Diary of a Mad County

MONDAY, June 16 “One of the things that makes us a constitutional democracy and not a banana republic is regularly scheduled elections, I do think. And I do think that's eroding now … They reelected [Gray] Davis just last November. There's been no great—you know, he hasn't done anything personally impeachable, so to speak. He's just a bad governor. So now they want to have a recall election one year after the election? It is not a good sign for American politics.” Bleeding heart Barbara Boxer?Democratic firebrand James Carville? TV funnyman Charlie Callas? Nope. It's ber-conservative William Kristol on some Sunday talking-head FOX News show. Don't ask … And don't ask why I was watching CMT's 100 Greatest Songs of Country Musicshow—perhaps I don't get enough cracker in my diet. This show overflowed with the stuff, clearly proving what a hateful patch of ignorance the South is, surpassed in both regards only by Texas and wherever Newport Beach councilman Dick Nichols is parking his car. The No. 1 country song of all time? Tammy Wynette's abuse-enabling anthem “Stand by Your Man,” based on her own tortured life and relationships. This is country's greatest song—”Take your beatin' then make me a sandwich.” The No. 2 song? “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones, the redneck who mistreated Tammy Wynette! You know, Abraham Lincolnwas a bright man with some very good ideas, but clearly Reconstruction wasn't one of them.

TUESDAY, June 17 Irvine-based drug giant Allergan, maker of cosmetic superstar Botox, is the subject of an hour-long NBC Dateline “investigation” by the ever-dwindling Maria Shriver. The report is not so much about how Botox affects the millions of women who used it, but how it affects one woman with millions—and millions and millions. Her name is Irena Medavoy, she's married to producer and former studio chief Mike Medavoy, and is suing Allergan and her own physician because, she says, Botox did some very unhealthy things to her. Shriver—who doesn't need Botox, because she's found a steady diet of not eating more effective in achieving taut skin—follows up by saying that some people think Botox may cause problems ranging from paralysis to death. Who would have thought such things could occur from repeatedly injecting botulism into your head? Now, with these kinds of stories, I almost always root for the single person tilting against the corporate giant. But Irena Medavoy is so unsympathetic as she's shown cutting flowers in her garden, making oatmeal in her kitchen and playing board games in her zeppelin hangar of a bedroom, that I wanted to send Allergan a muffin basket. I don't think Allergan has anything to worry about, because I have stood in a Newport Beach plastic surgeon's office during a Botox party and have seen firsthand the hungry, (Rick) Jamesian look of women eager to be the next one stuck about the eye socket.

WEDNESDAY, June 18 For my birthday—thank you—I take my son to Disneyland. Why is it that I am constantly reading—and writing—stories about how screwed Disney is and how nobody is going to Disneyland and then when I go midweek there's always a billion people there and they're all from the Southand Midwest and all the men are wearing the same tan shorts with the same brown belt and the same tucked-in golf shirt? Fellas, there are options. Unfortunately, for this crew, the options run the gamut of blue shorts and sports sandals, the latter being the greatest atrocity upon the American landscape since Dallas. You people are your sandals—sports sandals, leather weaves—showcasing your bony digits, chubby sausages and blue metal-flake toenails that must look smashing while you polish off a Pabst outside the NRA Winter Formal. When I was growing up the only people who wore sandals were the infirm, monks, cult members and the Von Trapp Family Singers, and we had an educational system that was the envy of the world!

THURSDAY, June 19 Costa Mesa's Omelette Parlor is saved and we can all get on with our lives.

FRIDAY, June 20 Just saw the new Carl's Jr. TV commercial and apparently the Anaheim-based fat pusher isn't satisfied with making spots that turn your stomach. Now they're into jingoism. This spot lists three battles/wars in which the French surrendered with the kicker: “Don't be a chicken, eat one.” The thing about this “the French are pussies” vogue is that it just ain't true. Yeah, the French have surrendered a few times, but they've been around for more than 1,000 years. What's more, they've spent all that time in the middle of the shit, sharing space with Germany, England, Prussia, Austria-Hungary, Rome. Americans think we're the toughest sons of bitches to come down the pike because of our pioneer spirit or pluck, when our greatest military asset is a little something called the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. We didn't win the Revolutionary War, the British got bored. Same with the War of 1812 when they burned the frigging Capitol. Yeah, we've won some wars, but we've been able to choose our opponents more carefully than Lennox Lewis. Mexico? Spain? Grenada? Iraq? Best watch your ass, Candyland. Vietnamese rice farmers sent us packing. And when we fight a heavyweight, we usually wait a couple of years for someone else—usually the British and French—to soften them up a good bit. Which reminds me. The American Revolution's decisive battle at Yorktown? The British were defeated by predominately French troops. Carl's Jr.: You shouldn't talk shit where you want us to eat.

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