“Sicko”? I don’t need no “Sicko.”I don't need no health care, neither. I work in Entertainment News: I get my health care from crystals and powders and ooky juju spells.
That was me, oh, a week ago or so. Then I fell on my face.
I was hot on the trail of some paparazziwho were lukewarm on the trail of somebody who looked like Michael Mooreand wound up being a tourist from Cincinnatiwho just wanted to go to The Disney Store, when I stumbled on a crack in the sidewalk (word to the wise: never run in ankle-boot stilettos) and wiped out, breaking my nose and splitting my face open in two places. I needed health care, stat!
“What happened?” asked the handsome young doctor 4 hours after I arrived in the ER, during which time I tried (without success) to avoid bleeding on my sequined tank top.
“I fell,” I told the doctor.
“Were you drinking?”
“Of course not! I'm in Entertainment News.”
He seemed unconvinced. Nonetheless, he arranged for a plastic surgeon to come stitch me up in the morning. That left all night in a little bed surrounded by flimsy hospital curtains, and nothing but coughers and wheezers on either side.
“What happened to you?” I asked Wheezer On The Left.
“I dislocated my arm,” replied a man, who immediately went back to wheezing.
“Know any entertainment news?” I asked him.
Again the wheezing stopped. There was a silence. Then, in a wheeze-less whisper:
“Winona Ryder is blaming her shoplifting stunt in 2001 on painkillers. She says she was doped up on Oxycodoneand had no idea what was going on. I tell ya, I’m on Oxycodone right now, and I have a damn good idea what’s going on. Like I haven’t seen a doctor in 5 hours.”
Then he went back to wheezing. I left him alone.
“What are you in for?” I asked the Cougher On The Right.
“I fell off the wagon.”
“They put you in the ER for that?”
“Well,” the cougher said, “I fell out the window.”
“Pick up any hot scoops on your way down?” I asked.
The Cougher paused. “Speaking of rehab, apparently Daniel Baldwin went to rehab, got his personal chef pregnant, and now they’re both out and shacked up together.”
“Who’s Daniel Baldwin?” I asked.
“He’s… he’s… he’s a Baldwin!” the cougher spluttered. “For God’s sake, don’t you know the Baldwins?!” A coughing fit ensued. I left him alone.
The truth is, my stint in the ER could’ve been worse. I ultimately received the care I needed, and I walked out of there in the morning fresh as a stitched-up daisy, confident in the knowledge that my bill would come… later. And hopefully, the dry cleaner would get the bloodstains out from between the sequins.
But I did see “Sicko.” And I have to say, if you need a refresher course in how rotten the U.S. health care system is, this flick’s for you. I’ve never worshipped at the altar of Michael Moore: I don’t like his tabloid-style close-ups when his subject is about to cry, I don’t like the way some of his statistics seem manipulated, and I think “Fahrenheit 9/11,”while being a delicious little cream puff of a movie, did nothing for the cause of ousting Bush from office. But while I see that Michael Moore has shortcomings, I still admire the plus-size pants off of him. He has made films that are entertaining, funny, and philosophically spot-on. He’s brought a populist spirit to the political documentary. He still looks like a tourist from Cincinnati. And I don’t care that he gets creative from time to time with numbers.
But, apparently, CNN does. CNN and Moore have been in a heated battle recently over reports on CNN that Moore “fudged” numbers. Moore has attacked CNN, and CNN has launched a massive rebuttal to Moore’s attack. Apparently, Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN did list one of Moore’s statistics incorrectly, saying that the movie reported Cuba spends 25 dollars a person for health care when the movie actually said 251 dollars. Also, Gupta interviewed a Dr. Keckley about the movie, insisting Keckley’s only affiliation was Vanderbilt University when in fact the guy worked for Deloitte, a health care think-tank with major Republican leanings. Moore scored on both those points, but lost some ground when Gupta and CNN identified some “cherry-picking” among Moore’s statistics: for example, Moore listed Cubans’ life expectancy as being longer than Americans’, which was the case in 2004 but not in 2006. Ultimately, Moore called a truce with the network. That’s what’s good about America. A filmmaker can have a big fight with a news network, and not win exactly, but at least seem like a gentleman for walking away.
Know what else is good about America when it comes to fighting? Jon Lovitz beat up Andy Dick at a comedy club. Lovitz says, of the incident, “All the comedians are glad I did it because this guy is a [bleep]hole.” Now, I’m actually a big fan of Andy Dick, and found his MTV show back in the early-oughts to be hilarious. But apparently, the guy is kind of a jerk, and Lovitz has long blamed Dick for the death of Phil Hartman—because Dick re-introduced Hartman’s wife to cocaine 5 months before she killed him in a coked-out fury. Dick has also fed the fire of Lovitz’s animosity by at one point saying to him, “I put the Phil Hartman hex on you. You’re the next one to die.”
I’m sorry, Andy, but Jon Lovitz? If anything bad is going to happen to Jon Lovitz, he’s going to fall on his face while following paparazzi who are following somebody who looks like Michael Moore—he’s not quite the type to get shot by a jealous cokehead. On the other hand, I didn’t peg him as the type to grab Andy Dick by the hair and ram his head four or five times into a bar at Laugh Factory. So what do I know?
I’ll tell you what I know: I know that Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham’s reality show pilot—about her recent relocation to L.A.— was a big fat flop. And I’m proud of my country for making that happen.
God [bleep] America.