Monday, June 27, 2011

Stupid Celebrity Tricks

I know I probably should not venture into sociopolitical commentary. It was not my intention in launching this blog, and it just leads to hurt feelings, indigestion and war and asteroids barely missing the earth. But sometimes the temptation is too great.

Besides, if celebrities can make monumentally ignorant and insensitive statements and still get big contracts and cocktail party invitations, why can't I mildly criticize said statements and still go to Target or the Olive Garden without fear of receiving the cut direct?

Of course, if one commented on all the idiotic things well-known people are well-known for saying, well, there just wouldn't be time for salad and breadsticks at the OG. So I let Charlie Sheen blither about winning, and Rosie O'Donnell expound about fireproof steel, all without a peep.

But I just have to say something to Prince (the artist formerly known as a symbol not found on my keyboard—what a marketing genius!). The Guardian quotes the musician as saying: “It’s fun being in Islamic countries, to know there’s only one religion. There’s order. You wear a burqa. There’s no choice. People are happy with that.”

Wow. I guess that whole freedom-of-religion thing has been a drag for these 200+ years. And a burqa would certainly simplify the question of what to wear for any occasion.

Now that I have decided to comment, I find that I really can't. There just are no words. Except this: Mr. Nelson, let's see you in a burqa next time you're on stage. And no scantily dressed women, either. They should be in burqas too. Might make it hard to do your normal show, but never mind. It's fun.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bah, humbug

It's that time of year again, when people spend all their money, then spend someone else's money, promising to repay it with interest, so that the big day will be completely wonderful and dreams will come true. Where have I heard all this before?

Yes, it sounds a lot like Christmas, but this is Yuletide on steroids. This is Wedding Season. Because I have written a few too many articles on lavish weddings, my thoughts on these ceremonies tend to be a bit acerbic. Does "lavish" (from Old French for a deluge of rain) adequately describe a wedding in which the budget for flowers alone was $40,000?

Weddings today are over the top, and I don't mean that in a good way. Web sites devoted to wedding planning say the average wedding cost is around $25,000. Are you kidding me? Have we all gone barking mad?

It seems that weddings have increased in elaborateness and expense as marriage, the purported reason for the wedding, has decreased in respect and occurrence. The 2010 census found that, for the first time in our history, the majority of American households were not formed by married couples.

So, we may not like marriage much, but we love weddings, if the number of books, magazines and TV shows devoted to them is any indication. And all that wedding talk is the source of my biggest wedding gripe, summed up in the phrase, "It's your day!" What a poisonous idea.

Budding bridezillas are told implicitly and in so many words that weddings are all about them. Not only is it foolish to encourage that sort of self-centeredness, it's just not true. The wedding is just the kickoff for the marriage, which, after all, is the really important thing. And marriage certainly is not all about the bride.

While weddings should be fun and festive occasions, at the heart they are solemn, sacred ceremonies. Keeping that in mind might keep all the frills in perspective, as well.