Celebrity Sweepstakes: Sarah Versus Brüno

bruno_sarahIn today’s celebrity-driven world, there is increasingly aggressive competition to catch the next wave, fire-up the media, make big bucks, and burnish your “Celebrity!”

Recently, two of the world’s most cutting-edge Celebrities — ex-Alaska governor Sarah Palin and international shock-comic Sacha Baron Cohen — hit the Celebrity Sweepstakes (CS) bulls eye.

There they were, the two of them, vying for the covers of leading national magazines and unleashing their latest tabloid-grist: Sarah, the hardworking “Real American,” gushing from the Alaskan wilds and Sacha debuting his latest movie incarnation: Austrian flamboyant gay fashionista, Brüno.

Each is a polarizing figure in this head-to-head Celeb smackdown. And, while one of them bewilders with shocking statements, the other shocks with bewildering statements. Who’s which? That depends on who’s most outrageous: the 5’5”, 44 year-old, gun-toting, tongue-twisting soccer mom not seeking fame, or the skinny 6’3”, 38 year-old, ultra-gay, desperately-seeking-stardom, Brüno?

Since Celebs depend on a gasping public, the recent Sarah/Brüno face-offs have raised Celebrity to a new low!

Interviews/Magazine Covers:
A smiling Sarah photographed on an Alaskan bay fishing deck graces Time Magazine’s cover. The story spotlights Sarah’s national stage entrance, “Palin has been like a modern-day version of the captive specimens hauled back to Europe by explorers of old. Like Squanto in London…she fascinates…(and yet) she remains…unknowable.” Who? Squanto? More points for Sarah if King Kong had been referenced.

Appearing on the elegant cover of upscale GQ is a beguiling, flirtatious, naked, Brüno totally-waxed, resplendently smooth. A Rolling Stone article titillates, “There is so much homo heat in Brüno that it could turn Brad Pitt gay, maybe even Santa Claus.”

CS winner: Toss-up

Wardrobe:
For her recent interview, Sarah wore rubber surf-wader overalls complimented by red fishing gloves purchased, no doubt, from Walmart. She thoroughly destroys last year’s fancy designer duds image.

Brüno’s flamboyant gay fashion helped make his film #1 in America: tight-tight short shorts, designer accent scarfs with military fatigues and several shockingly adorned birthday suits. His wardrobe inflamed religious Jews, raised the hackles of U.S. military sergeants, and made attendees at Red State swinger’s clubs reach for their whips, chains and guns.

CS winner: Brüno

Shock Video:
While Brüno may have both legs up when it comes to fashion, a shocking Fox News video interview revealed, “Alaska Governor Sarah Palin officially pardoned a turkey for Thanksgiving at a Wasilla farm… as another bird was clearly seen being slaughtered in the background…” i.e., a live turkey was being stuffed head-first into a grinder.

Not to be outdone, we see Brüno kneeling on all fours on an examination table, buttock extended, busily talking on a cellphone. A professional female hair removal technician is behind him dutifully working “cleaning and waxing” the most intimate areas of his body. The scene is punctuated by Brüno saying, “Take your finger out of there.”

Unfortunately, for Brüno, an unseen finger in a place where the sun doesn’t shine, doesn’t outdo turkeys being fed live into a grinder.

CS winner: Sarah

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Use of children:
Sarah paraded around her unmarried pregnant teen-aged daughter and special needs infant too many times. Sarah seems unbeatable carrying her infant son like a sack of potatoes, switching him from hip-to-hip, his head flopping from side-to-side, while speaking about the importance of being a good mom.

But, Brüno is no amateur.

Brüno returns from Africa with a black infant stuffed into a suitcase. Airport travelers are stunned as he opens the suitcase and takes out the child. He appears on a TV talk show where he tells a mainly black audience that he traded an iPod for the child and has given him a “typical American name: OJ.”

CS winner: Toss-up.

carl-matthes.jpgBrüno’s use of an adopted child was not original enough to dominate in this category. “Adopted” black children have been used by Madonna and Brangelina. Sarah broke new ground with her pregnant teen and special needs child. Brüno gained points for novel suitcase stuffing and use of the name “OJ.”

Wrap-up: Brüno is outrageous but not real. Sarah is outrageous but very real. The winner? Brüno has his eye on stardom while Sarah has Celebrity’s crown jewel in sight: President of the United States.

Carl Matthes

Published by the LA Progressive on July 16, 2009
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About Carl Matthes

Carl Matthes is a native of Los Angeles and has lived in Eagle Rock for 45 years. He is the current president of UGLA, Uptown Gay and Lesbian Alliance, a grassroots organization in Northeast Los Angeles which provides a support system for gay men and lesbians and education for individuals and the community-at-large on the true nature of homosexuality. He is a former columnist and a current advisor to the Lesbian News, the oldest lesbian publication in America, which is owned and published by his sister, Ella. He was editor of the GLAAD/LA (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) newsletter, a former GLAAD National Board member and served as a GLAAD/LA representative on the LGBT/LAPD Advisory Board. Carl has also been a Board member of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

In July, 2008, Carl was legally married to Carl Johnson, his partner of 45 years, by Los Angels City Councilmember Jose Huizar. It was a unique gay/lesbian double ceremony as Carl's sister Ella and her partner Gladi were also married by Jose.

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