The Re-View: Imus, sex, manatees and more


Welcome to a new feature on the blog: the "Re-View." From time to time (like, whenever we feel like it) we'll do an almost-live (as in typing with the TiVo) blog of The View.

Disclaimers: It's not a recap — there's no transcribing or any attempt to be accurate. Dialogue is paraphrased and/or mocked, so don't take anything as a direct quote. This is really just a series of reactions to the craziness that is The View — in particular, the crazy-goodness that is Rosie O' Donnell. We may eventually include screen shots of each episode; for now, the images are just silly. Anyway, here goes nothin' …


The View on April 10th: In which Rosie tells that damn U-Haul joke.

Rosie is Gigantor! Or that's how she feels, anyway, because while she was out (her kids had the day off, so she took one too), someone moved her chair. You know, the chair that has shorter legs because Rosie's torso is (by her own admission) so very tall. She's making such a fuss, I'm sure I'll have that They Might Be Giants song in my head for days — "Someone Keeps Moving My Chair."

The first hot topic is Don Imus. Is he a shock jock or not? That's what Rosie wants to know. The others think Howard Stern is a shock jock, but Imus is not. Rosie says sure, yes, because Howard Stern talks about "lesbians and prostitutes." That's right, folks: We're just a few minutes in, and Rosie has already dropped the L word.

Elisabeth talks about absolution and retribution and redemption and Conjunction Junction. Joy thinks it's fine for Imus to be offensive, but he should pick on the big guy, not the underdog. Yeah, Imus, pick on Gigantor! You know, the one in the wrong chair!

Rosie tosses out one of her stock phrases:

Rosie: In America, we have freedom of speech.

She always says "In America" when she talks about freedom of speech. It's like she's doing a movie trailer: "In a world, where there's America, and there's freedom, there is the one: the one who speaks." If only her voice were deeper, like the trailer dude’s voice.

Rosie also says the thing Barbara Walters didn't want to say yesterday: the actual racist words Imus uttered ("nappy-headed hos"). And why not?

Barbara: Joy has called people hos.

Joy: Only you, Barbara.

Ah, Joy. Always quick with the quip.

This leads to a discussion of taking back language (offensive language directed against your "community"). Rosie seems to really want to say the word "dyke" here, but she refrains. Say it, Ro! But no; Elisabeth and Rosie begin a free speech battle (or, rather, continue the one they've been having all along). Elisabeth veers off onto a tangent about what it's like to be an athlete:

Elisabeth: I was on a varsity team in college. It's no joke.

A varsity team?! You mean, like, you had cheerleaders and everything? Go, Hasselbeck, go, fight, win!

In solidarity with the tattooed Rutgers women, Rosie shows off her ankle tattoo. How many times have we Rosie fans seen this by now? I'm glad it's on her ankle.

Everyone continues to rant about free speech and Al Sharpton and ownership over words and whether Joy can call herself a bitch without perpetuating the problem. Elisabeth shakes her finger a lot. Rosie keeps saying “40 versus 4,” as in 40 years of Imus versus 4 words of Imus, but how is “nappy-headed hos” four words? Is she counting syllables? No, that would be 5. Well, math has never been Rosie’s strong suit.

After the break, Rosie’s still on the free speech pulpit. She talks about the Ku Klux Klan, but she cluelessy calls them the “Clue” Klux Klan. What is that: A Hasbro board game where you have to figure out who killed Ruth Bennett’s husband?

They all talk about the notion of “equal opportunity bashing,” but Rosie just wants her damn chair.

The subject changes, as it so often does, to sex. (Rosie sings “Let’s Talk About Sex,” which I guess will replace the Chair song in my head.) Joy reads the big Science section in the Times every Tuesday, and this week the subject was sex. She talks about the various stories and breakthroughs, including the fact that you can apparently enlarge your G spot with collagen.

I love this show.

Barbara Walters gives a summary of an article that discusses the genetics of sexuality — what men like, what women like, who’s gay — and in whispering the word “gay,” she suddenly becomes the Cheri Oteri parody of herself.

Elisabeth is surprised to hear that even straight women can be aroused by pictures of women.

Rosie: I think that’s true.

Of course you do, Rosie! I mean, I do too, but are we reliable sources, exactly? The audience is tittering for a reason.

Elisabeth thinks maybe the so-called attraction between women is the result of the way women “covet” each other’s bodies. Rosie makes a “meh” face that makes me laugh for a good five minutes.

Suddenly it devolves into a discussion of penises, and Rosie gets a little squeamish. Barbara teases her about it.

Barbara: You’re so funny!

Rosie: I just don’t like the sex stuff!

You’re cute when you play coy, Ro.

Barbara changes the subject to the question of whether most lesbians are friends with their exes. Rosie says yes, of course, and that’s because the ex usually has a new girlfriend too, because lesbians are just like that — and then she tells the dreaded U-Haul joke. She quickly redeems herself when Barbara mentions Woody Allen’s stupid line about bisexuality.

Rosie: [on why she doesn’t like Woody Allen] I’m not in favor of adopting a child and then marrying her.

Right ON, Rosie.

After the break (yes, this “hot topics” segment is lasting a full 39 minutes), Rosie says something that makes me rewind in awe: While she was in Miami, she saw, for the first time, a manatee.

A manatee is sort of a sea cow, says Rosie. They often have propeller injuries.

Rosie: That’s the problem with manatees: They get hit by propellers.

That’s the problem with manatees? Not the fact that they keep getting weirdly associated with lesbians? I mean, one of the world’s most famous lesbians spent her vacation watching freaking manatees? Help me, Mama Chaiken!

Rosie rambles a little more about the magnificent snouted vegetarian manatees, and then the discussion segues (gracefully, believe it or not) to The Sopranos. Rosie claims the show has inspired her to diet because she doesn’t want a “James Gandolfini tummy.” Word.

Everyone agrees that Edie Falco is gorgeous. Including me.

Elisabeth and Rosie do a quick riff on The Bachelor, talking in high-pitched bimbo voices. Barbara asks why they talk like that on that show, prompting Joy to bring everything full circle:

Joy: They’re limp-haired hos!

And on that note, I think I’ll go wash my hair. And think about manatees.

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