Stop the Insanity
Susan Powter, former Dallas pudgy turned fitness guru turned bankrupt Californian, is back on the shelves with a new book: Sober...and Staying That Way: the Missing Link in the Cure for Alcoholism.

The spiked, bleached 'do is a touch longer, though still a long way from the "very big hair" she said Southern women favor in an August interview in The Dallas Morning News, but she otherwise seems much the same. You know--weird.

The new book offers a sure-fire Powteresque treatment for alcoholism--she writes from experience--that involves vitamins and diet.

We think.
Frankly, it was a little tough to follow. Powter writes just like she talked in her annoying late-night TV infomercials that once flooded the airwaves--a breathless sort of stream-of-consciousness rant fit for poor souls who wander city streets pushing shopping carts.

Buzz would like to offer up some of Powter's sobriety tips, but we only slogged through a few chapters before feeling compelled to get a stiff drink and look forward to the day she writes Silent...and Staying That Way.

Funny paper
Buzz doesn't know whether to congratulate the Morning News for honesty or smack it for hypocrisy. Deep within a column in the October 26 Sunday Reader, the DMN noted that its editors had pulled a Dilbert cartoon the prior week because the strip "made fun of one of the basic tenets of a religious faith." Ironically, the essay by cartoonist Jeff Shesol lamented the blandness of modern comics--a blandness driven in part by the unwillingness of editors to provoke controversy.

For the sake of curious Dilbert fans, Buzz braved hellfire and tracked down a copy of the strip. In it, the character Dogbert offers to sell Dilbert a football autographed by Jesus. When Dilbert notes that the ball isn't real because it has no stitches, Dogbert says "They healed...and I think I heard it oink."

Not exactly hilarious, but surely somewhere below adultery on the list of deadly sins.

Of course, this being Texas, Buzz supposes the offended religion might not be Christianity, but football. But then if making football look ridiculous is blasphemy, Jerry Jones is the Antichrist.

Now they tell us
While DMN editors were taking care to keep ungodly humor out of the funny pages, they let a truly offensive bit of black comedy slip through in yet another long profile of Yvonne Gonzalez, the felonious former DISD superintendent. The story included an anecdote from a former San Antonio underling who recalled how she once fell to her knees to beg Gonzalez's forgiveness for some unnamed sin.

The image of the mini-skirt-loving Gonzalez behaving like a latter-day Catherine the Great to some poor sap might be funny it weren't so damned pathetic.

The latest story was a far cry from the last long Gonzalez profile in the Morning News--a 3,000-word love letter in August that somehow missed most of the seedier details of Gonzalez's life.

What a difference two months--and a guilty plea--can make.

--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams