California dreamin’s better on steroids!

Aug 12, 2003 7:12 AM

There were some pretty scary images on the boob tube and in the press last week.

One was the sight of Terminator 3 clomping across the set to embrace Jay Leno as that jolly pair celebrated the Termight’s entrance into the California race for governor. It was equaled only by the front page images of Arnold holding hands with Maria with fellow candidate Ariana Huffington, the Goddess of Greek Mythology, edging alongside for another photo op, and another shot of the self-proclaimed porn star who wants to tax breast implants soliciting the 65 signatures needed to run. All but Maria are candidates, along with 100 or so others who actually came up with the signatures and $3,500 to declare.

Then there was Kobe, being proclaimed Mr. Sensual Lover ”” or was it Consensual Lover, or Eagle Scout of the week? ”” or whatever all those teenage kids were screaming about. Kobe, of course, smirked his way as usual en route to the affair, kissing his wife’s hand tenderly as he passed the photographers and cameramen. It was a scene of chaotic weirdness and domestic bliss, California style.

Scariest of all was that homey ad for Guess Jeans, or whatever it was supposed to be, of The Boss and Condi Rice strolling across the Texas ranch with three guys with heads all downcast, the deep-in-thought trio being good old smiling Don Rumsfeld, seldom seen Dick Cheney, and General Richard Meyers. Colin Powell was nowhere to be seen, but the sight of the Big Five, dressed down for the heat and the media and shuffling off to a Crawford barbecue and a discussion on how to handle the fate of the world was unnerving and disconcerting.

Watching all this, questions arose.

If Schwarzenegger wins and becomes The Leader of California, will we have to call him Terminator?

Do you think Kobe kissed the hand of his Colorado girl friend?

And most pertinent of all, aren’t you glad you live in Nevada?

California always has been a zoo, but now that they have let the animals out of the cages the state takes over from its famous zoological attraction in San Diego in both variety and volume. It now is Disneyland Gone Dotty.

One thing is certain. The governor’s race next door will become spicy, particularly if Mary Carey, who says she is a porn queen, continues in the race. She set the tone last week when she said, "I am just as dignified as Arnold Schwarzenegger and I can speak English." She didn’t mention it, but she’s better built than Mr. Universe, too.

All of this stuff would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

Giddy kids screaming for Kobe are scary enough, but when one considers that someone from that generation is going to have to take over later on, whether as governor of California or president of the United States or Jay Leno, it becomes downright terrifying. Superficiality is scary at any of those levels except for television, where it is a stock commodity, but where are the future leaders hiding among the kids? If they are in that crowd yelling for number 5, I’m moving out.

Among the humorous aspects of the circus of Sacramento wannabees was Bill Simon Jr.’s statement that he would like a series of debates with the leading candidates. We’re not sure who that entails, but I would pay to hear Mr. Simon debate Miss Carey over the merits of breast implants, or even The Terminator over whether bulging biceps or ray guns or mere grimaces were more important in conquering the world. Close your eyes and listen to that one.

If it comes down to Schwarzenegger and Davis ”” a truly frightening prospect ”” it could wind up bringing Maureen Dowd’s line to life ”” a race between a governor who became unpopular acting like a robot and an actor who became popular playing one.

The best thing for anyone to do on October 7, which isn’t that far away, is to hide in bed, pull the covers up over your head, and hope this is just one big bad dream that will be gone when you wake up.