So you think I'm losing my edge?
How about this for a Grrr?
Grrr! to all the hypocritical "Christians" whose knee-jerk reaction to my opinion about a piece of film called "The Passion of the Christ" a few weeks ago caused them to blow a gasket and presume to know what's in my heart and soul.
Who the hell are you to judge others and condemn them to an eternity in Hell anyway? Classic Self-Righteons, that's what you are, and that's all I'm going to say about that subject.
Moving On with Grrrs Gone Wild!
Grrr! to the Democratic Party. Year after year, it uses its celebrity friends to help it get its message across, only to have the effort backfire in the end.
It was, after all, President Clinton's Hollywood friends who "directed" him in the infamous "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" fiasco they called a press conference.
In the last election, Americans were sickened when Ashton Kutcher, of all people, stumped for John Kerry and tried to tell us how to vote. The guy can barely act. He's a prank artist. "You've been Punk'd."
But now the Democrats are propping up Howard Dean (search) for leader of the DNC.
Warning! Warning! This Democrat will self-destruct (again), in five, four, three .... And they wonder why the Republicans are the majority around the country?
Grrr! to all the tough talk about Iran these days. Can't we finish the job in Iraq this time around before we start in on the next rogue nation? I'd like to see our men and women of the armed services get home before long, wouldn't you?
Grrr! to the Oblivions — people who are just plain rude because they can't see past their own noses to realize that they're cutting in front of you on some line, or that they're blocking an entire grocery aisle while contemplating the Ph-balance in various brands of shampoo.
Get a clue, folks. The world does not revolve around you and your little Chihuahua — incidentally, ever notice that the people who carry small dogs everywhere they go these days usually have small brains to match? For most dog owners, looking like their dogs is the norm, but these folks think like them too.
And speaking of small brains ...
Grrr! to FOX, "Saturday Night Live" and every single celebrity rag for promoting, day in and day out, the trashy lifestyles of people like Paris Hilton, Courtney Love and Anna Nicole Smith. Sure, Ashlee Simpson lip-synched her way into trouble, but at least she's not making sex tapes or appearing live on television stoned out of her mind!
Grrr! to the tabloid frenzy surrounding Brad Pitt (search) and Jennifer Aniston's breakup. The speculation is enough to make anyone sick. Who cheated first? Who wanted out? Was it the chick from the George Clooney set of hangers-on and wannabes who tempted Pitt away from Jen?
Well, who cares? Have any of you who buy these rags ever met Pitt or Aniston? Did the couple pay your bills, and now that they're broken up, that lifeline's gone? I didn't think so.
Brad and Jen were just another Hollywood couple who got caught up in the morality-deprived fast lane we call "celebrity." Instead of griping about it, we should all be happy they had no children to fight over.
Grrr! to all the mommies and daddies out there who think that their screaming kid is sooo cute that they don't bother to discipline him. Hey, I'm a daddy too — and I think my daughter is the most precious thing in the world — but I don't smile and coo if baby Maxine decides to throw a fit in the middle of a crowded restaurant. I'm going to pick her up and take her someplace quiet until the tantrum ends ... or we're going to go home. It's as simple as that. Wake up — stop pampering and start parenting.
Grrr! to Fashion Week here in New York City. I have never seen three-quarters of the clothes that make it down the runway on any person's back in "real" life. I know, I know. I just don't understand fashion. You're right. Give me a classic pair of Sears jeans and a classic, solid, three-button Joseph Abboud suit any day of the week. They will still be in style long after the leather hot-pants for men and the J-Lo number for women disappear from MTV.
And while I'm on so-called "fashion" ...
Grrr! to the high schools that print team logos across the backsides of girls' sweat pants. It's inappropriate. The last thing I want to be doing is reading across a minor's behind as I walk through the mall. There are enough sickos in this world who don't need help focusing on the young and innocent of this country.
Grrr! to the term "Bling!" (search). Even better, Grrr! to the white talk show hosts, the white sports reporters, and the white news anchors who use that term whenever they're interviewing a black celebrity or sports star.
"You've got some major bling on those earlobes." "You're sporting some bling-bling on that wrist."
First off, don't encourage the idiot man who's wearing 2-carat diamond earrings in both his ears so he can show off how much disposable income he has.
Second, the term "bling" itself is stupid. It's ridiculous. And it's old.
And third — you look like a jackass when you try to endear yourself to whom you believe is your interviewee's demographic. Shut up and ask the same old vapid questions that some 22-year-old "producer" making 22 grand a year wrote for you 22 minutes ago.
See Toby Dials' comic in the Pics and Strips 2 above in the photo-essays section.
Ah. I feel much better now.
Will Smith Gets Hitched
Congratulations to actor Will Smith, who after this weekends' $45 million opening for the romantic comedy "Hitch" becomes the box office's biggest draw, topping such actors as Jim Carrey and Mike Myers.
Also, congratulations to "Hitch" executive producer Michael Tadross, (search) who is one of the nicest guys in show business.
What was with Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony's so-called love song? There was more chemistry between Star Jones and Joan Rivers out on the red carpet. And these two are married? I suppose singing a song about wanting to be lovers in private — in front of millions of people — would propose some awkwardness.
I would like to send out a huge non-Grrr to the Best New Artist winner — rock band Maroon 5 (search) — who respected the audience and the awards enough to dress in suits for the occassion. It was a welcome alternative to the grunge styles of most rockers. That's not to say grunge is bad. The suits were just different.
My Funny Valentine
So I took Mrs. Grrr! and baby Maxine to Ft. Lauderdale for Valentine's Day. Besides the obvious airline Grrrs, here's one that I found most troubling — in a petty sort of way — Stroller Envy.
What is with the people who can afford the expensive MacLaren Stroller that compells them to check out everybody's stroller? Maxine sports the inexpensive Chicco, which we love by the way. But I found it extremely amusing to see the moms lining up their strollers, and the only ones checking out the others were the MacLaren moms.
What was even funnier, is that we were lining up at the discount airline JetBlue terminal. Hello.
Other than that, the Westin Diplomat on Ocean Blvd. was very nice, and we saw Democrat strategist James Carville as well. However the weather wasn't very nice. Sunny, but cold. Oh well. Next time we'll hit Disney World I think.
Stupid Lit'l Dreamers
Reality television has its ups and downs.
Some of it is the underbelly of television — the underbelly of society. Some of it plays to our greed — sell this one out and win a job, stab that one in the back and win a million bucks (and then don't mention it on your 1040 form).
But some of it presents a viewpoint on life that otherwise doesn't get much exposure. That's where reality TV shines.
To me, good reality programming tells stories that the everyday American is interested in hearing and seeing.
"American Idol" (search) is a very good presentation of what goes on in the minds of aspiring pop stars. Some of it is embarrassing, yes, but it's always interesting, and the judges — Simon, Randy and Paula — come across as truly amazing people.
"The Ultimate Fighter" (search) is one that chronicles part of the physical and emotional path toward life in the UFC's Octagon.
Whether you're into mixed martial arts or not, it's interesting to see just how hard one trains and how much one sacrifices for those 12 rounds in the ring and a couple thousand bucks. I'm sure the upcoming "The Contender" (search) will shed some light on what life is like as a professional boxer.
So this week's SLD mention goes out to reality TV guru and de facto founder Mark Burnett, (search) who had a dream and made it a reality — literally and figuratively. His "Survivor" spurned dozens and dozens of copycats, but when so much crap is being thrown against the wall, some good is bound to stick.
Now For Your Grrrs ...
Keith from Florida — Serving in Germany: Your column continues to be the most balanced, least biased periodical that I've found. I would imagine that you'll take a lot of flak for your views on "The Passion..." I hope and pray that you don't, but I fear that you will. So just in case you do get a lot of negative mail, I wanted to write to praise you and to say "thanks" and to pile on the positive e-mail side! ... I know that Fox has a right-leaning agenda (gasp!), but somehow you seem immune to that pressure and week after week produce wonderfully fair and level-headed columns. I wish that everyone, left and right, could read and appreciate this aspect of your column and adopt your philosophy of fairness and political tolerance. It may not change anyone's opinions (and I'm not suggesting that it should), but it would certainly teach everyone to be more considerate of one another. And I think that alone could affect things in ways that we can't even fathom. So, if I may, I'd like to nominate you for the next SLD. I realize you won't write yourself into that portion of your column, but I wish someone at Fox would. You honestly deserve it.
— Keith, thanks for the kind words. However I should tell you that I am immune to that pressure you speak of because there honestly isn't any — not for my columns and not for my reports. You were right about the negative email on "The Passion" column though...Thanks again.
Ken D from Long Island, NY: I think it is important to recognize when companies do something for the betterment of all of us instead of the usual corporate greed-mongering to which we have all become accustomed. So, with that in mind, I'd like to offer up a Non-Grrr! to Anheuser-Busch for their excellent ad thanking our troops. Thanks.
Linzy H in Cyber-Space: Why are so many people flaming Mike about his comments on "The Passion"? Like telling him he will "be going to the flames"... For Christ's sake, LITERALLY, it's a movie! It's one man's interpretation of the life of another man. MOVIE! For entertainment purposes! Seriously, people, you go on touting your Christianity, then you go and act so un-Christian to a fellow Christian because he disagrees about a MOVIE. I'm sure "God" has more to do than worry about whether or not he/she should "bless" a movie's earnings. Remember the wars going on right now, and that little tsunami that just happened? I'm sure they're Nos. 2 and 3, right after giving Mel an Oscar. Get a grip!
Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for FOXNews.com, and contributes as a features reporter on "FOX Magazine," and as a news cut-ins anchor on FOX News Channel. Mike also appeared in Analyze This. Read Mike's Bio.