Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid | AspenTimes.com

Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid

Todd Hartley
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

Quick: What do Carson Kressley, Elisabetta Canalis, J.R. Martinez, Kristin Cavallari and Rob Kardashian all have in common? Answer: You’ve never heard of them, and they’re all going to be on “Dancing With the Stars.”

And they’re not the dancers.

Now here’s another question: What do Chaz Bono, Hope Solo, Nancy Grace, Ron Artest, David Arquette and Chynna Phillips have in common? Answer: Most of you probably haven’t heard of most of them either, and they’re the rest of the so-called “stars” on the upcoming season of the show.

I believe it was Copernicus who said, “If these be the stars, ours is a very dim galaxy.” Let’s look at each of these celebrities individually and see what qualifies them as celestial bodies, shall we?

Carson Kressley you may remember from ads for a show called “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” in which Kressley was decidedly the former. It was pretty big for about a season on some cable network a few years ago. I guess you could call him a star.

Chaz Bono, to my knowledge, has never done anything fame-worthy other than have Cher as a mother and get gender-reassignment surgery after being born female. Even though I know his name, I don’t think that qualifies as stardom.

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Both Kressley and Bono will be dancing with women, in case you were wondering. And you were wondering, weren’t you?

Elisabetta Canalis is a model, and she’s pretty hot. She’s in. Same with Kristin Cavallari, who was on a show called “The Hills” and is really hot. That brings us to Hope Solo, who was the goalie for the U.S. soccer team in the recent women’s World Cup. Solo has nice eyes but is regarded as hot only because she’s an elite athlete. Nevertheless, she’s the sort of positive role model we should be promoting. Thus, in.

J.R. Martinez, an actor from a daytime soap, is a veteran of the Iraq war whose face was badly burned when the Humvee he was driving hit a land mine. He also gets in on the positive-role-model vote – not that we should be encouraging kids to burn their faces, mind you. I was talking more about the proudly-serving-your-country thing.

Conversely, Ron Artest, a forward for the L.A. Lakers, is best known for being the central figure in a 2004 brawl between NBA players and fans infamously known as “The Malice at the Palace.” He’s currently trying to have his name legally changed to World Peace. Honestly. But he’s relatively famous, so I suppose he’s in.

Nancy Grace has a show on CNN and is famous for making the Casey Anthony trial famous, so she’s in, but if I were a diehard fan of “Dancing With the Stars,” she would make me stop watching it: That’s how much I can’t stand Nancy Grace.

Ricki Lake had a talk show and has been in movies. She’s in. David Arquette has been in movies, has famous sisters and was married to Courteney Cox. He’s in. Chynna Phillips had famous parents and was in the moderately famous band Wilson Phillips. She’s in.

All of which brings us to Rob Kardashian, who is the perfect poster boy for everything that is wrong with calling this group “stars.” Kardashian’s claim to fame is that he’s the brother of Kim Kardashian, whose claim to fame was that she starred in a sex tape with some singer, thus spawning the entire Kardashian empire. Calling Rob Kardashian a star is like saying Kato Kaelin was a football player. He couldn’t be more out, in my mind.

So let’s see, that’s two who didn’t qualify as stars, and 10 who did. I guess I stand corrected. That group is going to be bringing some serious wattage to our skies this fall. Better not look straight at them, kids, or you might sear your retinas!

I’ve never watched “Dancing With the Stars,” but I find it a little concerning that the show’s new cast members qualify as stars. I’m troubled by what it says about our society. Stardom has become so cheap in this age of reality TV, tawdry voyeurism and Internet celebrities that it practically doesn’t mean anything anymore. I mean, hell, I could be a celebrity if Nancy Grace takes umbrage with this column and calls me out on her show.

To which I say: bring it on, Nancy. Shine the national spotlight of truth on me. I need to learn how to dance anyway.

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