My Two Cents: Things I'm getting really tird of, Part II

Last week I complained about a certain segment of the anti-war crowd, pompous celebrity blowhards and, of course, France. Well, enough small talk; it’s time for more things I’m getting really tired of:

Michael Jackson defenders: Although certainly not a majority, I’ve been unpleasantly surprised at the number of people who’ve risen up in defense of the freakish spectacle that is Michael Jackson. Apologetics for the long-deposed King of Pop blame everything from the media to the pressures of fame at an early age to his father for Michael’s Howard Hughes-like weirdness. I’ve even seen members of the Jackson family on television saying and acting as if everything with Michael is fine. While I can certainly understand their caring about a family member, I don’t get their denial of reality. Isn’t it obvious to everyone there’s something wrong with a 44-year-old man whose had more plastic surgery on his face than Phillis Diller and Cher combined, makes his “children” wear masks in public (which I guess is better than being dangled over a balcony by daddy), sleeps with little boys, etc.?

Second hand smokescreen: On the back of several Pierce Transit buses I’ve noticed a public service announcement that says 53,000 Americans die every year from second hand smoke. Unfortunately, that figure is based on – and you’ll pardon the pun – smoke and mirrors. An early 1990s report put out by the Environmental Protection Agency claimed 3,000 second hand smoke deaths. However, the study was thoroughly debunked by the scientific community and vacated by a federal judge in 1998 on the grounds of the shoddy way it was conducted. Somewhere along the line, that number got inflated by 50,000 based on estimates that lung or heart-related diseases and asthma connected to second hand smoke were responsible. In other words, the connection between second hand smoke and death is tenuous at best. I’m not a smoker and I’m not a fan of second hand smoke, but I’m even less a fan of questionable numbers being stated as fact without the evidence to back it up.

TV reality shows: Enough already! It seems as if every television network has jumped on the bandwagon since “Survivor” made its debut I don’t know how many years ago. The networks are churning them out like they’re going out of style – which I hope is the case.

“My Two Cents” is a weekly column where the author – who thinks a reality series on Michael Jackson’s day-to-day life would be morbidly fascinating – gets in his two cents worth in spite of the old saying that you only get a penny for your thoughts.