story has done is made it obvious how bad White House Security really is. Because of the fallout from this non-story, the media now has a Secret Service report showing that White House security has been breached 91 times in the past 30 years, including one time by a family in 1982 who simply honked insistently and were let in all the way up to the Oval Office because the Secret Service just assumed they were allowed to be there.
So what have we learned? That acting like you belong somewhere really can get you into any room.
Second story: Tiger Woods and his wandering penis.
Look, I don’t care about Tiger Woods. I never have before, and I still don’t. I don’t care about golf, I don’t care about athletes and unless it involves pudding and bikinis, I don’t care about sports. Is it Tiger Woods’ business what I do with my penis? No? Then I don’t really care what he does with his.
This is like when Ellen DeGeneres came out of the closet, and everyone was so shocked, when her lesbianism had been an open secret for years and years. Everyone already knew that Tiger Woods was cheating on his wife. You’ve never heard that? Really? Because I’d been hearing it forever. I think the real hilarity of the story is not that the guy has fidelity issues. And I don’t even think the real issue is that the media is having far too good a time dancing around the hate maypole because they get to tear down someone they spent so much time building up.
No, I think the real problem I have with this story is the way the media is framing it as though we’ve been totally betrayed because one of our heroes turns out to be a human being after all. Why is there such an insistence in this country that athletes and actors are this country’s heroes? I mean, does it seem ludicrous to anyone else that we’re supposed to denigrate the Paris Hiltons and Kim Kardashians of this world because “they don’t do any real work,” and then we act like someone who plays make believe for a living or is really good at hitting balls with sticks is just as important to society as someone who cures a disease or invents a really good web interface? Because I’m not getting the leap from “Kim Kardashian is a waste of space” to “Tiger Woods is an important person because he can get a ball in a hole.” BFD.
I don’t know. Maybe I’m irritated especially by this kind of thing because every professional athlete is, to me, just every asshole jock from high school who tormented weaker kids, only now he’s overpaid to run around a field and jump on other men. Either way, America, you’ve got much bigger problems than some golf player fucking around.
Third story: Miley Cyrus’s tattoo.
So it turns out that Miley has a tattoo. Cue the incessant, idiotic stories about what a slut she is, how immoral she is, how she’s just following a trend, how she’s trying to be shocking, etc. Remember, Lady GaGa is a genius for dressing like someone shot her out of a cannon into a mime supply shop, but Miley Cyrus is a slut for wearing shorts and having her nose pierced.
People, you have got to meet me halfway on this. You have to explain a couple of things to me. First, why having a nose ring, a belly button piercing and a tattoo automatically makes you unwholesome. And second, why a 17 year-old girl you’ve never met is supposed to be a role model for your children just because she’s a media star. Oh, and another one: why we’re all supposed to be really fucking angry with her for just acting like any normal stupid teenager. Look at the kids in your neighborhood. Kids are dumb. They are idiots. They don’t know anything about life. So why do we demand so much more from one of them just because she’s in the public spotlight? Who cares?
For the record, I did some reading and found out that Miley’s tattoo, which says “Just Breathe,” is a tribute to her best friend who died of cystic fibrosis three years ago. Not sure that makes her a slut or indicates her mindlessly following a trend. And for further record, my dad has a tattoo of a dolphin with my sister’s name on it. She wanted to be a marine biologist and loved dolphins. She died of bone cancer in 2006 just one week before her fourteenth birthday. I don’t think my dad got that tattoo because he’s a slut or is mindlessly following a trend, either.
Fourth story: Adam Lambert is banned from talk shows because he kissed a guy on stage at the AMAs.
America, your pathetic fear of boys kissing each other used to just be childish and asinine. Now it’s just fucking sad.
Let me see if I have this straight – er, clear: Britney, Christina and Madonna tongue each other in television in yet another of Madonna’s desperate attempts to convince everyone she’s young and relevant, and it’s the hottest thing ever … but two guys kiss and suddenly Adam Lambert’s not allowed on television anymore? That doesn’t make any sense to me, because if it had been two girls they’d be on every talk show that week talking about how daring and artistic they are. Seriously: boys kiss. Move on with your lives.
Fifth story: Sarah Palin is on a book tour and disappointed a crowd by leaving a signing early.
The fact that we’re still talking about Sarah Palin says a lot about the media and the people of this country that I just don’t want to think about. Her pamphlet-sized book has readers, and not one of them seems to understand a single political or social issue clearly enough to explain it, nor do they seem to have any idea how the government is run. I keep hearing that she may just run for president in 2012, and we all have to be scared. But if her recent bailout from a signing (leaving a crowd of booing people outside) is any indication, her presidential campaign will be just like her book tour, her term as governor of Alaska and her college career: she’ll get bored halfway through and go do something else.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go take a breath and pay attention to something less stupid. Two and a Half Men reruns, maybe. Or punching myself in the groin.
Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.