I’ve never met, nor do I wish to, Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
On the other hand, I did know Dr. Toni Grant, and she actually became my very dear friend.
Alas, Dr. Toni seems to be away from the airwaves these days, whilst Dr. Laura is all too present. Giving? Offering? No, ORDERING advice that fits in with the agenda of her sea-changed self.
I was listening to her today in my car on one of our local talk radio stations, and I have come to the conclusion that she is actually a dangerous person.
A woman called in, her two boys, 7 and 9, were armed with toy pellet guns, and she wanted to know whether they ought to be wearing some kind of protective body armor, just in case one or the other would put someone’s eye out.
Her answer was, absolutely! She was in favor of guns, and insisted that all kids should grow up with a knowledge of how to use them.
Sure. In a few years they should be ready to do another one of those North Hollywood bank robberies, and if they’re up to scratch with their homework, they will know how to outgun the cops!
The next call was from another woman, she’d recently married, and after six months learned that her new husband had a girlfriend from before their marriage and was secretly e-mailing her.
Dr. Laura put her on hold while she went into her really sincere and heartfelt advice on why it would be beneficial to her listeners to buy Fresh Air Purifiers, then came back and told the caller to quit the marriage without wasting another minute.
Before we leave her, let me just say that if people come to you to bare their souls with questions, they deserve to be not cut off impatiently mid-question, in order for Dr. Laura’s simplistic and unswerving agenda to be somehow inserted. The answer just might have to be adjusted, if the caller is to be helped. There’s a responsibility that comes with the job, so here’s one word of advice for Dr. Laura: LISTEN.
She should re-visit her past when she did real things with herself and her boyfriend, and hadn’t become every woman’s idiot idol, a time when she was making love and not war, and actually bared her self. You can check out her nude pictures if you wish, they are available on Wikipedia, but beware if you are very sensitive. Aw heck, here they are: Dr. Laura bared
Now, about Toni. I first became aware of her years ago (she was the original) when I was listening to a female caller on KABC complaining that her problem was that all men seemed to want, when she went out with them, was to get her into bed, and she was tired of it, and turned off to the dating game.
Toni first suggested that her nasal voice was very boring and off-putting, and maybe she should go out and get some voice and other self-improvement lessons in the hope of becoming a more interesting person, so the date could maybe think of something else. But she then added that men should never be put down for wanting to get a woman into bed, because that’s what they do, it’s a part of their function in life, and the human race wouldn’t exist without this call of nature. I liked that.
Later I got to meet Toni at an industry party, she was divorced, and she became a close friend of me and my family, her kids and my kids.
It was through her that I met, and became close friends with, Dr. Susan Block, a hugely talented writer, who later became a kind of link between Toni and Laura. Toni employed Susan to write her book Being a Woman, actually to ghost it for her. The book featured the concept of the necessity for a wise wife/partner to be able to play the dual and not easily compatible roles of a madonna and a prostitute, to make for a happy husband. Sound advice I would say. When it was published, Toni claimed that Susan was no more than the typist, which led to a very fractious relationship between the two. Much much later, Susan had changed her career somewhat, becoming a hard-core feminist of a different kind, and got into a one-on-one with Dr. Laura; here’s Susan’s website giving the details; lots of fun you’ll have reading this (but I warn you, it’s strong stuff, you might wish to skip it!) Dr. Susan Block diaries.
[See what others are saying about Dr. Laura.]
But to get back to Toni, Lynn and I were going out one evening to check out a bright, soon to be famous, up and coming young performer trying out her one-woman show at the Wilshire Ebell whose name was Whoopi Goldberg. We wanted to cull her performance for solo show tips.
It so happened that a friend had just called from New York to say he was coming in that night, and wanted to take us out for a late dinner. We said fine, but why not join us first at the show. He said o.k., but please fix him up with a date. The pitiful man couldn’t do it for himself, it seemed, so in a fit of mischievousness I called Toni, and that was how Screw Magazine’s porn publisher Al Goldstein, who Lynn had interviewed for our book “This is Living” (written over the objections of her employer WeightWatchers, a bit before Lynn was replaced by the effervescent amateur Princess Fergie at double the salary) came to meet Dr. Toni Grant.
Over dinner, it transpired that Toni got intrigued by him, and came to allow Al to move in with her. But that’s a whole other (very interesting, somewhat disturbing) story, and, well, enough said.
So I knew Toni to be a vulnerable, complicated, and all too human person, who let unmanageable problems enter her own life, and thus her offerings to her listeners were liberal, understanding, imaginative, and always sympathetic. And the callers could always finish their sentences.
There’s a lot more to the Toni Grant/Al Goldstein story that I don’t particularly want to tell, at least not now. Perhaps we became soul-mates. I am only sorry that she is another person who ignores me these days – but I wish her well. I know she got married again, and lives somewhere in Texas.
May 25, 2007
Interesting item in today’s LA Times, where we learn that Dr. Laura’s soldier son, 21 year old Deryk, may be the author of a lurid MySpace site featuring obscenities and racial epithets. Or he may be a victim of phishing. The army is investigating, and meanwhile this kid’s mom issued through her publicist a call for her son’s privacy. Oh yum yum, and read more about it HERE.