This is one of those instances where I will reserve comment and encourage you watch for yourself. I’ll only say that I think this is perhaps the most thought provoking (and at some points frightening) programming on Sunday morning network television in quite some time.
Watch the full episode from April 24th by clicking on the image.
This morning on “Oprah’s Farewell Season,” which has the same resonance as Cher’s Farewell Tour, given that Ms. Winfrey is not really “leaving” any medium, featured duets with a female legend of rock paired with a younger generation artist. The most curious and cognitively dissonant was the pairing of Joan Jett and Miley Cyrus, the former being a true ground breaker in the world of punk with her band The Runaways, the latter being a manufactured Disney princess currently struggling with how, in full view of the tabloid addicted pop cultural landscape, to translate her outsize marginal talent into a respectable adult career.
For Ms. Cyrus this made their duet of “Bad Reputation” both a declaration of defiance and primer on the impotence of defiance if what all you ever were is a randomly entitled tween queen.
This all reminded me of the hullabaloo over that preciously entitled princess Donald Trump (see Vanity Fair portrait ca. 2006) and his bid for the Republican nomination for president in 2012.
He also began the rehabilitation of his image on “Oprah’s Farewell Season,” there to prove what a family man he was because as Oprah ( gamely playing along) declared “we don’t think of you as a family man.” He appeared with all of his children from all three of his babymammas and his current wife, barely older than his daughter Ivanka, about whom he once said was so pretty that if she weren’t his daughter he’d be hitting that.
Needless to say, he didn’t come off as a family man.
He did however come off as feudal lord, as you heard every one of his children and his child bride repeatedly (and solely) describe their relationship with The Donald as “a job to do.” (At least Melania was being honest.) This was enough to convince Elizabeth Hasselbeck on “The View” to declare that “Donald Trump has created more jobs than President Obama.” (When the ladies of “The View” complain about what a stalking thin skinned sourpussy you are, what is Hu Jintao going to think of you?)
Needless to say, he did manage to turn his seedy personal life into an economic issue and that alone is a resounding victory in a political landscape in which every social issue is being framed as an economic one. (See Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.)
Donald, lest you think is trotting only the birther argument as a means to prove his authenticity (as in everyone is quite certain he is an American citizen), is pulling out all the stops to prove his superiority to anyone who dares disagree with him. In responding to Gail Collins’ column in The New York Times he wrote:
Even before Gail Collins was with the New York Times, she has written nasty and derogatory articles about me. Actually, I have great respect for Ms. Collins in that she has survived so long with so little talent. Her storytelling ability and word usage (coming from me, who has written many bestsellers), is not at a very high level.
Forget the syntax for a moment. “Not at a very high level?” Wow, now that’s word usage! With all this authenticity and career trajectory fur flying around, Mr. Trump betrays the existence of ghostwriters as Miley does of AutoTune when she sings live. But given the level of sophistication each presumes of their audience, their talent is unquestionable. Just ask them. Though to be fair, even institutions of higher learning like Rutgers are earning their bad reputation these days when they pay more for a lecture from Snooki than they do for Toni Morrison. Who’s he you ask? Never mind.
All irreverence aside, you will be happy to know that the serious camp in charge of Mr. Trump’s presidential aspirations is being run by none other than a man commonly known as Stewie Rah Rah, the #1 King of Fun.
What more can I say?
You think Sam Walton and family became the richest in the world because they paid for health benefits and respected women? Winning!
Additionally, if you have infants, the girls don’t mind having strangers spill stuff all over them and they’re really good at cleaning up.
In other news, the first Republican to file for a 2012 presidential run is a gay activist. He says he’s Republican because he favors small government.
An ex-boyfriend says he’s a Republican because he can’t stay out of other people’s bedrooms.
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Before the details of Sandra Bullock’s cheating husband get more salacious, you might want to read Nicole La Porte’s thoughtful piece from The Daily Beast.
And if you’ve ever wondered how all the new media and information technology is altering the cultural and political landscape– and even your own sense of self, as you read this–definitely check out Michiko Kakutani’s excellent piece from The New York Times.
The dude to whom they could justifiably be referring is Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia who, despite the recommendation of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen that the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should be eliminated, opposes allowing gays to serve openly in the military. Senator Chamblis thinks that eliminating the military’s restriction on homosexuality as a condition of service in the 21st century could put us but steps away from a brave new world of “alcohol use, adultery, fraternization and body art.”
Really? This from a member of the party of Bush who spent 8 years with a guy named Dick on his ass. Sure, you might expect a more sophisticated world view from a guy in the US Senate than from the guys on ” Jersey Shore” but the situation reveals that Saxby may know more about Snooky than he knows about nookie.
Not that the Senator needs my help, but here’s a more comprehensive but still incomplete list of social undoings that could result from repealing don’t ask, don’t tell:
Your Toyota could suddenly accelerate for no reason
A black man could become president
Taylor Swift could win a Grammy
John McCain could marry an heiress to an alcohol distribution fortune
John Edwards could make a sex tape of himself making love to his pregnant mistress before he repeatedly denies to his terminally ill cancer stricken wife that he was the father of the baby
Men who have posed naked as a centerfold for Cosmopolitan magazine could be elected to the US Senate
Sandra Bullock could win an acting award
Sarah Palin may become John McCain’s running mate after being found on You Tube and vetted on Google, all in the span of two weeks
Women who look like they didn’t make the cut to be onstage as The Pussycat Dolls could find themselves in consort with Tiger Woods
John Edwards could take the word of a woman, who is unproblematically willing to have sex with a married millionaire, that he doesn’t have to use a condom because she’s incapable of getting pregnant
John Mayer could complain that he is not getting enough sex and extol the theraputic powers of masturbation while posing on various magazine covers showcasing his tattoos
Timothy Geithner , Larry Summers and Ben Bernake could actually be in bed with the financial institutions they are supposed to be regulating
Rihanna could suffer a brutal beating from Chris Brown, leave him, go back to him, leave him for good because she wants to be a role model for young girls, pose naked for the cover of GQ, get a few more tattoos and then release the single “So Hard,” the video for which looks like a trailer to Chi Chi La Rue high concept porn
The Northern Ireland brokered peace agreement, decades in the making, could be at peril because the 61 year old wife of of one of the political leaders may have a torrid seven month affair with a dead family friend’s 19 year old son and then fail to report that she and her husband funneled about $80,000 to the young man to open a coffee shop/internet cafe
ABC financial news correspondent Bianna Golodryga could become at least the third woman with poor judgment to jump into the bed of Peter Orszag, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, who is being sued by his first wife for non payment of the divorce settlement as he simultaneously becomes engaged to Ms Golodryga before the pregnant ex girlfriend he promised to marry gives birth to his fourth child
Sarah Palin’s new curly updo hairstyle could resemble that of Jethrine on “The Beverly Hillbilies”
Your Toyota could make other Toyota owners very uncomfortable especially if you’re in such close proximity that they can see yours coming up the rear
US Senators who pretend to shower the masses with the naked truth could be more careful about bending over to pick up the soapbox they want to stand on