Vail Valley Voices: News that defines U.S. |

Vail Valley Voices: News that defines U.S.

I’ve got a friend, a local doctor, who reads too much “chick porn.” That’s her term for the magazines in the checkout lines of America, where the trials and tribulations of the celebrity sector shout at you as you unload your cart onto the belt and wonder why they don’t have pina colada gum here (it’s evidently a Wal-Mart-only product) and wait for the person in front of you to have their check approved, as if people still wrote checks.

These periodicals are evidently purchased, looked through and then anonymously disposed of by the satiated purchaser at … local doctor’s offices. At least that’s the doctor’s theory, since she doesn’t buy them and leave them in her own waiting room. Or so she says. (Yes, doctors do sit in their offices reading US and People and Star while you sit on that white paper upholstery in your underwear, or less, waiting for them. It’s hard work, walking from one little room to another all day long, greeted over and over by the sight of ailing Wal-Mart shoppers in their underwear and then having to dictate each visit into the medical record, reliving the visual each time.)

My wife expresses disdain for this “pulpwood trash” and therefore gets her own daily fix of chick porn online at sites like TMZ and X17online. “It’s free,” she says, “and up to date.” Not like the stuff left hours-old in some doctor’s waiting room, where you really need a health insurance plan to make even free magazine time affordable. “The comments at the online sites can be fun, too,” she tells me.

TMZ recently broke the news that my own favorite celeb-train-wreck, Lindsey Lohan, a talent-free has-been before age 19, recently failed a string of court-ordered drug tests and will likely be remanded into the custody of the state of California for two of three more hours. Saucy stuff, “far more interesting and important to most people than keeping up with economics or the super elite who control their lives without ever appearing in a magazine or ‘real’ news they might use,” sneer the bloggers and would-be intellects like me who spam our friends online with our views … “the reason America’s in trouble — people know more about Lindsey Lohan than (fill in relevant blogger topic, like peak oil).”

Well, I’m calling BS. Look at this reader comment posted on TMZ about Ms. Lohan:

“An addict or alcoholic doesn’t get better until the negative consequences of their continued use clearly outweigh any benefit they are still receiving from their substance abuse. Most addicts-alcoholics have an incredible tolerance for pain and suffering — thus the reason for the amazing amount of destruction they do before getting better. Ms. Lohan has an army of folks enabling her and that only adds to her downward spiral. … Time for her to face some serious consequences or this disease is going to kill her.” (Posted at 7:28 AM on Sep 18, 2010 by StarmanDss)

A more erudite summary of what’s shortly at hand for oil importing civilizations like ours in the face of the inexorable withdrawal of our society’s foundation, fossil energy, now that we’re at or slightly past peak oil production hasn’t been made.


Lohan herself, a star before maturity who now is desperate to seem relevant and still be perceived as remotely solvent, might be a metaphor for the nation in general as we demand lower taxes, higher benefits and resort to printing the money ourselves to pay for it all, as our Asian creditors eye our national parks as potential collateral for their past loans.

Bill Sepmeier lives off the electrical grid on Sweetwater Creek.

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