by Kevin Allman
It's the 21st-century curse to end up knowing far too much about someone you don't care about at all (Snooki, Bieber, various Kardashia). Such is the case with a certain ex-governor of Louisiana, who is turning into a reality-show star without a reality show (at least, so far — sounds like one is on the way).
Where did he eat his first meal after getting sprung from home confinement? Cracker Barrel.
What are his favorite TV shows? American Idol and Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.
How do I know these things? Damned if I know. Osmosis, I guess.
So tomorrow, this certain ex-governor is having a birthday party/celebrity roast at the Monteleone in the French Quarter, and like every other media sap in town, I inquired about attending; I was welcome, as long as I paid the $250/person charge that every other guest was paying.
Uh, no thanks. I'll just stop by the 4 p.m. presser beforehand, a press conference that his publicist called "an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances in the media industry."
Dance, media, dance.
Earlier this week, I was already having second thoughts about the whole thing (Clancy DuBos' column and comment: "I'm glad I'm going to be out of town") when word "leaked out" (and who on earth could have leaked it?) that the certain ex-gov and his fiancee would be getting married on Friday at a Top Sekrit location ... but if I happened to be hanging around the Monteleone in the morning ... and if I happened to be at Galatoire's for Friday lunch afterward ... well, you know ...
(Funny how little birds — different little birds — also told me a couple of weeks ago that if I wanted to catch up with the ex-gov, he'd be "surprising" the crowd at Galatoire's for Friday lunch that day as well. These "surprise" appearances around town certainly seem well-coordinated.)
This morning, it occurred to me that the Louisiana press corps and the ex-gov were executing the same sick, symbiotic dance we'd seen between the national press corps and another ex-gov from Alaska. (How many times had I heard "If she hates the press that much, just ignore her and maybe she'll go away"?)
So: Goingawayville, population one. I bagged the "impromptu" wedding photo-op outside the Monteleone, I bagged the inevitable march up to Bourbon Street ... and I'm bagging the press conference/party/roast tomorrow. Seriously, y'all, would we be dancing like marionettes for Dave Treen or Buddy Roemer or the one who never even bothered with New Orleans, Mike Whatshisname? Is this really any more or less interesting than Paris Hilton?
Maybe if we close our eyes really tight and clap our hands really hard, and maybe if we stop pretending that their every utterance is worth recording, maybe the public fascination with ex-govs — with all ex-govs — will go away.
Then we can get back to what's really important.
Like the Saints.