Tuesday, September 30, 2008
dr. phil ain't nobody
Thursday, August 7, 2008
This is puzzling to me. Why does it matter to anyone? I wrote The Making of Dr. Phil because someone hired me to do it. Otherwise, to me Dr. Phil would just be part of the general celebrity cacophony in which we live and which I mostly ignore.
Our obsession with celebrity is loony to me. I don’t get it at all. I started to say “America’s obsession with celebrity” but changed my mind because the incident that shut me down completely on celebrity-watching was the bizarre worldwide freakout over Princess Diana’s death. WTF? I have nothing against her but still don’t understand why the whole world was sobbing and rending their garments over her demise. She was just a woman who got married and divorced. Her end was untimely and sad but I repeat---WTF? After a week of watching that incomprehensible display of inappropriate mourning, I decided to check out of the whole celebrity culture.
When I covered country music, I often was offered backstage passes to meet country stars and usually declined. I didn’t mind interviewing celebrities—especially songwriters—but saw no need to be among the faceless masses to shuffle by them just for the opportunity of shaking a famous hand and maybe getting a photo. So what? To me, that kind of contrived meet ‘n’ greet is unpleasant, even a little humiliating.
I’ve been trying to think of ways to capitalize on all this interest in Dr. Phil but can’t think of anything new to say and don’t really care. It would be great if everyone who is interested bought the book and it actually earned back my advance and paid me some royalties but I have little hope of that. And I’m certainly not interested enough to want to do my own investigation into the state of Dr. Phil’s marriage. If more information comes out on what went awry there, I will contribute my learned opinion but that’s about as far as it goes.
I had my Summer of Dr. Phil when I wrote the book and was glad when it was over. I’ve boxed up the files and put them in storage. Now all that’s left in my office is one of the enlarged book covers the publisher made for me to sit in front of when I did interviews. Ugh. I don’t even like looking at him anymore. I never really did...
why celebrity marriages fail
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
The Yahoo blog post was pretty thin, though. I swear, she just made it all up off the top of her head.
I’ve given my theories a lot more thought.
Reason No. 1: They’re just too damn hot
We all tend to end up with mates who are roughly as attractive as ourselves. So, imagine if your dating pool included George Clooney, Will Smith, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vanessa Williams—not to mention all those lingerie models and back-up dancers running around looking all hot n shit.
If you’ve ever been to a buffet and ended up with a plate loaded down with enough to feed a small developing nation because everything looks so yummy, then you understand the trouble celebrities must have in settling for just one super-hot spouse.
Reason No. 2: They fall in love on movie sets
Rather than falling in love with each other, they fall in love with the characters they’re playing, then fall out of love once the last vestiges of whoever they were pretending to be drops off and they turn back into regular super-hot, super-rich shmoes.
Reason No. 3: They’re actor-shmactors
Not all of them of course, sometimes they’re rock stars. But movie stars are paid large sums of money to be the characters other people want them to be. Can you turn off that tendency in real life? Will Katie Holmes suddenly one day realize she’s just been playing The Little Woman in a movie called Tom Cruise’s Life and want a new role?
Reason No. 4: Celebrity nurtures narcissism
For people who are even slightly narcissistic to begin with—and I’d argue that anyone who seeks the limelight must have a bit of that—celebrity is like gasoline on a red ember. And that’s not great for relationships. If they find another celebrity (narcissist) mate, they won’t get the attention and adulation they feel is their due. If they find a non-celebrity mate, then they’re probably pretty sure they deserve better.
Reason No. 5: They don’t need the paycheck
Marriage remains an economic arrangement. If you don’t need the money, if you can pay well-trained child care professionals to help with the kids, if you never have to fill the refrigerator or make the bed, if your paycheck is enough to cover your own needs and the needs of your entire extended family, why bother working through the rough patches in a marriage when you can just move on without a blip in your quality of life? What's your motivation?
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
So when I saw The Dallas Morning News quoted this LA Times online feature about the yuckiness that is Dr. Phil, I felt free to holler “I told you so” at my morning paper.
I’m pleased the LA Times mentions our book, however I did write to the paper pointing out that we did not say Dr. Phil had an affair with a 19-year-old patient, as alleged in this feature. In fact, we stuck to the official story, that the unethical dual relationship was because Phil hired this young woman to work in his biofeedback lab. Allegations of sexual impropriety were made by the tabloids, quoting unnamed sources.
Here’s a sobering thought—this Wall Street Journal financial columnist says these days, we’re better off investing in food than in investments. He suggests stockpiling non-perishables, since the cost of food is rising so fast. Woe is me, the sky is falling…
But not that fast, according to another WSJ writer, who points out that as much as we whine about poverty, we do all have iPods, DVD players and flat-screen TVs. (Actually, we don’t have a flat-screen TV and our iPods are second generation clunkers, though they work reasonably well.)
I read this WSJ article, The Do-It-Yourself Tax Cut, with interest. Here the writer suggests numerous ways you can save money with lifestyle changes. I got to be both smug and bummed, since Tom and I do most of the things suggested here and still, as Tom likes to say, we can’t afford our modest lifestyle. At least it’s reassuring that the rest of the country is catching up to us. We don’t feel like have-nots anymore. We feel like everybody else.
Apropos to nothing, we gave stinky Jack a bath in the driveway last night. What a crazy ordeal that was. We tranquilized him (it's gotta be done) and muzzled him and he still went apeshit. He didn’t mind the soap and water as much as the brushing (attempts) of his hairy ass. We finally had to give up on the brushing. He smells a lot better but his hair is a mess. World’s most exhausting canine….
And now, I must whine. Inappropriately. Much as I’m enjoying my adventures in blogging, I admit to being a tad discouraged these days. My readership numbers are stagnant. The freewheeling discussions we enjoyed in MySpace don’t happen here. Many of my frequent commenters have fallen silent, even those who complained about MySpace. Sigh. I still enjoy the exercise but it was more fun when I didn’t feel like I was talking to three people.
The most successful blogs in the blogosphere focus on one topic and I’m considering that—although I haven’t yet decided what that topic should be. Writing? Jack? Money or lack thereof?
hell in a hand basket
Thursday, March 13, 2008
"After the break, Valerie Bertinelli talks about Eliot Spitzer and infidelity."
Great. It’s not enough that we have Spitzer and his stupidityfest--we also must be subjected to a former teen idol’s spin on it. (Am I correct in thinking that everyone—men and women—of a certain age had a crush on sassy little Valerie Bertinelli back in the day? I’m sorry to be hearing her blathering all over the place, promoting her new book. She looks great but she's annoying.)
Read in the newspaper this morning:
Bargains move closer to home
With 3 outlet centers planned to open in ’09, area shopping commutes will get shorter.
Hell in a hand basket, I say.
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