I’ve waited a full week to say anything about the White House Press Correspondents Dinner starring President Bush and Ozzy Osbourne.
Much has been written about the event in the meantime. It’s time for me to weigh in.
First of all, just who is Ozzy Osbourne?
He’s the former lead singer of a heavy metal rock band called Black Sabbath. His career was resurrected recently when MTV wired up his California mansion with 55 cameras to film every aspect of his family’s life for six months. The result is the highest-rated show in the history of the network. Nearly 8 million voyeurs tune in weekly. Now MTV is renewing the show for a second and third year and paying the Osbournes more than $20 million to swear for the camera.
To say Osbourne is known for bizarre and twisted songwriting and onstage antics would be an understatement. The lyrics from 1973’s “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” album title track include: “God knows as your dog knows; blast all of you. Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath, nothing more to do. Living just for dying, dying just for you.” In 1983 Osbourne sang in “Bark at the Moon”: “Howling in shadows. Living in a lunar spell. He finds his heaven. Spewing from the mouth of hell.”
In the annals of rockdom, Osbourne is renowned for abusing every imaginable illegal substance as well as some legal ones.
In 1982 at Veterans Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa, Osbourne bit off the head of a bat during a concert. The singer says it was an accident and he didn’t really mean to hurt the bat. He was treated afterward with a rabies vaccine and tetanus shot. Probably nothing helped solidify his legendary status in the rock world like that incident.
Satanic lyrics, evil worldview, disgusting mouth, no musical ability, drug abuse. This is Osbourne. He is a depraved moral terrorist, seducing young kids who don’t know any better into deadly lifestyles.
President Bush knew all this, but still felt it was appropriate to acknowledge him for special attention at the dinner last week.
“The thing about Ozzy is, he’s made a lot of big hit recordings,” Bush told the audience. “‘Party With the Animals,’ ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,’ ‘Facing Hell,’ ‘Black Skies’ and ‘Bloodbath in Paradise.’ Ozzy, Mom loves your stuff.”
But is there anything really funny about Ozzy Osbourne? If there is, I guess I just don’t get the joke. Osbourne is a sad, tragic figure – but, worse yet, he’s a blithering idiot and a terrible role model for the kids of America and the rest of the world.
Anyone who makes such an assessment today, however, thanks to George W’s jokes, is portrayed as some kind of party pooper. I’ll take my chances. I’ve been called worse.
Take Lynne Cheney, the vice president’s wife and, formerly, a fairly lucid commentator on the moral depravity of the pop culture. Matt Drudge reports she was angered about the recognition of Osbourne at the dinner. But she is denying it.
“This is all untrue,” said a spokeswoman from Mrs. Cheney’s office yesterday. “I don’t know where this report came from. She never made any comments about Mr. Osbourne at all.”
You see, it’s just not cool to criticize Osbourne any more. Thanks, George W.
Many of us understand just how dangerous people like Osbourne are. Even some of my own kids are curious about this sicko. Now he’s an accepted part of the establishment. He’s arrived.
Osbourne immediately understood what Bush had done for him. When named by Bush in his address, Osbourne stood on his chair and raised his arms to wild applause. Later he said he was honored to be mentioned. In typical Osbourne style, he said, “It’s f—ing blowing my mind!” His wife and No. 1 promoter, Sharon, added, “What can you say? It’s the most incredible thing that he would even mention Ozzy. It’s a bit overwhelming.”
President Bush promised to clean up the White House after eight years of Bill Clinton. He promised to lead by example. He promised to bring dignity back to the office. He ought to apologize to the parents of America for his shameful behavior at the dinner last week.
As for Osbourne, he is an opportunist without par. He has parlayed his antisocial behavior into a multimillion-dollar industry – demonstrating that the titans of American capitalism unrestrained by morality would sell out everything we hold near and dear for a quick buck.
Meanwhile, what’s next for Osbourne?
Following his appearance before the president, he’s bound for Buckingham Palace.
He’s been invited to perform for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee party June 3.
Osbourne is said to be puzzled by his royal invitation, and can’t think of an appropriate song to play.
“Can you imagine me doing ‘Iron Man’?” he says, referring to one of his old favorites. “The crowns and the tiaras would fly off.”
God save the queen. God save America.