Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ooh-Hoo-Hoooo, That's Good Timing!

So Bob Herbert has a piece in the New York Times op-ed today (didn't read it because it's Times Select, and , uh-uh) and from the lede in the online edition, I assume it's about how James Brown and Gerald Ford held the answers to questions we need to ask today.

I'm again going to assume these questions are not, respectively, 1)"Who was the funkiest man in America?" and 2)"Who was the squarest man in America?" because, seriously, we hold these truths to be self-evident.

My objection isn't his piece itself, since I haven't read it, but rather the kind of shoehorning-by-happenstance article this appears to be, one that's all too common in media outlets these days. the fact that Brown and Ford did blah blah and represent a blah blah far too seldom seen in blah blah smacks entirely of pop-cult opportunism. Just because they died at the same time there's some nexus of connectivity to which they hold some key? Yeah. Again, without reading it, I can already tell what's up with that. If these two were the avatars of blah blah, and it's worth writing about their contributions to blah blah, then why didn't somebody do it before they happened to be famous people who died within a week of each other? Because under these circumstances, that gets the Wonky Eye Of Cynicism.

Roger Ebert writes an appreciation of his Two Favorite Movie Stars, Robert Mitchum and Jimmy Stewart, when they die within a week or so, fine, he's a great writer, and it's movie stuff. But if Brown and Ford truly were more than just a wacky cop movie, surely we should have heard about it before now, no? Because in the alternative it just looks like an excuse to sell papers, and a lazy, cheap, Entertainment-Weekly-inspired excuse at that.


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