Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tom Cruise, scientology, supermarket magazines, hot gossip and religion as a celebrity circus

(Above: portrait by Philip Hannaford, whose other works can be checked out at Hardware Gallery).

Dedicated as we are to the finest in gossip, we were nonetheless startled to see in the supermarket today two magazines featuring stories about Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, and scientology.

The short, enlightened one is always more-ish, as are scientological rituals, in much the same way as goat-riding Masons were first rate fun in the old days.

According to the gossip mongers at Woman's Day, scientological counsellors have been called in to save the marriage, which hasn't impressed Holmes, while the New Weekly gets into Hollywood's scientology club, who's in, and what's going down.

Now far be it for this site to detail the shock horror exclusives these great journals have scored, but as we're always anxious to alert people to the latest sensations in loon pond, consider yourself warned. Best of all, it needn't cost you a cent if you find yourself trapped in check out aisle at the supermarket like we did, and even better it'll only take a couple of minutes of actual reading time. (Sure you might pay squillions for the groceries, but what the heck, you don't get this sort of bonus in the local Alfalfa House Community Food Cooperative).

We were further titillated by the news a couple of days ago that three year old daughter Suri would celebrate her birthday by sitting on a vibrating chair for five minutes, and in another rite of passage, by spending five minutes in a dark room with soft Scientology music playing.

Various readers have dismissed this nonsense as idle rumor mongering gossip, but the funny thing is, this is a religion that believes in the weirdest kind of alien Thetan, Xenu hocus pocus from the fertile, fervid mind of a second rate science fiction hack, namely the blessed L. Ron Hubbard. As a result, even if they tried to be sensible, no one would believe in them.

I'm now wondering if there's an inverse correlation between celebrity endorsement and the decline and fall of ersatz religions. The more Holmes and Cruise become an issue, and the more attention is paid to their marriage and their three year old daughter, the more the flakiness of scientology gets an airing.

Poor old Beck, once an ultra hot musician, and now struggling in the market place,  is also copping a bruising because of his scientological connections.

And the same kind of reaction has surrounded a rumor that Cruise and John Travolta would star in a re-make of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, turning it into a kind of scientology buddy movie.

Now that's worse than religious heresy, that's screen heresy, and the notion that Cruise got the blessing of Paul Newman (conveniently and unhappily dead) should be taken with an e-meter test and a grain of cleansing salt.

The upside? There's no point now in trying to point out that scientology is absurd. It's showbiz, and with the circus, you have to expect clowns. Jesus isn't the greatest show on earth anymore, not when a thousand cults can bloom, and Katie and Tom being counselled to save their marriage is bigger news than the bible (not that it's really counselling, as the cult doesn't believe in psychiatric counselling, preferring a hook up to the e-meter, which puts poor Katie at a disadvantage as Tom is a top level clear, and rumored to fly around the world at night saving us from Magneto and Lex Luthor).

And there it all is, in your local supermarket, as you try to do your best for Kevin Rudd and Australia in a rampant binge of weekend consumerism. And they say capitalism doesn't deliver.

In other news, Mel Gibson uses his private jet to hook up with twelve Catholic bishops in America's heartland and asks them to eat Italian with him at his expense, and to pray for him. Sadly the report didn't say whether he'd be giving up bonking sweet Russian songstress Oksana Pocehpa or whether he'd ever started, as she claimed. Or is he actually bonking sweet Russian songstress and composer and part-time model Oksana Grigorieva, and is  she pregnant? Who knows, but these are the days of our lives, and theologically hard to understand.

(Below: Oksana Pochepa. Mel's squeeze? Can 12 Catholic bishops help this kind of temptation of the flesh, or is it scapula time?)

Oh fair crack of the raw prawn, I know this isn't the sort of thing we normally cover, but how many times can you read about Piers Akerman? And Miranda the Devine is on holiday and he Duffster is away. It's quiet on loon pond, and besides the lads need the smell of olive oil on raw human flesh every now and then, and as soft-hearted feminists, we're only too eager to please.

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