Thursday, January 12, 2006

Short Attention Span Theater

Be afraid, be very afraid. I've been really disheartened by how disinterested many people have been in the Alito hearings this week. This guy could change the face of this country as we know it. People are more interested in Angelina's bump than in the fate of the Supreme Court. I'm embarrassed.

And speaking of Brad and Angelina, can you imagine what it would be like to have every speck of minutae in your life documented by someone, somewhere? I mean seriously. All these people (and actors in general) signed up for was acting. Playing make believe for money. How we've turned that into needing to know every last detail of their personal lives is beyond me.

Now don't get me wrong...I'm as guilty as the next person when it comes to watching Access Hollywood and the like. I just think there has to be a limit as to how intrusive we, the nosy public, should get.

So... what do we think about James Frey? The guy who wrote "A Million Little Pieces", a memoir catapulted to best-sellerdom by Ms. Oprah herself, is being accused of making up parts of his story (he claims only 18 pages of the book are being disputed.) The question is: Does anyone care? Is his book only valuable if it's true? On the other hand, if he was going to "embellish", why didn't he just write a novel? Who was it that said "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story..."?

And on a very sad and serious note, this is the worst story of child abuse to hit the New York papers since the Lisa Steinberg case. When the uncle of this 7-year old girl (her stepfather's brother) was interviewed by reporters this afternoon, the guy said "He didn't do nothing bad...he did what any normal parent would do. He beat her with a belt."

There's nothing I can say about this that isn't said better by the lyrics to this 10,000 Maniacs song:

What's The Matter Here?

[ Robert Buck / Natalie Merchant ]

That young boy without a name I'd know his face.
In this city the kid's my favorite.
I've seen him. I see him every day.
Seen him run outside looking for a place to hide from his father,
the kid half naked and said to myself "O, what's the matter here?"
I'm tired of the excuses everbody uses, he's their kid I stay out of it,
but who gave you the right to do this?

We live on Morgan Street;
just ten feet between and his mother, I never see her,
but her screams and cussing, I hear them every day.
Threats like: "If you don't mind I will beat on your behind,"
"Slap you, slap you silly."
made me say, "O, what's the matter here?"
I'm tired of the excuses everybody uses, he's your kid, do as you see fit,
but get this through that I don't approve of what you did to you own flesh and blood.

"If you don't sit on this chair straight
I'll take this belt from around my waist and don't think that I won't use it!"

Answer me and take your time,
what could be the awful crime he could do at such young an age?
If I'm the only witness to your madness offer me some words to balance out what I see and what I hear.
All these cold and rude things that you do I suppose you do because he belongs to you
and instead of love, the feel of warmth you've given him these cuts and sores won't heal with time or age.

I want to say "What's the Matter here?"
But I don't dare say.