E Pluribus Mores

Who this person, Hannah Montana, you speak of?

In celebrity fashion on December 29, 2008 at 10:16 am

Hannah Montana

Who is this Hannah Montana, you speak of ?   I have no idea.  I know, you are saying, “that’s what you said in your previous column about the Lady With the Big Lips.  But throughout the column it was clear that for years you had been reading the supermarket checkout headlines.”  Well, that may be true, but in this case I really have no idea who she is. My overwhelming inclination is to detest her.  Her name alone calls forth the P.S. Mueller cartoon of the dog who in one panel vomits, and in the other panel eats it.  The original caption reads:  “nostalgia.”  That could be fixed.  But the truth is I don’t know.  Should she not gain the least benefit of my lack of certainty?  It is like the philosopher’s cat who was placed into a box with a radioactive material, a Geiger counter, and a flask filled with cyanide gas.  The experiment is constructed so that if the Geiger counter detects the radioactive material it will trigger a switch, which will break the flask, and the cat will die.  But because in the time allotted to the experiment the radioactive material has an equal chance of emitting a particle, we can’t know for certain whether the cat is alive or dead.  So that in the instant before we open the box all possibilities exist in equal measure.  This is a very special place, this box.  In this universe of possibility, when the vice-president says, “we only water boarded three prisoners,” he means three in the sense of one, two, three, or in the sense that “I authorized nothing worse in those secret CIA prisons than institutional food and a stern reprimand,” and not in the sense that “I am a lying sack of a donkey’s last breakfast, and you can’t do anything about it.”  In this special place Hannah Montana isn’t cross marketed.  She isn’t a golem created in a white-board brainstorming session by the cubicled minions of a cave-bred corporate ghoul who hates the sun.  In this special world she could be anything, from the surreal to the macabre, from improvisational theater to a Ghastly Crumb Tiny.  Heck, for all I know, she could be quality children’s programming.  I could research.  I could view clips of her programs, attend one of her concerts, or read news reports of which ex-Olympic figure skater will play her in Disney on Ice.  But then I would know.  The box would open, the cat would escape, and all I’d be left with is whatever the cat had deposited in the litter.

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