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10 of Kathy Shaidle’s Greatest Hits

These are some of the Canadian culture critic's most memorable broadsides and inspiring provocations. Volume 1.

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

April 26, 2014 - 3:30 pm
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10. August 7, 2012:

If I Were Queen: My First 3 Acts Upon Becoming Your Beloved Empress For Life

There’s a saying in recovery: “Don’t let the junky drive the bus.” Here’s what happens if you throw me the keys.

A hundred years ago, lunatic asylums were packed with inmates convinced they were world historical figures.

What happened when these men encountered each other in the hallways, I wonder?

Were there death matches between (literally) dueling Napoleons?

Did rival Jesuses (Jesuii?) challenge each other to miracle-working showdowns in the sunroom?

The closest one can get to experiencing such a circumstance first hand today is to go to an AA meeting, or five.

At some point (if you’re doing it right) a troubling thought enters your still-twisted brain:

“Hey, hang on a minute. Did these idiots get the memo? I’m the greatest person on earth! Don’t they know who I am?! Who let all these other Anastasias in here?”

Eventually, someone quips, “A alcoholic thinks they’re the piece of crap around which the entire world revolves” and everyone laughs knowingly.

Except you, at least the first time you hear that – you’re too busy trying to control your embarrassed flush.

Dammit, have these people been bugging my apartment?

Fantasizing about being all-powerful emperor of the solar system can’t be restricted to drunks, though.

Isn’t it a bit like musing about what you’d do with your Power Ball winnings?

As the only child of two only children, perhaps I’ve given such fantasies more thought than the sober and the sane amongst us.

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21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
You're taking this WAY to seriously. Star Wars is a kid's movie. Its not supposed to be realistic, its supposed to be fun....and its a ton of fun. Who cares if they have ray guns and sound in space? What counts is that they blast the bad guys to smithereens. Besides, who can resist Carrie Fisher in a metal bikini? You don't like George Lucas? Yeah, I bet he's weeping about that every time he looks at his bank statement. Get over yourself and stop whining about other people.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
The FIRST Star Wars released is the only one worth watching... right from "empire" it was a merchandising machine that lost all appeal....

And Carrie was scrawny and loose in that bikini....too much weight loss too fast to be "sl*t-hot" by Hollywood standards, rather than showcase her natural beauty....that wholesome round-faced, almost Motherly Beauty she had with her hair down in the Medal Ceremony after destroying the first Death Star, is by far the loveliest moment of The Princess on screen.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
All of them are merchandising machines. Its kiddie entertainment, that's the point. My dad, and every other kid his age, had a Davy Crockett coon skin cap.....Star Wars is no different.

Scrawny? What, is this fat acceptance week? You can have Lena Dunham, I'll take Slave-Girl Leia any day of the week. I'll pass on motherly beauty, it does nothing for me. I like em slender, young, and underdressed.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
OK, Kathy...

For all the reasons you mention, "star wars" (notice the lower case?) as it became a Social Phenomenon, does indeed suck, and in a rather embarrassing way for those of us who saw it in its first release, BUT….

The First (and, IMHO, only one worth watching) Original Release was a PHENOMENAL Motion Picture in and of itself. I’m sorry you slept through it. I'm sorry you weren’t old enough to see it before knowing nearly all about it. It was ruined for you, already a cliché before the theater darkened that night, and that my dear, is a very sad thing…

Because, for a certain generation of Adventurous Boys, ones who’s Dads and Uncles were in WW-2, kids who built endless models of Spitfires and Messerschmitt’s believing The Battle of Britain was the ultimate in manly, righteous chivalry, kids who ran home after school to watch Steve McQueen OWN those freaking Krauts (even after he got caught, AGAIN!) in “The Great Escape” playing on the 4:30 movie, like, three times a year for a decade…..

Well, for us, Star Wars (caps this time, sugar!) was THE culmination of every hero-fantasy we ever imagined, and by God, it was OURS. Not in black and white, not John Wayne on a horse, not some “tail end of the studio era” re-run of a movie that was originally released the year before we were even born….No. This one was Ours. Today. And it was GOOD.

Because it was, for one gleaming moment, a vision of who we KNEW we were supposed to be, reflected back at us for the first time, in REAL-time…

Cocky, idealistic, proud of our heritage, brave…militaristic in the POSITIVE sense, fighting the Krauts AND the Hessians all at once as Home-Spun Patriots taking to arms, but with Starships and Blasters instead of Muskets and Mustangs…

Star Trek was wierd, we didnt quite get it...Set for Stun, and The Prime Directive..who are the bad guys, are you going to kill these aliens or not? WTF are you DOING there in the FIRST place!?!

No, Star Wars was different...It was all of our fathers and big-brothers heroics transformed FOR US, even AHEAD of us, in a way we already understood, but though was only in the past…battles we never would be allowed to face, reduced to pretending to BE our fathers, when we knew we never could…No, Star Wars gave us a vision of Ourselves, Brave Into the Coming Future, and it was GOOD.

It was indescribably awesome to see in its original release, in a REAL theater, way before Darth and Luke and the Droids became embarrassing merchandise for effeminate geeks…right from that first opening scene (Oh. My. GOD! How big is that thing!?) to the fast-paced final battle, we saw who we could be, tomorrow…

Technically skillful AND Physically capable of necessary, righteous violence, with clear confidence to judge good from evil, to CHOOSE the right side, and to nobly face the possibility of Death, with Honor.

The Blessed Spitfire, that sacred ghost of a past we could not be worthy of, was an X-wing…. and the future would wait for us to fly her, in OUR time, we could fight evil, and too, be MEN.

Amazing stuff for a 12 year old, growing up in That Last Twilight of Real American Boyhood, between the Shadow of Viet Nam and The Dawn of The Nanny State….

Pity my son will never know of such things.




22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Root 83. That was an awesome post my friend. I completely agree with the sentiment, although for me that experience came from a different source. Ms. S. perhaps can't really understand this, tis a boy thing. FWIW I lived near an RAF base in 1972 and I can tell you that the memeory of the Spitfire was alive in the minds of many young English boys: when I saw one in the Imperal War Museum, I could think of NOTHING better than flying that thing over France and blasting away at the Messerschmidts.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you, Eightrock

What that film WAS and what it BECAME are so tragically opposite it makes me weep. I just tried to watch The Original with my own son for the first time on DVD, and the clumsy sacrilege of the Lucas Ego has utterly ruined it.

We will see no more of this franchise in our household....

Spits, Hurricanes, Mosquito's, Lancasters, I built them all...and lets not forget the Swordfish pilots who crippled the Bismarck...if ever a tiny fleet was sent to battle The Death Star, it was they...and you do know much of the "combat dialog" in S.W. was straight from "the Dam Busters" right?
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
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