You may leave here for four days in space,
but when you return, it's the same old place.
--from “Eve of Destruction," written by P.F. Sloan, recorded by Barry McGuire
In 1993, when Fan Man landed his paraglider on the top rope of the boxing ring at Caesars Palace and disrupted a heavyweight bout between Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe, the fighters' security people and ringside fans beat the snot out of him.
Were someone to pull a comparable stunt today, security people and ringside bettors still would punch away. But I’m sure that more than a few fans would emerge from the crowd to shake the intruder’s hand and inquire how to pilot a paraglider so that they too could party-crash some high-profile event of their choosing.
Fan Man was the Barney the Dinosaur of self-promoters: He was imbued with little substance, at least to the public at large.
But unlike Barney, Fan Man didn’t have a huge fan following. Perhaps he just lacked the “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy fam-i-ly” tune necessary to allow him to jingle a lot of coin in his pocket.
Fan Man is gone, but sadly, his ilk is not. There are legions of shameless self-promoters, locusts feeding off everything with disregard for anyone in their path.
If you want to shock me today, you’ve got to float a whole lot more than a paraglider into a boxing ring. Fly an airplane into a New York City skyscraper and you still could shock me.
Expose your right breast on stage at a Super Bowl halftime show and that’s not going to do the trick. As regards Super Bowl halftime shows, nothing short of serious bloodletting is going to move the needle on my shock meter. I think bloodletting is planned for the 2010 Super Bowl halftime show -- we should about be there by then.
Disparage an ex-girlfriend and her current partner with a “sloppy seconds” comment to the media, pull out a Sharpie to autograph a football after a touchdown catch…not going to move the needle.
You may disgust me. You may draw my ire. But shock me? No, that plane has flown.