Jesse James detoxes the vague, unspecified way

Sandra Bullock's husband is the latest headline-grabber to seek in-patient help for stuff and whatever

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published March 31, 2010 8:50PM (EDT)

Hey, you, rich and famous person. Have you recently had the cops show up on a "domestic abuse" call? Are you the one who made the call? Have you been caught with an array of paramours extending into the double digits? Cheated on your wife with a woman who has a swastika tattooed anywhere on her body? Broken into a bank? Then you need to check in to the Vague, "Unspecified Condition" Rehab Center!

Just Tuesday, we welcomed Jesse James, whose publicist issued the statement that he came to our undisclosed location for "treatment" for "personal issues." What does that even mean? Wouldn't you like to know!

Of course, one of the greatest benefits you'll get here is the privacy we afford you, the disgraced, paparazzi-hounded celebrity. As Notre Dame Cathedral was to imperiled Esmeralda, we are to you, pop star who just shaved her head -- a sanctuary from the angry mob. Because, let's face it, every time you scratch your butt, the tabloids will be right there to document it, with an "Exclusive! Shambling wreck scratches butt!" headline.

Now we realize: You could simply attend free 12-step groups, which are available all across the country at all hours of the day. But wouldn't you prefer the luxury of a Vague, "Unspecified Condition" Rehab Center to the misery of fold-out chairs in crowded church basements? Also, you'd be amazed at how bad people in New York and L.A. are with the whole "anonymous" thing. Why should your private demons become public gossip?

Besides, those groups are for people with ongoing addiction issues. We're not saying you don't have issues. Your willingness to go on TV with Drew Pinsky suggests as much. We're just saying the Vague, "Unspecified Condition" Rehab Center can offer you the level of privacy you need while you're working through your vague unspecified stuff. (By the way, this privacy does not preclude us from using your name in our promotional materials.) And you can work through all your stuff in an environment that is safe, supportive and not dumpy. Like an Ian Schrager hotel, but without the $19 martinis.

Mental illness and addiction are serious, life-threatening problems. No amount of stardom or acclaim can make you immune. And your recent arrest suggests you have problems, indeed. So we ask, in a nonjudgmental, this-is-a-safe-space kind of way: Are you looking to roll up your sleeves, work through your difficulties and turn your life around?  Or are you looking to hide out and do a little career-damage control? Maybe a bit of both? That's OK. For a mere "significant financial commitment," we can help.  As the oldtimers say: Keep coming back.

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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