Here are just a few of your responses to Mike's last column.
Erin C. in Hollywood, Fla., writes: You forgot the biggest verbal faux pas of all: Vice President Cheney telling a senator to "+#&*-off" in the hallowed halls of Congress. I sincerely hope Barbra Streisand doesn't regret telling the heckler off. Hundreds of people had paid hundreds of dollars to hear her sing and the guy heckled her for quite some time before she silenced him. It wasn't just a spur of the moment thing after one little comment from the heckler, as FOX contributors have been insinuating. As for other celebrities campaigning for their beliefs, why not? If Ronald Reagan, a thoroughly bad actor, could become president (not much better), why shouldn't George Clooney be able to tell us his opinions?
Chris T. in Fayetteville, N.C., writes: Mike – I looked in the mirror and saw an “Obliviot” and I need your (and your readers) help to make me understand. Maybe I’m a “don’t knowiot” — or a “don’t understandiot." Anyway, why is everyone so upset over Barbs or the VP using the F-word or dropping the F-bomb?? I don’t understand why this word bugs people so much — it means nothing. And EVERYONE uses it all the time, in some form or another. Check out the new “Battlestar Gallactica” on Sci Fi — they say “FRAK." And I know it means F%$#, 'cause they say it as “Frak you”, “muther Fraker”, “Frak me” and “you Fraked up." And before everyone says, “they get away with that 'cause it’s on cable” — the original series that was on regular TV started it. I recall as a young kid growing up in New Jersey (a place the F word is never heard) being told “say fudge instead”???? So if I mean F&^$, and you know I mean F&^%, by saying fudge instead, that’s OK?? And why can’t we write F&^$ in articles and use the actual symbols (letters u, c & k)?? Does anyone read F$%& and not know what the author is saying? I read a sports article a few weeks ago and the reporter wrote “WTF?” — why is that OK? We all know what the F means, right? One of the reasons I joined the military was to fight (and die if needed) for our rights — one of which is freedom of speech. I hear things people say about the president, the military, etc, that I consider vulgar every day, and nobody gets upset?? But let me say F*&$ when I drop a can on my toe in the store and you’d think I shot someone! So I need someone to help me make sense of why this word is such a problem. And before anyone says I’m uneducated or have a limited vocabulary, I have two Master’s degrees — so shut the FRAK up!
Amie in Washington, D.C., Bathroom Grrr: Why Mike? Why, why, why, why, why must men insist on carrying a newspaper to the bathroom with them when they are at work?! I wonder why they can't hold it like we women do, and I really can't understand why they need to announce their business to everyone in the office with this telltale sign. Men can't sit there for 10 minutes or so without something to do? They can't reflect on their day, put together a mental to-do list or meditate like women do? They have to carry a newspaper with them?! Ugh. Gross.
Leslie T. from Philly suburbs Grrrs: Now for the paparazzi grr — when people choose a career in the entertainment industry, they should be aware that they will be chased around obsessively. If they're really concerned and/or angered about that, maybe they shouldn't choose such a career. Celebrities usually want attention anyway, so they shouldn't mind a few more cameras, right? They do so much to get more spotlight on themselves (adoption of foreign children —obviously more exotic and newsworthy than adopting plain-old American children, "educated" speeches on politics, first illegitimate baby with significant other, vowing not to get married until everyone can, etc.) that they shouldn't whine and break the laws (speeding, hit and runs, assault on photographers, etc.) to get away from what makes them even more money and notoriety. Just grow up and deal with it!
Kelly K. from Akron, Ohio, writes: Hey Mike, love the column! I just have to Grrr the readers Grring about celebrities and their political views. It seems people only complain when they don't agree with the opinions they're hearing. For example, if Toby Keith (or whoever) started criticizing Bill Clinton's handling of Usama, I hardly think it would cause this much of an uproar. So please, if you're going to complain about celebrities sharing their political views, then it has to be across the board — including those celebrities who express your views. And a big GRRR to Rita in Omaha — since when do people need a college education to profess political views? Having a college degree doesn't ensure that a person is well-informed, and a lack of post-secondary education doesn't mean he or she can't understand or opine on politics. Rush Limbaugh dropped out of college; why doesn't he fall into the category of (uneducated) celebrities spouting their political views? He's not a journalist — he's a celeb with a radio show! But, even though he a) is a celeb, and b) doesn't have a college degree, it doesn't mean that he isn't knowledgeable. Unfortunately, there are too many people, both celebrities and common folk, who spout off without even a minimal understanding of an issue, or who blindly repeat what is fed to them through family, friends and the media without first pausing to ponder what they are saying.
J.P responds to Matt S. (Your Grrrs: Oct. 19, 2006): Are you serious? MIKE is “what is wrong with this country”? Unbelievable. First, I think Mike made it pretty clear what a lot of Americans think — if celebrities are going to adopt, then why not do so here at HOME? What’s wrong with American children? Why do American orphans get overlooked by celebrities? Because it’s just not as cool or newsworthy to adopt here. It’s big news if you leave the country to do it. Yes, all orphans need homes, and I AM glad that Madonna and Angelina have given homes to needy children, BUT I’m a firm believer in adopting right here in America first. Second, do you really need celebrities to bring charities to your attention? If you really want to give to a charity, why not give to a charity in your town or state? I’m really curious.
John L. responds to Eric in Wis. comment on Your Grrrs: Oct. 19,2006: Eric about your grr to nonsmokers thinking they would die if they smell smoke in public places. My daughter has severe asthma and has almost had a bad enough attack to die from if we had not responded quickly by getting out of the situation and giving treatment. Now you could say we should stay home, but is that fair to her that because you choose to pollute the air she should avoid restaurants? Isn't that what the Americans With Disabilities act was about (so handicapped people could enjoy life outside their homes)? I agree that you have the right to do what you want with your health, but should you endanger others, especially with the rising health cost? Our insurance could have avoided that payment for treatment if you would have smoked outside. Just something to think about. That is why God says think of others first.
Rich O. in Long Valley, N.J., writes: My Grrr is for all the Bush-bashers who first claimed the rising oil prices were to benefit all his many oil industry chums but now claim he somehow manipulated dropping prices to keep the GOP majority in congress. C'mon, which is it? These brilliant conspiracy theorists will proclaim evil Republicans manipulated the election results if they manage to stay in power, or Democrats were denied their majority by a vast right-wing conspiracy. Whatever the results, it will be gloom or gloat.
Pawel from Canada on the Foley fiasco: I'm tired of hearing about Mark Foley, and I'm annoyed at the timing of his allegations of child abuse. How does his having allegedly being abused in any way explain or mitigate what he did to that teenage kid? Let's make one thing nice and clear: All he is doing is trying to establish an untrue and unfair correlation between someone being a victim and then later becoming an abuser. He's trying to diminish his responsibility. The truth is that very few child abuse victims later become child predators and those who have suffered such hardships in life deserve better than this nonsense. Mark Foley needs to own what he did, himself a past victim or not.
Matt E. from Los Angeles writes: As a kid growing up in the '70s, Christopher Glenn was the personification of news to me because of his "In the News" series on Saturday mornings. He was responsible for my lifelong interest in current events. He will be missed.
Jill H. writes: I don't know if this just happens in my state of Pennsylvania or not, but what Grrrrs me is when the driver in front of me comes up to a stop sign and stops beyond it with his front tires but hits the painted line with his rear tires. Naturally, since I am right behind him, my front tires are stopped inches from the stop sign line. What am I to do? Pull up a foot and stop again? I guess that's what I have to do, since I refuse to put my rear tires on the line — that is not correct! I can understand there are times when it is essential to pull beyond a stop sign a little in order to safely see out into the intersection or something, but this has not been the case when I have been annoyed by drivers stopping their rear wheels on the line. Does this happen in any other parts of the country? Grrrrrr!