On bad news, shameless people and Anderson Cooper
ADVICE FROM Mr. wOw: If you wanted to feel either very bad or very good – as in relieved that your life is not so terrible – last week your best bet was to pick up copies of the Globe and National Enquirer.
The covers of both were, as usual, a series of depressing stories, one after another – who’s dying, who’s in rehab, who’s drinking dangerously, who’s divorcing, who’s expecting to be exposed in a sex tape. (Well, on the latter, who isn’t?)
I was profoundly “malaised” after leafing through these papers. But as we all know, the travails of the rich and famous are relentlessly publicized because some people get satisfaction out of reading about them. I don’t. And even though there is nothing new under the sun – hey, they gossiped back in ancient Egypt and wrote it out in nasty hieroglyphs – I prefer something a bit more positive.
I say this with the knowledge that I have written some pretty bitchy things myself, but I’ve never enjoyed the fall of others. Not even certain politicians when they get in trouble. After a point, nothing succeeds like excess, if you want to make a victim out of a villain.
On the matter of sex tapes, explicit e-mails, “sexting” and everything else intimate that invariably winds up in public, I think that all famous people should resolve to be celibate! Celebs, you have no recourse. It is impossible now to screw around casually. (And you certainly can’t cheat on your spouse with any discretion. Not that you should cheat.)
Nobody you sleep with can be trusted. Nobody has the slightest conception of shame. The Internet, Facebook, e-mails and reality TV have destroyed privacy and good manners. And somehow, with all of this out there, people still think they won’t be caught. (Send somebody a picture of your genitals and you can bet it’ll be on YouTube faster than you can say, “I don’t think those male enhancement pills really worked!”)
We are now a nation of ignorant exhibitionists, opportunists and sluts. Nobody – female or male – seems to mind being seen as a blackmailing, money-hungry “sex poodle” as Victoria Tennant demanded of Steve Martin in “All of Me.” (Al Gore reportedly picked up that colorful phrase, too.)
And forget the famous. That’s just sheer stupidity. The worst effect of our invasive and instant technology is on young people who can’t grasp the fact that what they do can be so harmful to themselves and to others. Those naked snaps? Forever online. Those cruel remarks, which you wrote out and then pressed Send to All? Forever burned into the psyche of your victims.
This fantastic form of communication has flourished to teach, tease and torment the fragile, malleable minds of adolescence. But maybe Mr. wOw is too dramatic. Old fogies damned the telephone, movies and television, too, back in the day. Remember when we were all going to hell because we liked the Rolling Stones?
It’s not like I don’t spend a hell of a lot of time surfing the Net.
Anderson Cooper. Mr. Cooper got his Jockeys, his boxers or his International Male thong in a twist because of a new Vince Vaughn movie trailer.
The trailer for Vince’s movie “The Dilemma” opens with Vaughn saying, “Electric cars are so … gay.” Nobody –including any gay groups – complained until Mr. Cooper did, to Ellen DeGeneres. Now with pressure from the feeble minds at GLAAD, Universal is pulling the trailer.
Give me a break! (GLAAD thought “Brokeback Mountain” was a great thing – a movie that ended with one protagonist dead, the other miserable and alone, and the strong implication that the surviving character wasn’t really gay at all, just “confused.” Though he did miss his once-a-year gay fling amongst the sheep – they were shepherds, not “gay cowboys.”)
Mr. Cooper is a serious man and has done yeoman work on gay issues, including recent coverage of teens driven to suicide by bullying. Despite a tendency to furrow his brow so we know he’s very serious, Anderson’s general news anchoring is exemplary, non-exploitive and reasonably free of hot-headed opinion. (We’ll just overlook his fondness for “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and NeNe in particular.)
But there is a limit to “sensitivity.” In the immediate wake of Anderson’s vitally important bullying reportage – not to mention New York City’s gay-bashing/torture horror story, and Republican candidate for New York state governor Carl Paladino’s truly insensitive remarks – this seems like a minor issue indeed, an absurd overraction.
Mr. wOw is gay and is not offended that Vince Vaughn, whose name is a byword for coarse humor and witless comedies, somehow relates electric cars and gay people. Yes, we gays care about the environment and you don’t! I’ll look at it that way and not waste any more time on the matter. I’d rather just work to make sure that Paladino doesn’t win.
GLAAD never had a problem with all the offensive (to Mr. wOw) stereotypical gay jokes and references on “Will & Grace.” Especially grueling were remarks made about women, including their bodies, sex with women, etc. That show was and will forever remain “Will & Disgrace.” And I believe many of you already know Mr. wOw’s feelings about Logo and its programming. That channel does more to insult gays than anything Mr. Vince Vaughn could say. Cooper should get on that!
Mr. Cooper needs to do more than complain, host special segments of his CNN show and camp it up with Kathy Griffin on New Year’s Eve if he wants to make a realistic impact.
There is a limit to political correctness and there is also a limit to protecting one’s own image. If you’re gonna be a bear, be a grizzly, Mr. Cooper. Or get the hell out of the forest.