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Ground Xero: Live from L.A.
Dr. Strangelove: The notorious Laura Schlessinger

By Xanadu Xero

Of course I had to see Dr. Laura’s naked pictures the micro-trice they hit the Net.

I tore over to my friend Master Geek Zack’s sty, I mean apartment. Zack’s appetite for poor taste exceeds mine, a fair feat. I was still recovering from our last playdate, a mind-meld over an Icelandic website starring elderly nuns, a crucifix, vegetables and farm fauna.

I remember kicking through take-out remains as I surged to Zack’s computer. Some porn was already on there, its caliber matching his housekeeping skills. An aging cheerleader type was aerating the pink on a white shag carpet by an unmade bed.

“Ugh,” I said. “You’ve got problems, dude. Where’s Dr. Laura?”

“That is Dr. Laura.”

Zack clicked through the whole, um, spread, guffawing along the way. I was, truly, nonplussed. I had expected a midnight cable kind of thing — chiaroscuro silhouettes by gauzy curtains, come-hither smiles, legs coyly draped.


Instead, I saw Hoochie Mama in gruesome prison yard light, flaming the goods. If she wasn’t loaded, I run Baptist bake sales.

And, on a personal note, I hope that somewhere in the subsequent years, Dr. Schlessinger, half Italian, has embraced the bikini wax.

My relationship with Laura has been complex. In days of old I had to drive a lot, and I’d flip between her show and Dr. Toni Grant’s. Dr. Toni was another radio shrink who had a sexy voice and did cool stuff like suggest bored couples take up tantra. Grant is actually a clinical psychologist, while Schlessinger’s PhD is in… physiology.

That means frick-all in/of itself as some of the world’s most thorough dopes have big degrees in their ‘field’ — and Laura’s no dope. In point of fact, it is her brave, incisive mind, coupled with its weirdo turns, its bait-and-switch, that intrigues me.

No one is better than Dr. Laura at swatting mosquitoes of self-indulgence, our country’s scourge. I feel the thrill of hockey fans at a brawl when she says things like, “You don’t have a drinking problem… you have a character problem.” I love to hear her dismember deadbeat dads, ‘Christians’ sliming in the name of God, whiners playing ‘victim.’ When she booms, “Its none of your business,” to snooty numbnuts, happy chills trill down my spine.

Yet, like another doctor — Hannibal Lecter — she can turn on a dime.

“No. DON’T get your nose fixed.” I remember her browbeating a sad girl who clearly had a mega-honker. “God gave you that nose. Wear it with pride.” Gosh, did God turn Laura’s hair blonde? Powder her lids with Fawn Taupe? Does He fly her to work? Did He tie her tubes so that she could enjoy, pregnancy free, her vast knowledge of physiology? Did he then untie them so that she could make The Kid who’s Mom she so fervently is?

Sometimes, when Dr. Laura is in what I call ‘Mood Disorder Mode,’ I crave a Vicodin. I’ve got to station-bail, anywhere, even into the flabby arms of NPR. She can get like a tweaked-out gang banger mid-binge. Even though Dr. L ‘devotes her life’ to the ‘welfare of children,’ woe betide the kid who gets on her air in this head space.

“My mommy and daddy got divorced and my mommy moved away and now I don’t see her anymore and I miss her,” says some small, scared child. I’ve heard this, in myriad variations, a zillion times.

“Well, that’s what happens when people don’t honor the covenant of marriage” Dr. Laura will bark. Now there’s a helpful comment. “Call your mom and tell her how you feel.” Why of course! Something easy for an eight year old to do, and sure to bring results!

Another five star M.D.M. fave is The Meek Broad Sex Call. A young matron, audibly trembling, stammers something like, “I… I just never want to have sex with my husband...”

Something snaps in Dr. L. She amps up to Feral. Her voice dilates slowly, eventually choking the stratosphere.

“Well, dear, he doesn’t want to take out the garbage, but he does it, right?? You have a WIFELY DUTY! DON’T YOU LIKE TO HAVE AN ORGASM???

Earth to Dr. Laura: If a woman never wants to have sex, she can’t have an orgasm. And no doubt she’s married to #1 Coors fan, Minute Man Mike.

When Dr. L called gay people “a biological mistake,” I didn’t have a cow. She’s as entitled (under our battered first amendment) to spout her creed just like Howard Stern. One, allegedly, can use one’s brain to consider the source. It’s the death of independent thought that’s the problem, not what one highly strung Piece of Work says.

More witless is what that Piece of Work does.

Laura gets all unctuous when she talks about (trumpets, please) the Dr. Laura Foundation. The Foundation’s purpose is to provide what she calls ‘My Stuff’ bags, with teddy bears, blankies, etc. for ‘abused and neglected children’ who have been taken from bad homes, to be put into worse, by Child Protective Services.

A nice cause. Not on par with finding loving parents for all the abused, neglected and abandoned children from women she insists made the “right moral choice” not to abort… but nice.

The maggoty truth, however, is that despite the grandiose name, the Dr. Laura Foundation is not funded by Dr. Laura. Ms. On High pickpockets the dough from her badgered listeners — mostly exhausted underdogs who slave to stay middle class.

Schlessinger is worth at least a hundred million. She laments that while the Foundation provided 50,000 bags in 2003, “I’m sad to tell you that we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of need… 300,000 children must be rescued from their homes each year.”

Well Jesus H., lady, sell those planet size diamonds you wear — thanks to your fortune built from others’ pain — and you can ‘My Stuff’ all twelve fucking dimensions!

Laura hates ‘feminism’ but by 99 percent of its varied definitions she’s the Grand Lodge Poobah, for better and worse. She is independent and unstoppable. She lives life on her own high testosterone terms. While she was out slaying dragons and dragging them home, her milder hubby watched The Kid, who has her last name, not his.

She imposes a quirky, despotic, agenda-laden template on others’ minds, while accusing ‘feminists’ of doing the same.

When Dr. Laura became an Orthodox Jew, listeners had to endure perpetual ‘kosher’ homilies, oft times with Catskills accent. Since she abandoned Hebedom (I’m Hebeish; relax) for sailboat racing we must now sustain the slaps of life/boat metaphors. Oy vey.

Which reminds me: Someone might mention to Laura that her fans, scrambling to pay rent, don’t all appreciate the sailboat racing updates. Most don’t get down to their yachts that often.

In the end, however, I must belaud Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Her greatest job, motherhood, has been a raving success.

Deryk Schlessinger, by all accounts a lovely guy, just dropped out of college and is opening a hookah bar in Hillsdale, Michigan, far away from L.A., its darkness, and Mom.

You can view an archive of Xanadu's columns here.


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