Thursday, May 13, 2010

No Holds Barred: Welcome to Arizona

by Blair Sabol

Go ahead, I dare you to boycott my state of Arizona for our recent immigration enforcement law! It's fine by me. All it means is less crowds at the Grand Canyon, Sedona's vortexes will be clear, no wait lists at our restaurants and already empty resorts/hotels.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio. "I want you, out!"
Understand, I am NOT political, just blissfully in denial. Twenty years ago, I moved out of NYC to the desert to get away from all the screaming politics and relentless media madness. I moved to a world where the main "resources" are golf, hiking, motorcycle riding (for the fat and over fifty) and constructing malls and medical plazas. Some time ago I remember Tim Russert and his wife Maureen Orth (a good friend) were visiting me and asked if I wasn’t embarrassed about our then fool-of-a-governor Evan Mecham's impeachment. I blankly looked back at them with a brazen "who cares." And I still don’t. How could I when the likes of John McCain and J.D. Hayworth (an ex-weatherman) are the current poltico "hotties." And our town "heavy" is Sheriff Arpaio. A true tuna-necked cartoon character.  

Most of the people I know moved "out here" to be free of all that CONCERN "back there." Remember "out here" we hit holes in one, carry guns in our SUVs and pickups (we will flash a pistol over flipping anyone the bird), play craps at Indian owned casinos at 2am, and complain about our four months of 115 degrees in a microwaved heated hell. But don't kid yourself, we all know that Hispanics are our commercial and survival backbone. They hold the power and are the glue at all our offices, resorts, landscaping businesses, home maid and cleaning services ... and yes, police force!! The border madness is a wretched scene few people truly understand and so our governor "pushed the envelope." Why not. But honestly to turn us into a deadly political headline ... now THAT'S embarrassing!!!
I always superfically judge a state by its "celebrities." Look at who we have in Arizona: Glenn Campbell, Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. Native son Phil Mickelson got on his private plane and flew out of here years ago as did porn star Jenna Jameson. Thank God we HAD Erma Bombeck, and still have Hugh Downs and Alice Cooper. A meager selection. But I adore my state for being so far "out of the loop" we don’t even have a "loop."

If I had wanted to be "involved" I would have moved to Colorado or, God forbid, California. No, my state's politics and laws don't mortify me. But what does leave me in shock and awe is the new WE tv network reality show called "Sunset Daze." This is truly geriatric porn. Six senior citizens living in Phoenix's retirement village of Sun City Grand. "Bob, Ted, Carol and Alice" in a hottub is one thing. And thirty years ago.
 
Ok, Cloris, hold it right there.
Watching these "retirees" talk about their vibrators, getting "loaded," calling each other "hos" and pole dancing between hernia operations is a bit much. I understand the typical ballroom dancing scenes with some simulated leg splits (80-year-old Cloris Leachman on last year's "Dancing with the Stars" tried to make that move acceptable).

I even get the 64-year-old ex-nun, now skydiver, staging some ridiculous mile-high leaps. But "Grannies Gone Wild" in belly shirts is down right disgusting.

Ironically "Golden Girls" is the lead-in slot to this show and is more authentic and current even with its 10-year-old plotlines. I don’t even see the truth behind this show.

The few times I have actually gone to Sun City it was mostly a street scene of golf carts, elders on walkers and flashing ambulances (better known as "Sun City limos"). I didnt see any "action" with seniors secretly fondling each other by their garages or toilet tissue raiding each others lawns.

Hearing one of the show's oldsters talk about going "commando" and "riding bareback" made me wonder if he actually knew what the hell he was saying. Face it ... aging in general is NOT "a cabaret." And turning it into "The Jersey Shore" is insulting and highly inaccurate. Most of these seniors are trying to actually hear what's going on in life, let alone "score." Are we suppose to all be sex addicts after 60? Now that we have all the time, estrogen, growth hormone and unlimited Viagra? Is that the message of this show?

CLICK ABOVE TO VIEW: The girls go wild on "Sunset Daze."
CLICK ABOVE TO VIEW: Jane Fonda on World Fitness Day. Yes, that's Richard Simmons screaming.
Where is the dignity of eldership. Why can’t we raise our consciousness above our genitals? Our culture refuses to find a template for aging. I thought in our later years we could find some new wisdom and acquire some sense of peace. But according to "Sunset Daze" ... who needs that? Let’s stay in the eternal "hump fest" and buy a few more new G-stringed Depends while you are at it.

Now I ask you ... what would Betty White do? Then again she was booked on Saturday Night Live and I pray we don’t have to see her partially nude or hear about her sex tape. Meanwhile Jane Fonda boldly staged her "World Fit Day" event in The Atlanta Superdome. It was indeed a valiant effort to get the old and the young up and moving.

I give Jane credit for wanting the world to “sweat it out," but the stadium didn’t appear filled and I didn’t see a lot of baby boomers dancing to the oldies. Even though 72-year-old Jane looked terrific in her lean leotarded body and sinking into deep plies. But why shouldn’t she? Ironically next to her was a frightful 60ish Richard Simmons who sported a burgundy-dyed hair transplant and nude Support Hose under his short shorts. What's the message here?

I've said  before that Jane was one of the reasons a lot of us have ended up with knee replacements and addicted to Advil. Instead of showboating on stage with her vintage arm whirls and grape vine steps Jane should have staged a basic "walkathon" with sneakers and steel "walkers"), since walking is all any of us really need to do or CAN do at this point. Along with merely standing up straight.  

Once Jane turned to her dumbbells and stretch bands she kissed us all goodbye. I'm glad this is all going to sell her book on aging and of course, "sex after 70."

In the meantime ... I'm very happy "packing heat" in my "meth lab of democracy" (Jon Stewart's label for Arizona). Ah yes, "the Valley of the sun" and the land of "cranky old right wing lunatics."  I'll take it.  But I do keep wondering ... as I look at the exploitation of Polygrip porn on WE TV and the outraged media judging my insane state. Never mind Betty White ... What would dear old Barry Goldwater do? No doubt he would yank on his cowboy boots and ride his horse off into the sunset.
 
Click here for NYSD Contents