Diary of a Mad County

MONDAY, August 4

Gigli-mania sweeps the nation. Seems you can't go three feet without bumping into someone standing in line for the Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopezblockbuster. The pair burn up the screen with a smoldering lust not seen since Charlton Hestonand Stephen Boyd pined for each other in Ben-Hur. (Heston! Boyd! Ben-Hot!)

TUESDAY, August 5

This afternoon on KSPN-AM (710), ESPN reporter Shelly Smith, asked to compare the amount of media at Kobe Bryant's pretrial hearing in Colorado with the media coverage for the 2000 Florida election recount, reminds host Todd Donaho that there was a lot of coverage in Florida because "that was a big story too."

Come with me if you want to live.


Not that we've learned anything since Florida, democracy being something Americans give to other, less fortunate countries while rarely using it ourselves—you know, like the lima beans you dump at canned-food drives. Somehow, we hit a new low tonight when Arnold Schwarzeneggerannounces on The Tonight Show WithJay Lenothat he'll be running for governor in the upcoming recall election. ("Hey, that's great, Arnold. Now, stay tuned, folks! Jim Fowler's going to bring out an animal to pee on me while clarifying his presidential intentions!) Not only is Schwarzenegger running, so is Arianna Huffington, so I guess all those people who said California would one day be hijacked by people for whom English is a second language were right. . . . They say all politics is local, and right now my politics extend about as far as the end of the block to the convenience store where I buy my Lottery ticket. The jackpot is up to $67 million, a fact I talk about enough that my wife claims I'm becoming obsessed. But that's unfair—I'm not obsessed, I just really, really want the money. I guess someone could argue that under the current climate of political and social chaos, I'm anxious to get me some compound-buildin' money, but I just want the money, mostly. Oh, the things I'll do with that money. Ghastly things. But I won't be stuck up or a dick about it. I won't fund any recalls and then cry like a little bitch. My kids tell me that I have a better chance of being bitten by a dog, a deer, a pig and a shark in a three-hour period, but why would I want that? I want the money. (My kids have been trying to crush my dreams for years. Doing a bang-up job.) … It turns out I don't have the winning numbers. My wife says that should tell me something. It does: Saturday, $91 million.

THURSDAY, August 7

Open up the Los Angeles Times this morning and read, "The Republican actor, best known for playing a killer robot . . . ." Thank you, Darrell Issa. What's that? Leaving so soon? Yes, the man who bankrolled the recall pulls out of the race today. I'd like to say he cried like a little girl during his press conference, but that would be demeaning to little girls. Issa (R-Waaa, Waaa) says he'd rather devote his time to bringing the people of Israel and Palestinetogether in peace. Yeah, if there one's thing a guy who single-handedly brings about an election that includes Larry Flyntand the guy who played Cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch at a cost of $70 million in a state that can't care for its sick or educate its kids is qualified to do, it's bring peace and unity. . . . A bunch of people do come together at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana to celebrate the center's 1 millionth guest. Now, I'm going to assume everything was on the up and up, but it does seem a little suspicious that they were touting the millionth guest weeks before it happened. How they knew the millionth guest would walk through the doors around 10 a.m. with Representative Loretta Sanchez and Assemblyman Lou Correa standing there, I don't know. The center's media person Lisa Segrist said it had to do with some sort of mathematical equation or tracking, and she went on about it but it just made me sleepy so let's just assume that Carole Blanscetof Tustin really was the center's millionth guest today. Though, seriously, you couldn't have cast it any better, the loving grandmother and her husband bringing their two lovely granddaughters, Cassie, 10, and Nancy, 8, who were showered with confetti and giddy with excitement. Center CEO Joe Adams admits they couldn't have done much better and that his thoughts, leading up, did have visions of dudes wearing nothing but leather vests and piercings. Turns out, even the center is getting mixed up in this recall stuff with larger-than-expected media coverage because people wanna know if Sanchez is going to run for guv. That didn't mean much to Blanscet, who became the first patron given a lifetime pass to the center, which I guess is a nice gift, though I would have thought they would have given her something more substantial—like an atom smasher or $91 million.

FRIDAY, August 8

About 30,000 people show up at the Harvest Crusade at Edison Field to pray, listen to the Christian rock musings of Anaheim native Crystal Lewisand watch a clip from Mel Gibson'supcoming Jesus film, The Passion, which is supposed to have some gory scenes, though is it possible for anything to be more grisly than Godspell? Anyway, people are talking Jesus and rejecting sin when some Bushlackey gets on stage and reminds the crowd that Bush considers Jesus Christ his favorite philosopher. Then the guy compares Bush and Lincoln and says Bush appreciates the prayers of those in the crowd. The crowd seemed to like that. They probably would have cheered when Bush, 100 days after declaring the war over, said America is making "good progress" in Iraq. That only makes sense if he means that the number of American boys killed since the war ended has progressed to 55, another two young men having died yesterday. Bush said he "mourned" for the two young men and their families, from his Texas vacation home. He said, "This administration will do what is necessary to win," from his vacation home in Texas. Lemme see if I got this straight: Gray Davis is going through a recall because he's presided over a record-setting deficit. George W. Bush has presided over a record-setting deficit and unemployment, shown no willingness to do anything about either except give tax breaks to the rich, and sent the country into a war under false pretenses and then declared the war over and went on vacation while—as of today—55 Americans died, Americans he said he mourned for from his vacation home, and everyone's all right with this? Oh, and he didn't get the most votes in the election, did we mention that? Anyway, apparently some people have a problem and they've been going to votetoimpeach.org and signing a petition to impeach Bush. More than 250,000 already have. I'm not saying that it will accomplish anything. I'm not even recommending that you do it—or saying that I did it—I'm just saying you'll feel a little better after you do.


Quick, anybody know where I can get a pig, a deer and a shark? I already got a dog.


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