Thursday, May 08, 2008

Is the Lady a Tramp?

The coarseness of current society, especially as compared with that of even 40 years ago, is shocking and appalling, as the politicians often claim when trying to make someone else look bad. The "tell-all" book is a good example of the lengths to which some people – especially celebrity types, whether talented or smart…or not – will go for gathering in greenbacks or just for the sake of notoriety, that 15-minutes-of-fame thing.

The latest example of coarseness is provided by TV personality Barbara Walters, who is just shy of being an octogenarian and perhaps wonders if people 100 years from now will not be aware of her important existence unless she acquaints them with earth-shaking truths about herself, as accounted in her recently released book, "Audition." After all, she once actually discussed with actress Katherine Hepburn the notion of what kind of a tree a person would aspire to being. That kind of sagacious enterprise should be a part of both history and philosophy.

Of course, a lot of folks write autobiographies so the secret for sell-value is to advertise unusual things to be found in the book. The big deal with the Walters tome is the titillating subject of her being some sort of tramp as she climbed the ladder of success. I haven't read the book, nor will I, but the big splash ad-wise is that she (gasp and three palpitations of the liver) had an affair back in the 70s with Senator Edward Brooke while he was a married man. Okay, she went out with other guys, too, like financial guru Alan Greenspan and Senator John Warner, though perhaps not when the latter was married to Elizabeth Taylor, another gal who "got around," at least multiple-marriage-wise.

What better way to advertise the book than to appear on the "Oprah" TV clambake and bare all – not clothes but titillations. So, she and Oprah discussed the meaning of mistress – hey and hello! – and decided they were not in that class. Okay, I read about that since I don't watch Oprah. Not being mistresses, they had to be something…so try fornicators or adulterers, whatever. Oprah also admitted to hanky panky, a wonderfully glorified exercise in the postmodern society of today…the "anything goes" thing.

Walters also discussed her senatorial hanky panky on the talking-head show, "The View," something else I never watch…but, hey!…I read about it. It used to feature total nincompoop Rosie O'Donnell but now is blessed with the profound insights of Whoopi Goldberg and an assortment of women, Walters included (she owns the show), guaranteed to have answers to all the world's problems. These are gals who have crashed through the glass ceiling to the ethereal level of millionaire-idiocy.

Poor Edward Brooke! Naw…shed no tears for him, though one wonders why Walters waited these 30-odd years to humiliate him in her book. The old guy was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 and deserved to be let alone. Well…folks in Washington were probably on to the later Walters indiscretions, so a brand new scandal had to be introduced to enhance the notion of tramp-hood as paramount and, more importantly, to sell the book…Brooke can just eat cake.

Walters is and/or will be making the grand tour and appearing on all the talking-head shows such as Oprah and appearing on the cable and morning TV gossip-mongering ménages of mediocrity to hawk her book, all the while driving Brooke's reputation into further extinction. As for Greenspan and Warner, why should they care? Tramp-conduct is a certain sign of super-sophistication in the 21st century, and those two guys (and whatever others are still slithering under Walters' rocks) may have helped it right along. Only the Shadow knows. Walters is just the face of the degeneracy into which the nation is sliding.

According to Entertainment Tonight, Michele Obama recently said, concerning her ET-alleged crush on actor Will Smith, "I think it's the ears. I'm drawn to the ears. Obviously." How's that for profoundness among the celebrities? And this woman dreams of being the first lady? Well…she simply proved that shallowness is the "in thing" now and that sex is all that matters. Sexy ears? Good grief! That sounds like politico-free-lancer (and former Slick Willie operative) Dick Morris's weird obsession with toes.

Walters will sell her books, though certainly not to me. I have the heart of a hickory tree, the hardest wood used in this country. I don't buy her philosophy that bad is good. Not to put too fine a point on it and with the hope of offending not a few, I offer the words of Paul the Apostle: "God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap" (Galatians 6:7). As the sexy, senseless sophisticates gain the ascendancy, the nation gains the decadency. As Joe Biden said of John Edwards' utterances, Walters' documented trip through tramp-hood is so much FLUFFERNUTTER!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark


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