Friday, May 13, 2005

This Post Is NOT About Larry King

Right now, Larry King is interviewing that supermodel, Petra Nemcova, who was caught in the South Asian tsunami. Since beautiful people are more important than the rest of us, her tragedy gets a national television broadcast while the millions of funny-language speaking, weird skin-colored South Asian natives who watched their homeland get washed away while they were busy getting rich Western tourists another mojito don't get shit. Nemcova's boyfriend died in the tsunami which, when I'm not in existentialist mode, is too bad. But the other quarter million deaths the tsunami caused are no less tragic, and I think the lowest common denominator, self-aggrandizing, and (in the case of Starr Jones) gluttonous media tends to forget that.

When I am in existentialist mode, of course, the boyfriend's death was inevitable and at least he got to bone a supermodel before he went.

I'm sure that Nemcova's experience was gut-wrenching for her, but for me, the media consumer, it doesn't really stand out against the larger tragedy. Until Larry and his superfluous cream rinse got involved and somehow chose to make her the poster child for the tsunami. Maybe Maxim magazine was publishing the posters when they're not too busy writing up "Hot 100" lists. Another day, I might blame Larry
— just as how, every day, I blame Starr — but right now I'm more interested in how folks rise to prominence. Like with the whole Jennifer Wilbanks thing: why'd the media choose her to symbolize every woman who got cold feet before her wedding?

I had a vision of my future self a few days back, and now I'm worried that I'll be spending the rest of my life fixing folks' websites — maybe even forever fixing Ken's website — and I'll never rise above that. I really wonder what I have to do to become someone important in the world of, uh, commercial web design. I think the first thing I've gotta do is get out of the world of commercial web design.

My hero in this matter is Savonarola, who, in case you forgot your European history, ruled Florence after the populace kicked the Medici out of the city in 1491. Of course, Savonarola stood for everything I'm against — book burning, making sodomy a capital offense, public hectoring — but aside from that, we're pretty similar. We were both precocous kids, avid readers who secluded ourselves from the world after being unable to get a date. We both rail against the plutocrats ruining society and advocate our own plans for utopian bliss. The only real difference between us is that people listened to Savonarola... and that my plans for utopian bliss would actually lead to utopian bliss as opposed to student riots.

Still, if I could be where Savonarola was, that would be sweet. Of course, eventually the people of Florence hanged him — and burned him alive at the same time. But until that happened, I bet his life ruled!