Life in the Real Desert: The Stacy Keach Lookalike or Who WAS That?

Stacy Keach at film festival
Stacy…Was that you?

Life in the Real Desert continues to be amusing, challenging, frustrating and, sometimes, really odd. A perfect example of the “odd” occurred this morning when a Stacy Keach “lookalike” had a right old go at me outside the Burger King where I write most days. It may even have been Keach, Quartzsite is very close to the California border and I have seem people who look a bit like celebs pass through this little burg. If it was Stacy? Lay off the cocaine matey, it’s not good for you and makes you act like a grade A prick. Remember London Heathrow?

The details of my little “almost” altercation with Stacy Keach or his lookalike, began with my arriving and seeing that two well built (as in spending a bit of time on the old weights) chaps were sitting in “my spot.” (I normally sit in this booth because of the electrical sockets and it allows me to see my bike, it has been tampered with.) I had a chat with my mate and then got changed.

Coming out I noticed that the two fellers were still there. I decide to put my white box back on my Schwinn and then call my mum to tell her I’d heard from my daughter Meg. As I’m waiting for the phone to ring her end, I see this “Keach-looking” chap glaring bloody murder at me through the window.

I point to my chest and mouth, “Is there a problem?” Like a red flag to a bull, my gesture and question galvanized this man and he came charging out of the Burger King, I am still on the phone with it pressed to my ear. “Are you all right mate?” I ask, “Is there some sort of problem?”

Pointing a big “muscly” finger at me as he approached, very aggressively, he growled and said, “If you take another picture of me…” I pull the phone from my ear, “I’m not taking any pictures, I’m talking on the bloody phone.” My mother is on the other end asking what is going on and he then says “Stop taking pictures.”

I move the phone away from my face, “I’m on the phone to my mum mate. I’m not taking any pictures. Now you need to back off before I call the police, yeah?” (My inner London gangster type obviously comes out when threatened.) He replied that I could do just that but he then turned tail and went back into Burger King rather quickly. His mate came out as he went in and said, rather inexplicably, “The air conditioner is on inside.”

The whole incident lasted perhaps 10 seconds. “Stacy Keach” went back in the eatery and stormed up and down for a bit, apparently ranting about the issue. In the meantime a highway patrol vehicle drove up and went through the Drive-thru window. “Stacy” comes out and struts up and down outside Burger King, ignoring me, and then after making a big show of looking around the corners of the building got back into his car, shooting me a sideways look as he closed the passenger door.

It threw the man when I was not aggressive, but matter-of-fact. I did not threaten violence, although my hand was on the pepper spray and I was ready to use it. It must have sunk through that self important brain that I was not taking pictures of any type but he still felt the need to posture and act tough.

When he was storming up and down the walk outside, I actually pulled out my spray and opened my back pack to where my old prison baton was. Had he approached too closely again, he would have been sprayed and then thumped. Luckily for him, he will soon forget the old chappy with the MikesFilmTalk.com t-shirt who almost beat the devil out of him with an old prison baton.

The next time he may not be so lucky. Whether he is someone “important” or famous or really is Stacy Keach, he needs to curb that aggression. It’s not big, it’s not clever and it can get you hurt, or even worse, it can cause someone else to be hurt. I did not say it to you chum, but I had no idea who you were, or who you even think you are. Although after our little “altercation” it is apparent that he may think he is Kanye West…

Get a grip mate.

And if that was Stacy Keach? You just lost a long time fan mate. I do not think it was Keach, the man is 74 and I just watched his performance in the teen “weepy” If I Stay. The man who almost physically accosted me, just looked like Keach but younger, like the man did around his Mike Hammer days. Even when this cat realized that no one was taking his picture, there was no apology or explanation. A real gent…not.

One last word on the subject, during his entire stay at the local eatery, his car contained a dog in the back seat. There were no windows rolled down, that I could see, and this is the desert…in summer… Yeah, a real “tool” this chap, had I realized I would have called the police for the dog.

Oh and a Bit of Fame, Please.

It was reported the other day that 90% of school children who were asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” answered with “I want to be famous.” Surprising?

Not really.

We live in a culture that thrives on the ‘instant’ celebrity. There are people who are famous for just being famous. This fame turns them into celebrities. The paparazzi follow their every move and regularly invade their privacy. These ‘famous’ people look out at us from the covers of magazines, newspapers and the six o’clock news.

Obviously children nowadays believe that being famous is a career choice.

Who can blame them? I can think of at least two “celebrities” who, by the value of their name alone, are famous. They then became more famous by the infamy gained by the ‘leaking’ of a sex tape. Rather than destroying the rather dubious celebrity status they already enjoyed, these sex tapes launched their “name fame” into the stratosphere.

I won’t mention any names here, but a big clue is that both these individuals have done quite a bit of reality television.  And the television shows came about after the tapes had been leaked.

The world is busily trying to sexualize  everyone in the world up to and including our children. In 1983 a television show called Mini Pops was broadcast on English television. It featured a lot of cute little pre-teen moppets who dressed in adult ‘theme’ clothes and performed choreographed song and dance routines from the world of pop.

The outcry was deafening. The public rose on their collective hindquarters and yelled, foul. Mini Pops was accused of sexualizing our children and putting on a ‘paedophile parade.’  It was yanked off the air quicker than you could say Gary Glitter.

And yet…

We have replaced the adult posturing of these young pre-teens, who were after all doing a live version of singing into a hairbrush, with the likes of Toddlers and Tiaras. T and T is just one example of the many vacuously named ‘mini’ beauty pageants.

These “pageants” feature very young girls in adult make-up, fake tans, perfect bridgework and swimsuits for goodness sake. Yet this is considered okay by the rules of today’s society. I have not heard one complaint from anyone about this.

The children who win these travesties become “famous” to a somewhat  lesser degree than the two ladies I mentioned above, but they are  very briefly ‘mini’ celebrities. Only for a short while though, because the very nature of the business their parents have put them in requires that winners be replaced yearly.

I guess the point I am trying to make, albeit rather long windily, is this; has anyone explained to these children who want to be famous when they grow up, the difference between fame and infamy?

Being infamous is very close to fame. Infamous people stare out at us from the same magazines, newspapers and six o’clock news programmes. By infamous I mean Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffery Dahmer  et al. And to a lesser degree the ‘stars’ of leaked sex tapes.

In a world where it has suddenly become okay to sexualize our children and where these same children believe that being famous is a career option it has become important, I think, to teach them the difference.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree, disagree, think I’m way off the mark?

Let me know.

Gacy as "Pogo The Clown".
Gacy as “Pogo The Clown”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)