Tuesday, May 06, 2003
In lieu of something deep (‘cause that just ain’t happening today), I wanted to talk about people who I just don’t get, people whose total lack of talent and physical appeal belies their enormous success. I mean, in public life, people tend to have either ability, or intelligence, or, failing that, attractiveness or at least some sort of basic charisma that makes us want to see and hear them to some degree. But there are quite a few people who, in my eyes, have no apparent reason for being successful, whose celebrity is a continuing mystery to me.
In short, I give you 10 PEOPLE WHOSE SUCCESS CANNOT BE EXPLAINED WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF FAUSTIAN ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE UNDERWORLD:
10. MARILYN MANSON. I give him points for at least admitting it.
9. ROSIE O’DONNELL. Normally, American talk show hosts tend to be something other than aggressively unpleasant.
8. MICHAEL BAY. A director who (based on the camera work in his films) apparently suffers from advanced Parkinson’s is somehow regarded as some kind of rock star? Please.
7. BILL MAHER. The neediest, and the unfunniest, man in America.
6. TOM GREEN. Are there really people who can listen to this guy for more than three seconds without wanting to drive into a bridge abutment?
5. JACQUES CHIRAC. I'm sure he would remind us that deals with the underworld are just a sign of "sophistication" and “pragmatism.”
4. LARRY KING. He’s got the trifecta working for him: Painful to look at, proud of his refusal to ever read a book, and dumb as a post. My favorite King moments are whenever he realizes that he’s just asked a really, really, really stupid question (which is about 3 times an hour), and he reminds us—every single time—that, aw shucks, he’s just a little Jewish guy from Brooklyn.
3. ROY LICHTENSTEIN. There were so many candidates from the art world, but the thought of someone who became a multimillionaire by plagiarizing comic book artists from the Fifties who were working for $5 a page...that one just leapt to the forefront.
2. BEN AFFLECK. In this sense the JLo thing makes sense to me: Putting up with her is the required Tribute To The Unholy as recompense for the eight-figure salaries and the back-end deals. Insert “back end” JLo joke here.
1. WHOOPI GOLDBERG. Do I even need to comment on this one?
Honorable mention: Sandra Bernhard, Sarah Jessica Parker, Camryn Manheim, Chris Tucker, Carrot Top, Joel Schumacher, Pauly Shore, Senator Barbara Mikulski, Madonna, Arsenio Hall, Jerry Jones.