Dr. Laura is resigning, to spend time in a place where she can speak “what’s on my mind, and in my heart,” and use the N-word whenever she wants, and otherwise live in a land free of criticism of any sort, where all the eyes are smiling and every pair of hands applauds every word that comes out of her empty skull. Which is to say, Santa Barbara.
I wish I could feel happier about this. I would have been over the moon if this had happened a decade ago, but face it — this lady is at least that long past her sell-by date, and this exit is sort of pathetic. She must be grateful to at least get to go out via Larry King (of course) and not in a press release that would run in the back pages of a trade magazine, picked up by the AP for a “where are they now” feature.
I first tuned her in after reading a respectful profile of her in Newsweek magazine. Kate was a baby then, and Laura Schlessinger was getting a little positive ink out of being a radio therapist who didn’t hold your virtual hand and say there, there — she would kick your ass and tell you to take some responsibility. This was a new thing at the time. I was working partly from home, trying to maximize my time with my wee one, so I thought, OK, let’s see what this lady’s about.
The respectful profile must have gone to her head, because she was already screechy and insufferable, and getting more so, seemingly by the day, a by-the-book fame monster and narcissist. This was during…what was her thing at the time? Oh, right: Orthodox Judaism. No more of that secular wishy-washy shit for her, she was going to stay kosher, and be more observant than any Jew in the world. Another Jewish woman called in: She had three kids under 5; would it be OK to dispense with the leave-your-oven-on-all-day thing for Shabbos, just until the children were old enough to leave the oven alone? No! No, you may not! You either get with Judaism all the way, or you get out! The world has enough compromisers! God says no work on Saturday, and if the rabbi says turning the oven on is work, then you learn to submit!
I listened to this, and thought, “I’d bet a thousand bucks this crazy bitch drives to the synagogue.”
You might wonder why I kept listening. I have a weakness for insane people who live their insanity publicly, and try to dress it up as something else. True (and doubtless retold) story: I first heard Rush Limbaugh months before he broke out nationally; our local talk station was run by the two cheapest people in the world, and they were among the very first to take a chance on this new talker. I listened for five minutes and said, “This is a fat guy who cannot score with chicks.” For Dr. Laura, I said, “Sounds like someone is still chasing daddy’s approval, and the fact daddy is dead and buried isn’t going to stop her.”
Some time later, I read another profile, in which Ms. Laura revealed her father once said she was nothing special to look at, that her sister was the lucky recipient of her mother’s great-beauty genes, and she’d never turn a man’s head. Imagine my smug satisfaction at learning Laura was estranged from both her mother and her sister, and that she had gotten her big break in radio by sleeping with a man decades older than her, the one who took those nude photos of her. Although I shouldn’t have been smug. It’s no great talent to read an open book.
I mentioned the male who spawned this creature was already dead by then. With her utter lack of self-knowledge (which is not the same thing as self-obsession), that means our Miss Laura will always be chasing the next thing. She shed Judaism sometime after she discovered yacht racing, which often happen on Saturdays, and G-d considers trimming sails work. She gave up hectoring working mothers after her own kid grew up, and started hectoring wives. (If your husband is unhappy, it is YOUR fault. Etc.) And when her kid turned into a monster, she… Well, I don’t know what she did. I had long since stopped listening, and as I said before, she now runs in the wee hours, and ultimately, who gives a shit? She has her millions, her sailboats, and if she hasn’t much of an audience anymore, it isn’t for lack of trying.
Now she can sliiiiide into full retirement and comfortable obscurity, there to await the death of her much-older (ha ha!) husband, and god-knows-what from her horrible son, and then, finally, the rancid breath of the Reaper himself. “It’s time, Laura,” he’ll whisper, as he will to us all. What will she say in reply?
“Daddy? Is that you?”
Bonus, as we move into the bloggage: Note how weird her lower face looks in this clip from the King interview. Is that fillers, Botox, or both?
Speaking of women who cannot get enough attention, finally, the Taiwanese animators meet a subject worthy of their art — $P. An absolute, can’t-miss classic.
A harsher look at James Kilpatrick, from one of Ta-Nahesi Coates’ stable.
And now the coffee is kicking in, and I feel — damn! — pretty good. Have a great Wednesday.