A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Monday, November 24, 2003 :::
The promised review of the situation in Iraq must wait. Getting out of town for Thanksgiving is proving formidable. However, the grizzly scene in Masul, previously thought to be the paradigm for effective occupation, should bring us up short. Two of our boys were shot as they sat idling in traffic, and then were mutilated by the crowd. The Iraqi's, by all accounts, want us to stay, but they do not like us. There is a difference. And the terrorists are having their effect. What is means is, this is indeed a long, hard slog.

Nobody said that in March.

More very soon.

Did anyone else notice what a bad week it has been for former child stars? Brittany or however you spell it is showing the strains, although they are the strains of being a pop sensation. A not-so-adulatory cover story on Entertainment Weekly described how annoying people are finding her. But she became world famous at 17, and if you stop a minute and think what you were like at 17, perhaps her problems seem more natural. She is immensely talented and, what's the word, a total babe, even if A Mind That Suits would not really like to spend much time in a room with her. (A sign of age is when you quickly make the calculation of the costs and benefits of physical attraction. )

Hilary Duff, also immensely talented, is bounding back from her publicized split with Disney following the demise of the Lizzie McGuire business. She has released an album, but, unless she is really talented, she should rely on physical comedy. She is the next Lucille Ball, and look how far it took dear old bitchy Lucy.

The guys did not fair so well. About Michael Jackson, little more can be said, except that we have an answer to the question about what kind of parent allows their child to spend time with him. The affidavit from the boy whose father brought charges in 1993 is all over the Internet, though you will not find it linked here. Jackson's camp spread the rumor after the settlement that the sum for which the father settled was about the same as for a film project the father wanted to do. The affidavit makes it clear that the father found out what was going on, snatched custody from the irresponsible mother (and, really, how often does that happen) and settled for an amount that should pay for psychiatrists and take care of the now 23-year-old lad for the rest of his life. As a friend pointed out, what's going to help the kid more, a jail term for Whacko Jacko or $40 million.

Which does not answer the question of what will benefit other people's sons. But if you find the affidavit and read it, you will see that at least one mother was motivated by some unnamed instincts other than the ones that a mother should follow.

But perhaps saddest, exactly because it seems of the least consequence, was the unexpected passing of Jonathan Brandis by his own hand. If you have trouble placing the name, you are not alone. Indeed, this writer had to do some head scratching when the headline popped up on line. He played Lucas Wolencsek (the Wesley Crusher part) on Seaquest DSV for a couple of years, which role propelled him to the level of teen idol for about four minutes. He was on a lot of lunch boxes and notebooks. (It was only in thinking about it that saying "the Wesley Crusher part" seems natural, because Seaquest DSV really was just Star Trek--The Next Generation underwater. Perhaps Gene Roddenberry wouldn't let Steven Spielberg direct an episode or something, so he just made his own version.)

Young Mr. Brandis had the kind of looks that this writer, as a youngster himself, described as "D-nav," i.e., "definitely not a virgin." Smooth cheeked and soul-eyed, that Leonardo di Caprio thing that seduces high school girls, fools mothers, and drives other boys to enraged envy. His run at the top was very brief, but he had a very good career in serious independnt films afterwards and in cartoons as a voice. But perhaps the taste of the frenzy of reknown spoiled him for ordinary life. Or perhaps it was something else. He was only 27. Very, very sad, but it makes you think, Mothers, don't let your boys become child stars.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 6:28 PM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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