Some days, there are no ideas.
Other days, there are too many, you don't know which ones to develop. So . . . in no particular order . . . but in my need to exorcise some demons . . .
IF DR. PHIL SAYS SO . . .
"LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Television's 'Dr. Phil' McGraw said Britney Spears was released from a hospital Saturday but still needs psychological help, the syndicated programs 'Entertainment Tonight' and 'The Insider' reported in a press release . . . 'My meeting with Britney and some family members this morning in her room at Cedars leaves me convinced more than ever that she is in dire need of both medical and psychological intervention,' McGraw told the programs."
Okay. Sadness over a young woman's alarming decline aside, WHAT ELSE IS ABSURD ABOUT THIS ARTICLE? Is it that the esteemed AP Newswire and every local news program has covered every hiccup of this story (even as hundreds of men and women have been giving their lives in Iraq, as too many Americans can't afford healthcare, as divorce rates spiral and more and more children of non-celebrity parents suffer the consequences of their parents' squabbles)? Is it that "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider," both bastions of "journalistic excellence," are making this a major news item to boost their ratings? Or is it that "Dr. Phil," who is NOT EVEN A REAL DOCTOR(!!!) is making a proclamation to the world that in HIS opinion this girl's in trouble? (Nice call, McGraw--only someone of your high intellect and sensitivity could see that.) People, please. If you all REALLY cared about Brittany Spears and hoped for her to sort out her problems, you would let her be OUT of the spotlight for a while, quietly, while she sought help and got her life back together. This fishbowl will ultimately lead her down the same path others have descended (including Anna Nicole). It's like watching a televised train wreck. Shame on you all, feeding on her descent . . .
BECAUSE SHE'S A WOMAN
I've planted a mole in the back rooms of the campaign trail. I've put shot glasses up to the wall to hear what's going on inside. I've planted electronic listening devices in vases of obviously fake floral arrangements. And here's the dish that's come back:
"Let's attack Hillary and see if we can get her riled up. Then if she does, we can say, see, she's a girl and not tough enough. And if she doesn't crack, we can go the opposite route and say she's unfeeling, unnatural, not enough of a woman."
For Hillary's detractors, it's a win-win.
For what it's worth, the events of this week have pushed this writer to make a still-premature endorsement of Hillary Clinton. Not because she needs my endorsement, granted. She IS the best candidate, as far as I can tell--and her opponents have pushed me there before I can really determine it for myself!
Her detractors say she's not the candidate for "change." (What, like she's trying to keep George Bush in office? Like she hasn't fought for education and healthcare reform for years?) Would Edwards and Obama be campaigning on a platform of "change" if they truly had real experience to ride on in its place? In this fast-food society, in the same way that somehow "liberal" has become dirty word, now "experience" is being lumped in with being "anti-change." People who fight the good fight should be supported, not discarded with every new poseur who comes along. We all learn from our battles and our accumulated scars, but our society rejects people with experience, allowing ego to supersede hard-won knowledge. Right now, having been a punching bag extraordinaire for years for speaking her mind and having a "liberal" agenda, Hillary Clinton is the most ready to rise above the mire and take on the mess in the Mid-East and the disaster left behind by this administration at home. Barack Obama is not without his idealist good points, but he's so in love with his own idealism that he's not ready to get his hands dirty. The umbrage with which he takes any criticism tells us he's not experienced enough. Though the front runner coming out of Iowa, the Senator from Illinois seemed more like a pouty little boy who resented having to fend off any attacks or criticisms. "Sticks and stones" on the campaign trail are nothing compared to what a President these days will endure. Hillary can't be any more vilified than she already has been--and she STILL wants to do the job! Give her credit, guys!
Even my in-laws, reading certain publications, say they think Hillary lied about Whitewater and Vince Foster, yadayadayada, and so they don't like her. Name me any MALE politician who hasn't lied about something. Admit it, gang, while every other advanced country in the world has at least considered or been led at some point by a woman, the political good ole boys of this country remain sexist pigs. Even sadder, I suspect many of the WOMEN of this country don't support Hillary because she's a woman and they feel her "toughness" is inappropriate or wrong. In a recent New Hampshire poll, she was voted more experienced and capable than Obama or Edwards, but those polled didn't LIKE her as much. (If you'll recall, Americans found Bush more amiable than Kerry or Al Gore--see where that good ole boy behavior has led us?!) SHAME ON YOU, AMERICA--are we so in love with hype that the basic ability to lead, with ability and good organization skill, is less important than a person's sex? Hillary's candidacy should not have to be about being a woman--but her opponents are MAKING it so. Shame on them. And shame on you, if you don't judge her merits on their own.
AND WHILE WAXING POLITICAL
Watching the debates last night, one thing became crystal clear--NONE of the candidates, Democratic or Republican, are walking in the shoes of the common American. This became most clear when it came to the topics of healthcare and illegal immigrants. A discussion of healthcare packages kept leading to mandates (and Fred Thompson has forever lost my respect by turning the word into a cheap joke to detract from an opponent's attempt to make a clear answer). Everyone kept saying that individuals should buy healthcare on the open market, yet they discussed financial penalties for those who didn't take advantage of the programs offered. Don't they know that people who don't have insurance 9 times out of 10 simply can't afford it on the incomes they receive?! Who WOULDN'T opt for affordable healthcare? The inflated costs, created by the HMOs and drug manufacturers of this country, are out of control, but rather than address that, the candidates (on both sides) seemed content to praise our system over the public health systems in virtually every other advanced, civilized nation on this planet! Are they really that blind?! We may not be able to give financial equality to all (and probably shouldn't), but being a citizen of this country SHOULD mean that you are not turned away from the very developments and improvements in healthcare that OUR TAX DOLLARS paid for!
As for immigration, again, they pretended that it wasn't an economic issue. People become illegal immigrants not because they choose to scoff at the laws of the land, but because there is no other way to financially crack through and find a better life. And some of the candidates went on and on about amnesty, yet felt that plans where financial penalties were given along with being sent to the back of the line were TOO EASY on these same poor people. National security and the prevention of terrorist threat is being used (and manipulated) by the candidates to pervert the attention of the nation on real problems, which are sadly economic in nature.
Frankly, despite all the screaming by the candidates for change, their behavior shows that they are cynically dishing out more of the same.
I was going to ruminate on the Writers' Strike, self-promote my upcoming shows a bit, and talk about some personal griefs. But this is certainly enough rant for one afternoon!