The Rant 

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Random thoughts on a random week from a random kind of guy who is exhausted from the heat and the oil spill and the nature of mass media and the cat-killing coyote in Central Gardens and the world of celebrity and mean politics and so forth and so on:

I still don't know exactly who Lindsay Lohan is or why she is so damned famous. I know she has been in some movies and probably tweets a lot, but why the big fuss and media circus? It's not like she's Liz Taylor. And now she is whining because she got a little, tiny amount of jail time because she was offered a chance to get counseling — well, actually, ordered to — following a felony conviction and she couldn't find the time to go to one class? And she couldn't appear in court because she was at the Cannes Film Festival and "lost" her passport? Talk about clogging the system. And keeping the media from reporting real news, not that many of them would anyway. She better realize how lucky she is. In Memphis, it might take 90 days to process a post-it note.

And tell me this: Has a young African-American girl or boy not gone missing from home in the last five years? I guess not, because among the seemingly countless stories about missing children that the media latches onto like a barnacle on a ship's hull (and as well they should), I don't recall reading any national print news or seeing any national television coverage about anyone who happened to be African-American. Not trying to make missing children a racial issue, but just think about it.

I have indoor-outdoor cats (hey, they were rescue cats and when I tried to keep them inside one of them hurled its body at a window and broke it to get out), so I am now petrified about that coyote on the loose in Midtown getting one of them. I don't want anyone to hurt the coyote, but I hope they can catch it and release it into the wild. I have to check on my cats every few hours to make sure they are all on the front porch, which I recently renamed "Kitty City." This was while singing my new song, "I Know Some Kittens With Whom I'm Smitten." Sometimes I think I have way too much time on my hands.

There is also proof of this by way of my obsession with my new Jack Lalanne Power Juicer, which I purchased while watching his infomercial about them. I have become a vegetable hoarder. Even the employees and customers at Easy Way raise their eyebrows when they see me checking out. I have vast quantities of beets, carrots, celery, ginger, cucumbers, kiwis, oranges, parsley, and anything else that can be shoved down that little chute and turned instantly into juice. Hell, I made a cocktail the other day with fresh celery juice. Guess that kind of defeats the purpose of drinking healthy vegetable juice, but sometimes a dude has to do what a dude has to do. The cats hate it, because juicing is time spent not paying attention to them, and my friends are likely sick of me talking about it and cringe when they see me coming. I am a juicing pariah and have even taken a strong stand against V-8 Juice, which I used to devour like a starved animal. Now I can taste only the salt and preservatives in it. Do you think I might be losing my grip? Don't answer that.

Big thanks and shout-out to Mayor A C Wharton for inviting my precious Berklee College of Music-bound Stax Music Academy students to his office last week to congratulate them on their summer scholarships, wish them well in their travels and studies, and thank them for being such great ambassadors for Memphis. He is all class. Always has been.

Finally, a confession: I also wasn't sure who this Lady Gaga person was and was confused about all the fuss about her too. More Facebook and Twitter fans than Barack Obama? A record audience of some 20,000 people lining the streets of New York City to see her live on the Today show? Well, I decided to watch her so I could rant about the silliness of it all and — as much as I hate to admit this, even though I have already ruined my reputation by telling you about my juicing obsession — I liked her. Yes, I liked her. She can sing. She seems pretty decent. She is entertaining on stage. I could do without some of the spectacle and would like to see how she is in a small and smoky nightclub, but I was pleasantly surprised.

I have to go to the drugstore and stabilize myself. Have a great week. And happy late birthday to Mavis Staples and Kirk Whalum, who both got a little bit younger last weekend.

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