It seems pretty much everything is forgivable in show business today, you can steal fur coats from photo shoots, assault paparazzi outside hotels, and if you feel like it and if you have them on hand, you can even throw baked beans at them. You can leave your wife for your best friend’s daughter, star in sex tapes that you pay to have ” stolen ” from your house so your new movie can break box office bank, or you can overdose on the forth of July, go to Rehab and be the spokesperson for Mother’s Against Drunk Driving and not feel anything more than a week’s worth of heat on the internet, while behind closed doors people pat you on the back, buy you drinks and say ” wow, your career is really taking off”. I assume that’s what singer Chris Brown had in mind when he pulled his car over on a side street in LA and proceeded to beat R and B princess Rihanna to a bloody pulp back in February after a Clive Davis pre Grammy party where they had been photographed smiling and cuddling, from zero to sixty without repercussions, or so he thought. The first couple of days after they were “no shows” to the Grammy Awards where they were both scheduled to perform, “certain individuals” leaked to the press how there had been a fight, that Rihanna got jealous and Chris had no choice but to put her in her place, that he had been provoked, with the underlying score that she deserved it. The next few days those anonymous people on the internet that had decided she got exactly what she deserved were confronted with a leaked police photo of a battered and bruised Rihanna so swollen and battered there was no more doubt she was the victim and Chris Brown was the bad guy. So what did Chris Brown do? Well, he went jet skiing at Puff Daddy’s house. laughing it up for the photographers like he didn’t have a care in the world, not exactly what a person should do especially after they have repeated the cycle of violence ( Chris has stated repeatedly he and his mother suffered abuse at the hands of his step father). I know the man is not an actor, but today after seeing the online public apology he just released (five months way too late), I couldn’t help but wish he was more of one, because maybe then other young men wouldn’t think it’s ok to hit their girlfriends and that the worst thing that could happen is they are forced to go Jet skiing with Puff Daddy or P Diddy or whatever his name is. Maybe then they’d know the repercussions are far worse than reading a ghost written apology off cue cards, its having to look at yourself in the mirror.
Walking on the beach in Northern Bay Sands today with my nephews, the was sun so hot we burned our feet on the sand. As fast as we could we ran straight in the water and parked them in the big freezer I call the Atlantic and even through the numb legs and chattering teeth I couldn’t help but feel how lucky we all are. How lucky we are to have this coastline as our playground, that our children can run free into the water without a care in the world, playing with other kids, mixing sand and water and making sand castles and that the only thing we need worry about is the weather. On the drive home, blasting the radio with the windows down I felt like I was blindsided by a moose or been punched in the stomach . The windshield in front of me looked like a TV screen and all I could see was an image that was played and replayed all last week of a beautiful young boy, eloquent beyond his years, with tears running down his face explaining that he was sad because he and other day campers were ejected from a swimming club pool because they were black. I once had a late night debate with a man who tried to tell me racism is more prevalent in France then in the States, sadly I knew then he was wrong and am even sadder now that there is even more evidence that I was right. To think that in Philadelphia in 2009, even after the onslaught of massive negative public reaction, the managers of The Valley Swim Club remained steadfast and continued to refuse to allow these children to return and swim because it would change the “complexion” of the club ( their $1900 which had been paid in full was returned) and said it was all a misunderstanding, is simply staggering. Children, innocent little children just like our kids, grandkids or the ones we hope to bring into this world, just like the ones we love more than anyone else, that we know are perfect in every way ( even when they eat sand covered cheesies) to be so wounded because of ignorance and intolerance is heartbreaking and to think my big worry is squeezing my nephews too hard, makes me count mine and their blessings.
I was half way thru writing this week’s column when I took a brain break and decided to surf the channels a little. I stumbled upon a TV show with British chef Jamie Oliver, whom every woman loves because he knows how to cook, adores his wife and kids, swears like the world is ending and has some of the worst hair on the small screen and couldn’t care less (all very important qualities in a man in my opinion) and I felt like I had no choice but to scrap what I’d written and start again because I was so gutted. In the last few years Jamie has pretty much single handedly taken on the food industry in Britain, first off in the schools where– like in Canada–kids eat unrecognizable food that you couldn’t assign to an actual food group if you were paid, eating Mcdonald’s hand over fist, which in turn, turns them into adults who eat only one vegetable the ” french fries”. Anyone who knows me is well aware that I am obsessed with food and that I think about it, talk about it, cook it, eat it and dream about it when I really should be doing other things like working and when I decide to eat something that I know I shouldn’t , I enjoy it more than anyone has ever enjoyed anything, complete with sighs, ” oh my God’s” and all. Thing is everyone in the world has some kind of family history of heart disease, Cancer or Diabetes and you can’t help but have that in the back of your mind until it slowly but surely as we get older, squeezes up to the forefront and you are so convinced that every little ache and pain is “something bad” you’ve rewritten your will five times in as many years with the header “Show me a person that doesn’t think about dying and I’ll show you are person who isn’t really living”. Fifty years ago people ate whole foods and now most of what we as a society are eating is made in a lab and so filled with preservatives, it’d last a hundred years in the desert, not exactly colon cleansing stuff. So when you think you are eating the right things for your arteries and making the right decisions for you and your family and the rug gets pulled out from under you by people like Kelloggs who are trying to pass off Special K like it’s the modern woman’s guide to slimming your waistline, when like so many companies it has, in fact, silently doubled its sugar count in the last twenty years, you can’t help but feel angry. If I am going to eat five times the recommended daily intake of sugar and salt I want to enjoy it to the fullest, not waste it on so called healthy cereals and yogurt, I want nachos, I want a donut, I want ice cream with chocolate chips and I wanna know it’s bad for me before I read the label, so at least I can enjoy it.
Why is it the things that are begging to be lost end up hanging around forever and the things you really need are taken out from under your nose? A couple of weeks ago my bike got stolen outside of the studio in broad daylight, totaling three bikes I’ve lost to the universe in the last six years, a newbie I just got at the end of last summer, which I only got to take out for a spin about twenty times. It was goading at me from the porch all winter whispering ” don’t mind the snow and the slush, put on some boots and let’s go, you g g g g g girl”. After consulting the ever suspect weather report I finally dug it out from under the layers of cobwebs, dust and wanderlust that had been keeping it warm during a brutal winter and felt beyond free to be flying through the streets, getting where I needed to be on time, 100 calories lighter and all for free and then it went and got stolen. So earlier today I set out to buy a new bike and even though there are nicer, fancier and more comfortable bikes, all I wanted was my old one back, so much so that last weekend I went scouring the second hand bike shops in hope that I could find my “liberated” bike and buy it back. I knew that bike, she was my friend, and although it seems too soon to start a new relationship, I need a bike. It’s the opposite of my phone, which I have had for six years, (which, kind of like dog years, means my phone is about 89 years old), I’ve dropped it so many times, it’s the earth’s next wonder. The camera doesn’t work, I have to jiggle the plug for about ten mins to get it charging, the volume is stuck on stun, which means when anyone who isn’t a super quiet talker feels like I am at a Metallica concert and it tells time alternately ten minutes too fast or too slow. I figure on average, I either talk on it, text on it or just pull it out to check the battery charge an average of two hours and 13 mins a day ,which means for six years means I have used my phone for six thousand, three hundred, fourteen and a half hours. People with their fancy iphones and blackberrys look at me like I am toting around a relic form the museum but I Love this phone I know it’s inner workings( or not workings) inside out and I am so afraid to start all over again. So as I take my new bike with it’s comfy seat, deep purple frame and rain guards for a whip around the block and let the wind blanket my face I realize it might be time to leave my phone outside the studio with a sign that says ” please take” and if it’s still there in the morning, it’s meant to be mine, if not, I’m getting a new purple one for sure…