Quick-Fix Vanity Machine

Ego is the new rock star

If This Is Culture Then Count Me In

So, some things have happened lately that seem more important than they probably are.

Okay, so I know everyone else has covered this to death, but Anna Nicole Smith died. I don’t know, but this feels like some sort of alternate reality cultural watershed moment. I mean, it seems like it should be important, but really it’s not at all. But no matter how frequently you remind yourself of that it’s still there, hanging on despite our best efforts.
Now, for my money (and, okay, this is overly harsh I admit), it seems that ANS should have croaked herself right after the Supreme Court hearing. Think about it, no really. The TrimSpa ads would have had to use CGI technology to render her curvascious figure like some sort of busty, trashy John Wayne (and they would have). Her first son’s death would have been fall-out from her turbulent and heady life. Also, her second child would have been a great incubator baby. Plus, test-tube kid would have been a great protege for Francis Bean Cobain.
Also, and I may only believe this because I’m drunk right now, how post-modern is the nickname ANS? I mean, first of all, who else is known only by their full intials? Second of all, it’s so self-referential as to be immediately redundant and at the same time completely encapsulates exactly what Anna meant to us. Think about it like this, if you nick name a friend “Spanky” because you once caught him tied to a bed beaing beaten by a transexual stripper, then that name represents something fundamental about your friend, his personality and who he is. To just refer to someone as their initials however suggests that they are nothing more than themselves. They are divorced from any sort of context or environment and merely represent themselves. And being separated from any external factors, they themelves represent nothing, which makes them a pefect cipher for us. All in all, I think that’s a pretty good legacy for a gold-digger.

Second observation: My wife today stopped at a Walden’s bookstore and pre-ordered her copy of the seventh (and final) Harry Potter book. Apparently, when she reserved it, the clerk asked her if she wanted Snape to end up being a good guy or a bad guy. Being an optimist (snort of laughter here), my beautiful bride decided that she wanted Snape vindicated and clothed in white. After stating her preference she was given a bumper sticker that read “Snap is a Hero”. She then asked what she would have gotten if she wished Snape to be a villian. That bumper sticker apparently reads, “Snape is a Very Bad Man”. I think the period between now and the release of Harry Potter and the Closet of Shame (or whatever) is going to be this generation’s “Who shot J.R.” moment. More literary? Yes. More consequential? Not at all.


February 11, 2007 - Posted by | Society


  1. On nicknames:

    1. Presidents. Anyone who was President of the United States of America gets to be known by their initials, unless they were one of the two most important Presidents of all time.

    2. I felt a little giddy thrill when you referred to your wife. Hee! It makes me happy.

    3. How dare you tell everyone my nickname’s backstory?!

    Comment by James | February 11, 2007 | Reply

  2. Snape is a Hero….I hope. That’s rough. They should have a third and fourth option: Harry Dies or Harry Marries Jenny. But, Oh I’m so excited about that friggin book.

    And I’m confused about nickname comment 1 up above. All I’ve got is TR, FDR, JFK, LBJ, and I guess W counts. Ronald Reagan would be funny. RWR. Slur that. It’s great.

    Comment by Carman | February 11, 2007 | Reply

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