Cheryl Pappas


Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Here’s to the return of our originality, our spirit, the positive, proactive mind and heart of each one of us.



Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Are we so distracted and exhausted by the celebrity gossip which has replaced the real news that television commercials can sell toxic products with our passive permission?

Are we so de-sensitized that deadly side effect warnings inside the sales pitch for elective drugs simply land, unregistered, in the dead zone of our protective deafness ?

Are we so removed from what we hear?

How Long Have We Not Been Listening?

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

The commercial for Pfizer’s stop-smoking drug, Chantix, blasts forth constantly from every television station, it seems.   The visual is a grandmotherly actress or grandfatherly actor smiling benignly while a loud voiceover drones the side-effect warnings of  “possible suicidal thoughts or actions, anxiety, panic, aggression, anger, mania, abnormal sensations, hallucinations, paranoia, or confusion“. 

This product, and anything with similar life-threatening potential, is so wrong, it’s out of control.

Have we stopped listening, altogether?   Are we so removed from what we hear?

The Glory Of Streisand

Friday, December 25th, 2009

You might be wondering:  What is that thing that some people of a certain age have about Streisand? (including but not limited to, her vast gay male audience). 

Listening to Barbara Streisand/A Christman Album.

How could this person, who is beyond self-stunned and perfectionistic, emit such unprecedented freedom of emotional depth and feeling?

Streisand’s voice was our invitation to a thrilling feeling.

Danny Glover “Grumbles”

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Someone in the media is trying to disappear actor Danny Glover’s intelligent thoughts on his disappointments with Obama.  Vocabulary Alert!   “Grumble” hardly discredits so fine a mind as Danny’s.      



Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Driving L.A. roads with the holiday crazed and dazed is a serious downer.  I know what you’re thinking.  One of these monsters in a Hummer could –just for the hell of it–crash through a lane of vulnerable sedans, just like that. But wait!  

It must be Sarturday Night Live’s radio holiday gift  joke,  suddenly booming  singer Andy Williams’s  Xmas commercial, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.  Now that’s something to smile about.

Can We Talk?

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Communication has devolved into tiny tweets.  What does this mean for relationships?

Is thoughtfulness passe?

Brittany Murphy

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Is Brittany Murphy a casualty of anorexic actressing?

Is she today’s example of the price of fame?

“I Can’t Get Enough!”

Friday, December 18th, 2009

We need to watch someone famous have a hideous life, and Tiger Woods delivers.   While you’re at it, media people, keep the revelations rolling, because the talk is running thin and I just can’t bear to turn back to myself.  What might I have to see if I left the flatscreened, sizzling Tiger debates for the bathroom mirror of my own image?  That seems to be how everyone is acting out and admitting to me, intimately or in passing. 

The other night, I ran into a family I slightly know who stopped me in a restaurant en route to my table.  Sitting across from the mother and father was their 40-something attorney son whose head was down and buried in the National Enquirer.  When he looked up, I playfully pointed to the gossip rag with a “What’s up with that?” expression, whereby he instantly flipped the cover over and I flipped an enormous white napkin over it.  He grinned and said in a matter-of-fact monotone, “I’m bored and tired in my days.  I can’t get enough Tiger.  I need more trashiness.  It’s how I unwind”.  It is moments like these where I wish I had a tape recorder.  The guy was adamant.  Tiger is currently sitting in for whatever help he probably needs.  

Why are we all so desperate to have the trains of our focus derailed, stalled, and repetitively rerouted that we can’t get enough Tiger?  This is not just a lone anecdote about one possibly depressed person desperate for personal escape.  Rachel Ray said the exact same thing on The Joy Behar Show last week.  “I can’t get enough Tiger!” she exclaimed.  What does this mean?  Do we have to find some public person to humiliate and rip apart so that we may feel whole?   Putting aside the question of who may have specifically masterminded the continuous loopy headlining of this story, providing a round of nationally-imposed ADD, in avoidance of god-knows-what (Afghanistan, anyone?), I do wonder. 

Why are perfectly reasonable talk show hosts(yes, they do exist) insisting that each guest be asked, out of nothing, what they think of Tiger being in or out of the Woods?  Besides being nakedly deliberate, awkward, and inorganic, to dredge up the subject is especially absurd when featured guests who are totally disconnected from Tiger Woods are demanded to weigh in on his sexuality to continue just plain on-air gossiping instead of well, having a real, worthwhile conversation. 

We’ve all seen these shows.  When you identify it next time, you may be surprised at the strength and obviousness  in imposing specific agenda topics, where guests are appearing for their own reasons and are redirected to the Tiger Tale.   The universe of discussion points and current events is rife with important matters.  We would be well served to hear real thought rather than the repetitive microwaved mindlessness of TigerSex and soulless reality-show circus performers. 

There is too much to say about why we feel the need to escape through trash, and too little space at this moment.  I’m cerainly not finished, nor is the media.  In the December 14, 2009, edition of  New York Magazine, the Tiger story unfurls into the matter of covering your public ass, should the need arise.   In the subtitled piece, “Tiger’s Real Mistake“, Dan Klores Communications president Sean Cassidy offers his best advice:  “When you leave holes in the story, it leaves room for interpretation….As a rule, the quicker you get in front of the truth the better.”   Here’s my advice:  Rather than getting “in front”, behind, or to varying degrees on the left or right, why don’t we finally stand INSIDE our truth?  We don’t need a lesson on how better to spin.  We need to know we’re spinning, and figure out why we are desperate for Tiger to spin us away.


Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

It is nearly 3AM, one hour from an insanely early ride to the airport to transport me  for a quick, intense, creative, injection of New York inspiration.  I have unhooked from the so-called “news” of the week.  The deadening recycled urgency of a married golfer’s sexual escapades are–to me– his business.  Alarming only because the story has roadkilled serious news reporting and become the headline story, revealing that people actually have no inclination to consider their own lives with a fraction of as much curiosity or excitement as those of falling celebrities.  Stunning.   There’s also a war a-coming, albeit with a barely discernable drumbeat, muted in lieu of screaming media heads debating whether the poor deserve health care,  media time that competes with the roll-out of still fresher lies from the state dinner crashers and their possible fate.   Will they be rewarded with a reality gig, or simply invited for endless rounds of talk show credibility opportunities?  There’s the upgrading of the career and reputation of Perez Hilton, who now appears on legitimate talk shows.  Featuring him on The View has invited him into what passes as a club of real journalists, or so he calls himself.   And then there’s the Palin-trashing Levi, who is also legitimized as a person, in desperate need  of a grammar coach, since  as media darling,  he appears everywhere, eager to brutally and casually butcher not only Palin, but the English language. Even the smiling photos with the state dinner crashers photographed laughing with Obama and Company trigger a rather benign comedy, reminding me of  unclothed emporers and the diminutive wizard revealed behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz to be a common bellowing imposter. Who are the heads of our government, who is Obama, and why is he looking more like a celebrity than the leader of our country?  Of course, now we know the serious unreality of the protection of the secret service and their job with security.  It’s just that at some point absurdity goes so far that it can’t help evolving into something comedic.  For example, the smiling poses of the dinner crashers are cheesy in the extreme to become the stuff of  giddy satire;  the antics of two crazy ageing kids acting out a “what the hell” moment.  Believe me, I know when to take a break.

The questions I’m taking with me are about the meaning and possibility of having a real life.  What does it mean that we study celebrities and the lies their lives reveal?  Do we take away the mimicry of irresponsibility?                                  What does it mean to feel your life?  How do we get back to feeling and away from posing?                                                     And finally, the biggie:  What is the meaning of true wealth?  Apparently, money is the least of it.

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