Diary of a Mad County

Photo by Keith MayWEDNESDAY, MARCH 23 As we bid a grudging goodbye to one long-running OC soap opera, the Haidl trial—”Lo,how will we now fill our Letters page?” “Verily, four words: Ask a Lesbian Mexican”—Fox renews another. TheO.C., which in this second season has jumped the shark so many times the shark's getting whiplash (which is saying something since sharks don't have necks. Or souls), has been a never-ending parade of apparently straight girls suddenly turning into lesbians, along with the occasional shopping-mall sleepover and Spidermanhomage. The renewal comes with a promise from producers for, “much more lesbo action, perhaps a reach around here or there, and maybe one of the characters gets a robot friend only they can see for some reason, and perhaps the robot is gay and able to solve the straight person's romantic problems.” Asked if there was a possibility the robot could be a lesbian, producers said, “What? That would be ridiculous.” Still, if you're an O.C.fan, I wouldn't get too comfortable about a third season, since the woman announcing it, FoxEntertainmentpresident GailBermanthen announced she's bolting to ParamountPicturesto head the studio's just created “Instantaneous Lesbian” division, designed to reinvigorate the careers of such straight actresses as HalleBerry,MegRyanand JudeLaw.

THURSDAY, MARCH 24 Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrichspeaks at the NixonLibraryandLaffFactoryand makes a plea for preserving America's “cultural DNA,” confusing many of the 770 attendees, most of whom were born before DNA was invented. Gingrich argues that America's children are in danger of “being embarrassed to use the flag or mention God.” An OrangeCounty Registerstory quotes LorettaOgden,70, of Stanton, saying Gingrich is “not afraid to say anything,” and indeed it takes a man of certain courage to argue for God and the flag when both are under constant attack from that divorced guy in San Francisco. Gingrich also said that “really large reform always comes from the country and moves to the capital—whether you're talking about the Federalists or the rise of the Republicans,” garnering a huge response from the crowd, many of whom were charter members of both parties. “He reminds me of a young William McKinley,” gushed DeliaBice,173. “Boy was it hard keeping that kid's finger out of his nose when I baby-sat him.” Another, HoraceGervais-Throckmorton,37-squared, said Gingrich was “presidential material, definitely,” adding, “Kill the Hun!”

FRIDAY, MARCH 25 Happy Good Friday; death certainly is in the air. Not only You-Know-Who's, but the controversy surrounding TerriSchiavo.And like the soldiers who cast lots for Christ's robes, ghoulish opportunists abound. Ghoulish? Opportunist? Disgusting? Did someone say LouSheldon?ANewYorkTimesstory published today notes that Sheldon's Anaheim-based TraditionalValuesCoalitionwebsite pleads to “Help Save Terri Schiavo's Life!” and then, next to a link to the website of Schiavo's parents' foundation, there's a come-on to “become an active supporter of the Traditional Values Coalition by pledging a monthly gift.” Sheldon is quoted in the story saying the Schiavo affair has “galvanized people the way nothing could have done in an off-election year. That is what I see as the blessing that dear Terri's life is offering to the conservative Christian movement in America.” I'm sure Terri Schiavo and her family are happy to know that they have had such an effect, you know, in an off-election year, especially with an organization like TVC that, along with pleas for Terri's life, is running a feature on “homosexual urban legends.” I wonder if they've got that one about RodStewartand the stomach pump. You know . . .

SATURDAY, MARCH 26 Someone sent me something written by Los AngelesTimesOC columnist Dana Parsons,and needless to say, I was stunned since I thought all that was left of the LA Times in Orange County was a P.O. Box and some filing cabinets left on the curb with a handwritten “Free” sign taped on them. The Parsons column was about the just-concluded Haidl trial, a case he had long-argued should never have gone to trial because the whole thing was so unseemly and ugly and involved, ahem,s-e-x. With the trial over, Parsons says it should serve as a “cautionary tale for sexually promiscuous teens—boys and girls alike.” See how he worked in the “girls” thing? Slick. He later wrote in the same column that the case “should send a loud and clear message through TheO.C.teen scene and beyond. And that message has to be: to girls who think it's cool or necessary to engage in promiscuous sex, think of JaneDoe.”Uh, dingus, let me just set you straight on something. Teenagers are promiscuous. I don't know if you had a crippling case of acne in high school, but they have always been promiscuous. They will always be promiscuous. (Get this, Dana, some of them are having sex right now—eeeewwww—perhaps near food.) The AIDS epidemic did nothing to stop teenagers from having sex. The Haidl case won't, either. Do you know why? Because they are having SEX, not shoving pool cues and bottles into their passed-out partners. Do you see the difference? This is why, Dana, the Haidl case is NOT ABOUT SEX. Or did you miss the memo circulating the past 30 years that clearly states rape is not a sex crime, but one of power and abuse. The convicted did this to this girl, not for sexual gratification, but because they could, because they had power over her, because she was not a human being to them, so they RAPED HER, you know, the way you have in a bunch of columns including this one, blaming her for what happened.

SUNDAY, MARCH 27 On this, the holiest day in Christendom, I would like to thank my Lord and Saviorfor teaching us a great lesson yesterday. After the LibertyUniversitywomen's basketball beat favored DePaul—a Catholic university—in the second round of the NCAA playoffs, center KatieFeenstrasaid, “We have the Lord on our side; that's the biggest strength that we have. He gave us strength last night and gave us the talent to play, and we're just so thankful and blessed, and we don't have any fear of going up against DePaul.” On Saturday, Liberty—known by the nickname “Flames” for its high ratio of flamboyant gay students—gets appropriately bitch-slapped 90-48 by LSU,a school located in a state—Louisiana—where voodoo is the official religion. Ha! Where's your Messiahnow? Oh, there he is, draining another three-pointer for LSU.

MONDAY, MARCH 28 Your Los Angeles Lakersannounce they will play a preseason game Oct. 25 at the Arrowhead Pond. Rumor is the team will hold a contest in the summer, with the winner receiving two tickets to the game. Second place is season tickets.

TUESDAY, MARCH 29 News comes that Terri Schiavo's parents have authorized ResponseUnlimited,a conservative direct-mailing firm, to sell a mailing list of their financial supporters, making it likely that the thousands who were moved by their ordeal will soon receive a steady stream of solicitations from anti-abortion and conservative groups. Ghoulish? Opportunist? Disgusting? Did someone say Lou Sheldon? Actually, surprisingly, the deal—in which Response Unlimited will demand $150 per month for 6,000 names and $500 per month for 4,000 sympathetic e-mail addresses—was not brokered by Lou Sheldon. No, it was done by Phil Sheldon, his son. Please, God, tell me the TVC has a basketball team.


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