I like Rosie. And if she weren’t so fat, you would too

I’ve enjoyed the brouhaha that’s come out of Rosie O’Donnell’s involvement on the View, mostly because I love reading people’s reactions to it.

But let’s be honest – is Rosie the monster that she’s continually made out to be by the media?


You might think she’s annoying. Or not particularly insightful. Or a bit loony with her conspiracy theories. (BTW, Rosie, the Gulf of Tonkin conspiracy has been debunked. You Google it.)

But the comments on the various news & blog boards that have covered her fights with (that ugly old hypocrite) Donald Trump and Elizabeth Hasselbeck have been replete with one undeniable (but completely irrelevant) fact: She’s fat.

No doubt she’s what one might charitably call pleasantly plump. And, at least figuratively, she’s not afraid of throwing her heft around. The only sign of weakness I’ve seen her display was in an embarrassing, tearful interview with Bill O’Reilly a few years ago that O’Reilly has since mercilessly exploited.

But it’s obvious that the weight of the speaker usually matters more than the weight of her arguments, in our fucked-up society where looks and image trump everything else. Everyone’s supposed to smile politely, fold her hands in their laps, and avoid any “unnecessary” confrontation. And look like a trophy wife while doing it.

As if any progress in our society has not involved a healthy dose of civil confrontation. I’d toss out some pithy quotes by Gandhi and Thoreau, but they’re not really necessary. Common sense should make this obvious to any sentient being.

Now I know rowing over The Donald’s toupee is not the sort of thing that moves our society forward. But it is practice. The more people are willing to argue the fuck over an issue, no matter how petty, the more we’ll be accustomed to seeing that happen over issues that really matter.

Look at Congress. A bunch of smiling sycophants who wait until after session’s over to bash each other’s policy. I cringed when Al Gore basically told Barbara Lee to shut up and sit down when she protested the 2000 election results (there’s a clip in the movie Fahrenheit 9/11).

Have you ever seen how British Parliament works? The Prime Minister gets a verbal smackdown every time he/she gets up to speak, and that’s the way it should be. Oh how I’d love to see our politicians licking their wounds after having to actually defend their views in the face of open criticism.

At any rate, getting back to ol’ Rosie, I have to thank her for at least attempting to try to reframe the View from its koffee klatsch underpinnings that Barbara is only too happy to maintain. The only other one will balls is Joy Behar, and possibly Whoopi Goldberg, but those mindless idiots Elizabeth, Sherri and Barbara, they don’t have a chance. 3 still trumps 2. And despite hearing yet another call for her to be put out to pasture (long overdue, in my opinion), Barbara Walters is eating up the attention from the lingering aftermath. With more attention comes higher ratings, and higher ratings means Mrs Dorian Gray keeps that picture up in her attic for a few more years.

And while I was never a fan of her scrubbed-clean daytime talk show, I’ve always liked Rosie’s innocently non-PC kind of humor. She’s like a grown-up tomboy and I love the fact that decades of Hollywood haven’t erased her tendency to talk like a truck driver.

Of course, all of the humor and charm in the world are lost on you if you just can’t seem to get past the fact that she looks like Jabba the Hut.

Reasons why a personal trainer is worth the $$

I pay $65 an hour, twice a week, to have my ass kicked. Hard.

By the end of the hour, I’m usually miserable. Drenched with sweat, light-headed because all available oxygen in my blood is feeding my starving muscles, and pale because…well, yeah, no blood left to give my skin a nice glow.

I look and feel like shit.

For about 15 minutes.

My trainer serves several important functions in my neverending efforts to get thinner, harder, buffer and tauter. And while what he’s doing is not exactly rocket science, I’m comfortable shelling out money to plenty of people to render important services to me on a daily basis that don’t require a Ph.D.

Let’s run down the list:

1. I don’t like flushing money down the toilet – For a cheapskate like me, $65 is a commitment. Over the past 6 months I’ve been seeing my trainer, I’ve only flaked once, and only because I felt like a monkey was trying to claw its way out of my bowels (I think it was the hummus from lunch). At over a dollar a minute, you can bet my ass is there every session, on time. Without this sort of negative incentive, you can bet I’d come up with every excuse in the book to head home directly. After a couple of beers. And pizza.

2. My technique sucks – I don’t know about you, but I’m unable to achieve perfect form looking at the three 2″ tall pictures used to illustrate exercises in Men’s Health. I’m also unable, despite those wall-to-wall mirrors, to see myself from all angles while simultaneously straining to lift something and trying to not induce a hernia. My trainer pays attention to how I move throughout the exercise and corrects my form.

3. I can train to failure – Whenever I work out on my own, I’m afraid to push myself to failure, because I don’t want a barbell bisecting my neck or a precariously-held dumbbell plummeting towards my forehead. If you’ve trained with free weights, you know what I mean. My trainer allows me to train to failure without worrying I’m going to kill myself.

4. He puts together a full routine – I have yet to have the same routine twice. My trainer puts together a group of anywhere from 3-6 supersets, sometimes with cardio, sometimes not. It’s always a mixed bag which helps me not get bored. I couldn’t be bothered to come up with new routines week after week.

5. He makes me laugh – I usually don’t like talking to anyone while I work out. I like to do my thing, and get out. But most of the sets are so exhausting that I need a minute or two between them to catch my breath. We usually talk about movies, pets or plans for the weekend, but he has an excellent sense of humor and is smart, so talking to him isn’t something I dread. (I do usually dread having to make small talk. So uncomfortable. So pointless.)

6. He keeps me going when I’d rather give up mid-set – When someone’s cheering you on, you’re going to come closer to finishing the set. And even when I collapse under my own weight after doing my 60th pushup, he’ll wait about 2 seconds, and then yell, “Come on, animal! 5 more!” It works.

My twice-a-week trainer habit ends up costing me $520 a month. Is it worth it? Hell yeah. You can’t put a price on your own health and biceps and glutes you can actually feel. There are other places to save money, but this isn’t one of them.

Britney Spears – A gift to self-righteous underachievers

Britney’s claim to fame was the fact that she was able to pull off the entire blond virgin-whore shtick better than Madonna, and at a younger age. A great singer she’s not, but she can dance slutty enough to appeal to impressionable tweeners without pissing off mom. Enough to sell tens of millions of records and pitch Diet Pepsi? Apparently.

But Britney’s raison d’etre ever since she married beneath her station and pushed out a couple of puppies has been to serve as the media’s punching bag during slow news cycles. America might grow weary of hearing yet another update on Baghdad, but there is an unquenchable thirst for every tiny misstep that poor Ms Spears makes.

And let’s face it – without her handlers directing her every move, your average 23-year-old girl’s gonna make some mistakes. A lot of them.

First, taking a cue from J. Lo, she married a backup dancer. And again like J. Lo, she realized she had been duped and got a divorce. Had a couple of kids. Carried one in her lap when driving. Shaved off her hair. Beat the shit out of an SUV.

All of this, I suppose, is mildly amusing. Mildly.

The real reason that this sort of dreck makes the news consistently is that there is always a rapacious audience for it. Why? Nothing makes you forget how meaningless and boring your life is than to see someone far richer, more powerful and better looking than you stumble.

Not exactly schadenfreude. Schadenfreude means taking cruel delight at someone else’s misfortune.

Britney-bashing is all about overweening sanctimony. Tellingly, it’s typically the domain of dumpy young women. Like Perez Hilton.

How better to feel better about your bloated gut than to point out that Britney’s once rock-hard six-pack has gone soft?

And how better to feel about the fact that your crowning achievement in life has been to narrowly avoid killing your own offspring than to gloat about Britney’s supposed awful parenting?

Your hair is all stringy and thin? Well, Britney doesn’t even have any!

Now I don’t really care that much for Britney Spears. The only reason I’m defending her here is that her numerous detractors are even more pathetic than she is.

And before Britney throws another tantrum about the intrusive and cruel media, she should remember that without the taunts and well-placed paparazzi, she’d have little more to be proud of than the dim-witted girls who constantly read about her.

Being gay is…

a) a lifestyle  (“the gay lifestyle”, “the homosexual lifestyle”)

b) a preference (“the gay sexual preference”)

c) a choice (“it’s her choice if she wants to be lesbian”)

d) none of the above

My suspicion is that unless you’ve been raised in the Little House on the Prairie, you’ll opt for D. At least I hope you do.

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