The Rant 

And, perhaps most ludicrous of all, why they publish or broadcast e-mails and blogs from anyone out there who is among the millions of lemmings with an opinion about the matter. Oops. I think I just described my own column! It's like the American jury system. Just as anyone who chooses to do so can now post an opinion on the Internet via their blog, almost anyone can be called for jury duty and decide the fate of someone on trial. Yes, even that person with the Confederate flag and gun-rack in the back window of his pickup truck who has to be told not to dip any Skoal in the courtroom. You bet. That person could be deciding your fate -- whether you are guilty or innocent -- as you are judged by a jury of your "peers." What crackhead came up with this scheme? Here's something even scarier: I recently awoke in the middle of the night with the television on, and there was some kind of show where people phoned in and were asked by the hosts if they were part of the Lachanlach family. I couldn't see what was going on because I wasn't wearing my glasses and there was a kitten on my face, but the people kept saying that, yes, they were part of that family and had been for years. I kept thinking, well, unless you married in, would you not have been a member of that family since birth? And they kept talking about food-storage containers, so I figured it was some bizarre Scottish clan whose lives revolved around Tupperware, for reasons I didn't even want to know. But when the kitten lunged to attack the nearest upholstered chair, I finally was able to focus on the television. It seems I had rolled over on the remote control and was watching, I honestly believe for the first time, the QVC channel. The people calling in were actually part of the "Lock and Lock family," Lock and Lock being a special kind of plastic food-storage "system" that doesn't require "burping" the containers. The hosts, whose physical appearance defies description, were filling the containers with cotton candy and submerging them in water to show they were waterproof and then grabbing the cotton candy back out of the containers and eating it like they had been starved for days. And people were calling in like crazy, almost crying about how happy they were to be a part of this "family." Now. If you were on trial for something in a court of law, do you really think it would be fair to have someone from the Lock and Lock family deliberating your guilt or innocence, when you know they just want to get the hell back home and store some food? But I digress. I suppose this all came to me while thinking about Enron's Ken Lay going on trial and hoping that he doesn't get off because some Lock and Lock family members are on the jury and the prosecutors just can't get them to fully understand his crime. Back to the topic of media obsession, now that there aren't any more miners trapped for the time being: Every time I flip on the news there seems to be a serious "news report" about James Frey and his book A Million Little Pieces. I Googled that sucker and came up with more than 46 MILLION hits. I assume the national obsession has something to do with the fact that he apparently duped and embarrassed the great and mighty Oprah, thereby knocking her down a couple of inches off her God-complex soapbox. And the masses are now whining that it was a personal attack on those who read the book and believed all of it to be true. They'll never be able to trust a work of nonfiction or a memoir again! Their worlds are ruined! Recovering drug addicts are racing back to the crack dealer! Well, would someone please tell them to GET A LIFE! It was a book. But you just better be careful about what you read on this page from now on. When I say I don't like Dick Cheney and that he is an old sourpuss, what I really mean is that he is a charming, caring, always-smiling, cheerful man who you can trust with all of your being. Just like the cotton candy in your Lock and Lock.

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