In the news:
- A bodyguard for the late Michael Jackson is now claiming that the Gloved One once ordered his brother Randy shot. Of course, he explained, Michael was pretty drugged up at the time. So I guess it really doesn't count. The bodyguard had previously stated that he was Blanket's biological father. (Michael wanted an "athletic" baby, you see.) Oh, and MJ was deeply in love with Whitney Houston. Randy Jackson has catagorically denied that Michael had ever tried to have him shot; Blanket has not admitted to having a bodyguard father; and Whitney can no longer confirm or deny anything. The bodyguard said that it doesn't matter whether people believe him, because his 18-year-old girlfriend does and is sticking by him. So there!
- Speaking of denying things, presidential candidate Mitt Romney is not denying stories that have arisen about his private school days -- he just can't remember them. He has said that he is sorry for some childhood pranks and hijinks he had pulled some forty-eight years ago as a student. Dumb stuff, he said. The apology neither detailed nor explained what those pranks might have been. According to reports, Mitt didn't like one student's haircut so he (and others) pinned the kid on the floor while Mitt cut the boy's hair (poorly, according to reports). The boy, by the way, was reported to have been struggling and screaming for Mitt and the gang to stop. Mitt also reportedly teased one boy continuedly by loudly calling out "Atta-girl! " at him. As I said, Mitt doesn't remember any such incidents and, besides, Mitt claimed he never realized that the atta-girl boy was gay. And he certainly didn't realize that the terrorized boy whose hair he had shorn was gay. Ah...boyhood pranks! Of course, the incident with the hair smacks more of "assault" than "prank," and the harrassment seems to encrouch on "bully" territory rather than the "hijinks" neighborhood. But whatever he did and whatever he might or might not remember, Mitt says he is a different person today. I know that people change, and almost fifty years is a goodly time span to effect such change. People can outgrow stupid and people can move beyond pranks. But can people outgrow an innate sense of cruelty? Did I mention that Romney chuckled when asked about the incidents?
- President Obama has officially come out in favor of gay marriage. Some people consider this a bold move while others believe Obama was was boxed into a corner by earlier remarks by the vice-president. Many fear that this was an endorsement that could cost the president politically and others are joyful at that prospect. No matter. What's done is done and what's said is said. The betting money was already on Obama endorsing gay marriage at some point before the November elections. As expected, some people have been vocally against the president's remarks. One such person was Bristol Palin. Bristol was upset that the president said that his daughters, Sasha and Malia, had difficulty comprehending what all the hoopla was about; some of their classmates had gay parents and what's the big deal? (To be frank, my own children and grandchildren are of the same mindset. Most of the younger generation seem comfortable with the fact that homosexuality is innate and not a lifestyle "choice." Loving, committed relationships should be honored, regardless of the gender of those in the relationship.) Back to Bristol. She's upset that the president is making decisions based on what his daughters told him. Mr. Obama, she feels, is using his daughters as advisors (and, I presume, his sole advisors). That's not presidential, she says. Presidential is saying marriage is for one man and one woman, not that there's anything wrong with homosexuals (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). If the Obama girls had been younger, says Ms. Palin, Mr. Obama may have named Dora the Explorer as Attorney General. (By the way, according to Bristol, Sasha and Malia's co-conspirator in pushing the gay agenda on the president is the television show Glee.) Ms. Palin, now 20, is famously a single (read un-wed) mother who claims that Levi Johnson, the shallow end of the gene pool father of her child, is not a part of their son's life. (She is trying to get him to agree to giving her sole custody and wants to legally change her son's last name to Palin.) I'd rather not comment on her ability as a parent, because I really have no idea what kind of parent she is. Let me just snidely remark that she and son Tripp are scheduled to have their own reality show on the Lifetime network.
- Libraries in Wisconsin, Georgia, and Florida have banned the poorly-written Fifty Shades of Grey. The book, which has been called "mommy porn," is evidently very popular with "middle-aged women" -- and don't ask me to define what is a middle-aged woman. (I do know of one women's book club that has chosen the book as its next selection; some members are giddy with expectation.) Book banning, really? Cliched. And stupid.
- In the non-trainwreck arena, law enforcement officials today searched the Connecticut home and property of reputed mobster Robert Gentile, supposedly for information about the 1990 art theft at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Taken in the theft were thirteen pieces of art, including a Vermeer painting, five works by Degas, and Rembrandt's Storm on the Sea of Galilee (his only known seascape). I was at the Gardner a few weeks before the theft (no, I was not casing the joint) and was entranced by the Rembrandt painting; I could have easily stared at it the entire day. I don't know if this lead will pan out, but I hope so. People should be able to view these wonderful pieces of art again.
And that's the news -- very little of which was really worthwhile to print.