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for September 4, 2002

Shock Treatment
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love confesses her no-holds-barred, sell-the-house-out-from-under-Grandma addiction to The Sopranos and Six Feet Under. Is either show on right now? Don't call. If someone picks up the phone, she won't be pleasant. Thus, it was with some reluctance Your Loud Hawaiian Shirt responded to the pleas of a squeamish guest and changed the channel from Six Feet Under and was astounded to find Britney Spears Live In Las Vegas.
You must see this for yourself.
No words can describe the horror of seeing young Britney - who must be at least 350 by now in dog years - lead a herd of shabbily clad, twitching Cirque du Soleil imitators through dance numbers eighth graders should be ashamed to present. Moreover, humans old enough to wink about the Easter Bunny cannot possibly believe Britney's actually singing during this Ticketmaster-sanctioned aerobics class. In the nick of time, the squeamish guest proved equally horrified, and we changed the channel back to death, embalming, homophobia, emotional distance and drug abuse with some relief.
Mr. Blackwell, we all know you're out there. Please - as a public service - please take out a hit on Miss Spears!
Touring a mall provides a jolt registering in seismic terms: giant posters advertise the imminent arrival of Sweet Home Alabama, starring Reese Witherspoon, at a theater near moi. It's rude to stare, but only at people, whose feelings might be injured. At preposterous posters, feel free to hyperventillate when the past and pop culture rehabilitate a terrible, misunderstood, horrifying moment in history. Let's retrace our steps, shall we? The movie co-opts the title of a Lynyrd Skynyrd song you can lip sync in your sleep. Ever read the lyrics? Thought about the words? "La la la la the place I come from is picture-perfect la la la" is what you hear - especially in 2002. That's not what the song said. The governor was George Wallace (kindly forgive the broken image links) before his well-known attitude adjustment. Skynyrd referred to Neil Young's song Southern Man. Find it. Read it. Young wasn't referring to nice people who happen to have mailing addresses below the Mason-Dixon Line. He was talking about Klansmen and about the torture and brutal murder of innocent people. In real life, it's not that long ago. This is not harmless fun, and thoughtlessly naming a lighthearted comedy for a thinly-disguised personal ad for a lynch mob is in the very worst taste.
(Kindly forgive Your Khaki Shorts for no direct lyrics reference. Net searching accurate Neil Young lyrics is like walking through Tompkins Square Park with a pizza in your pocket.)
Sometimes we experience smaller shocks to the system. Ever watch the local forecast on the Weather Channel? During the first week of August, the Weather Channel departed from its usual free-form light jazz format and played the long, long, loooong intro to Papa Was A Rolling Stone. It's a great song, if you'll recall, full of pathos and regret. And the windspeed at Newark Airport is a breezy 5 mph.

©2002 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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