Andrew, Interrupted…

While still trying to recover from the shock of Andrew Breitbart’s death, I decided it was time to do something I’d meant to do, a long time ago. When I left LAX, last May, I was reading Andrew’s Righteous Indignation, and enjoying it immensely. It actually took me a month or two to read it, because I was so caught up in adjusting to the time change, the new country, and being away from home. But at the same time I downloaded it onto my Kindle, I had also downloaded Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon — The Case Against Celebrity, by Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner. And I never got around to reading it.

So, with no more hope that we will have many more of his books to read, I thought it was time to read what Andrew had taken time from his busy schedule to write. Well, I knew it was probably going to be a bit of a shocker, but I really hadn’t realized how much of a shock. This is Breitbart we’re talking about, after all. He was raised in the Hollywood scene, and knew it better than most, but he was still able to escape the confines of liberalism, and set out to defeat the mainstream media.

I will admit, up front, that I like to read People magazine. I’ve always enjoyed reading about the rich and famous, though I don’t take pleasure in their constant falls from grace. I like to think the best of people, though my realistic way of looking at things tells me that people aren’t really as good as they appear. Think about it this way… I like to read about the stars’ families and the back story on movies and such, but unlike many viewers of American Idol, I don’t enjoy the initial auditions. Making fun of people has never been my thing.

Well, as for not being as good as they appear, this book ripped that viewpoint wide open. I’ve been aware of the political idiocies of Hollywood, for many years, and wish they would stop trashing the people that support their livelihood. But this book went beyond politics. Hollywood’s so-called “values”, their families, their nannies, their schools… the whole reason (if it can even be explained) why they are what they are.

This book was written in 2005, so I found it interesting (some people will say, well, duh!) that some of the stars discussed are no longer with us. Michael Jackson receives plenty of coverage, and none of the writers expected him to live as long as he did. Whitney Houston is no longer with us, and she was displaying her downward spiral on television, at the time this book was published. Some of them have taken some huge paths towards having families, as this book was written when Angelina Jolie was still self-destructing in her marriage to Billy Bob Thornton. But has that changed her any, having a family? We’ll never know if there would’ve been a book sequel to this.

This book covers the whole gamut of subjects, drugs, sex, therapy, overdoses, rehab, crazy religions, and much more. Several of the chapters left me feeling a bit ill, like I’d just been rolling in a garbage dump. Talk about a serious reality dose. Eddie Murphy hiding his shenanigans with transvestites, while filming Dr. Dolittle? Swing kids clubs? I’m sorry if I’m an innocent, but I never knew that’s what that was. Some of the garbage that goes on, I’d never dreamed of!

I still remember when I liked Rosie O’Donnell. Hey, I was just a kid, but I remember her in The Flintstones and then Sleepless in Seattle. And then I remember her descent into rage. I remember when Whoopi Goldberg was well-liked, too. But did I ever know that Robin Williams ran off with the nanny? Or that those two comics, plus Billy Crystal, are responsible for stand-up comedy becoming politically correct? Unless you’re black, of course, because then, they’re allowed to say anything. Ask Chris Rock. Go on, ask if there’s a double standard. Of course, there are some shows (mostly cartoons) that buck the PC trend. I was never aware that South Park‘s goal is to mock Hollywood.

No, I’m not going to go into a lot of details. There are too many to remember, and I don’t even like thinking about some of it. But even if I still enjoy a family story in People (or the Sexiest Man issue), I’ll continue to remember that the mainstream media is still blocking our view of the truth. Behind most of those glossy, touched-up photos, there’s some serious dirt.

Thanks to both Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner, for not hiding the truth, even when it’s ugly.

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