Cheat-Seeking Missles

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Shut Up, For Art's Sake!

In her Madison Square concert last night, the third in a planned 20-city tour, Barbra Streisand kind of lost it, as AP reports:
Streisand effortlessly crooned through a select repertoire of the hits she's amassed during her four-decade-plus career. But night's most riveting moment came during what was perhaps the only unscripted _ and truly uncomfortable _ episode in the three-hour show.

There was Streisand, enduring a smattering of very loud jeers as she and "George Bush" _ a celebrity impersonator _ muddled through a skit that portrayed the president as a bumbling idiot.

Though most of the crowd offered polite applause during the slightly humorous routine, it got a bit too long, especially for a few in the audience who just wanted to hear Streisand sing like she had been doing for the past hour.

"Come on, be polite!" the well-known liberal implored during the sketch as she and "Bush" exchanged zingers. But one heckler wouldn't let up. And finally, Streisand let him have it.

"Shut the (expletive) up!" Streisand bellowed, drawing wild applause. "Shut up if you can't take a joke!"
Of course the NY crowd applauded wildly -- it's Pavlovian for them when they hear a liberal use the F-word. But really, can something as hackneyed and boring as portraying Bush as an idiot really be called a joke?

Babs has never been a paragon of brilliance, as numerous public utterances have shown, but hasn't one of her handlers mentioned the Dixie Chicks to her? Alex Baldwin? The futility of her efforts to appear bright is evident in this excuse, which she offered later for her outburst:
Streisand noted that "the artist's role is to disturb"
What in the world has she ever done that's designed to disturb? What is remotely disturbing about Funny Girl? The Owl and the Pussycat ... OK, I'll give you that one.

Streisand's career has been built on soothing, not disturbing, and the result is good pop, but hardly art. So she's stuck without an excuse and with a flop of a skit that's supposed to run 17 more times.

I understand she had her face fixed before the tour; too bad they couldn't do a little liposuction on her ego at the same time.

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