Here are some of your responses to my last column...
Liz B writes: You mentioned Kate Jackson and Farrah Fawcett as having had plastic surgery, but how about Jaclyn Smith? Tell me: What is the REAL scoop on what she has done to look so young?
Sam the "war history guy" writes: Your story about doctored photos mentioned staged war photos as well. The Civil War was the first war that featured photos — in fact, the Crimean War was extensively photographed but did not register on the American psyche. Many Civil War photos were staged, and you can see the same corpse in different poses and different shots. The famous "I shall return" film footage of Douglas Macarthur returning to liberate the Philippines was obviously staged as the camera crew had to "return" and set up to film the general. The famous raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima was also staged in that it was not the first flag raised.
Penelope writes about Couric Photoshopping: The real problem here and the real GRRR... is that a NEWS program has become so superficial and "Hollywood" that it Photoshopped weight off its news anchor. News programs should be reporting the dangerous effects Photoshopping can have on impressionable teenagers and young women who want to look like superstars — NOT contributing to the problem.
Susan in Delaware writes: Mike! You wear LIFTS?! But you seem so much taller in print.
— Susan, just for those red carpet interviews. For the camera ... really.
Jennifer writes: I agree with you completely, Mike. And we "little people" continue to eat it all up! Unfortunately, the news today IS Hollywood, and IS regularly contrived, embellished, edited, censored, gratuitously fabricated and spun, etc., all in favor of our news media “celebrities.” You’re 100 percent correct: Katie Couric should be the LEAST of our concerns.
Mrs. Lasky writes: You didn’t mention the countless hair extensions! Practically everyone on television has them! One can easily spot the differences in hair textures on hair-extended heads, and how common they have become! Or how about the endless images that we all see on and in the magazines ... lines that have been added or taken away, body parts are shaded in or erased out, body lines perfected, complexions become flawless, lips are plumped, eyes and teeth become milky white, breasts and pecs are enlarged, cleavage and abs are created, waists are whittled, shoulders are widened, jaw lines defined, thighs and rumps are re-shaped, legs are elongated and refined, wrinkles, dimples, zits and sags are erased ... We have become a society of artificial worship. We actually worship the fantasy of human-being perfection, which does not exist in reality. Millions of people continually “compete” with faux images from plastic surgery, television, movies, billboards and magazines that are not real. What a sad, sad world in which we live today.
Dustin in Grand Rapids, Mich.: To Krista in VA, and all others with "See ID" written on your credit card: Your credit card is not valid unless signed. If you want retailers to truly follow the rules, they should not accept your card unless it is signed. But then watch people scream when you turn away their non-valid, unsigned card. I thought you wanted the rules followed? Why does it always seem like the people complaining about the rules are usually the ones who don't know the rules? GRRRR!
SuLyn writes about MTV's Video Music Awards: Jessica Simpson won a Chrysler Crossfire at the MTV VMA awards — by picking the right key! A giveaway for celebrities?? Are you kidding me???? Plus all the goodies that MTV had lined up for the stars!!!! I don’t begrudge the celebs who work hard to attain the achievement they’ve reached because they have talent. But MTV only glorifies the celebrity, and they’re glorified even more if they do what ever it takes to achieve stardom! But to shell out millions of dollars of gifts to these celebs and drawings for a car is just outrageous! Naturally, they do this when the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is going on. I just hope Ms. Simpson either donates the car to a charity or sells it and donates the money to charity! I know she’s not hurting for one more vehicle in her garage! Better yet — Jessica, I have room in my garage!
"Redneck at heart" Julie V. in Wolcott, N.Y. writes: Can someone please tell me why aluminum cans have suddenly become so weak that I'm afraid my thumb is going to pierce through as I try to quench my thirst? Is this due to recycling or just cut backs? Grrrrr on all of those who think "us" can drinkers wouldn't notice our cans folding in our hands before they even get squashed on our foreheads!