Elephant Men

Like anyone else, I worry about getting older. I see the time slipping away from me and wake up wondering what the future will bring. The twilight years can be daunting and lonely. I wonder if I'll have the wits and stamina to maintain my career, and it's terrifying to think I might not have anyone who gives a damn about my elderly ramblings. Lately, though, I've been sleeping a lot better because, based on all available evidence, it's clear that when life has nothing left to offer me, I can always become a Republican.

The GOP convention last week turned Madison Square Garden into one of those mythical elephant graveyards you hear so much about in jungle movies, a stampede of tired celebrities who came to the instinctive conclusion that their next personal appearance would be as an answer on a Trivial Pursuit card and so lumbered dutifully to the Place Where Aged Has-Beens Go to Die. Mary Lou Retton? Law & Order castaway Angie Harmon? It was as if Dubya's event planners forgot they had a party coming up and had to book last-minute guests using the wish list for Celebrity Mole.

Speaking of which, former Mole contestant Stephen Baldwin, one of the many Baldwin brothers who has no difficulty clearing his schedule, wasn't actually a speaker for the GOP but told Pagesix.com that he'd be at the convention "to support the man I believe has the most faith. That's who I'm voting for. I believe the next president should be a guy who is being led by God." President Bush must be so pleased to know that he and the Creator have the support of a man whose claim to fame was playing grab-ass with Lara Flynn Boyle in Threesome.

Actor Ron Silver led off Monday night with the information that America "will never forgive, never forget, never excuse!" One might logically assume he was talking about the year he spent on Veronica's Closet, but no, apparently he was referring to 9/11. Ron bashed Hollywood liberals, then later told Fred Barnes in The Daily Standard, "I was playing to the room. I'm an actor. It was opening night, and I wanted to rouse things up." Good job, Olivier. See you on UPN sometime real soon.

The best the Republicans could offer was Arnold Schwarzenegger, an ancient Aryan who hasn't had a hit film in a decade, so now he does his acting as the appropriately animatronic governor of Disneyland. The Terminator went off on some tear about his Austrian immigrant background and then proceeded to give America credit for everything from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the emancipation of Nelson Mandela. I half expected Ahnuld to claim that it was the can-do know-how of the United States that gave Gandhi the gumption to skip dinner. Props to ol' Arnie for reinventing himself, yet at some point the GOP is going to have to realize that he and all their other celebrity supporters are just like one of those enormous shrink-wrapped packages of beef at Costco—seems like a good purchase at the time, but a month or so later, it's just a lot of meat.


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