We vicariously live our pathetic lives fawning over celebrities; one minor evening in a star's life is worth the prom nights of a million office temps. That is why celebrity dating habits are so desperately important to the world. When a celebrity relationship crashes and burns, it is an opportunity for us, the lowly peons, to chew our nails and speculate, to worry, to analyze. We probe and dissect public relationships with a vigor, ruthless clarity and wisdom we are wholly unable to apply to our own lives or personal dating situations.
Why do we love to hear that a star is fucking another star, or has stopped fucking one star to fuck another star? I will tell you: It is celebrity sexual eugenics, the circulating provenance of famous effluvia. It is never about the fat and screwed-up children two stars could potentially produce. It is about the Celebrated Glaring Body rubbing up against the other Celebrated Glaring Body: two meteors of human attention ultracolliding in a supermagnified, prurient orgasm in a fabulous hotel, all the comforts and privileges of the world fanning out around them in a gilded mandala. Frantic applause fills the streets below! A beehive of spontaneous information spreads the news to the hungry world. The ripples are felt by all.
Even if you never watch TV or listen to the radio or read the New York Post, you will know who in celebrityland is fucking who. The information is more all-pervasive than a wondrously prolific mutation of the flu.
The lower human realms of the world assume that all celebrity coitus is superlative -- there can be no bad sex among the famous. Puffy Combs and Jennifer Lopez couldn't possibly have one of those limp, dry, half-drunken, stressed-out fumble sessions that result in shrugs and apologies. They are so publicly hypersexy, always bursting out of their $1,000 tank tops; they must always explode like tigers into each other's wetly electric flesh, scorching the silken couch cushions, jettisoning platinum gobs of celebrity power into each other's faces! Harrrragh! Klong! Muscles from the sky! Rocket-launch columns of shivering white fire! Hosanna! Peace descends. Silvery doughnuts pass blithely behind their dewy, exhausted eyelids. The aliens watch them -- to learn, to approve, to bless. The planets hum with pleasure; a warm eddy twirls through a frozen wasteland and spring begins in the core of a glacier.
Which brings me to the topic of Russell Crowe. Nothing in the New York Post recently has made my spleen curl and burn more than the revealing of the snog 'n' tickle "relationship" between Crowe and "actress" Meg Ryan. Crowe is a beer-swilling Aussie cocksmith, a Real Man, a thinking woman's bastard, manly as beef is meat. Somehow, the thought of all that wonderful manliness paying all that manly attention to a sniveling, cynical, cabbage-headed, smirking, inflatable, pseudo-childlike, store-bought half-woman like the underwhelming Ryan is biblically depressing.
Crowe should be using his powers for good, not evil, and picking on some woman who invokes awe and fear. Naomi Wolfe, for example. Some gorgeous Oxford biochemist. Michelle Yeoh. Somebody who kicks ass. Janeane Garofalo. Anybody but Meg Fucking Ryan. Whom the gods destroy, they first make mad. The hubris of Crowe has somehow led to his tragically finding Ryan comestible, indicating the trail of corrosion left by some kind of advanced brain worm. Perhaps next year he will quit acting and, like Caligula, wage war against Poseidon, God of the Sea, shouting on the beach in a vein-popping frenzy.
Apropos of advanced brain worms, Poseidon and a heady analysis of celebrity dating tragedies, one of the foremost topics of late is the saddest, as it carries with it a vile upset of cultural mythology. The Greatest Surfer the World Has Ever Known, Kelly Slater, has debased himself utterly, down, down, down into the blackened pit of shame by first allowing Pamela "His Tragic Flaw" Anderson into his life at all, then allowing her back into his life after a horrifically unceremonious dumping and then -- the ultimate indignity -- being dumped again, so that Anderson could run off and hog-snog with male model Marcus Schenkenberg.
What corruption of fate allows a glorious Ubermensch like Slater to end up as the personal whipping poodle of a badly used, Jayne Mansfield retread such as Anderson? The fans have been beating their heads, keening, rending their garments. How can we live meaningful lives in accordance with ideas of our grander destiny when our heroes are hopelessly pussy-whipped by disingenuous slags?
Perhaps he didn't burn her forearms with the ends of his cigarettes enough. Perhaps he didn't slap her in front of her friends. Perhaps it was as simple as hair; Slater, in a drastic countermeasure toward his receding hairline, shaved his head. Perhaps La Anderson couldn't be seen with a man without a full head of hair and brilliantine and little rubber bands and such. It was a bad ending to a bad tale -- our finest, purest waterman dashed into the rocks, lured by the wanton shrieking of the vile rock 'n' roll siren, whom we've all seen naked and penetrated in at least two orifices. The succubus sucked him under. We are all the losers, the untouchable children of war.
There is only one hope. God, let Ben Affleck find true love. Let her be wise and strong. Let her be sufficiently terrible to avenge the whole Gwyneth Paltrow thing, somehow. Then, balance shall perhaps be restored.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Don't go with the force, Wills
Nobody is noticing that we've already had a version of the new TV assault on humanity, "Big Brother," for years and years. The British royal family has never been allowed personal boundaries and refuge from the filthy prurient interest of other human beings, and now Prince William will be absorbed into what has to be the most abused civic role in society today: the celebrity-cum-public-figure-by-birth. Prince William turned 18 on June 21, and it is officially Boy Who Will Be King season for the predatory folk who killed his mom.
In today's society, being a member of royalty is worse than a lifetime prison sentence or a career in gymnastics. Nothing is more ludicrous and unkind than the imposition of a supreme ceremonial role as a photo slave in a society that has been trained in the cannibal-like consumption of celebrities.
To be born into celebrity is to be like one of those chickens that spend their whole lives growing up in a tiny box so their corpses will stack better. It may be a large and gilded box, but it is just as cruel, perhaps crueler, because the chicken can perform any perversity it likes from its constraints in order to make its life more tolerable.
Even a few decades ago, when Queen Elizabeth was crowned, nobody would have dreamed of obtaining naked pictures of her and posting them on the Internet, or linking her sexually with Burt Lancaster. But fame is now a vile organism out of control, and royalty are essentially zoo animals -- with the bars there for the animals' protection more than for the viewers'.
If allowed to roam unprotected through fans, William would probably be kidnapped, violated in every orifice and eaten, and his head would be kept as a trophy in someone's freezer until authorities found it and turned it into a holy relic.
It is a testament to William's personal flexibility that he is able to tolerate his life at all, and isn't sneaking off to some Jamaican discothhque in Brixton every weekend to smoke heroin and snog with strippers.
This gentle lad will have to conceal himself and his humanizing habits for his entire life, concentration-camp style, from the worst, most penetrating and insidious form of fascism there is: the public opinion of hypocritical morons who believe that public figures should be sexless, saintly and, worst of all, totally available for inspection.
It seems that only the English-speaking countries are fucked up this way; after all, who, besides royalty buffs, knows or cares about handsome young Prince Carl Philip of Sweden or Louis XX of France? Who puts lurid pinup photos of them smiling shyly in tuxedos on their walls, other than heraldry-obsessed French homosexuals, maybe?
These men abide in relative normalcy while poor William has to have his face on tea cozies and ballpoint pens and tank tops, and have every 16-year-old girl in the English-speaking world imagine what sex between him and Britney Spears would be like.
If William is lucky, he'll grow into a nerdish, introspective mind who can find wide open spaces to explore and rejoice in the worlds of electronics or nanotechnology; he'll grow hunched and concave and wear thick glasses in dark rooms, drinking coffee alone, and his outside life won't matter so very much because he'll only be smiling from a limousine and doing math in his head.
I was given hope for Prince William when I was walking by a parking lot in the Bowery the other day and noticed that the wisteria trees around the perimeter of the lot had completely absorbed all of the concertina wire that surrounded the fence -- the razor loops literally went in one side and out the other of the tree trunks, a testament to the adaptive durability of weeds.
Be as the wisteria, young Wills. If you are relentless, you can pull the mortar out of the bricks that hold you; you can grow around and over; you can slowly, patiently, if you're really smart, consume the consumers.
But you'll probably just succumb, and end up as a crowned figure with your face on collector plates and bronze coins in Parade magazine -- a handsome, generic "King" image for all the slavish dolts of the world to superimpose kingly fantasies on, like a painting of a child with oversize, weepy eyes, or an adorable kitten, or a wise, wrinkled Indian chief.
C'est la vie, c'est la goddamn pain-in-le-royal-ass, no?