The two people pictured here are separated by 60 years in age. The young lady on the left has made a career out of being a troubled young actress. The man on the right has a career that has spanned more than 50 years. He's not only a talented comedian, but also a great humanitarian, whose Labor Day Telethon has raised billions for kids with muscular dystrophy. So why are they suddenly linked in the press? Allow me to enlighten you.
Jerry Lewis, in preparation for his yearly telethon, was being interviewed by Inside Edition. The talk was general at first. What did he think of today's young stars? He responded like a lot of old men might. These kids don't know who Al Jolson was. They don't have any respect for the people who came before them and paved the road for them. Then, the interviewer mentioned Lindsay Lohan. Lewis' answer was an honest one. A bit too honest for some. He said, quite candidly, that he was smack her in the mouth if he saw her. He said he would probably get arrested for abusing a woman. Then he added that if she wasn't satisfied with a mere smack in the mouth, he would turn her over his knee and spank her and then send her off to rehab.
I didn't see the interview so I don't know how the interviewer responded to this. I heard the story on a local afternoon radio talk show. The interviewer was a man who spun records as a disc jockey back in the 70's. Now he's a conservative talk show host. He took calls, as he always does, and of course, the good people of Peoria are backing the old man. At first, there was the usual amount of laughing between the host and his producer. But it soon turned serious. Did the listeners think this was too outrageous or does Jerry have a point?
Here's my personal opinion on this issue. Since this is my blog, I don't have to be careful not to offend anyone. I think Lindsay should have been seen to years ago, preferably by a big, strong male relative. Of course, this begs the question of whether it's appropriate for an 84-year-old man to advocate spanking a 24-year-old woman. My opinion is that I'm sick and tired of hearing about Lindsay Lohan. Whatever she does wrong, she goes to court, gets her slap on the wrist, whines about how unfair the world is, and then goes right out and does whatever it was that got her in trouble in the first place. I've seen far too many photos of her tripping drunkenly out of a club surrounded by her posse. Her movies aren't good and she's not a good actress. She should have been relegated to a reality series years ago. Surely, there are nice, decent, clean living actresses out there who are worthy of some ink. Why do the tabloids concentrate on Lindsay Lohan? Because misery loves company and that sells magazines. A lot of young people can relate to her and that in itself is telling. I think it says something about young people in general. But I'm not going to hate on young people. Just her. For some reason, young women think it's very glamorous to reel out of a trendy club with a cell phone on their ear with body guards on both sides. They think it's oh-so-kewl to leave a club in the early morning hours with their mascara running and a shoe missing.
From what I know of Ms. Lohan, she has been disruptive and unprofessional onset before, putting movies behind schedule and over budget. She would show up to work late, in no shape to work. You know, she's over 21. What she does on her own time is her business. My mother told me 30 years ago "Cheryl, you're a grown woman. I can't tell you what to do. But no matter how late you stay out or how much you drink, you'd better be able to get up and work in the morning." Of course, I was still living at home because I didn't make enough money to live on my own. And therein lies the problem. Add money to the mix, and these young celebs feel no one can tell them what to do. Ms. Lohan has been in trouble for public intoxication, driving under the influence and other outrageous behavior that would have landed a no-money working stiff like me in jail. I get the feeling that Ms. Lohan thinks she's above the law. She thinks her celebrity entitles her to do whatever she wants, regardless of the consequences. She's 24 going on 6. A spanking might be appropriate. Does Jerry Lewis have the right to say she needs one? Well, we live in a free country where people pretty much have the right to say whatever they want as long as it's not libelous. I think she should have been spanked a long time ago. She has thrown her career in the trash can. She's been warned to stop drinking and smoking so much. She's apparently been in rehab for drug and alcohol dependency. What does she think this is doing to her body? I had a heart attack three weeks ago today, after spending years disregarding what I was doing to my health by smoking, eating an unhealthy diet and not exercising. I was lucky. I don't think Ms. Lohan would be that lucky. Sadly, I think she's going to end up like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger: dead before her time. Someone who really cares about her ought to sit her down and talk to her straight. She's surrounded by yes men, whose job is to tell her what she wants to hear. But she needs to hear some hard truths that she may not want to hear. Yes, I think she's spoiled and I think a good, hard spanking would benefit her immensely. But it's not going to happen. So I would be content to see her get some sense talked into her. I don't care one bit about her fame. She's a fellow human being and a tortured one at that. Her bad relationship with her father is well documented. To me, that's a shame. She never seemed to have that loving paternal influence in her life. If she had, hopefully she would have been lovingly disciplined. She might have grown up to be one of our finest young actresses, a positive influence on other young, aspiring actresses. Instead, she chooses to self-destruct. She chooses to piss away a career that might have meant something. With coaching and hard work, she might have turned into another Audrey Hepburn. She made the decision not to work at her craft. Of course, she was an adorable, freckle-faced youngster. I thought her future was bright. Then I began to hear things about her. She stole a boyfriend from a friend of hers. She was engaging in screamfests with the press. She dissed actor Jim Caviesel (one of my favorites) by saying with a heavy sigh "He's so last year!". She had no respect for others. Then I started to hear about the drinking and the carousing. She became a poster girl for the Bad Girl's Club. At the time, she was about 19 or 20 and she began to look incredibly skinny. So then the speculation began that she had anorexia. She began to garner sympathy. But instead of embracing it and turning over a new leaf, she got worse. While working on one film, she received a letter from the head of the studio rebuking her for her behavior and exhorting her to concentrate on her work. Now think about that. If you were working somewhere and messing up and you got a letter, not from your immediate supervisor, not from the store manager, but from the CEO of the company warning you to stop screwing up and get to work, how would you respond? I think it's safe to say that most of us would be highly embarrassed that a person as busy as the CEO of our company felt the need to write us a letter about our behavior. Most of us would also probably be sufficiently contrite that we would do just that: buckle down and do our job; what we're being paid to do. At the time I learned of the letter from the studio head, I told Cigi "I can picture her balling the letter up, tossing it into a garbage can and saying 'Who does he think HE is?'"
I can't be the only person who, on one hand, thinks a good spanking is long overdue for this little diva and also thinks that that would be too little too late. When I was 17, I wanted to go out cruising with my friends. Unfortunately, I got a C on my report card and I was grounded until I bought this unacceptable grade back up. My dad worked second shift (3-midnight) at his job and I thought I could circumvent his rules by just waiting until he was gone. I had what we called Tenth Hour Release, meaning I had study hall last hour and was free to go home after ninth hour. So I got home about 2 in the afternoon, before my dad left for work. It was Friday night and he asked if I had homework. I held up my books and said, "What do you think these are for?" Yes, I was going through a rebellious stage. He warned me not to get smart with him and that I had better crack the books. It never occurred to him that I might sneak out once he left. I was the perfect daughter before that. It was beyond his comprehension that I might disobey him. Well, I did. I waited until he left for work (my mom worked the same shift so I was on my own) and I went out with my friends. Not only did we cruise down the Bradley to try to get into a frat party. Of course, they could see we were underage and they told us to get lost. This happened at every house we tried to get into. In fact, we went to the sports fraternity, Hassler Hall, and tried to get in. One of the guys there (a baseball player, I think) told me to go home "before your daddy spanks you." After this humiliation, my friends and I gave up on trying to get in to a frat party and went about trying to get some booze of our own. I volunteered that my dad kept a bottle of Jim Beam on top of the china hutch. My friend, whose name was Lucy, drove a 1966 Pontiac Catalina that we'd christened the Gray Ghost. We piled into the Ghost and drove over to my house. I went in furtively, making sure no one saw me take the bottle. No one did. I went out to the car, holding it up triumphantly so my friends could see that I'd gone through with this dangerous mission. We went off to a nearby park and drank this bottle of Jim Beam, which I'd ruthlessly stolen from my hard-working dad. My dad who loved me unconditionally. My dad who made countless sacrifices for me. We had to watch the time because I had to make sure I beat my parents home. So we sped home and I ended up in bed with just minutes to spare. The next day, Saturday, I felt awful. I was hung over because I was used to beer, not bourbon (or whatever Jim Beam is). I had a crushing headache that convinced me I was going to have a cerebral hemorrhage. I was awoken by a hand shaking my shoulder and was met with the angry countenance of my dad. "Where is it?" he asked. This happened in May, 1978 and I will never forget this exchange if I live to be 100. I tried to clear the cobwebs. "Um, what?" I asked, rubbing my eyes and sitting up in bed. "You know what!" he said. When his brow knit, I knew he was displease, bordering on furious. "Dad, I was dusting and I broke it. I'm so sorry," I told him. I was shocked at how easily I was able to lie to him. But he saw it for the ridiculous lie it was. Needless to say, I ended up over my bed while my dad used his Marine Corps belt on me. At least my sore ass took my mind off my headache. He tacked on two more weeks to my grounding. This was my last spanking until 25 years later when I attended my first party. I tell this story to illustrate a point. In the home I grew up in, bad behavior had consequences. I knew as soon as I snatched that bottle from its resting place on top of the china cabinet that this was how I was going to end up. I had that sense of the certainty of my dad's justice. If Lindsay Lohan had grown up in the house that I did, with a tough, no nonsense Marine dad, this blog entry would never have been written. She would have been brought to heel a long time ago. I did bring my grade back up to a B and I never, never stole from my dad ever again. Even after over 30 years I still feel incredible shame for this incident. I doubt Ms. Lohan has ever been acquainted with that emotion...nor the business end of a Marine Corps belt.