Monday, July 08, 2013

Things I’ve heard entirely too much about lately

Unless you live in a monastery on a remote island, there are just way too many things that it is nigh unto impossible to ignore.

A few things in that category are on my current list. And that’s because, over the past couple of weeks, I have heard/read/or just seen out of the corner of my eye WAY, WAY, WAY TOO MUCH about:

Paula Deen

How is it that, in a nanosecond it seems, Paula Deen went from occupying zero – well I guess I mean near-zero – shelf space in the store of my mind, to a couple of inches of that shelf space being taken up by all Paula Deen, all the time. Sheesh…

Paula Deen, before-during-and-after PaulaDeenGate, was not my glass of sweet tea, that’s for sure. What little I had seen of her I found gooey and far too Southern charm for my taste. And I was more than a bit put off when we learned a few years ago that, while old Paula was encouraging Americans to eat the most unhealthy of fat-soaked and sugar-laden diets, she had been diagnosed with type-two diabetes. Which she failed to disclose until she’d lined up an endorsement deal with a pharmaceutical company that makes insulin.

And, now, all of a sudden she is a virulent racist/Simon Legree, losing all her deals and endorsements because at some point in her life she’d used the N-word, and had entertained the idea of hosting some sort of "true Southern plantation-style theme" event, in which African American men would be featured as house slaves.

Well, maybe she is a virulent racist/Simon Legree. Or maybe we’ve gotten so crazily sensitive that you can lose it all for something you said at some point in your life. Or a dumb idea you considered but rejected.

The N-word is not now, and never has been, in my vocabulary.

But, hey, I didn’t grow up in pre-MLK Georgia, either.

If, at some point in her life, this had been a word she used, and that point is well-past, well, so be it.

The domino-effect reaction to Paula Deen's slip of the lip seems disproportionate.

It would make sense if all “the evidence” about recent inappropriateness, and about what a lousy boss she was, making women and African Americans feel uncomfortable all over the place, had fully come out. But to my knowledge, that’s not the case. Which means that the evidence hasn’t come out yet, or there just isn’t much/any of it.

Maybe Paula Deen’s just a domineering by-otch. She obviously didn’t get to the top of the food heap by being Miss Melanie. I suspect that there’s a lot more mean-girl Scarlett O’Hara in there.

But that doesn’t mean that she necessarily deserves to lose her entire empire.

Maybe she just needs some consciousness raising and sensitivity training.

In any case, if I never hear the name Paula Deen again, it will be just Georgia peachy with me.

Alec Baldwin, come on down.

I actually kind of like Alec Baldwin, the cute Baldwin, the one with a sense of humor, the one who can act.

But it’s only because Charlie Sheen/Carlos Estevez still roams the celebrity earth that Baldwin hasn’t become the poster boy for anger management.

His latest outrage is a twitter rant against a “journalist” (that’s in “quotes” because he works for the UK Daily Mail) who accused Baldwin’s wife of tweeting during James Gandolfini’s funeral. One of the things that Mrs. B. is accused of tweeting about was something to do with the Rachael Ray show. Alec Baldwin. James Gandolfini. Rachael Ray. A celebrity trifecta!

Anyway, Baldwin called the reporter a “toxic little queen” and threatened to stick his foot where the sun don’t shine, except that he was afraid that the “toxic little queen” would “dig it too much.”

Well, Alec, Alec, Alec.

I have to ask, what’s in your wallet of a brain that you’d use a term like “toxic little queen.”

Nasty, nasty, nasty.

Haven’t you figured out by now that the only epithet you should use is the generic, all-purpose one of a-hole, you a-hole?

If you get dumped by Capital One it will Paula Deen you right.

Number 81

I’m actually sorry to be grouping Paula Deen and Alec Baldwin in with Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots football star.

In their worst dreams, there is nothing that either Paula or Alec has done that would come close to what this reprehensible character stands accused of.

As you can imagine, Boston has had an insatiable appetite for news on Aaron Hernandez, who has been directly accused of first degree murder, and may well be involved in several other murders committed over the last few years. And it also seems that last year he shot the eye of a “friend” out.

And as if murder(s)  and shooting someone’s eye out weren’t quite enough, there was also a story that claimed that, this winter, Hernandez was a passenger in a car that was going over 100 MPH on I-95.

When the staties finally managed to stop the car, Hernandez is said to have called out, “"Trooper, I'm Aaron Hernandez, it's OK."

But it’s not okay, Mr. Hernandez. It’s just not.

Watching professional football is like eating red meat.

If I thought about it, I wouldn’t do either.

I may feel differently come September when there’s a “good game” on and, as is likely, we have nothing better to do.

But if I never hear the name Aaron Hernandez again it will be too soon.

Bottom line: all I can say for Paula Deen, Alec Baldwin, and Aaron Hernandez is that at least they’ve taken my mind off of Whitey Bulger.

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