Thursday, February 21, 2008

Disrespecting the Queen

Aretha Franklin, the pretty-much-undisputed queen of soul, has found herself in the crosshairs of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for wearing what PETA called "yet another vulgar fur" at the recent Grammy Awards. Now, Aretha's outfit was nothing to write home about. The fur covered a dress that looked as if Miss Franklin had awakened from a nap with just minutes to spare before the Grammys started, ripped the sheet from her bed, wrapped it around herself and dashed out the door. Her ensemble was, to quote Simon Cowell, hideous. But I couldn't give a tinker's dam whether Aretha was sporting a fur coat. These nutjobs from PETA, had they been around in prehistoric times, would have been telling cavemen to shuck those animal skins and wear a lovely frock made from leaves. Like most single-issue advocacy groups, they do some good by working to stop the more egregious misdeeds when it comes to animal treatment, but they get a reputation as zealots and get tuned out by the average person as a result of their relentless push for people to stop eating meat, chicken, fish, etc., and to stop wearing products made of any animal hide or fur. Personally, I don't think it's necessary to kill animals for ostentatious coats when so many other options are available, but I have no problem with using leather for utilitarian items such as belts and shoes. It's essentially a question of overkill. If PETA really wants to perform a public service, perhaps they could persuade Aretha to quit showing us her ample cleavage. Nobody's wanted to see that since at least the 1960s, and even then, Aretha was doing her best to cram 200-plus pounds of stuff into a 10-pound bag. She truly gave new meaning to the term "stretch pants." On the other hand, if Aretha continues to dress as she did at the Grammys, we could post the photos on our refrigerators, and we wouldn't want to eat any fish, chicken or meat, or much of anything else, for that matter. It's a helluva weight-loss plan.



Blogger Greg said...

Wow! Move over Mr. Blackwell there's a new fashion critic in town. RIP to that poor herd of wildbeest that had to die so the Queen of Soul could have such a coat.

February 21, 2008 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Amanda Gillooly said...

Whew! I almost wore that SAME outfit today...

February 21, 2008 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Scott Beveridge said...

Someone with her talent doesn't need to look in a mirror.
I'll give you a critique of her outfits after seeing her concert April 6 at Heinz Hall.

February 21, 2008 at 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Newman. I'd like to see you in a dress like that.

February 22, 2008 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I assure you that you wouldn't. I'm damn near as big as Aretha and not as pretty. However, I could carry off the fur a little better, pairing it with a nice walking stick and a purple, crushed-velvet hat.

February 22, 2008 at 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask not for whom the pelt tolls, it tolls for thee.

February 22, 2008 at 3:30 PM  

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