REVIEW OF THE WEEK
BAO DAI OF HOLLYWOOD
24 December 2000
THE YEAR IN REVIEW
Yeah, I know it's a pretty predictable topic... so predictable that I may
well never get to it - although titling a "Review of the Week" A YEAR
IN REVIEW is worth it if only on the off chance some yahoo named Abe
from Kansas gets diverted while "surfing the web" on the computer his
grand children bought him for Christmas so they could e-mail the old
geezer and wouldn't have to listen to him drone on and on about how he
"don't trust this whole Internet thing" the same way his own grandfather
felt about that gosh durn new fangled telly phone when Abe's decided to
have one installed in the farmhouse while "Pops" was out plowing the field
with a freaking mule so he wouldn't have to look at the old fart everytime
he wanted to hit him up for a nickel for gas for his new fangled
I may have my years and generations mixed up, but that's nada compared to
the situation my beloved, and only living, Aunt -- Aunt Biddy -- finds
herself, when she can find herself... when she can remember she's looking
So Dear Aunt Biddy is going to pass into this new year having lost her
last sibling, but having gained the realization that I exist (she had, uh,
forgotten me, despite the fact her husband, Uncle, my favorite uncle, used
to pay my parents to take me along on these hellish vacations with them so
he wouldn't go berserk and
"lose" her in the White Mountains of New Hampshire). Biddy will soon
forget Hanoi Bao, or at least he and I will merge into one new entity in
her ever shrinking psyche.
I'll wager most of us will soon forget the fucking Millennium if, indeed,
it was the Millennium. You know what? Since they're really just
guessing on whether this era's beginning was tied to the alleged birth of
the Messiah as predicted by Issaiah predicted an hour after downing three
grams of fresh opium in an attempt to cut through the haze which
inevitably follows a double helping of Nella Hartly's ancient ancestor's
Wild & Crazy Kinda Jerusalem Mushroom, who gives a rat's ass?
So, in reverse retrospective, 2000 was the year:
1. The smirking, coke hoovering, dry drunk beat out the guy who has a
mouth like an old lady's mouth, would wear his IQ on his suit if Tipper
would let him and by all accounts took one of those acid trips from which
he never fully<.i> returned, Gore will now be able to make more in a
week of lecturing than W will make in a month (legally anyway... wonder
if he'll still personally drive the family SUV down to the Rio Grande,
clip the fence and shout "Yo! Cheap wetback labor -- over here." As the
men, women, children and stray senior seľors come out of the river on the
Texas side, W asks each of them if they are holding before loading them
onto the giant U-Haul being driven by Dick "Gee, isn't America
grand" Cheney, As the truck rolls off in a cloud of dust, W days
to himself, "Gee, I'm going to miss this little writ of habeus corp... I
Aside from learning that watching hand counts of ballots is equal to the
OJ Trial in terms of ratings in the mind of much of much of the news
media, we also had that great American Legend if one man/one vote smashed
to smithereens. Thousands of legit ballots were never counted even
once in Florida. For all I know my little vote has never been what
changed that 13,953,631 to 13,953,632 on those TV tallies?
True, as the Supreme Court indicated, all things must have finality... but
like how about in the case of elections, how about calling them final
after the final vote is counted?
While in most of the country people didn't much care what happened in
Florida (although you may have not so concluded by watching the news, but
it's not like the people who decide what goes on the news aren't guessing
about what America considers important), in a handful of states the Powers
that be in this supposed republic were advised, by referendum, that most
of us are getting pretty sick and tired of being sick and tired of the
so-called War on Drugs. More "medical marijuana" laws were voted in, some
"restraint on asset forfeiture" laws won and, here in California, the
people decided that instead of jail for narcotics related offenses (the
first two "minor" ones anyway), court ordered treatment and not jail would
be the only choice a judge would have in such cases.
In response the state whined that it couldn't afford to carry out
the will of the people in this regard. Hmmmmmm.... let's see... the state
can afford three hots and a cot for years but not treatment and probation
for a briefer period of time. Seems like someone ought to reallocate some
of the tax dollars. If those elected to govern would concentrate on stuff
like that instead of practicing medicine without a license maybe people
wouldn't bring up "term limits" every so often -- not that term limits got
much political play this year.
While "Campaign finance reform" got some attention, considering that those
in office tend to get more in terms of contributions than those out of
office, I suspect we've heard the last on the issue for at least two
years, save perhaps a perfunctory bill, the failure of which the Democrats
will blame the Republicans and the Republicans will blame the Democrats.
Yeah, about the only change we'll see is politicos not blatantly renting
out the Lincoln Bedroom to tourists, or the Jefferson Memorial for a
wedding reception and pocketing the cash.
Then there was the Elian Gonzalez debacle. It will make a good movie of
the week (if it already isn't out) -- insane cousin clinging to confused
little boy, crazed Cubans marching in the streets of Miami and pre-dawn
raids by men toting automatic weapons wearing flak jackets and jack boots,
not to mention a "loving" albeit estranged father who came to the US
while his family was held at least at virtual gun point in Cuba to pick up
his son after learning he was worth 45 extra meat rations a month.
The end product of the Elian fiasco? Well, now Juan Miquel can probably
not avoid the 24/7 security detail around his family to get them into his
own plywood and inner tube raft and hope it drifts for Florida.
The Middle East peace many had hoped was developing got a big set back,
making some realize that Arafat doesn't necessarily control all
Palestinians, who despite being the refugees no one wants, are no dummies
(albeit many are fanatical non-dummies). I'm not saying Yassir should
step down... but maybe he ought to get a new suit or something -- at least
stop wearing that cheap looking army surplus military uniform every chance
he gets... and like shave man... who does he think he is -- Don
Meanwhile, in Yugoslavia, a nation I no longer thought existed, the people
ousted, first by ballot and then by bullet (or rock or stick), one of the
hold overs from the era when Soviet Puppets were kept from running things
by Marshall Tito... and I'm not even sure we had to bomb anyone in
connection with that change of power. And in Mexico some guy named Fox
ousted the PRC for the first time since the PRC came to power. Big
Nothing much interesting in the "arts", except while Boy Bands took the
country by storm, that prettier than pansies in bloom trio of brothers -
Hanson - who actually have musical talent were all but wiped off
the scene because their second album, which seemed clearly influenced by
their manager's desire to manage Dave Matthew's - was lacking in bubble
gum. Oh, and we finally met Kevin Spacey's girlfriend.... oh, and Robert
DowneyJr. finished up his time in the can -- actually staying longer than
required by law because of the idiot judge who sentenced him -- got a
"second chance" on Ally McBeal, which itself got a second chance at
building its audience by having Downey guest star, only to blow it all due
to a case of the holiday blues he tried to cure at Merv Griffin's resort
with some coke and Valium. It seems doubtful Bobby will get far with the
Holiday Blues defense, since the judge probably was carving a turkey half
sloshed out of his mind like a normal person.
Oh, and on the celeb watch, Howard Stern, better known as Shock Jock
Howard Stern got separated from his long suffering wife and we learned
dribs and drabs about how the Rampart Division of the LAPD had it's own
gang -- called a gang unit -- thanks to the testimony of the sleazy
"Disgraced Officer Raphael Perez."
Other stuff happened, of course, but no real horror stories like mass
suicides or killer school kids (unless they've become so common place they
don't rate mention in the press)... stuff that was formally cellular went
digital, so many "judge" shows came on the air it'd be surprising if
anyone was still litigating in Small Claims Courts, and either the number
of TV "talk" shows decreased or have been spread out over so many channels
now they are blessedly harder to find.
The Summer Olympics (Olympics now being held every half Olympiad to
increase TV ratings during off seasons) were held in Australia. No bomb
scares (would be terrorists nabbed at the border or rounded up beforehand
for routine questioning of which I'm aware, but then they were televised
while I slept... and I didn't much care anyway.
And what of the crisis which was supposed to start off the year with a
figurative if not literal "bang" never materialized. That would be, in
case you've forgotten, the Y2K debacle that had the world on red alert
just 366 days ago and had made many so-called Christian Fundamentalists
rich through expensive seminars on surviving the brave new world with a
100 gallon drum of water, lots of Sterno and an assault rifle to keep
neighbors who did not make preparation for Cyber Armeggedon?
Or has it really passed? While very few may give a rat's ass if this is
the first year of the "second millennium" or the last year of the last
millennium, a week or so ago the CEO of Southern California Edison began
babbling incoherently about the great potential for "rolling black outs."
I've heard winter has crippled much of the North East (then again Aunt
Biddy swears it's practically spring ... of course she's blind and hasn't
gone outside in ten years).
Who knows, instead of the Rose Parade tomorrow I may be awakened by scores
of black helicopters, FBI men may crash through the door, and the Rose
Bowl may, in a case of life imitating art, have some fool crash the nuke
loaded Goodyear Blimp into it at half-time, and Pat Buccannen may declare
a stae of emergency and take over the world, forcing followers to get the
old '666' tattoo (I did note an inordinate rise in the number of tattoo
parlors) and holding mass executions for the rest of us.
Hey, we could use some shaking up after a sleepy year like 2000.
Oh hell, wake me when the Mississippi turns red and it starts raining
In the meantime, have a happy 2001 and don't drive drunk.
Me, barring the unforeseen, I'll se you next year, same bat time, same bar