I finally got around to watching the Pamela Anderson Roast I'd taken the trouble to TiVo. As you may remember, I wanted to watch it because of the fuss that was made over Courtney Love's behavior. Well, the show was excruciating, with second rate comics making one bad anatomical joke after another. It was supposedly a charity event for PETA – man, I remember when a politically correct operation like that would not sully itself with rank sexist material – and many, many of the jokes connected the kind of animals PETA cares about with the animal names that are used as slang for a woman's genitalia. So the show was utter crapola but somehow everyone wrote about Courtney, because apparently it's so fun to attack her. Interestingly enough, it turned out that Courtney had the best control over how to do a celebrity roast right. Everyone was holding a drink and badly faking high spirits, but she outdid them all, convincingly displaying a roasty attitude. When it was her turn to speak, she did her part perfectly. She played the rocker who deigned to stop by to give Pamela real rock cred because she loved her. She did her lines and her moves and then she kissed Anderson's high-heeled foot. Well played, Courtney! Chez Althouse, we love you!
UPDATE: Putting Pam and Courtney side-by-side made me want to spin out an analysis similar to the comparison between Jackie Kennedy and Liz Taylor in "Jackie Under My Skin" (by Wayne Koestenbaum). You have two icons and one is pure and idealized, the other is tainted and dirtied. In the Pam/Courtney comparison, both represent sexuality and self-indulgence, but Pam has some how made what was dirty into something utterly polished and glossy – essentially fulfilling the Playboy dream. Courtney is the real-life version of sexual indulgence: this is what trying to live that fantasy will really make you look like. Well, now I'm thinking of another book.