Monday, June 13, 2011

Not dead, not sleeping.

I was driving on Friday last, listening to the radio version of The News Hour on PBS. Shields and Brooks were giving us their measured, reasonable and usually wrong headed views on the news of the day. Shields, when asked about the Anthony Wiener unpleasantness, said "Shame is officially dead."

Au contraire, Mr. Shields. It is still with us. It just has to applied in the proper forum in the correct way and shame still possesses a crushing force.

Obviously, Mr. Shields would not have said what he did without some data on his side. In past generations, what happened to Bill Clinton or David Vitter or Alec Baldwin or Kanye West or Kobe Bryant or Anthony Wiener would have driven them from the stage, possibly forever. But we live in the post-Nixon era, and if even Tricky Dick can come back from the grave, so can nearly anyone with enough time and intestinal fortitude.

Submitted for your disapproval: Donald Trump. He made some nonsensical noises about running for president, and since we are still more than six months away from an actual delegate in the nomination process to be assigned to a candidate, the press was unable to ignore him.

Then came his decision to hang his hat on the birther issue, to be followed by the long form birth certificate being released.

This did not shame him. He took credit for a thing he did not do, a completely predictable move from such a pompous swine.

No, he was shamed out of the race on C-SPAN (and more importantly, You Tube) by comments made by Barack Obama and Seth Myers at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. In an odd twist, Trump had been to a modern Friar's Club roast only a few weeks before, where the jokes were much more vicious. But at the Friar's Club, it's supposed to be an honor to be mocked, and the target gets the last word. Instead, the Leader of the Free World used irony to crush him while a room of "important people" laughed out loud, completely unimpressed by the fact that the target of the mockery was in the room. Minutes later, Seth Myers tucked in to what was left of the warm and not yet rotting corpse.

And Myers, not Trump, got the last word and the last laugh.

Arnold Schwarzenegger never really wanted a long term career in politics, but he did plan to return to the movies when his stint as the savior of the Californian Republican Party was over.

Those plans are currently on hiatus.

Kind of like Manimal is on hiatus.

People are coming out of the woodwork to tell stories of his swinishness now, and the press is eating these stories up.

It's funny what just one secret child fathered out of wedlock can do in this day and age.

And in this day and age, the "secret" part is far worse than the "fathered out of wedlock" part.

Tiger Woods will not be at the U.S. Open this week. He has to be seriously injured to make such a move. But if you have followed his career, you'll know the last major championship he won, The 2008 U.S. Open, was won on what was effectively a broken left leg, and he then missed the last two major championships that year. He came back in 2009 after surgery to win many regular tournaments, but no majors.

And then, around Thanksgiving 2009, the world found out Tiger did have a hobby outside of golf.

Shame has turned Tiger Woods into Robert Gamez.

Here is sweet Reese Witherspoon. She has been married, her husband Ryan Phillippe cheated on her, she left him. His career has stalled, hers continues to move forward. On my silly gossip blog, she has had 18 cover stories about her since the beginning of 2010, none negative. I looked online to see if she had ever been involved in a feud, and in 2008 she went out of her way to deny any bad blood between her and co-star in Four Christmases Vince Vaughn.

If you have ever seen Jon Favreau's show Dinner For Five, you know Vince Vaughn is an unstoppable flaming asshole in real life. But Our Reese does not want to be seen as a difficult person to get along with.

And then earlier this month, she went on the MTV Movie Awards and said this.

"I get it, girls, that it’s cool to be a bad girl but it is possible to make it in Hollywood without doing a reality show. When I came up in this business, if you made a sex tape, you were embarrassed and you hid it under your bed.”

I am of the opinion that sweet little Reese Witherspoon has just done to Kim Kardashian what Barack Obama and Seth Myers did to Donald Trump. She will finally feel shame. Maybe I'm wrong and she will weather it, but I really think the right words were said on the right venue at the right time and Kim is going to have to be satisfied with being rich and beautiful instead of rich, famous and beautiful.

It's already happened to Paris Hilton. She tried a new reality show and it bombed, she's through.

All things come to an end, pleasures and plagues alike. If you find yourself wondering in 2012 whatever happened to Kim Kardashian, look back at Reese Witherspoon's comments and know that shame is not dead and it is not sleeping. It just has to be applied properly.

Here endeth the lesson.


Fran said...

I love you Matty Boy, always have, always will. Such smart words come from you and on such a regular basis. Smart and sensible, lacking guile and full of wisdom.

Reading the post made me feel queasy, just like any wide-angle shot of assholedness would. Who are these people and how have they inhabited our world?

Thanks for pointing out Reese; I just saw her on Graham Norton and I thought about what a delightful human being she appeared to be.

I don't really want to see people soaking in the pool of shame, but I would hope that some introspection might cause some inner change.

It is an age of egos that outstrips all others. It is gross.

Matty Boy said...

Thanks for stopping by, Fran.

I don't watch reality TV, much to the displeasure of our blog buddy Karen Zipdrive, but from what I see of how the gossip rags cover it, I consider it the modern equivalent of people being thrown to the animals in the Coliseum. It's a very strange idea of entertainment and while it will never completely go away, I could easily envision the public growing tired of the genre in its present form.

One can always hope.

Spence said...

Shields, not Brooks, fwiw, see around 11:00. Don't agree on the value of their commentary, but do agree on some of your points on the "shame trajectory".

Matty Boy said...

Thanks for the correction, Spence. I'll edit the post to the correct attribution.