Diary of a Mad County

Jan. 17-Jan. 23

Wednesday, Jan. 17
The city of Anaheim honors Carl's Jr. founder Carl Karcher on its newly/poorly conceived Anaheim/O.C. Walk of Stars. Karcher, who started with a single hot dog stand and a dream to help make future generations of Americans the fattest, heart attackiest, diabetesiest in history, was previously awarded the "Don't Bother Coming to Work Anymore," by his own CKE Restaurants, Inc. board several years ago when they wrested control of his company away from him and took it in an entirely new direction, subjecting the deposed leader and devout Catholic to wave upon wave of grotesque, sexually suggestive/explicit commercials that peaked/nadir(ed) with Paris Hilton dry humping a car fender. Who's hungry? Karcher's star is the second doled out by Anaheim, the first having gone to Walt Disney, who couldn't attend his ceremony since he had a previous engagement to be dead for 40 years. Anaheim's "Walk" is, of course, modeled after Hollywood's pee-soaked Walk of Fame, the difference being that Hollywood's honors those in the entertainment industry while Anaheim's criteria seems to favor any very old/dead out of touch white guy with lots of money. So don't wander too far from that phone, Republican Central Committee!

Thursday, Jan. 18
George W. Bush welcomes the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals to the White House. While lauding the accomplishments of the team, Bush takes special notice of Cardinals shortstop David Eckstein. "They said he can't hit. They said he can't throw," Bush said of Eckstein, the former Angel shortstop who was voted series MVP. "Listen, David. I've made a career out of people underestimating me." Uh, dufus, no you haven't. You've made a career out of being the fortunate son of a very rich and powerful family. It is unseemly for the President of the United States to be comparing himself to a professional ballplayer—unseemly for the ballplayer. See, Eckstein, just 5-foot-7, has overcome people saying he couldn't survive in the majors through hard work and accomplishment, twice reaching his ultimate goal of becoming a World Series champ. You, sir, have never been underestimated. People have estimated you absolutely correctly. You are a man of limited intelligence, charisma and leadership skills who succeeds because it benefits powerful interests who know you will do nothing to threaten those interests. The fact that you believe that you have accomplished something show shows how delusional you really are. I'd really like to make joke here, but, really I'm too pissed off. What were you idiots thinking?

Friday, Jan. 19
Someone tells me to read a piece in the Daily Pilot that appeared yesterday about the memorial service at the Crystal Cathedral for millionaire John Crean. They direct me to this paragraph: "Meeting Crean at Alcoholics Anonymous, a program that would change his life, Clancy Imislund reminded audiences that Crean, the man who dropped out of high school and was known to hand bologna to police officers he passed on the street, was not always so 'saint like.'" Did you catch the bit about "was known to hand bologna to police officers he passed on the street." Is it just me or does the Pilot piece suggest that Crean actually handed out luncheon meats to the boys in blue? I assume what Imislund, managing director of the Midnight Mission in Los Angeles, meant was that Crean was good at talking bunk . . . excuse me, phone ringing . . . Well, whattya know? That was Clancy Imislund. After telling me that Crean "holds the course record" for getting arrested three times in one day in Compton in the early '50s, he said he never used the term bologna in his talk. That it was the reporter who employed the term. This must be part of the Pilot's efforts to connect with older, out of touch readers who are uncomfortable with any change in the culture occurring after the Hays Code. As Imislund said, "Yeah, you don't say bologna anymore. You say bullshit. Bologna is kinda passť."

Saturday, Jan. 20
Waiting.

Sunday, Jan. 21
The Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears win the AFC and NFC championships, respectively, and will meet in the Super Bowl, which in two weeks will be played between commercials featuring monkeys/Kevin Federline. The significance of the game is that it marks not only the first time an African-American head coach has reached it but that it will also mark the first time two African-American coaches will coach against each other in the game. Indianapolis' Tony Dungy goes against former pupil, Lovie Smith. It will also mark the Colts cuffing the Bears about and ultimately demanding the Monsters of the Midway go make them a sandwich ("Mustard or mayo, my equine-themed lord?") Much will be made of the coaching significance, but as Weekly Executive Editor and wet blanket Matt Coker points out, the NFL coaching fraternity actually figures to have less black coaches next season. Arizona's Dennis Green and Oakland's Art Shell were both replaced by white guys. Pittsburgh's Bill Cowher was replaced by African-American Mike Tomlin, it figures that we'll have a net loss of one black coach next season. In related news, George W. Bush congratulates Dungy and Smith on their accomplishment, pointing out that for year people have underestimated him because he is black. And poor. And a woman. A single woman with four kids and "that thing what makes your boobies all sore."

Monday, Jan. 22
It's been a rough couple of weeks for Richard Nixon. The death of Gerald Ford brought up a lot of bad memories and now Nixon's name is coming up again as the yardstick by which unpopular presidents are judged. Polls released today show that George W. Bush has the lowest approval ratings for any president the day before a State of the Union speech since Richard Nixon in 1974 (Nixon had the lowest numbers since James Buchanan's ill-advised comment that he'd "fancy doing a bit of saber rattling" with General John C. Fremont). A Washington Post-ABC poll says only 33 percent of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing which is low, but not nearly as low as a CBS poll that found that only 28 percent of Americans approve. Nixon's unpopularity was, of course, mainly due to the Watergate scandal, while Bush's unpopularity is mainly due to his domestic and foreign policy, a disastrous war, numerous scandals and being a pompous ass. About the only people that have a positive view of Bush these days are those on the short list for inclusion on the Anaheim/O.C. Walk of Stars and the descendents of Buchanan and Warren G. Harding.

Tuesday, Jan. 23
Art Linkletter appears at the Richard Nixon Library as part of the library's "In Conversation" program with more than a few people assuming the library is now hosting sťances and "In Conversation" is short for "In Conversation with the Dead" since Art Linkletter was born during the Taft administration—seriously, 1912. Art Linkletter was old when I was a kid and I'm old. Linkletter, whose Kids Say The Darndest Things is one of the bestselling books in history, will be discussing his friendship with Richard Nixon and will sign his latest book How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life.The book includes the chapters "Outliving Your Enemies, Suck on That Albert Schweitzer" and "Kids Say the Darndest Things as You are Draining Them of Their Sweet, Nourishing Blood."

SLOWERY@OCWEEKLY.COM

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