This year's Ouch! awards stick it to the honorees


December 20, 1992|By ALICE STEINBACH

As the new year approaches, you will find that all life is divided into two parts:

1. Those who see it as a time to make resolutions to do better, be nicer and give up at least one bad habit in the new year.

2. Those who see it as a time to make fun of and humiliate some of the most annoying, appalling and dubious people of the old year.

John Bradshaw, the von Trapp family and my cousin Grace belong in the first group.

Esquire magazine, Spy magazine and I belong in the second one.

Yes, dear reader, back by popular demand (which is to say: my editors demand I write a column every Sunday of every week) is our annual Year-End Roundup of People and Events We Want to Make Fun of Just One More Time.

And in keeping with our philosophy that there is no satisfaction to be had from insulting a person unless it hurts, we have given the honors an official name: The Ouch! awards.

And now, the envelopes please.

The "What Fresh Hell Is This?" award goes to Jungian analyst Clarissa Pinkola Estes for her discovery of the concept of the Wild Woman. In her best-selling book, "Women Who Run With the Wolves," therapist Estes gives us a female counterpart to the Wild Man popularized by Robert Bly. Prediction: In 1993 the Year of the Woman will be replaced by the Year of the Wild Woman.

The "Old Demon Rum Made Me Do It" award goes to Sen. Bob Packwood who, after being accused by at least 15 women of uninvited sexual advances, checked himself into a treatment facility "to see if the incidents were related to alcohol." If diagnosis comes back "negative," we suggest Packwood check himself into the H. L. Mencken Clinic of Self Respect. Here he can be tested to see if he fits Mencken's diagnosis of self-respect as "the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious."

The "Don't Do As I Do, Do As I Say" award goes to the U.S. Congress for passing a federal law prohibiting sexual harassment but exempting House and Senate members from said law. They also exempted themselves from certain civil rights laws, making one wonder: Aren't our elected officials supposed to set a higher -- not lower -- standard for us to follow?

The "Modesty Becomes You" award this year goes to lanky lunkhead Wilt Chamberlain and the 20,000 women he slept with. It just goes to show you that a really tall -- and rich -- man can score big off the court as well as on.

The "Out of the Mouth of Babes" award goes to the mega-richunsexy, love me-love my breasts Madonna for her record-breaking use of the word f during 1992. Estimated number of times Madonna used the word f : 1,365,289. We think.

The "She Ain't Heavy, She's My Faux Stepdaughter" award goes to Woody Allen for his heart-rending defense of why he couldn't resist 21-year-old Soon-Yi. "The heart wants what it wants," said the bloodhound-eyed, 65-inch-high actor-director in an adolescent, Holden Caulfield cri de coeur. Soon-Yi to be made into a major movie; look for the former recluse to star as himself.

The "Still Undead and Not Yet Bankrupt" award goes to pouty-lipped, self-promoting Ivana- and Marla-dumper Donald Trump who, despite his negative net worth, keeps coming back. Can't someone spring Michael Milken from the slammer so he can drive a stake through this guy's heart?

The "You're So Vain You Probably Think We Really Want to See Your Backside" award goes to the beady-eyed, self-deluding, run-at-the-mouth Howard Stern. When he showed up at the MTV Video Music Awards in an open-ended costume, millions staggered into their bathrooms to reach for the Pepto-Bismol.

The "It's the Economy, Stupid" award goes to those wacky House of Windsor kids: the Princes Charles, Andrew, Edward and their equine-faced sister, Princess Anne. Don't they know the Brits are getting tired of shelling out money to support these royals who every day are looking more like the old TV show "Dynasty."

The "I Am the Greatest" award goes to second-rate, post-feminist Camille Paglia, who ends her new book "Sex, Art and American Culture" with a listing of her own personal "media history." Citing her "personal, inflammatory presence in the media," she lists more than 100 articles on herself that have appeared in print.

And, finally, the "Is That All There Is?" award goes to the public relations types, promoters and disc jockeys who are trying to bring back the 1980s. Already. If we may, we'd like to offer a word to the wise: Let sleeping dogs lie.

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