The first bombshell came last week, when the cover of People Magazine informed us that Meredith Baxter-Birney is (gasp!) gay. Which isn’t especially shocking or interesting, save for the fact that the news only adds to People’s unparalleled reputation for outing has-been, Grade-C celebs and treating it as BIG news.
But, then, yesterday, an even bigger bombshell! Brian Bonsall, a one-time child actor who joined the cast of Family Ties only when the program was en route to oblivion, has an enormous neck tattoo. It’s huge, pathetic, uglyâ€”and labels the dude as literally unemployable.
Oh, and he was also arrested for beating someone up with a stool.
Were we still living in 1988, this might pass for earth-exploding material. Mrs. Keaton … a lesbian!? Cut little Andy … in a bar fight!? But here we are, on the cusp of 2010, and I find it hard to believe anyone gives a damn. I find it even harder to believe that People still considers I’m Gay! to be any sort of news story. First it was Clay Aiken, a faded American Idol runner-up who wasn’t exactly hiding his sexuality behind a macho facade. Then it was Lance Bass, incorrectly identified by People as a “Pop star.” (There’s an enormous difference between being a “pop star,” and “former pop star” and, in Bass’ case, “the fourth member of a long-defunct pop star boy group that no longer exists and only had one standout to begin with.”
And yet, compared to Baxter-Birney, Aiken and Bass were Tiger Woods and LeBron James. So obscure is Baxter-Birney that, on the cover, she had to be identified as “Family Ties star.” If you haven’t noticed, they only do that for once-upon-a-time celebrities who have left behind TV movies for subtle lives of normal bliss.
I’m babbling, but the point is, who cares?