Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Murder of Princess Diana

Day 2 of Diana-watch.

Here's another hard truth that people aren't willing to hear: Diana was not as significant as people want to believe. The Lifetime movie, The Murder of Princess Diana, strives to say she was. It adapts the non-fiction book of the same name by Neil Botham into a fictional tale of a female journalist cottoning onto the "conspiracy" surrounding Diana's death. The movie seems to want to say that Diana was a female version of Kennedy.

While the production values are fine, the basic premise is not. While Diana had matured professionally and brought much to the institution of monarchy, there simply wasn't enough time for her to gain the kind of stature this movie asserts she had. Diana remained mostly a pop cultural figure, not a state figure, not even as solidly a humanitarian figure as Mother Theresa was. If she had had enough to time form a relationship with an organization similar to what the Princess Royal has with Save the Children, she might have reached that status. Unfortunately there was no time. Moreover, Diana's reckless disregard for the monarchy as an institution embodied by her in-laws showed that she still had more professional maturing to do.

More tomorrow.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Princess Diana

This week marks the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana's death.

It's an odd sort of anniversary for me. Although I was a huge fan of hers from the time she burst onto the scene wearing (figuratively) the glass slippers, my feelings had undergone a complete reversal by the time of her death. Well I guess a lot changes between 13 and 38.

I want to post at length later in the week, but here are some random thoughts:

1. I knew Diana's fate was sealed when, during the Panorama interview, she intimated that the succession should bypass Charles and go directly to William.

2. The paparazzi have been blamed. Henri Paul has been blamed. But the truth is, as other authors have written, Diana would never have died in Paris if she had kept her British security detail with her because they never would have allowed her driver to go at that speed.

3. Charles has been unfairly blamed for Diana's psychological problems. It is one of the toughest things in the world to live with a mentally ill spouse who refuses to get help or admit they have a problem. A look at the fault lines in the Spencer family architecture provides ample evidence of where the cause of Diana's troubles really lay. The Spencers created the problem. Charles got stuck cleaning it up.

4. I was appalled at Earl Spencer's funeral address and remain appalled. A man who could not treat his own, now ex-, wife with dignity and kindness has the nerve to lecture the Royal Family on how to behave? And in public? Please.

5. The memory of the real Diana remains obscured behind the glare of the public's projections. In general people can't handle difficult truths. The public doesn't want to believe that Diana was genuinely mentally ill and required serious treatment.

6. I can't respect the fact that she tried to tear down the institution that she wanted her son to head one day. That is colossally irresponsible.

7. No matter how you spin it or what motives you assign, they way Frances Shand-Kydd left Diana's father -- to be with another man -- was a catastrophic mistake. It was something Frances could never admit when she was alive, apparently and a point most writers, whether pro- or anti-Diana, seem to gloss over. But this one action, which kicked off all the consequences that followed, seems to have forever destroyed Diana's ability to be whole. Please don't believe I'm saying Frances should have stayed with an abusive husband. I've known women who had abusive husbands. They didn't wait around for a man to rescue them. They left. The scooped up their babies, left their belongings, and left. Maybe they would get their belongings later. Maybe not. But they knew what their priorities were. Their children. Everything else was just stuff. I don't understand why a woman, who allegedly had her own money, didn't just grab her children and run. And even if you say she was afraid to do it alone, then I say fine, find a friend or find a man who isn't married. When Frances became involved with Peter Shand-Kydd she made herself vulnerable to being branded an adulteress and losing custody of her children. Which is what happened. While I hope she and Diana are both at peace now let's not let sentiment blind us to the truth.

But that's enough for one night.

More later in this anniversary week...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Happy Friday!

Is there no better day of the week? Of course not.

So in honor of Friday, I'm taking the weekend off.

P.S. Thanks for posting SagBoy!

And keep watching this space.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Running on Empty

I'm running on empty tonight. Don't have much to say.

One note: I've made some progress on my novel. Yes, I'm one of those--I'm a wannabe novelist. I've been nationally published as an entertainment writer but not as a fiction writer. My goal is to finish my manuscript in the next year. Currently I'm struggling over chapter 1. The book is called "This Could Be Heaven" after the title of the song by Seal. Perhaps I'll post some scenes at some point. Not yet though.

Not as if it matters to anyone but me -- yet.

As always, watch this space!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My First Outside Comment!

Courtesy of my good buddy Tara.

Thanks Tara!

With your master's degree in women's history don't think I won't be tapping your brain for some more comments at some point. I don't just want to ramble on. I also want to interview people. So be prepared!

As for America's Got Talent, I was hoping the Glamazons would win too but I suspected they wouldn't for the obvious reasons.

But they were cute! MUCH prettier than the Pussycat Dolls.

If it's any consolation, I think they'll have an extended career because of this.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

America's Got Talent Winner...

...is Terry Fator????? Holy cr#p!!! Boy can I not pick 'em! I started watching tonight's show thinking Butterscotch or Julie would win. Then I couldn't believe my eyes when they dumped Julie and Butterscotch. After that I felt sure Cas would win. After all he's got the best story: the wife, the kid, the daddy theme. He sang the cool drinkin' song with UB40 (Where the hell have they been? Do they still have a career?)

But nope.

I could say this is an example that proves America's Got Talent -- but no taste.

But that would be wrong.

Terry Fator is great. I honestly love the puppets. The music. The comedy. The voices. You own me Terry!

And it just goes to show, if you sing to America with Kermit the Frog by your side, you're bulletproof.

Congratulations Terry!

Hit and Run (Redux)

Okay this is fun. My computer ate my original post so I have to write it again. Doncha' just love it?

Hit and run.

This is how I'm going to have to manage this blog until I'm settled in and writing steadily. I'll just slap a few slogans on the cyber-wall and see if they stick before I come back to develop them at a later date. I want to talk about pop culture, culture, and society to begin with. So expect some of that in the near future. For now, here goes...

...Reality TV: What the hell? Is it just me or is the glut of reality TV an unforeseen by-product of government disinterest in the public welfare and disinvestment in the public sphere? Oh I'm not saying this is more important than bridges falling down or levees failing. But there seems to be this idea out there that you somehow have to pimp yourself for the TV viewing masses in order to get your basic needs met. Got no music education in your school? Go on American Idol. Need your home renovated but can't afford the loan? Go on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Too fat? Need to lose weight? Don't waste time at your doctor's office or the gym. Try to become The Biggest Loser. Or go on a Fat March.

I mean, if we had music education in the public schools, a national housing policy that really worked to get people into solidly built homes and universal health care, would there be a market for these kind of life-improvement/make me famous shows?

Just askin'.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Still moving in...

...it will take me a while to get ramped up and posting regularly. My head is overflowing with ideas. Coming soon: my profile and, possibly, The Handma(i)d(e)'s Ta(i)le (with apologies to Margaret Atwood).

Keep watching this space!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm He-ee-ee-reee!

Kicks the tires.

Looks around.

Not bad.

All righty then folks. Here I am. I think I'll try it on for size and see how it fits.

Watch this space.

More to come.