Crimes against culture 

Some icons should just go away

Some icons should just go away
As a full-time cultural policeman, I’m constantly on the lookout for offenses against society. I’m personally responsible for the apprehension and execution of the Spice Girls a few years back, as well as the arrest of those “Macarena” guys. I’ve been especially busy investigating such current cultural criminals as Monica Lewinsky, the Joe Millionaire crew and anyone responsible for Star Search. But in my investigations, I’ve found many examples of pop culture that once served a purpose but do so no longer. Therefore, I’m proposing that the following people and things be permanently banned from ever appearing on the radar of our culture. Madonna. Back in the 1980s, she provided fine music and masturbation fodder for millions of Americans. But the moment she stepped in front of a movie camera, she began to commit crimes against the people. Has she ever made a film that’s worthwhile? And ever since “Like A Prayer” some 14 years ago, her music has been as unlistenable as her movies are unwatchable. She needs to be retired immediately. The Romantics, “What I Like About You.” This song was a brilliant piece of New Wave bounciness when it appeared in 1979. After its use in dozens of commercials, the song is now a tired old whore turning tricks for anyone with a five-spot. Let it die an honorable death. Use a new song to sell cars. Any song recorded between 1981 and 1989. Note to today’s teens: The ’80s were years of bad hair and worse music. Even your parents hated it. Phil Collins may be many things, but he is not a role model. Every one of his recordings should be melted and the ferrous oxide on the tapes used for some constructive purpose. Of course, exemptions will be made for Prince, R.E.M. and a few others. Rush Limbaugh. When he was the only conservative in a sea of liberal commentators, he provided a counterbalance. Now that the media is almost wholly conservative, and even poor Peter Jennings gets boycotted for alleged liberal bias, Rush is superfluous. He should take his millions, his Pretenders song and his new cochleas and retire. Star Trek. It may have been revolutionary in the 1960s to have a TV show with bad acting, bad special effects and a toupee-wearing starship captain, but it’s simply offensive now. Each episode has been aired a million times, anyway, and nobody will miss it if it’s gone. M*A*S*H. Another example of a television show that needs to fade away quietly. Yes, Alan Alda, we believe you’re a sensitive man and a credit to your gender. Please go away. Cheers. A comedy about alcoholics that was amusing for a brief period of time. Then, like its contemporary version, Friends, it began to parody itself again and again until none of its original charm was left. The reruns should be put on a permanent hiatus. Movie versions of old TV shows. Do we really need The Six Million Dollar Man 2003 or What’s Happening!: The Movie? For the love of God, stop this trend immediately. Burt Reynolds. It’s difficult to believe there was once a time when Reynolds was the world’s No. 1 box-office attraction. His canon of films has not worn well with time and it’s unlikely future generations will find anything but sociological value in them. Erase all the tapes now so we can sleep more easily. Elvis Costello and Sting. These two started their careers railing against pompous old farts who should have retired years ago. Now they’re pompous old farts themselves. Stay on your farms and out of the studio. The Osmonds. They periodically raise their heads and try to re-establish their careers. The only place it works is Branson, Mo., a place where time stands still and Roy Clark and Andy Williams are still considered stars. Hopefully, like Clark and Williams, we can quarantine Donny and Co. there. Jane Fonda. She’s lucky she wasn’t tried for treason, although marriage to Ted Turner was probably adequate punishment. Aside from Barbarella, in which she played a futuristic bimbo, she hasn’t done much except badmouth the United States and make bad films. What does she have to say now? We’re not interested. The Los Angeles Lakers. They’re arrogant overachievers who feel an entitlement to glory because they have Shaq, Kobe and Jack Nicholson on their team. Well, Shaq is past his prime and Jack hasn’t made a good movie in 25 years. Dissolve this squad and let the Clippers become the kings of L.A. At press time, it looked as if the T-Wolves were going to accomplish this task. While our society won’t become perfect with the elimination of the cultural criminals on this list, it at least will become more tolerable. If you see any of the above people or things in public, do not attempt to apprehend them. Call your local law enforcement agency.

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