Friday, February 09, 2007

On Anna Nicole

When the news of Anna Nicole’s unfortunate demise hit the bandwidths yesterday, it was a reminder to me of one of the greatest things the internet has done: keep those of us locked in an office all day in the loop (the other thing that reminds me of this is that people who work in ari-conditioned offices are way more likely to know what the high temperature for the day is supposed to be).
The first thing that happened was that my cubicle-neighbor overheard people in the cubicles on the other side of her talking about it. She told me, and while I tried to access the CBS News link on gawker, I got an email from another coworker saying Anna Nicole had died. I forwarded that to a third coworker, who emailed back saying, “I know! I just heard!” I was on my way to a meeting, and shortly after showing up someone walked into the office we were in and said, “Did you hear about Anna Nicole dying?” Which prompted a long discussion. Then the office-dweller and I got on speakerphone with a designer, who, halfway into the conversation said, “hold on, Anna Nicole Smith just died!” After that someone else came into the office to tell us the news, and when I got back to my desk I had another email about it.
So why all the fuss? Sure, it’s sad, but what is it about the giggly, trashy, beautiful, fake-boobed, rich celebrity that makes her death more noteworthy to my office than any news event of recent memory?
I couldn’t figure it out until I called a friend this morning and she said, “I just found out Anna Nicole Smith died, and I’m kind of bummed.” (She works at a recording studio, where I guess people don’t sit in front of the internet and gossip all day.) I told her about the commotion at my office and asked her what she thought, and she hit the nail right on the head.
People (Americans especially) loved Anna Nicole because she triumphed over adversity. Sure she married a rich, old man just for his money, but when her stepson tried to take that money away, what did she do? She didn’t just go back to her trailer and slip into obscurity until appearing in an episode of COPS. She got even bigger boobs and took them all the way to the Supreme Fucking Court. She got a reality show before every star had one, and she never once apologized for being inappropriate, having a shitload of cash, or making out with Margaret Cho. And when she got pregnant, who didn’t secretly love the fact that she went and told whoever would be the best baby daddy that it was his kid? And who, if they had the means, wouldn’t want to just run off and stay in the Bahamas when this tactic got challenged? And after the tragic death of your son, who wouldn’t want to go have a non-legally binding commitment ceremony with a man who clearly worships you?
What my friend said was, “People wanted to see Anna Nicole triumph again.” Why? Because whether we like it or not, just like Marilyn Monroe (whom she was famous for parodying), Anna Nicole was a true American icon. And I like to think that she knew it.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


It's probably because I'm craving childhood, but what I wouldn't give for the sound of cheesy goodness escaping the confines of its crusty shell and sizzling on the baking sheet below it. As a child, I wasn't aloud to stick my hands in the oven (a good rule, I think), so I would monitor the pizza rolls carefully, then yell "Mom!!!! They're oozing, they're oozing!!" and she would come into the kitchen and take them out for me. Mom was always good like that—she'd come wipe my butt when I called, too.
So until I find some pizza rolls (and I'm not talking about those newfangled "chicken enchilada" kinds), I'll just have to make due with the most comprehensive pizza roll review I've ever seen (I can only imagine what part two is going to be like!)