leave columbo alone

I detest the paparazzification of American culture. I hate the deification of celebrities in general, but what I really dislike is the inevitable feeding frenzy that occurs when a once loved celebrity stumbles or shows a sign of weakness. It makes me sick to see, for instance, the extent to which we as a culture have picked at the carcass of Britney Spears these past several months. I’m not a huge fan of her work, and I think, to a great extent, she’s just reaping what she and her family have sown, but it still makes me sick. I hate that we have this voracious appetite for blood when it comes to those we’d once idolized.

Maybe it makes us feel better about ourselves when fat starts to appear on Britney’s thighs, or when she has her kids taken away from her by the court. Maybe, in the absence of real community, it serves some important psychological purpose. Maybe it gives us a feeling of connectedness. Or, maybe we need celebrity to fill the gap left by religion in the wake of science. I don’t know. For the most part, I try not to think about it. Occasionally, however, there’s something that I see that so pisses me off that I need to point it out and vent, though. Today, it was a mean-spirited post about Peter Falk on TMZ.com.

I’ve met Peter Falk. He’s a hell of a guy. And the thought of somebody taking pictures of him, and posting them online with the only intention being to ridicule him, just infuriates me. For Christsakes, he’s an 80 year old man. Have some fucking decency. Britney has bodyguards. She could avoid the attention if she wanted to. He can’t. One would have thought that he’d be off their target list, but some paparazzo probably stumbled on him by accident while en route to a Paris Hilton sighting and offered the shots to TMZ for cheap. And, since they showed him in an old shirt and torn pants, they thought it might get a laugh. I’m not much of one for physical violence, but if I had the money, and didn’t have to work tomorrow, I’d be on an ass kicking redeye to LA right now, planning to bust someone’s nose.

And, yes, that shirt he’s wearing in the TMZ shots, is the same one he was wearing when I met him here in Michigan a few years ago. (I’d like to think that he’s wearing it because it reminds him of me.)

Speaking of ripped pants, I had the seat blow out of my favorite pair as I was bending over to pick up dog shit this afternoon. (Thank God there were no paparazzi.) I need to get them to a tailor, but I’m not sure where to turn. I think I’ve heard that the folks at Trojan Cleaners on Pearl do good work. If you have another recommendation, though, let me know.

And, yes, this was my version of that guy’s much-ridiculed Leave Britney Alone post. Thankfully, however, I didn’t have a video camera handy.

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  1. oh minseok
    Posted April 9, 2008 at 10:32 pm | Permalink


    I’m a korean living in seoul.(name: Oh Minseok)
    Korean special investigative team are investigating samsung
    But they do not work right.
    I am suspicious to be bought off.
    samsung corporation has many crimes.
    And the team investigates samsung corporation.
    It contains korean companies samsung,huyndai,sk CEOs’ illegal issuing
    stocks or bonds.
    The quantity are plenty.
    (Three company CEOs did(and are doing) many crimes to me.
    Many koreans are knowing it.
    But many koreans are bought off by illegal issuing stocks or bonds.)
    The team are knowing it.
    Korean special investigative team must investigate this.
    But they are trying to conceal it.
    I ask for asking for this criminal investigation to prosecutors in any
    And help the shareholders and me.

    Three companies are hacking me and trying to kill me.
    And are suspicious to use my name and email illegally.
    If you receive another message that I dictated above are not true,
    it is not from me, but from three companies.
    The things I dictated above are true.

  2. Posted April 10, 2008 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    “The team are knowing it.”

    Which team are knowing it? The A-Team? I don’t think Mr. T could pity this poor fool. I bet he’d pity Peter Faulk, though. I think we should write letters to Mr. T and ask him to go down to the offices of TMZ and demonstrate how he cuts down trees on his property by pretending that TMZ’s “reporters” are trees.

  3. Nigel
    Posted April 10, 2008 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Wait, does this mean Peter Falk is really part of a Korean crime syndicate? I don’t feel so sorry for him now.

  4. mark
    Posted April 10, 2008 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    I know a guy that works for Samsung in Korea. I can’t wait to send him a note, letting him know that I’ve been tipped off to their crimes. “My team be knowing it!”

    I’m not sure what the Peter Falk Korea connection is. Wait a minute… According to this page, Columbo served in Korea! Hmm.. There could be something to this. I wonder if maybe he, the fictional character, discovered something about Samsung while he was there.

  5. Thoreau
    Posted April 10, 2008 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Lisas Tailoring is really good.

    2208 Packard

  6. Efram Turnip Pants
    Posted April 10, 2008 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Peter Falk was retired from acting during the run of the Mrs. Columbo series. For much of that time, he worked for a Korean electronics manufacturer later acquired by Samsung. He was charged with intimidating suppliers, motivating workers and the like. The Koreans, who knew him form the television series, were terrified of him. The Korean translations of early Columbo episodes are much more fierce than the originals. In them, Columbo would often threaten bodily harm. On occasion, martial arts scenes were even added. So, Falk was incredibly effective. People were said to have trembled in his presence. Not sure how this fact fits in, but I thought that it was worth mentioning.

  7. Scott
    Posted April 10, 2008 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    My wife has gone to “Minsky the Tailor” on Washtenaw and liked their work. They’re a chain store, but I believe their work is done in-house.

  8. Tommy
    Posted April 10, 2008 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Mark – rather than a tailor, how about a diet? Unless these pants are special, I would spend 20 bucks for a new pair rather than the 10 to 15 to repair. Try a tent and awning store, you lard ass.

    Reminds me of a Sponge Bob episode … admit it, you know the one I’m taling about!

    As for Peter Falk, this whole story saddens me. Respecting the privacy of others is something that has been lost in America. If I was marginally famous, I’m certain I would be a Sean Penn type.

  9. Ol' E Cross
    Posted April 10, 2008 at 11:19 pm | Permalink


    Peter Falk was largely forgotten in the public eye until your interview and article catapulted him back into the media spotlight. It’s pretty much entirely your fault the paparazzi is stalking him again. You need to call him and apologize. Just do him a favor and don’t post anything about your conversation here. You caused enough suffering.

  10. Posted April 10, 2008 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Mark, I’m sure a good google search will turn up instructions on sewing a blown seam in the butt of your pants. A needle and spool of thread will likely cost you less than ten US dollars.

  11. Jim Bone
    Posted April 10, 2008 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Give me a fucking break! No Hollywood celebrity walks around in ripped pants unless it’s a set up. This entire thing was staged by Falk’s publicists to help him help him beat out Philip Seymour Hoffman for the role in the new Colombo movie.

  12. Lindie
    Posted April 10, 2008 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Hoffman is going to play Columbo? That is awesome! He is an awesome funny actor. I loved him in Something About Mary. I totally can’t wait to see that. I tried watching the TV ones but the color looks off and the guy playing Columbo mutters his lines a lot. I don’t get it. But I love mysteries and am into old TV. I love Mission Impossible with Tom Cruise. Are the Farley Brothers doing the new Columbo? They really should. Who else is in it?

  13. Ol' E Cross
    Posted April 10, 2008 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    It is pretty great that he’s wearing the same shirt, though. For it to last that long, he must have a very good tailor. You should call him.

  14. Posted April 11, 2008 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I’ve watched a few minutes here and there of TMZ on tee vee and been horrified by it. It actually makes me (momentarily) feel sorry for the Parises and Britneys of the world. The paparazzo essentially haunt celebrities. It’s really pretty cruel actually.

  15. iRobert
    Posted July 29, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    The photo of Falk has been removed from the TMZ page. I wonder how long it remained posted.

  16. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 14, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I was really disappointed to find out that Mark spent time with a guy, who spent time with a guy, who shook Trump’s hand. MM.com has contracted retroactive cooties.


  17. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 14, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    “I’m not much of one for physical violence, but if I had the money, and didn’t have to work tomorrow, I’d be on an ass kicking redeye to LA right now, planning to bust someone’s nose.”—MM

    Oh dear.

  18. site admin
    Posted January 14, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Here’s what FF is talking about, in case anyone cares about context.


  19. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 14, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    To give a little context to the Vox article which was supposed to give context. I did not hear about it from FOX news. I am glad Site Admin still has his fingers on the pulse of individual outrage though. Although I think there have been a lot positive signs, outside of this particle group, that people are starting to catch on. Even when it comes to threatening broken noses. A turn is happening. Not even metaphorically. They know better. They know better.


  20. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 14, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if there is a Columbo type in the audience who could figure out if a guy like Aaron Rupar is right. Aaron said Fox and friends are making it up—and that Democrats were not upset about Trump talking with Vaughn. He said “nobody cares”.

    Gee I wonder if there is any way for a super sleuth figure out if Aaron Rupar is full of shit?

    The good news is many average brain washed Democrats are starting to realize they look total jack asses every time they tell the same old obvious lies. The bad news is their plan to avoid looking like jackasses is to just change the sorts of lies they tell. Becoming truth tellers never dawned on them.


  21. Anonymous
    Posted January 14, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    FF, you are the only person who I’ve heard talking about Vince Vaughn. Everyone else is talking about Iran and the impeachment.

  22. iRobert
    Posted January 14, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Remember, FF, we are at war and everything our Government tells us will be propaganda.
    By the way Epstein did not kill himself.

    And you remember that too, Anonymous.

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