I'll never say that Stephen King is a great "writer," but he is really becoming one of my favorite interview subjects. (And I'll say he's a very entertaining storyteller.) This recent item in TIME is yet another example of why I enjoy listening to him.
He starts off asking about TIME's person of the year, and he suggests Britney Spears (Be warned, it's that image, but it's within the context of the King interview) and Lindsay Lohan should be awarded the honor. Yes, he's serious. But not because he thinks highly of them.
Britney Spears is just trailer trash. That's all. I mean, I don't mean to be pejorative. But you observe her behavior for the past five years and you say, "Here's a lady who can't take care of her kids, she can't take care of herself, she has no retirement fund, everything that she gets runs right through her hands." And yet, you know and I know that if you go to those sites that tell you what the most blogged-about things on the Internet are, it's Britney, it's Lindsay.
His point is a valid one. Sure, there are lots of intelligent Americans who don't give a crap about these imbeciles who are famous for being famous. But we don't do enough to drown them out. As King notes, is anyone paying attention to what's going on in Pakistan? This is an enormous country with millions of people, many of whom are impoverished, and it is on the brink of a coup. The country has nuclear weapons, and regardless of what some might think of Musharraf, he's an ally. Not only that, but the prime minister he ousted years ago and who is trying to get back into power is a nut job who saber-rattled with India.
Stephen King is many things, some good, some not so attractive, but I like listening to him or reading one of his interviews. He's always interesting, always thoughtful, and always entertaining. I can't say that about pop icons. Keep your voice strong, Mr. King.