Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Amy and I watched the MTV hit show The Osbournes last night, I had turned it on after hearing several new stories about it earlier in the day--although I had caught a brief few minutes of it prior to last night but couldn't make sense of anything that was being said. Last night wasn't much different except it held my interest for the whole half hour. The star of the show, Ozzy Osbourne (of Black Sabbath and biting off bat head fame), is rather lets say an old 53 years old, to quote a piece in the Sun Sentinel is:

At times Osbourne's slurred speech and trembling hands make him seem more like a dotty pensioner than a Prince of Darkness, but even heavy-metal purists do not seem to mind the de-demonization of their idol.

"I don't think his fans have any illusions," said Doc Coyle, lead guitarist of the metal band God Forbid. "Everybody knows his brain is fried."


There in lies the fascination with this show, aging heavy metal rock star in a house filled with pets, two children a rather conservative looking wife and chaos. Through it all Osbourne seems lost. He leans on a cane talking into a phone with the speech coming out as though from a stroke victim--it is incomprehensible. Everyone in the house's language is such that it constantly needs to be beeped out, making interpreting the dialogue akin to receiving a message in morse code.

Highlights from last nights show include:

*Osbourne being told to make a face during a photo shoot and looking blankly at the camera man saying, "this is the only face I got."
*The aging Ozzy jumping during a concert against his doctor's orders and having to be carried off stage in pain.
*The heavily tatooed Osbourne sitting with cane, counseling his son against the use of alcohol and drugs saying, "If everyone went out and got a tatoo, would you have to?" and at another point a more poignant point, "Do you want to end up like me?"

Perhaps this last statement is the public service value of the show, Osbourne at 53 asking his audience in slurred speech holding his cane, "Do you want to end up like me?"