Everyone's babbling about Mike's last column. Here are just a few of your responses:
Darren G. writes: You stated that Barbra Streisand hired "a bad Bush impersonator" for her concert skit. That would be news to President Bush, because this same impersonator has stood side by side with the president doing his impression. I don't seem to recall any outrage over Bob Hope doing skits ridiculing presidents over the years; he made Reagan look like a dimwit in front of millions of people, but he continued to be a beloved entertainer. Your report didn't mention that the heckler was calling her a traitor and a communist. Your report didn't mention that the heckler continued disrupting the concert by shouting at her after the skit had ended and she was trying to move the program forward. This is the antagonism to which she responded in anger. This is also the reason there are some who believe the heckler was a "plant". Her loss of composure was unfortunate, but she is only human. She stood up for herself. End of story.
Cathy L. writes: Thank you for stating what has been bothering me for a long time. Who do these stars think they are forcing their political views on us? When they do that, I stop going to their movies, buying their CDS, books, anything that would bring money into their plastic mindless lives. And, why do politicians think we care what Hollywood star they have come speak for them at rallies? Give me a break. This country cannot be run by people who are so starstruck they can't see what is really going on the country/world.
Gayle T. writes: Now, why would any one get angry if they went to an overpriced concert and wound up listening to someone spout out their political opinions? You need to understand: She's famous, it's her show and she'll do what she darn well pleases. I hope you can sense the sarcasm. Grrr! to people who -- read: celebrities -- feel they can do or say anything they like and have the nerve to so rudely tell somebody to, well, shut up. May be she should have "shut the **** up and sang."
Sylvia in Chattanooga, Tenn., writes: I agree with you on the assessment that Babs lacks class and there was no excuse for her behavior, but I feel the same way about our esteemed vice president when he dropped the F-word in the halls of Congress. Several conservatives (on FOX News, no less) excused him, saying it was justified and chuckled over the incident. Both Streisand and Cheney appear to be hotheads, and if their views are challenged, they spout off in the most crass way, showing their limited vocabulary.
Jim D. writes: Let's face it, Barbra is just too far above most of us. We the ignorant and unwashed just don't appreciate that having exceptional singing talent elevates her in every aspect of her being. It makes her wiser in matters of politics and world events. In fact, her position mandates that she rectify the wrongdoing of misguided evangelicals, right-wingers, conservatives and their illegitimate President Bush. After all, he certainly can't even speak well, let alone sing. That should have disqualified him from even holding office.
Margaret B. writes: I couldn't agree with you more. If I paid that kind of money (which I definitely would not) to hear one of my favorites in concert, I would want them to stick to what they do best. In fact, it's my belief that if these Hollywood types want to have a political forum, they should pay for and advertise it as such. Otherwise, entertainment is what people are looking for. We have enough of the bashing on late-night TV. The funny part is that they think that people who disagree with their ideas are the dividers. Do they believe they are uniting? Excuse me. Shut up and sing.
Renee A. writes: About Barbra, you are absolutely right. We are shelling out our hard-earned dollars to see a performer, not a politician. Several years ago, my husband and I went to see Whoopi on Broadway. It was a major snowstorm in New York and we drove in it from New Jersey. She did thank us for being there and then proceeded with her political [junk]. My husband wanted to walk out. We have a little more class than that. Maybe these "performers" should take a lesson on how to behave in public. If we wanted a political performance, we would go to a political rally. Please "shut the f--- up" and perform.
Greg G. from Dover, N.H., writes: I feel that your column has finally rubbed off on me. This afternoon I reached my boiling point for Obliviots and, in all places, at the bank. Waiting in line patiently to make a deposit, I noticed only three tellers for 15 people in line. At one teller was your typical penny-wrapper who decided to wrap more pennies while waiting for the count; a moron looking to withdraw from a joint savings without his passbook (which was left on the dresser at home) and of course, the ultimate Obliviot, the lonely housewife that has nothing better to do than gab to the 19-year-old teller about how she ran into her old cheerleading coach from high school. Why does this happen? When you know there is a long line, why is it necessary to take out pictures of your grandchildren and show them to a complete stranger? Why are you wearing camo pants and a baby doll when you are clearly too old to pull it off? No one cares about your recently purchased four-door Jeep, either. Do us all a favor and withdraw your spending money for the day and go tell it to your hairdresser. Some of us only get 40 minutes for lunch.
Tim in C-Town writes: We were just discussing a similar issue here at our workplace. Why is it that all of these congressmen (and possibly congresswomen) are immediately claiming substance abuse? A simply apology won't do. Having said that, they're not apologizing at all. They're just claiming substance abuse and going away. Man, I wish I could get away with something like that. "Honey, did you take out the trash?" "Well, I didn't, and you should be understanding because I'm addicted to television." Ridiculous.
Sims in Valdosta, Ga., writes: How about a Grrr for all of the celebs adopting children from third-world countries? Aren't there some children here in our own country that need good homes? It seems like it's just the popular thing to do.
Keith O. from Norfolk, Va., writes: A great column once again and to Streisand and Gibson a hearty STFU. But, my Grrr is on Madonna and all the other Hollywood liberals who have suddenly adopted African nations as their new causes. Hello, knock-knock, stars and starlets, is anyone home? You only get listened to because you earned gobs of money in this country, not because anybody gives a rat's butt about what you have to say. So, now you all journey off to Africa and adopt a child like it was a trip to the ASPCA. Were there no American orphan children worthy of your love? You build orphanages to support their care over there. I guess we are truly blessed not to have needy orphanages in America. Get a clue: Charity begins at home. Your largesse in Africa will last about as long as your interest in the fad does, which isn't very long, given your track records. What happens when you lose interest?
Michael C. Heckler Grrr: So, let me see if I have this straight? Streisand has no class because she cursed on stage, but the idiot in the audience who heckled her is fine? I'm not a Streisand fan, but anyone going to one of her concerts should know that she has political opinions and she'll express them in her music. She wasn't giving a diatribe; she was singing a duet. The person who lacked class was the heckler who couldn't keep his mouth shut and let others enjoy the performance. I don't care about a musician's political beliefs at all, but I understand they have the right to express them. I expect them to do so in the best way they know how: through song. I'll listen to those on the right (Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams Jr.) or the left (Kris Kristofferson or The Dixie Chicks) and enjoy them all. I'd never think of interrupting their performance because I disagreed with the message of a song.
Randy in Orlando response to J.A. in Florida (Your Grrrs: Oct. 12, 2006): I agree with you that our veterans should be honored and respected for the sacrifices they have made. But a lifetime of financial support? Get real. You seem to be suggesting that the feds give every vet a house and a lifetime income. Using the case of the Katrina victim that you cited, if the government provided him with a modest house and a modest yearly stipend, a conservative estimate would be $2 million providing for one GI after he left the service. Multiply that by all of our brave servicepeople and you would bankrupt the country they were protecting. Oh and by the way, veterans do receive support from the government and private industry. They get preference on jobs, contracts and business loans, not to mention education assistance. If he has the will, a veteran can build on that and make himself very successful. I would rather have a hand-up, not a handout. What happened to the guy in Mississippi was a shame, but should the government be responsible for every crime committed against a vet? You must fill buckets with how much your heart bleeds.
Rita in Omaha writes: Absolutely well said. Most of the Hollywood-types have nary laid a foot on a college campus, so why have they crowned themselves so knowledgeable of political science? What a joke. In a "profession" -- and I use that word to loosely describe all entertainers -- more interested in fashion and plastic surgery, I find their outspoken political views comical. Get a real job and make money the old-fashioned way instead of pretending to be somebody you're not and getting paid ridiculous amounts to do so. Then maybe we'll listen.
Julie S. from Oregon writes: My Grrr is for all of the people who show no compassion or understanding for people who work in fast food. I worked in a fast food restaurant all through college, and I normally worked in the drive through. I was in the back booth where I was expected to take orders from the person at the speaker, take money and make change from the person at the window (yes I can make change even without a computer telling me how much they are owed), wash dishes, help with food prep and help bag orders all at the same time. It's not an easy job, and my typical co-workers were high school students and people who can't find a job anywhere else. Would you want to work that hard for minimum wage? Yes, mistakes get made regularly. Yes, the service isn't always the best. You get what you pay for, right? I have been cussed out so many times that I can't even begin to count. Usually the offense was something that I wasn't responsible for -- the servicepeople don't make the food; the cooks do. What gives any person the right to treat another person that way? Even if I did mess something up, I still worked there every day (literally) doing the very best I could. I take pride in my work no matter how much I dislike the job, and it would be nice to be given a little respect from the customers that fast food workers try so hard to please. So next time you want to complain about a fast food worker ... well, it's OK, more than likely they won't be working there in three months.
Mike D. in Atlanta, cell phone Grrr: It is bad enough that people are distracted while driving and using the cell phone, but here's one that makes me go Grrr! When I am going into a store and someone is walking and talking on their cell phone, they never pay attention to where they're walking (often weaving back and forth while you try to pass them) and will stop right in the middle of the door or in the middle of the aisle completely oblivious to their surroundings. Sometimes I use my phone in the store, but I step into an area where I will be out of the way before I answer or place a call. The other day, I was in a grocery store and a young "lady" -- I use that word lightly here -- was having a shouting match over the phone with frequent use of the F-bomb. People tend to forget they're in a public place too and sometimes they talk about things they shouldn't talk about publicly. Too much information. Grrr!
K.C. of Oceanside, Calif., Angelina Jolie Grrr: I'm most often a rational human being, but I can't take it anymore. Every time I turn on the news, she's there. Every time I go to the movies, she's there. Angelina is so overexposed, more so than the fantastic munchkin-popping Tom and Katie, which is amazing. I can't get away from her. Why is this woman in the news? Oh, she globe-trots for the U.N. and complains about the U.S.A., who happens to give more charity than any other nation or did that happen to slip her mind when she was busy bashing us for letting Africa's countries manage themselves into the grave? Gee, and here I thought those were countries of their own, not just American beneficiaries with odd names. She wants us to see "the stark reality lying a few yards" away? Here's a stark truth just for her: You are the other woman (also known as a homewrecker) and I don't give a hoot for your movies either. Get out of my news.
Patrick B. writes: MH clearly does not understand food allergies. Someone would not have to be throwing peanuts at Tom in Madison for him to be affected. All it would take is for someone on a plane to open a bag of peanuts, or possibly someone at the table next to him, or even someone who has recently eaten them to give him a kiss. This is the very reason that most airlines offer pretzels or snack mix and not just peanuts any more. A peanut allergy is one of the most severe food allergies there is. Anaphylactic shock is often the symptom and death is not uncommon. However, many people have been exposed to second-hand smoke and nearly all will not develop any conditions from it. So maybe the comparison is apples to oranges.
Brandi V. writes: Hey Mike, I wanted to respond to William B. from Tulsa (Your Grrrs: Oct. 12) on his comments about movie theater concession prices. Thank you, William. As an employee in a movie theater, you don't even understand how many times people scoff and blow off buying food because of the prices. One time I just looked a customer dead in the eye and said, "Sir, it's my paycheck." We get a teeny percentage (something like 1 percent) of ticket sales and that's not even until the movie has been out for several weeks. So, again, thank you William for understanding that many a high school or college student depends on the "outrageous" prices of movie food. I'm glad to know that there is at least one intelligent person who figured this out. Grrr!