Tuesday, February 12, 2008

TALES OF THE RICH AND INFAMOUSLY TRIVIAL

Dear Crabby:

I was wondering if you saw this year’s Grammy Awards. I did and was shocked to say the least. Amy Winehouse won 5 – largely undeserved in my opinion – awards including one for best original song ‘They Said Go To Rehab I Said No, No, No’ or something like that! What a crock!

Torri in New Valley Falls


Dear Grave with the Grammys:

Didn’t see the Grammy’s live and grateful not to. I did catch the rehash and bits on Pod-Cast. In my not so humble opinion, most award shows are little more than a superficial reason for closed clubs of inbreds to have photo ops in between patting one another on the back for merely doing what’s expected of them.

With regards to artists in general and in any medium; I realize I’m in the minority here, but I grow increasingly tired and bored with talent-less celebs trying to out-‘weird’ their competition. Quirky is good – or at least, shall we say – interesting - if it’s in service of innate talent or in the creation of a mystique or personal statement other than “hey, I’m quirky…look at me. Hey, I have six nipple rings and twelve body tattoos more than the next gal…hey, I stick my fingers down my throat to throw up and line my eyes in black lipstick..." and so on and so forth.

With regards to Ms. Winehouse in particular; I believe the accolades afforded her at this year’s Grammys were given more for behind the scenes struggles rather than earned for her on camera talent. That’s just an opinion. I don’t much care for her music. I also don’t care for the media’s tabloid fascination to quickly label her ‘Amy Wino’ simply because she can’t stay the course away from the bourbon isle and cocktail shaker. That makes Amy Winehouse just another celeb drowning in a sea of troubled youth – not a figure of fun.

She’s not a thing – although she may act like one more than she seems to be a real person. But perhaps that’s just an act on Ms. Winehouse’s part; a sort of protective shield she uses so that the tabloids don’t really know who she is. The media love people like Amy Winehouse because her personal life is used as a piñata to be violently swung at until the whole darn mess of her past comes tumbling out.

But you know, I always reserve the right to toast someone’s ability to pick up and triumph over seemingly insurmountable adversity.

So she went into rehab...

So what?

Winehouse’s addiction to alcohol and other illegal recreational substances is well documented. However, I’m also of the opinion that no one shouldn’t win an award – Grammy or otherwise – just because they decided to detox.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but a Grammy is supposed to be doled out for musical prowess, right?

Frankly, I don’t see that sort of promise in Winehouse – drunk, sober or otherwise.

Clearly, the impact of her Grammy wins was heartfelt at some level. I mean, Winehouse looked confused and glassy-eyed. Oh…right.

But then, she cried. Nice touch. It still doesn’t make her Best Artist of the Year. So, the next time someone tells Winehouse to go to rehab, I would suggest she go, go, go!

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic



Dear Crabby:

Who do you think will be our next President?

Tom in Las Vegas



Dear White House Wonderer:

I’m not an American so, for me, any speculation is moot. With regards to personal predictions on who will be your next President…early polls suggest that the final stretch of the race will be run by Barack Obama and John McCain. I hope McCain has a good pair of running shoes and a strong ticker. He’ll need both to beat, or even catch up to, the ‘magic Negro.’

Obama’s political platform is rather vapid at best, though nevertheless effective at bolstering support – a sad indictment on how simple and silly his mass appeal remains. Honestly, are his supporters really that stupid to believe that a promise of ‘change’ alone will be enough to actually induce ‘change’ once the oath of office has been taken?

Obama’s level of inexperience aside, his entire campaign thus far has been built on a tired platitude. He wants to be the purveyor of social ‘change.’

Good for him!

I hope he has some sort of concrete plan to back up all that high-minded liberalism.

I read somewhere that Obama wants free college and/or university education and government funded health care available to everyone.

Noble peace offerings, I must say.

If I want free thong underwear for the homeless and million dollar cash vouchers so that every state in the union can hold its own dance-a-thon with Bruno and Carrie Ann, does that mean I can run for President too?

Huh, can I? Please! Please!

Running on these campaign promises I’m sure I could get at least one state in the primariesCalifornia.

I’ll say this, if Obama can make good on just one of his campaign ‘promises’ I’ll tip my hat to him and be glib no more. No one before Obama has been able to do as much. It is highly unlikely that anyone after him will be able to either. The Democrats voting for him in the primaries ought to remember that before casting their ballot.


Moving on, I don’t think Hillary Clinton should be discounted out of the running for the Democratic nomination just yet. She’s a devious fly in the Obama ointment, but has quite a stinger as she’s proven over the course of several heated televised debates. I also don’t believe that Hil’s hubby, Slick Willie has been very much of an asset to her campaign. If anything, Bill is stomping the trail because he misses those perks at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

However, for those who think sheer spousal support is his selfless motive, I would suggest the blinders fastened too tight come off directly! Bill’s is a far less high-minded or pure purpose than any of us give him discredit for.

Last, I think it’s a pity Mitt Romney dropped out of the running when he did. Ditto for Rudy Guilliani and Fred Thompson. Politics needs good candidates – not just greedy ones. I understand why the boys above quit. It’s still a pity.

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic





Dear Crabby:

What’s new with Britney Spears?

Jodie in Connecticut




Dear Star-Gazer:

In my opinion Spears has written herself off into oblivion through bad choices and stupid publicity stunts. It’s time the general public stopped immortalizing this backwoods lunatic for her meteoric crash and burn. She’s not a comet - just a burnt out cinderblock of heavy rock hurdling through her own inner space.
By the way, Britney’s initials are ‘B’, ‘S’ – a rather telling moniker, wouldn’t you say?

- C.C.
Dear Crabby:

Why is Tony Bennett considered a great talent?

Morris in New England



Dear Musically Confused:

Your guess is as good as mine. I’ve always thought of Bennett as a cheap – and not terribly convincing or talented – Sinatra knock-off. So long as ol’ Blue Eyes was in the mix, Bennett didn’t seem to get much playtime or attention in either the media or on the music circuit. Currently, he’s the grand old man of the song – definitive proof that in the realm of celebrity you just have to live long enough to outlast the competition to be considered a ‘great talent.’ How sad.

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic


Dear Crabby:

I live in Detroit. I don’t know if you’ve been following the news here but frankly, it ain’t good! Our mayor is Kwame Kilpatrick and he’s been accused of all sorts of stuff, including lying under oath and involvement in a murder! Even if only half of what I’ve read and heard is true, it’s still pretty bad. I’m just wondering how much worse it will get and what you think about any elected official who gets involved in things like this.

Shaqualita in Michigan

Dear Living It Down in Detroit:

For those readers who might not have a clue about what you’re referring to, I think a summation of the events you’ve briefly touched on might be in order. So, here goes.

When Kwame Kilpatrick took office as the mayor of Detroit he is presumed to have kicked off a wild party at the Manoogian Mansion with tax payer dollars – in addition to indulged expenditures incurred from buying his wife a new Ford Navigator and other unaccounted luxuries for the mayor and his extended family.

But back to the party at the Manoogian where an exotic dancer by the name of Tamara Greene – better known to her clientele as ‘Strawberry’ – is alleged to have performed; Ms. Greene became a potential witness set to testify against the mayor in the now infamous ‘Whistle-Blower Lawsuit’ filed by two police investigators who were wrongfully fired from their jobs after they undertook an investigation into these allegations regarding the mayor’s misappropriation of tax dollars for personal usage. Shortly before the trial, Ms. Greene met with an untimely end that has never been sufficiently explained away by the media or solved by the police.

Even without Ms. Greene’s testimony, the evidence presented at the ‘Whistle-Blower’ trial was damaging to the mayor’s credibility. For his part, Mayor Kilpatrick believed that no jury would convict him. He was wrong. The trial ended in the detective’s favor with the city of Detroit ordered to pay out a cash settlement somewhere in the ballpark of nearly nine million dollars. Immediately following the trial, all documents pertaining to this case were sealed and a non-disclosure agreement between everyone was signed.

However, when it was discovered that the mayor lied under oath during trial about a lurid affair he had with his former Chief of Staff, Christine Beatty, prosecution began to speculate about what other skeletons Kilpatrick had in his closet. Clearly, there seems to be at least one other unresolved ‘loose end’ to contend with – Carmen Slowski; a woman photographed with the mayor in North Carolina who apparently gave Kilpatrick a massage at a vacation retreat. Just what else Slowski and the mayor are guilty of remains open for discussion.

All of this manure was uncovered by WXYZ Channel 7 investigative reporter Steve Wilson who, at one point in his questioning of the mayor received a violent body slam from one of the mayor’s personal bodyguards (on the mayor’s command) on his person for his efforts.

Now, to answer your question. Given the circumstances, while I seriously doubt Kwame has killed anyone with his own two hands, I do believe there is enough of a pattern in his lies, deceit and corruption to warrant not only speculation, but much further investigation of any and every facet of the mayor’s comings and goings. The ledger of indictments against Mayor Kilpatrick and his administration thus far is hardly flattering.

If he has nothing to hide apart from that which he has already confessed to, then nothing further will develop from these inquiries. Tragically, I don’t think ‘forthright’ is a word in Kwame’s lexicon. We already know ‘honesty’ and ‘trustworthiness’ don’t belong in his vocabulary either.

Cheer up, Shaqualita.
The truth will out, perhaps sooner than either of us thinks. Steve Wilson’s investigative reporting has already severely hampered the mayor’s ability to conduct and/or cover up such spurious business transactions that may have directly led to his being elected in the first place. If it’s any consolation; Kwame Kilpatrick probably isn’t the worst public official to defraud his constituents, though he’s certainly the most high-profile at the moment. Tragically, he most certainly won’t be the last either.
Now isn’t that a happy thought?

Yours truly,
The Crabby Critic


@The Crabby Critic 2008 (all rights reserved).