Hot Air: Wake Me When It’s Over

Worst Cases

You Guys Win, Okay?

Loads of “sovereign citizen” types say we have to arm ourselves against a tyrannical government. Of course, what they really mean is a government that shares their tax dollars with people they despise, like dark-skinned folks and Muslims and speakers of Spanish.

Similar types also say we must arm ourselves for the day when our holy land’s society breaks down, when the government collapses and the bad guys rule the streets and the fields.

Me? I’ll have no interest in hanging around should either of these potentialities come to be. The gun-toting militias and “sovereign citizens” would be doing me and my loved ones a favor by icing us with nice, clean kill shots to the brain. They can have the spoils, such as they may be.

Hit Me!

On that note, a friend revealed the other day that her brother-in-law is stockpiling canned and otherwise hermetically-sealed foodstuffs because he’s sure nuclear war is about to break out any minute.

Same deal. Should cartoon-character nemeses President Gag and Kim Jong-un press their respective launch buttons my fondest wish is an N. Korean ICBM’s payload would score a direct hit on my cranium. I don’t care to see the flash.

Is life so precious any sentient being would want to live it in a nuclear wasteland or a madhouse ruled by armed dick-wavers?

Diagnosis

If you stockpile guns, including semi-automatic and fully automatic firearms, you are, de facto, a crazy emm-effer and, effectively, a danger to society.

Priorities

Here are a few quick stats:

  1. The American Heart Association in 2015 said some 70 percent of the citizenry of this holy land either don’t know or have forgotten how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.
  2. Last November the AHA said only 18 percent of American adults have received up-to-date training and certification in CPR.
  3. At the same time the AHA revealed factoid No. 2, the Pew Research Center found that nearly half of American white males (48%) own at least one gun.

The conclusion? I’ll let you draw your own.

A Hard Fall

I was digging through boxes in the garage the other day and came upon some old DVDs. One was a boxed set of the best of the Larry Sanders Show, one of my hands-down favorite television programs of all time, right up there with Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Better Call Saul, Mystery Science Theater 3000, the Addams Family, and any of those BBC nature productions with David Attenborough.

So, of course, I had to binge watch the Sanders episodes and one of them featured a guest appearance by Brett Butler.

Now, Butler was the top of the heap for all those 1990s stand-up comics who made it so big they were given their own TV sitcoms. She and Roseanne Barr fought it out for top dog status in the Neilsen ratings for several years. Butler’s Grace Under Fire ranked fifth and fourth in the Neilsens in its first two years on ABC. It was the story of a young, decidedly unglamorous woman who’d ditched her abusive husband and, with her three kids, struck out on her own. It was a cultural touchstone at the time, celebrating the independent woman as well as the working-class southerner. By the end of 1995, Butler was riding a wave that, it seemed, would last forever.

It didn’t. Flash forward to 2017, the living room of Chez Big Mike, she walked onto a scene in the Sanders Show, and I was jarred. Holy smoke, I said to The Loved One, what the hell ever happened to her?

Butler

Natch, I had to find out. It turns out poor Brett Butler carried a monkey on her back. She developed an addiction to painkillers and by the show’s third season, supporting actors started dropping from the cast. According to the mother of one child actor who’d appeared as the son in the show, Butler had flashed her breasts at him. He was 12 years old at the time. Other actors complained of abusive, irrational behavior on the star’s part. By 1998, ABC couldn’t rid itself of Butler quick enough, firing her and cancelling the show. Its rating for the 1997-98 season had fallen to No. 68.

A sad tale, sure, but scads of Hollywood types have hit the skids and somehow found a way to claw back to the top. Butler never did. Here’s where the real sadness comes in: exiled from H-wood, Butler retreated to her farm in Georgia, living there with her 15 pets until all her money ran out. She had to give up the farm and eventually wound up homeless, living for a while in a shelter.

Now Butler’s trying to make a comeback. She does some stand-up in LA — no word on the crowds she does or doesn’t draw — and at one point tried to peddle a sitcom idea based on a woman who has psychic abilities, a talent Butler herself claims to possess.

Butler’s life story would have been perfect for one of those old Lifetime cable channel tearjerkers, only, apparently, she hasn’t gotten back to the top yet. Who knows if she ever will?

I dunno about you, but I’ve never envied any TV and/or movie stars. Hollywood’s a racket that strips its participants of way too much humanity and decency, even if success in the business does allow one the purchase of a farm in Georgia and other trophies of wealth.

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