All The News That's Shit, They Print
(Well, very, very occasionally I will say “bullshit”, when circumstances warrant. But I never use the unadorned word. On the other hand, the f-word is handy for all occasions. When you drop the hot steam-iron on your toe, or whack your elbow on the car door, or must talk about Oliver Stone…it’s the only word that satisfies, really.)
But the s-word did work so well here that I couldn’t resist…though you won't be hearing it from me ever again.
So. Getting down to it, then.
Anna Nicole Smith. A pathetic young woman, used and using. Nothing to offer the world except her neediness and desperation and pain. Not talented. Not creative. Uneducated and barely articulate and not intelligent. No self-esteem. Very sad story, losing her son and leaving her infant daughter motherless. Fine, we all agree on that.
But for God’s sake STFU already! It seems that the media is now all ANS all the time, especially the so-called entertainment shows like Access Hollywood and Extra and Entertainment Tonight, and I’m more than sick and tired of it. I’m genuinely sickened and very, very weary.
And the frantic shamefest shows no sign of slowing down.
Now, in the interests of full disclosure, I must tell you that I myself am not pure as the driven snow where such shows are concerned, since back in the Doors movie and “Strange Days” days I made use of them for my own purposes.
In 1991 I delivered my soul (on several TV shows and in as many print venues as I could shoehorn myself into) of the great and lasting wrath I feel toward Oliver fucking Stone, and then a year later, when "Days" was published, I went back to talk about Jim and our time together. (Thank you, John Tesh!)
And I had a fine time, I must say, both unburdening myself of fury and reminiscing with love.
Going back even farther, I am so very very glad the paps ’n’ tabs weren’t around when Jim died. Because I don’t know if I, or more likely they, could have survived the cannibalistic attention that is now focused on such tragedies.
Not that the media concerned sees these things as personal tragedies, of course, no matter their pious hypocritical faces. No, for them it’s more like feeding frenzy, a nice fat bluefish school to feed their shark-like maws. They don’t consider the people involved and the feelings of those people—the grief, the shock, the hurt, the anger—to be as important as filling up a few more minutes of air time or a few more column inches or pages with invasive, prurient, wholly unnecessary dissections of the dead, and psychic vivisections of the living. With no anesthetic to dull the pain.
Sure, when Jimi and Janis died there was some attention. Couple of stories in the general newspapers the day after, 30-second sound bites on the evening news, cover features in the rock press. But that was IT. No more. They were allowed to rest in peace, and we all moved sadly on.
When Jim died, there was all sorts of hugger-mugger going on, mostly because any publicity would have implicated a certain heroin-using parasite whore of his association not only in the cover-up of his death but in possible murder charges, or at the very least manslaughter.
So it was all kept quiet until almost a full week later. And the rationale claimed at the time by the Doors manager, with a straight face, was they had handled it that way so that the “media circus” surrounding the Hendrix and Joplin o.d.’s would not taint Jim’s “heart attack.” Yeah, right.
In fact, there WAS no media circus for Janis and Jimi. And for Jim, only a heinous cover-up of a fatal heroin overdose that was criminally pushed on him and a lie that lasted twenty bitter years.
You couldn’t get away with that today, of course. The admittedly sensational circumstances would have been smeared across every tabloid and “entertainment” show for WEEKS. Perhaps even the truth may have come out a whole lot sooner…to the great benefit of everyone involved. Even the media.