by Katrina Rasbold


Believe it or not, I want to talk about Bette Midler.  The Divine Miss M.  What a woman.  In a time where demure was in, she was flopping onto stage in a wheelchair wearing a mermaid tail, exposing her boobs during her performance and talking trash to the audience.  She was Janis Joplin, Courtney Love, Lenny Bruce and Madonna all rolled up into one.  Hell, she was Madonna before there was Madonna, just like Richard Pryor was Eddie Murphy before Eddie Murphy was Eddie Murphy.  Bette ruled the stage and sang like a bird.  She boogied with Mick Jagger and did the Stones’ song, “Beast of Burden” better than they did it.  She redid Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves A Woman" and brought the house down.  She even had a song about the "over the shoulder boulder holder."  How can you not love it?  She learned she could act and did that for a while, then she married an old guy, cut her hair, had a baby and went into quasi-retirement, emerging now and again to work the stage again, let loose with a new album or do a Barbara Walters interview.  Now, I love me some Miss M, but more specifically, I want to talk about a song that Bette did.  In was during the Gulf War crisis, so I’d guess about 1990-91.  Yes, it’s true.  I’m too tired and lazy to surf the net and find out when the damned song was released. . .I confess.  This song was called, “From a Distance” and was a happy little ditty that had verses like, “From a distance, the world is blue and green…From a distance you look like my friend, even though we are at war…From a distance we are instruments, marching in a common band . . . From a distance there is no war, not famine, blah, blah, blah.”  People went berserk over this song, like they later would over, “What If God Were One Of Us” by Joan Osborne.  They LOVED It.  The last line of Bette’s song, also repeated over and over throughout the lyrics, was, “God is watching us from a distance.”  As I said, people loved it.  Church choirs warbled it across the nation and it had a place in almost every school production of that year.  It was a hit and the nation linked arms, swayed and sang it until we thought we’d fall into a sugar coma from the sweetness of it.  I remember seeing a news broadcast where these angelic little kids were singing it in a video that would be sent to the U. S. servicemen in the Persian Gulf that Christmas.  That said, here’s my point and how I bring Better Midler into a conversation about GH.  NOBODY on the face of the planet except ME ever stopped to think about that song.  Nobody.  If they had, it sure would not have been sent to folks prepared to die for their country to foster any ounce of encouragement.  They certainly would not have had it rattling the stained glass windows of churches or being mispronounced by a legion of little kidlets in school.  I mean, listen, think, process!  The whole song, if you remember it at all, goes on and on about how the world looks from a distance.  It talks about how beautiful and peaceful and harmonious it is from a distance.  But remember that last line, because therein lies the very bitter irony of the song and the real kick in the puss that people missed and must have made the writer, Bette or otherwise (still too lazy to look it up), howl with laughter.  God is watching us from a distance.  The whole song, pretty as a soft Georgia peach, is about how God has a distorted view of us little mortals and our little world and only sees the good things that are visible from a distance.  “From a distance we all have enough, and no one is in need.  And there are no guns, no bombs, and no disease, no hungry mouths to feed…God is watching us from a distance.”  It clearly defines God’s vantage point as being “from a distance,” then describes how we look from that vantage point.  So essentially, God is oblivious to the pain and suffering in the world because He sees us from a distance and all looks well.  

I was the only one who “got it.”  I spread my message throughout George AFB, where I worked at the time and my husband (now ex) was stationed.  I was emotionally bludgeoned for my wisdom and clarity of vision.  Truly, they wished to believe that the emperor was, indeed, fully clothed, so rather than hail the little boy (me) who screamed the truth to the masses as a hero, they beat the crap out of him and locked him in the woodshed.  The consensus was that I must be taking it wrong.  I just didn’t get it, they said.  I was reading too much into it.  I wasn’t.  I didn’t.  I got it.  They did not.  If you want to have a look at those cynical lyrics, they are at the following link:  FROM A DISTANCE.  (See, I did go look it up!  What I won’t do for you guys!!)  I don’t know how Bette sang so beautifully with her tongue planted so firmly in her cheek.

Now, I told you that not only to spread the word about this cynic’s theme song, but also to illustrate a point.  A huge MASS of people, a whole nation and then a few other nations as well, albethey tiny ones, LOVED that song and took it as a positive, upbeat, kicky song about peace and love and joy because it talked about all of those things as well as God watching us.  They put two and two together and got eight.  It was MASS misinterpretation and hearing only what they wanted to hear.  If I have made my point at all, you see that Kum Ba Ya this song was not.  A lot of people are viewing GH with the same jaded eyes, but backward from the way the song was interpreted.  The song was cynical and sarcastic but heard as a thing of beauty (which it was, actually, to those of us with morbid senses of humor).  GH, on the other hand, is a thing of beauty, but is being seen by many as a failure.  Like the song, however, when you get in there, open your mind to what is actually there and think about it, you see that the mass interpretation is not necessarily the correct one.

I definitely have things about GH that get on my nerves.  If I didn’t watch the shows live (as it happens, the time that they come on is the most convenient time for me to watch them because it is smack dab in the middle of nap time – kids, not mine unfortunately), I’d fast forward through any scene where Chloe, Felicia, Bobbie or Hannah reared their pointy little heads.  If Juan picks up a microphone, it’s time for Katrina to take a potty break and maybe clean the bathroom while she’s in there (I admit that there is something freakishly psychotic about referring to oneself in the third person).  The thing is that, upon closer examination, behind every nasty little cloud, there is a silver lining.  

There is a game that deserves looking up on the internet called Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon or The Oracle of Kevin Bacon and the premise is that absolutely any actor on the records can be traced to Kevin Bacon via common links in six moves or less.  Goe ahead...name one, preferably an unlikely one.  Hey, let’s stay local and say Anthony Geary, our own Luke.  Anthony Geary was in Johnny Got His Gun (1971) with Ben Hammer; Ben Hammer was in Sleepers (1996) with Kevin Bacon.  That’s two steps.  How about Dr. Hardy, Steve Beradino?  John Beradino was in Young Doctors in Love (1982) with Demi Moore;   Demi Moore was in Destination Anywhere (1997) (V) with Kevin Bacon.  Two steps again.  It’s a pretty interesting game and can be played endlessly at Six Degrees.  So we now, thanks to me, have a new game called “Six Degrees to Awesome GH.”  In this game, we try to link a lousy GH moment to a great one in as few moves as possible.  Take Juan with his microphone (please).  He links directly to Emily who has been SUPERB through this whole stupid story.  From the moment she woke up the dead (except Ted) with that blood-curdling scream in the hotel and did that little freaky jump dance when she realized what was up, she’s ruled the screen.  She loses points for saying many millions of times, “I’m sorry I got you guys into this…I’m sorry I got you guys into this…I’m sorry I got you guys into this.”  For those of you who aren’t as old as dirt, there used to be these vinyl disks called ‘record albums’ and occasionally, when you got junk on them they would skip and say the same thing over and over, just like Emily.  But what do you know?  She pulled it off again when Zander grabbed her when he was up against the wall and has turned in a consistently brilliant performance ever since.  Now all we have to do is get Zander off of this kidnapping charge with community service so that he and Emily can be an item (Calling Alexis!  She did it once for Tony!).  Did we see that coming?  A miiiiiile away.  This new Zander isn’t as much on looks as the first one, but the boy can act and he’s doing a really find job.  I sincerely hope to see his shining face in the opening montage with the contract actors before the year is over.  Loved the line, “I didn’t go to kidnappers school, OK?” and Emily’s line, fired back at him, “I didn’t go to hostage school, OK?”  They were great in the clinic, although I found the role of the kindly Dr. Rose to be somewhat unbelievable.  I worked too long in the medical field to believe that there are many doctors as generous as he was out there.

Hannah.  Yack.  As my wonderful columnist Chris from “In a Lather About GH” says, ‘Boobs On A Stick" or "BOAS.”  BOAS describes a situation where we are supposed to believe that women with 2% body fat have DDD cup boobies.  We also are not supposed to notice facelifts, since their friends fail to comment on the fact that they have a whole new face or nose.  Anyway, on to Hannah.  One step.  Hannah directly links to Gia with that line that people must have been dying to snap at that nosey little bag since she walked on the set, “Who the hell asked you?”  It was a masterpiece.  Gia and Taggert have a great symbiosis and I think that once the actress (Gia) has broken in her new GH shoes, she will fit like a glove.  I’m loving her interaction with Nikolas and although she is still a little clumsy with the other teens, I think we have a keeper in the making.

Chloe.  Yack.  She really, really does look like Barbie.  I’ve seen enough of both to be a solid, reliable judge, but in case you have your doubts: 

**Barbie® and Chloe are both registered trademarks of Mattel Toys


But wait!!  If she pairs with Stefan!! 

Neat!  Sweet!  Petite!

But seriously, folks, Chloe is “0” moves from greatness this week.  She is THERE.  She and Stefan have been so brilliant together.  They both speak like good Eurotrash and can say things like, “Whatever do you mean?” without sounding like total jackasses.  They have an oh-so-amused-by-one-another thing going on that I love.  Let’s keep these two together.  I’m still reeling from the stroke of genius Stefan had in making himself out to be a kidnap victim also.  Look at the big brain on Stef!  Love it.  The Jax montage yesterday made me sniffle and the review of the barn scenes (admittedly, I fast-forwarded through it the first time because I *did* record that one) forced me to confront Ingo/Jax’s masculinity in such a way that I’m certain to have skin and hay memory flashes at inconvenient moments for many moons.  I did notice how Chloe seemed to lapse over into that grass roots common sense, gasket-blown Jason-speak when she was telling Stefan about how she’d feel if Jax found and chose Brenda.  It sounded exactly like he used to when he would talk about what was right for Michael.  “I’d be sad, but I wouldn’t hate him.”  How evolved can this woman be?  Does she really not want to pour gasoline on the Sigfreid and Roy (can never remember the German names they used) disguises in the middle of his penthouse, light a match and yodel her way on out the door to have some good revenge sex with Sonny?  I think maybe she does on some primal, denied, vindictive level.  While that reaction may be a bit extreme, I think that this docile, all-loving-and-understanding, peace/light/love reaction is even freakier.  Perhaps her playboy daddy abandoning her as a child set her up to feel that Jax bailing is a normal, acceptable and even logical thing to do.  Me?  I’m torching something. 

Bobbie and Roy:  two lost souls again joined at the lips to buddy breathe for one another.   Bobbie is only one degree from Awesome GH because of her connectivity to Roy.  As tightly wound as they get around one another, she might be 0 steps because there is a good chance they've morphed into one person.   Maybe by osmosis, Roy will breathe some of his cool into Bobbie and she’ll come out of this self-righteous fugue she’s been in since she slept with Damian last.  I believe if I had pulled as much crap as Bobbie, I’d be shuttling Carly into the classroom (read:  Jakes with a lot of brewskies) for a little Karma 101 instruction.  Monica could join them and they could set up a reformed she-bitch society or something.  Maybe they could twelve-step (or goose step if they got egotistical) out of evil.  It would be great to see the three of them yucking it up over Bobbie switching the pee samples to produce a positive pregnancy test to snare Scotty from Laura.  They could talk about Monica sleeping with Gail’s husband when she was just a lusty teen and then about how she and Sean Donnelly impoverished the Quartermaines and relegated them to live at Kelly’s.  Roy, in the meantime, has some business at Katrina’s house.  He has to, um, check on the plumbing…yeah…that’s it…lay some pipes and such. 

Luke cracked me up this week, just when I thought it was hopeless for him to touch a nerve in me again.  First was the incredible writing satire of the bank lady, Miss Pennybont.  I loved the James Bond (bont) play on words around the name of Bond’s secretary, Miss Moneypenny (who looked almost identical to Miss Pennybont).  I’m sure there is some similar game going on with a name like Sir Mainwaring, but I’m too culturally illiterate to pick it up.  The previews that show Luke giving Scott the business are tantalizing because as many of you know, Scott ain’t no pansy when it comes to giving people the business right back.  It is genius to put the two of these powerhouse actors/characters back on the canvas together again.  Just wait til Laura gets back in October!  Is it too much to wish that Lucy might make the commute back to GH for a few scenes?  Not getting Port Charles puts a decided crunch in my Lucy-viewing.

The Kiss….ah….the kiss.  Neither Carly nor Sonny can find it in themselves to just open up, start a dialogue or even a monologue and just tell the other one what they’re really feeling/wanting/thinking.  Why?  Because they are both too afraid of being vulnerable to getting hurt one. more. time.  How many opportunities at true, pure, blissful, silly-inducing love were lost in real life because the inner defenses that got in the way were just too strong?  Glad I got through mine!  It’s an experience I would not have wanted to miss!  It seemed like a lifetime after the JP said, “You may kiss the bride” until they were lip to lip.  My momness became clear when my headtape stared running Little Mermaid lyrics.  “My oh my!  Don’ be shy, you got to kiss de girl.”  It was heartbreaking the way they both held onto the kiss for as long as they could, just a second too long, to make the most of the moment.  It choked me up a bit, I’ll admit. 

Despite all of the nose crinkling, I was even moved by Mac and Flea’s reunion.  NOW, if she can just stay true to her calling and love our Mac for all he’s worth (which is a lot) and find her jollies with him, I might be able to tolerate watching her again.

My message for this week is to be sure not to watch GH “from a distance” and say that it’s in the toilet.  Look at the things that are beautiful about it.  Follow the degrees from the irritating crap to the good stuff and you’ll see that it’s never more than a step or two away.  It’s still the best stuff going in soapland when you view it from up close.


See you next week,


E-Mail Katrina



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