Saturday, October 06, 2007

Shine on you crazy diamond

Some time ago- back in February, to be precise- I did a post on the meltdown of Britney Spears. I personally liked that post then, and still do. But I've steered away from talking about her problems since. However, I think it's about time to make a few observations. Because at this point, she's heading for complete destruction, and everyone seems to know it except her.

At the time, I said that her problems were due to her success at an early age, her desire to "have it all", substance abuse (presumed), the entertainment "system", her messed up family, yadda yadda yadda. I stand by that.

The problem is that she still had a solid chance to recover, both personally and professionally. Now, while miracles do happen, she's far worse off than she was 8 months ago.

Which is pretty amazing, considering where she was at back then.

Her comeback-thus far- is a disaster. Her kids have been taken from her, she might be charged with abuse, and yet another dirtbag "lover" is telling tales about their night of sex. And this one might have the video evidence.

Supposedly, she's going to be touring in support of her latest musical offering. At this point, it looks as though it'll be a disaster, if it even happens. Early reviews of her latest songs are pretty poor, and she's embarrassed herself every time she's performed publicly.

Of course, she's also embarrassed herself pretty much every time she's set foot in public, so that last point isn't terribly surprising.

She's closing in on a professional Black Hole. She's right on the event horizon, circling the drain, etc. If, or more likely when, her latest album flops, she'll be pretty much finished professionally. With no trace of a career left, she'll be more and more irrelevant than ever, and the shambles that is her personal life will also go downhill. She could well be heading for Dana Plato territory.

This is all more or less background. In reading more about what she's up to these days, I think she's only got a couple good options left. Even after the disaster that's probably imminent, she might be able to get it together. But how?

I think the first Good Thing that could happen would be a spiritual awakening of some kind. I'm not terribly religious, but if she had some kind of revelation, it would be great. Suddenly waking up one morning and realizing that she's kind of a loser- and definitely a bimbo- and deciding to look for something better is the sort of thing that would salvage her life, if not her career.

The next possibility would be for her to find a new manager. A nice Drill Sergeant type: somebody who's willing and able to kick her butt. What she needs is a lot of tough love. She needs to get into rehab- and stay there until she's actually beaten her addictions. Then she needs to get her lazy, chunky butt into shape (not that I'm in a great position to criticize, but I'm also not an entertainer). After that, she'd need to mend fences with family and friends, and finish up with a "contrition tour" of various magazines and TV shows. Oprah would of course be the crowning moment. Go on Oprah, admit to your mistakes, cry (hopefully with complete sincerity), show off your new look- sexy but understated and more mature (wearing underwear and keeping it hidden is a necessity), perform your newest song (which needs to be written and produced by the best talent money can buy), and you're golden.

The third option is finding A Good Man. This one is pretty unlikely, since she's been pretty bad on this count. But if she could find someone that she could really truly care for- and who really cared for her in return- it might inspire her. But he'd probably have to be similar to the Drill Sergeant. He'd have to be willing to put his foot down and tell her "if you want me, you have to earn me, cuz at this point you're a mess."

I'm a complete cynic, but I'm also a bit of a romantic at heart. It's worked before, right? But her new man has to be both tough and supportive. And as someone who spent most of his military career around Drill Sergeants, I have to say that's kind of their job. (The good ones, at any rate.) So options 2 and 3 seem to go together.

She needs to be lucky enough to find someone, and smart enough to trust him (or her) completely, whether as a lover or as a manager. Which again, sadly, takes us back to the realm of shaking our heads and doubting her judgment.

Here's hoping she finds at least a couple of the above. Unfortunately for her though, you don't usually meet them in tanning salons and nightclubs.

If she doesn't get lucky and find one of the three Good Things, then where will she end up? Well, we've already mentioned the Dana Plato "child star" suicide or accidental death disaster. Hopefully she'll avoid that one. But then what's left?

Well she can always go onto the reality show circuit. I'd say that in a few years, she'll be a strong candidate to appear on Survivor, Big Brother, or one of those other garbage shows that I never ever watch (really).

Or I bet Playboy would give her a shot- assuming she loses some weight (though airbrushing can fix a lot). Penthouse would also love to have her, but they'd probably want a bit more "action".

Both of those would be an admission that she's desperate, and as a career move, historically posing nude doesn't work out. Need proof? See Dana Plato again.

Retirement is the least bad choice, assuming she manages to hold onto her money without giving it all to her Ex for child support. Then perhaps in a decade or two, she can write a book (well... collect money from a publisher to have somebody write a book) about her rise and fall. Who knows? By that point, she might be forgotten enough to stage a genuine comeback. Especially if she were to get coaching in singing, acting, and dancing so that her new act would impress people.

Of course, she could always just take some time and try to better herself. Enroll in college, travel the world, work for charity, or enter a convent. But I don't see her having the desire for anything like that.

In any case, she's going to have to make a major choice soon. Disaster looms, and a successful album supported by a successful tour will only delay the inevitable fall. And make it that much worse when it does come.

As I said back in February, "Good luck kid. You need it."

And finally, as a postscript, here's a comment posted back then. With a nod to Pink Floyd, of course:

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom,
blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter,
come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

Friday, October 05, 2007


I'd like to think this is a joke, but apparently not. "Munich syndrome" is running rampant in the UK.

One would think that Britain of all places would understand the problem with appeasement, but sadly, they don't. It's now become the cornerstone of their national policy, both domestic and international.

I can't think of anything to say about this. It's messed up, and there's nothing more to add.

A proud moment for America

This truly warms the cockles of my heart. I understand the reaction of our hero Jim Brossard, and salute him. From the depths of my being.

Thanks Jim, for doing what nobody else had the guts to do.

Hat tip: Gates of Vienna.

Update: Here's an interview with Jim.

Homesick Blues

Here's one that I'll toss in for Nick at RightMichigan. And anybody else that wants to see what happens when liberals run amuck.

Michigan is my home. I was born there, and have lived there most of my life. But right now, I'm in New Mexico. Part of it is personal, but things in Michigan are completely screwed up. The governor is clueless, and thinks it's a good idea to fly to Europe for a week or two, and come back with a promise of 150 new jobs for the State..

Of course, while she was gone the State lost a couple thousand jobs, not to mention the money that it cost to send her there. (And sadly, to bring her back).

But she and her fellow Dummocrats came up with a plan. Just raise taxes, and the problems will be solved! Sure, there's the whole thing about people having less money to spend. And the part where businesses have to cut jobs to save money. And the part where the spending by the State Government is still high...

But hey, raising taxes will fix everything, right? And even if it doesn't, well she's only been in office for 5 years, so it's clearly the fault of her predecessor. That's the argument made by all good Dummocrats, including one of my siblings. Of course, she works in education, so that could be part of her problem. And she is the one that once told me that if Bin Laden demands the US become a Muslim nation, then we should just declare it, and he'd leave us alone.

So you can imagine how much attention I pay to her political musings.

In any case, it's been interesting to see the "progress" that Michigan has made in the last few years. Most of the larger cities are dying, people are making less money, companies are moving out, and the government works on the logic that throwing water on a drowning man is the way to save him. Sure, because the fact that Michigan is economically worse off than any other state is just a coincidence.

Which is not to claim that everything is Jenny-Poo's fault. I rode a Greyhound from Michigan to Colorado some 20 years ago, visiting another sister. I sat for a while with a guy that was moving from Michigan back to his home state of Nebraska. As I recall the tale, he had moved up there a few years before, for whatever reason. While in Michigan, he opened a small shop. After a few years, it went under, and he was bailing out. The one thing that has stayed in my mind all these years is his comment "Michigan is a horrible place for small business".

Friends of mine that own small businesses today agree with that statement. So there is a problem with the system, and it isn't all the fault of the current administration. But it does need to be fixed.

(Of course, my brilliant sister says that it's all the fault of the previous governor, and that Jenny-Poo can't be held responsible. When I point out that she's in charge and thus has to fix things, she retorts that Jenny-Poo shouldn't be held responsible for the failings of another. At which point I mention that she has the job, things are broken, and therefore it's her responsibility to try and fix it; which earns me a "well it shouldn't be". I make the observation that things are worse now than when J-P took office, and are getting worse every day, and she says that it's proof of how bad things really were when J-P came in. I'm honestly not sure why I even bother, except that I hate stupidity.)

I could go on, but it would take forever to explain the problems. All I can say is that I greatly prefer Michigan to New Mexico, and I want to be back there with my family and friends, but I just don't know if it's possible. Next year, I'll probably be heading someplace different- this whole New Mexico thing was prompted by a deployment to Iraq in my family- but I just don't know if heading home is a valid option. Higher taxes, high unemployment, high crime, and so on just isn't a strong environment for someone who needs to start over at the point when he should be able to take things easier.

I wish I could head back today. Instead, I might not be able to ever return. And that breaks my heart.

A child's playground

I found links to this photo essay all over the Web today. Thanks to both Ace of Spades and Little Green Footballs, the ones that I read faithfully.

It's about the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco. It's a fun family event, sponsored by Miller. Miller Beer: The official beer of public orgies.

I'm tossing in the link, but I cannot stress enough that this link deserves the highest possible grade of NSFW. If you aren't into public masturbation, oral sex, and men abusing themselves in ways that God didn't really intend, then DO NOT click through.

The saddest part is that my headline isn't a joke. If you do click and you make it through far enough, you will see small children dressed "appropriately" for the events. The outfits aren't really disgusting, but seeing a couple of cute little 5 year old girls wearing leather and surrounded by this sort of thing is disconcerting to say the least.

Look, I'm all about personal choice and personal freedom. If a person is gay, terrific. I don't roll that way, but I'm not gonna judge you if you do. If you like to be spanked, whipped or whatever, good for you. Again, it ain't my thing, but roll on. I have my little quirks as well, and I don't want to be judged for them.

But then, I don't run around advertising my sexual fantasies. And especially not on public streets. With little children around.

Though I admit this last point is questionable- after all, the kids are there because their parents take them. Which to my mind opens up a whole other can of worms regarding their suitability as parents. But I suppose that if social services looked into the parenting of the men in question, that would be "homophobia", so they get a pass.

This is just too much. I don't understand how this is supposed to convince anybody that homosexuality is okay. To my mind, it shows how out of touch these people are, and gets them shunted further and further out of the mainstream. Fine, I get it: celebrate who you are, and don't feel guilty about it, because you aren't alone. But it's 2007, and if someone still feels abnormal because he or she is an exhibitionist, then he/she certainly has never been on the internet.

Go ahead and do your thing. Just don't shove it in the faces of the rest of us. Because it's too much for some of us to take. I have no problem with gay rights, but this is turning me from neutrality to opposition.

I wish I drank beer, just so I could swear off Miller products forever.

Turning the tide?

Thanks to Ace of Spades, which linked to this editorial. A journalist has apparently found an old copy of the Constitution, and then read it. And found something amazing: The Bill of Rights has an amendment in there (I think it's the second one down, but don't quote me) which allows people to own guns!!

I think the exact words are "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed".

Anyway, the journalist in question- Johnathon Turley- thinks that this amendment was intended by the Framers to work in the exact same way as the one above it, which apparently allows people to exercise their religion freely, and also allows them to speak and assemble freely.

Hmmm. Sounds interesting, but can this be? After all, the media (when they aren't trumpeting their importance to "Truth, Justice, and... all that" (a big "hello" to the 4 people that saw the new Superman movie this year and get the point) has long said that this notional "right to keep and bear arms" doesn't really exist.

So perhaps some liberals are starting to read beyond the First Amendment. Trust me, there's a lot more to the Constitution than just that first part. Who knows, if they read a bit farther perhaps they'll discover a couple other interesting facts. Like the fact that "the wall of separation between church and state" that they so love to lecture people on isn't actually in the Constitution. Or, if they keep reading, they might notice a very distinct oversight: I have it on good authority (i.e my own lying eyes) that the word "abortion" doesn't actually appear anywhere in the Constitution. And even more amazing, there is a line in the Document that implies very strongly (i.e. explicitly states) that any power not mentioned is reserved to the states and the people.

Which would seem to suggest (and any liberals, try to follow along here) that if abortion isn't mentioned, it isn't a matter that the Federal Government has any business discussing. And therefore, the legality of abortion should be decided by each individual state. Thus suggesting that "a woman's constitutional right to choose" is a complete load of hooey.

It's all there, folks. Read it and understand.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Out with the old...

And in with the new. Here we have another staggeringly idiotic nominee for "WTF were they thinking?"

Picture this: You're the coach of a major college football team (Texas A&M). What do you do? You create a newsletter, and sell it to select subscribers for $1200 a pop. Ummm. Maybe not. But hey, the money is useful and can be used (allegedly) for a family run charity. Is that better?

Not so much.

Especially if the newsletter in question discusses things like injuries to players, and also gives evaluations of the players.

Your own players.

Uh huh. This one is really a prime example of where the "WTF were they thinking?" award comes from. It's wrong on so many levels. It violates the privacy of the injured players (given the reasonable assumption that the player didn't give him permission to talk about the injury); it includes information that seems to be geared towards gambling (which he apparently got around by extracting a promise from the subscribers that they wouldn't use the information for gambling); he failed to notify the university that he was doing it, and so on.

But in fairness, once he got busted, he stopped doing it. And pulled out the usual "I didn't realize that it was wrong" approach that works so well.

I'm not sure how this will shake out, though I think I can guess. If the School decides that his actions constitute an embarrassment, then he can be fired without any severance pay. Given that his team isn't exactly in the running for a championship, and people were already calling for his head, I suspect that he's toast. Kiss his $2 million annual salary goodbye.

And frankly, I tend to doubt he's gonna have a lot of success in the job market once he gets canned there. Most reputable schools will be scared off by his apparent lack of both brains and integrity. And since his record on the field is merely decent, it might not be enough to make schools overlook his amazing lack of judgment.

So he'll probably wind up someplace as an assistant coach, until somebody gets desperate enough to offer a shot at redemption. Hopefully, it'll be a while before that happens. Cuz I think he needs a lot of time to think about it.

Anyway, we salute you, Dennis Franchione and happily ask you "WTF were you thinking?"

In other news of the Stupid, I'd consider yet another Michael Vick nomination, but why bother? I'm tired of this moron, and "moron" is the correct word. How bright do you have to be to get busted for smoking pot when you're awaiting sentencing for Federal charges? Good idea, Mikey. That'll make the judge decide to give you a lenient sentence, won't it?


Oh, and kudos to pretty much every Democrat in Lansing Michigan, Ground Zero for the Depression that the country is mired in. What depression, you ask? Sorry, I forgot. It's only Michigan that's in a depression. And the governor apparently wants to keep the State in that elite situation for a few more years. Thus, her plan to end the budget deficit problems by raising taxes. And only by raising taxes. Cutting costs from the State budget? Not an option for Jen Jen. Gotta be more taxes, so that the people living there (the ones with jobs, at least) will have even less money to spend on their own foolish whims.

In the words of the infamous Bill Clinton, "We could give you a tax refund. But you might not spend it on the right things".

Ah yes. Know why the Democrats are the party of the poor? Because they keep trying to create more and more of them.

I guess I need to start giving serious thought to where I'm going to move. I don't see New Mexico as a long-term solution, and it looks less and less like returning home is an option either. Perhaps Nevada, or some other place in the great West. Fortunately, I'll have some time to think about it.

I often wonder if the whole world has gone crazy, and only a few select people have caught on. Maybe in another dimension, I'm Neo from "The Matrix" and have been shown that it's all a game. Cuz I just don't know if it's all real....

And the winner is....

This one is kinda unfair. I'll give out the coveted "WTF were they thinking?" award, but there's only one candidate this time around. And here's a recap of her tale of incredible stupidity.

I still wonder what she was actually trying to do.


Just read a bit more about her. It would seem that she was simply making a "joke" or a "statement", but went about it the wrong way. Clearly. What's most fascinating is the way some of these people think. Particularly jaycerochester.

Oooh, yeah. Walk into an airport with something that looks, to the casual observer, like it could be a bomb, and because people react like it could be a bomb, the logical answer is, as the moron mentioned above says, to stop creating things, and let people live in their world of ignorance, etc.

I'd bet that particular moron is a libertarian. You know, somebody who is all in favor of freedom, but doesn't believe in letting the real world interfere with his ideals. And when it does, well the real world is wrong and must change.


Anyway, let's recognize Star Simpson (doesn't the name tell you 98% of what you need to know?) for being a complete moron, and then move on. Hopefully, next time she'll get move up in the awards world and get her a Darwin Award.

Or even better, let's hope that jaycerochester gets one.