Thursday, March 11, 2010

While The Wolves Howl All Night Long

Is it just me or do you as well - every time you hear sounds masquerading as words emanating from the Lohan Family - find yourself wishing that one of the Sisters Kardashian would suddenly speak; if for no other reason than simply to drown out the noise?

While it should be inconceivable to be perceived as being perilously close to being washed up in one's chosen profession by the ripe old age of 23 (unless one's chosen profession is women's gymnastics or harmony vocals in Menudo), it is right along that razor's edge where the elder Lohan sister finds herself presently. One might have presumed that the Culkins burned their original manuscript, "The Road to Perdition: The Career Path of My Child the Star", at or about the time Mac outgrew his cute phase but apparently the Lohans managed to rescue it from the incinerator unharmed.

Now a young woman who, five years ago, one would have reasonably expected would have been successful enough to have no need to perpetually fight to keep her name in the public lexicon has yet again reminded us that regardless of how low the bar of self-respect is set, she will find a way to slither beneath it. The latest example? Her $100M lawsuit against E*Trade. The basis of the lawsuit (stretching the word "basis" to its permissible Einsteinian definitional limits) is her claimed belief that E*Trade's Super Bowl commercial (which I must confess I found quite humorous) featuring an alleged milkaholic toddler tart named Lindsay was a shot at her.

One might think - upon watching the spot - that the basis of the lawsuit is envy. After all, the diaper-clad, lip syncing infant temptress displayed more acting range in two seconds on camera than the plaintiff has in any of her several films. Upon closer examination however it appears as if the basis of the lawsuit is self-delusion. This young woman - having spent just enough to purchase the Reader's Digest Condensed version of Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes of Fame - squandered whatever good will and marketability she had started to develop from the manner in which she plied her craft as soon as she had it; choosing to pursue the path of notoriety through notorious conduct rather than laudable achievement. Now having been reduced to caricature status through her own ignoble efforts, she is still self-absorbed enough to believe that everything done everywhere by everyone is directed towards her. Wow.

When our daughter Suzanne was a small child of five or six, she was prone to throw the occasional tantrum if she felt (rightly or wrongly) that she was not getting what she wanted. On the occasions when that would occur, invariably either Margaret or me (OK, which one of us do you think really did this?) would put an end to the storm by saying something snarky like, "Hey, we received the memo and we regret to tell you that it is true - the sun has officially replaced you as the center of the universe." For whatever reason saying something as incredibly inane as that used to usually do the trick. Suz would cease hyperventilating and start laughing. In fairness to my daughter her moments of greatest self-absorption came when she was but a child and - as importantly - when something happened that visited a terrible injustice upon her. If I remember correctly, it usually involved being forced to go to bed earlier than she wanted or not being permitted to sit up half the night in the bathroom reading a book.

While one would hope that Little Ms. L Squared would snap out of her current state long enough to admit that due in prominent part to her own asinine decisions no one at E*Trade or anywhere else would spend millions of dollars on a Super Bowl advertisement lampooning her - for there is simply no sporting value in doing so - it is helpful I think when hoping against hope to remember that the jerky usually does not fall far from the tree. In fairness to L Squared, the diagram of her family is something more akin to bramble bush than a tree and occupying the top branch is her mother. The always reasonable Mama Dina - who has never met a microphone or a television camera she has not tried to cram her whole face around or in front of - was quoted in Wednesday's New York Post, "I'm just basically glad I took a stand. I'm not going to let them do this to us anymore."

Of course not. She neither wants nor needs any help decimating her child. Having converted her daughter into a commodity that she traded upon to get a bit of a taste of fame for herself, she has created her own delusion. One in which the people from whom her child needs protection are strangers.

Little Ms. L Squared is a train wreck and while she is still very young and one would hope - presuming that the Jaws of Life can be utilized to simultaneously (a) extricate her from the vise-grip influence of her mother; and (b) extricate her own head from her own ass - that she can still make it back to reality from whatever universe she presently inhabits, such a result if far from guaranteed. A tiny, itty-bitty baby step in the right direction would be borrowing a moment of clarity from someone, anyone and dedicating herself to a course of actual adult behavior, which would necessitate throwing the kill switch on this idiotic lawsuit.

Growing up does not necessarily mean growing old. But it does require us to put away our childish things........

....even when one of them is our own mother.


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