Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Serious Satellite Radio

I'd completely forgotten that Rosie O'Donnell had signed on with Sirius XM satellite radio for a new talk show until I saw Ann Oldenburg's great interview with her in USA Today. In it, she says she was tired of Rosie "the product," but agreed to the two-year deal because it met all of her requirements -- allowed her to be "just be authentic" (no Beck-O'Reilly stuff, but she will talk about issues, on a "human level"), offered a complete lack of censorship ("I couldn't imagine doing a show where I'd once again have to answer to corporate interests"), and could be done without leaving home (they built a studio in the guest house of her home in Nyack: "I don't even have a bra on! That's the best part of this job").

I've always loved Rosie yet when I ask myself why I'm a little hard-pressed for an concrete explanation. I vaguely remember her stand-up and VJ days on VH1, but think the only movie I've ever seen of hers was "The Flintstones." I never watched her talk show or "The View" or even saw a copy of her magazine. I guess the reason I like her is the same reason everyone else does: she's Rosie. I've always appreciated her intelligence and willingness to stand up for what she believes in. But what I think really endears gay men to her is that she's a lot more like a stereotypical one of us than a stereotypical lesbian, from her obsession with all things pop culture, crushes on dudes, the Barbra Streisand fixation and, oh yeah, living out our fantasy of becoming best friends with Madonna. As a fellow child of the '70s I certainly feel a shared sensibility with her, far more so than with any famous gay person I've ever read about. Truth be told, radio seems like a great way to take her in. The blog worked, but she's too big for that. And since she doesn't like getting "TV ready," radio makes perfect sense. Sadly, with no commute and no time to even watch my TV shows, I'm certain I'll never get to hear her. (And because I work nights, I actually don't wake up until after her show ends.) Yet somehow I doubt it will have any impact on my appreciation of her. She's a cultural icon of sorts, so just having her in the mix again is bound to be good for the national dialogue. And as I've done her whole career, I will get my Rosie in bits and pieces, and savor it all the more.

From the article. I ALWAYS wondered how she felt about Ellen!

  • Roman Polanski: "He should be in prison."
  • David Letterman: "He's a funny guy, enjoyable and probably suffering a great deal at this moment. Although, he says mean stuff about me often. Not sure why."
  • Balloon boy: "When I saw it, I thought, 'Child protective services will be there in days and take those kids away.' "
  • Jon & Kate Gosselin: "Who? 'Nuff said."
  • Ellen DeGeneres on "American Idol": "I stopped watching when they made fun of the special-needs kids, and I met them and paid for them to go to Disney World. So for that I stopped watching, but because of Ellen, I'm back. I'm back, 'American Idol.'"
  • 1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    Rosie is alright, I guess. I still quote one bit from her stand up days about how we can all remember the lyrics to the "Flintstones" theme but are hopeless at remembering anything important. She can be abrasive (I don't care for loud people in general) and I often wish she was better educated/better informed on some issues. Still, she's honest when she expresses an opinion.

    The whole "crush on Tom Cruise" thing I could have lived without. 1)I hate Tom Cruise and 2) it always struck me as a VERY calculated attempt (cooked up by her TV handlers) to make Rosie more appealing to her largely female/largely middle American audience.

    I wish her well.