Your RDA of Irony

Monday Medley

Celebrity Item #1:


Pop singer and High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale suffered a panic attack onstage in New York on Friday night after a recent rhinoplasty left her struggling for breath. The pretty blonde was showing off her new nose at the Z100 Jingle Ball – her first public appearance since undergoing the cosmetic procedure in Beverly Hills on November 30. Looking strikingly different, the 22-year-old took to the stage at Madison Square Garden despite a little obvious swelling from the cosmetic surgery. Tisdale reluctantly went under the knife to correct a severely deviated septum.

A deviated septum is the medical term for not wanting to look Jewish. The insurance companies require a good excuse to pay for a nose job. Your claims representative would dispute your need for an ambulance just because your leg was severed by the truck that ran over you (a tourniquet and a bus could get you to the hospital, too–if you really have to go). But that flint-hearted bureaucrat has not yet questioned the “apparent” epidemic of deviated septums in young women of certain affluent suburbs. (A deviated septum might occasionally occur in Kenilworth, Illinois but only as the result of a croquet accident.)

And, oy the irony, these young ladies usually look worse after their nose jobs. True, they no longer have a fleshy or slightly hooked probosis, but now their nostrils are parallel to their eyes. For fear of resembling Barbra Streisand, they now look like Miss Piggy. Furthermore, for all the money and discomfort, the operation really doesn’t fool anyone. Tiffany Tisdale (alias Morris–and you can only guess what it was at Ellis Island), here’s a dubious congratulations. You no longer look Jewish but it is obvious that you used to.

And now to the other ethnic extreme….

Celebrity Item 2:

Aristocrats may be oblivious to everyone but themselves, but on that topic they are usually experts. These two-legged thoroughbreds do know their pedigrees. Princess Diana never read Lord Byron, but she would have known which of her great-great-aunts had affairs with him. So I was quite surprised by a comment from Helena Bonham Carter. We know her as an actress with a decided affinity for the strange (and has two children with Tim Burton for proof). However, judging from the sixty entries for Bonham-Carter in Burke’s Peerage, she is also an aristocrat. She was named for her grandmother, Lady Helen Asquith, whose father was Prime Minister. And no doubt, with a little research, you’ll find some Bonham-Carter ancestress who was impregnated by Charles II.

Yet, as she claimed in an interview, when growing up she had no idea of the historical and social prominence of her family. I find that incredible. Was she brought up in an ashram in Belgravia? Even if her parents, the right honorable Bonham Carters, did a remarkable semblance of humility in her upbringing (Oh, great-grandfather just had a job in the civil service) how did they quarantine her from all the other toffs in their caste? Were the aunts, uncles, cousins and neighbors suppose to feign cockney accents in front of young Helena? Was she home-schooled to protect her from titled and hyphenated-surnamed classmates?

But maybe she was–which would explain why Helena Bonham Carter is strange rather than a snob.

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