Opinion » The Rant

The Rant



I admit to being way behind the curve on "celebrity" happenings around the world, because I find them utterly tedious, but I am going to ask this question before I spend part of my life conducting a Google search on the matter: Who are Tareq and Michaele Salahi? Yeah, yeah, I know they are the poorly dressed couple who crashed the White House state dinner and have been splattered all over the news ever since (which I'm sure they love), but who in the hell are they?

I did catch part of an interview with them on television the other day while chasing my cats around the house in my fake zombie walk, telling them that I am going to eat them for dinner, and I heard the woman saying that this bad press had "ruined everything I have worked for for the past 40 years." I thought she was Ann Coulter at first and that kind of made a little sense, but then I put on my glasses and realized it was someone I'd never seen or heard of before. That didn't come as any big surprise to me either, because I pay so little attention to trash like TMZ and the like, but then it seemed to be such a major story after a couple of days that I got a little interested in learning how this couple could garner so much attention, when they seem to be nobodies.

(I'm not going to do a Google search on them just yet, but I will before I conclude writing this column.)

Jump to Tiger Woods. He had a car wreck, which was — I think — just outside his own driveway, and suddenly it becomes an international scandal. It's a good thing I'm not famous because I drive into my house all the time, which explains all those bricks in the flower bed. Why can't a person have a car accident outside his own home and let it be just that? Who else's business is that, really? How did it go from Tiger having a car wreck to Tiger having a harem of chicks on the side in a matter of days? Do I smell instant celebrity again? Who are these alleged sex groupies and why do they need lawyers, especially the likes of Gloria Allred — speaking of publicity whores? Oh, wait a minute. I know I'm slow, but I just figured out that maybe they were going to sell their stories about their trysts with Tiger to the tabloids and needed lawyers to help them negotiate the deals or possibly to help them get more hush money from him than from the media outlets with whom they were bargaining. Ah, now it makes sense. I thought the divulging of the tawdry sex-story details might have endangered their careers as "party promoters" and "pancake-house" waitresses, although the latter is a very noble profession compared to most of the rest of them. And I now read that some are in custody battles with their ex-spouses or soon-to-be ex-spouses, and a roll in the rough with Tiger wouldn't look so great. I can be so simple sometimes.

I know that I am simple enough to have thought: How upset could Tiger really be about losing some of his product endorsements? And if he had to give his wife a few million dollars to settle the matter (except for that little detail about them having two children under the age of 3), how badly could that hurt? Just how much money does one have to have to be happy? More than $100 million? Is that the threshold for the rich and famous? Do you have to have a constant balance of cash in the bank for that much to feel "comfortable"?

I should find it odd that his "transgressions" are being auctioned off to the highest-bidding extramarital playmate and the press is treating it like the stock market, but I don't. I have no opinion about it because I don't care. None of this makes the world a better or more interesting place (which begs the question, Why in the hell am I writing about this?) and the characters involved aren't even very interesting. They're just hangers-on who seem to have contributed very little to society, and we should ignore the whole thing.

But back to my original question: Who are Tareq and Michaele Salahi? I've now done a Google search and have discovered that they apparently were slated to star on a television reality show titled Real Housewives of D.C. — although I can't find out why or what they did to deserve that highest of cultural honors. I did, however, see that Michaele reportedly posted this on her Facebook page: "I was honored to be invited to attend the First State Dinner hosted by President Obama & the First Lady to honor India. In June 2010, the America's Polo Cup will be between INDIA and the UNITED STATES. Please join me in this cultural celebration of politics, diplomacy, fashion, sports, entertainment, and family fun."

So that's the cause she has worked for for 40 years. Figures.

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