No Rebound –

‘Even all the boring white guys got tattoos now.’

Like an aging sitcom that keeps getting moved to a worse and worse time slot, Dennis Rodman’s celebrity is near cancellation. Rodman, by 1998 second to his teammate Michael Jordan in name recognition among basketball players, has no endorsements, no public appearances and few prospects. Rodman’s collapse is classic American overexposure. Call it the Action Figure Syndrome. From William Shatner to Mr. T, few survive being molded into 11 inches of plastic. It’s a sign that America has made your acquaintance, fallen in love and gorged on your image. And we all know what happens next in romance and marketing: boredom followed by contempt. Today, it’s a short road from the cover of GQ to a throwaway line in Conan’s monologue. NY Times Magazine

The tragedy is that Rodman, like many others, does not realize what process he is victim of.

Fireworks Shows Put in Doubt by New Rules –

Small towns across America could be without fireworks this Fourth of July if federal agencies can’t settle on new homeland security restrictions on shipments by train.

“It’s getting stupid. Do they really think a terrorist will use a firecracker to blow up a building?” said Don Lantis, of North Sioux City, S.D., whose family-owned pyrotechnics company puts on 300 to 400 shows around the country every Independence Day. ABC News

Should Arab Comics Make Terror Funny?

Some pretty in-your-face humor, or at least in Ashcroft’s and Ridge’s faces. Of course, John Stossel finds this phenomenon disquieting. Of course I say go for it…

“I’m normal, people, just like you. I put my pants on one leg at a time, strap on a bomb, go to work.”

“There’s only one thing I’ve got to say about racial profiling: It’s awesome. Seriously. Look at me. I got my ass kicked all through high school. And now, people are actually scared of me.”

“No guys, that’s a lie. I’m not Iranian. I was Iranian for 23 years up until Sept. 11th and now I’m Puerto Rican because that makes life a lot easier. That’s what’s happened to the entire Middle Eastern population: they’ve all become blacks, Latinos and dark Italians…”

“Did you guys see this Dan Rather interview with Saddam Hussein on prime-time TV, right before we’re trying to kill the guy, he’s on prime-time TV, and he challenged President Bush to a debate. Did you guys hear about that? How unfair was that? Going right for our president’s weakness — speaking English.”

“We’re all going to be arrested by the FBI after the show. I hope you guys enjoyed, hope you’re enjoying the show. Hope you’ll visit me in the detainment camp.”