Green Bay, WI
The National Railroad Museum in Green Bay Wisconsin may seem like a strange venue to be handing out awards to celebrities, however it has been doing just that for the past ten years with it's "Lifetime Achievement Award in the Field of Celebrity Train Wrecks". The idea was first presented in a rather tongue in cheek fashion when someone observed that interest in railways and trains had dimished greatly, unless of course there's a train wreck, especially if it's one of a celebrity nature.
As such, every year since 1995, in order to bring some attention to their Museum, the National Railroad Museum has added to it's annual Excellence in Railroading Awards ceremony, a Lifetime Achievement Award for the celebrity who best represents a train wreck through his/her past and current actions. A Museum Spokesman commented, "how else are we going to get celebrities to come to a railroad museum in a pissant town like Green Bay?"
Back in February, Bobby and Whitney were nominated jointly, along with Courtney Love and the following four nominees:
Meg Ryan - nominated for her previous work as a horrible actress who starred in numerous horribly written romantic comedies, seeming to be the only person in Hollywood who was comfortable being typecast. Her nomination was cemented this year when she came out of a several year hiatus from making movies, only to appear that she had been horribly disfigured due apparently to either botched plastic surgery or a random wildebeast attack. Her starring in two movies which were both horrible even by her own standards, proved definitively that fluff is as fluff does.
Jack White - The leader of the Detroit rock duo The White Stripes, who refuses to wear anything but red, white or black, has been in the running since marrying his own sister, White Stripes drummer Meg White. He has remained a top potential nominee by refusing to go anywhere unless he looked like the lead character from A Clockwork Orange. This year, he cemented his status as nominee with two notable events. First, he broke his finger and posted the footage of his finger surgery on his website. More recently, for no apparent reason he decided to beat the living crap out of the lead singer of the Von Blondies, a band he used to produce.
Carnie Wilson - She was this year's train wreck from out of nowhere. She seemed normal despite being raised by a man (her father, the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson) who wrote a brilliant album, then spent 20 years in bed after a nervous breakdown, and now looks like Doug McKenzie (or is it Bob...whichever one is played by Dave Thomas) from Strange Brew. But she came out of obscurity, screaming with a vengeance by having about 500 pounds of flab melt off her body via the removal of the vast majority of her stomach. She then gained international acclaim for her courage to pay for surgery to correct the ill effects of a lifetime of Ho Ho and Ding Dong abuse, only to turn around and pose for wretch inspiring pictures for Playboy, resulting in the worst magazine sales in publishing history.
Scott Weiland - Former lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots, and current leader of supergroup Velvet Revolver has officially reached a (2000 LTA recipient) Robert Downey Jr. level of court ordered rehab stays. As one observer put it, "he's been in and out of a rehab clinic more often than a janitor at Betty Ford." The sheer idiocy of being caught with drugs while being out on probation for his last drug bust, while trying to project an image of cleaning up one's act so one can launch a new project is a classic qualification for this award.
But the two other nominees (Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston who were counted as one nominee for their joint efforts in the field of celebrity train wrecks, and Courtney Love who didn't need any help) were the lucky co-winners of this year's LTA, a first in the history of this award. Other couples such as Liza and David, Billy Bob and Angelina and most notably, Pam and Tommy have been jointly nominated gone on to win this award. As you may recall, Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee won a few years ago for their swimming suit wedding, tattoos of each other, tumultous marriage, spectacular divorce, Tommy's spousal abuse incarceration, death of a child's friend in their swimming pool, Pam's bout with Hepatitis C, and of course their best selling homemade porn video, but never before has the award been jointly given to two separately nominated parties.
A Museum spokesman justified the double award by saying, "we would have given it to Michael Jackson, but he's already won 3 LTAs in this area, and we have instituted a no more than 3 LTAs policy in our Museum charter. The disqualification of Jackson left us this year, both a couple and an individual performer who had sunk to such depths that it was impossible to choose which was the greater train wreck, and as such, for the first time there will actually be three individuals on the stage accepting their awards."
At last night's award ceremony held in Green Bay, the two winners were announced and while each went on stage to claim a coveted "wrecked train" statue, their credentials were read to the audience by last years winners Liza Minelli and David Gest. A transcript appears below:
Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston were well on the path to celebrity train wreck status back in the late 1980s when each had a successful solo career. Whitney was well known for threatening to have fans who approached her for autographs killed, while Bobby was a notorious womanizer and cocaine addict. When the two got together, it was a recipe for a train wreck.
Shortly after Whitney had one of the best selling singles of all time with a cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You", she and Bobby effectively disappeared from the scene, only to emerge years later on Diane Sawyer's show, looking like escapees from a Detroit crack house, all the while claiming to have straightened up their acts. In the early 90s Bobby sired a bevy of illegitimate children, while Whitney worked with varying degrees of success throughout the next decade on perfecting a method of smuggling weed out of Hawaii, and helping her cousin Dionne Warwick perfect her method of smuggling cocaine in her gigantic nostrils.
After multiple DUI incarcerations and weekly visits to their Atlanta home by police investigating reports of domestic disturbance, Brown reached the pinnacle of train wreck status by being released early from one 60 day jail term only to transported to another 90 day jail term, from which he sprung himself just in time to make the awards ceremony. Meanwhile, Whitney spent 5 days of her husband's incarceration in a rehab clinic, presumably finding the accommodations to be less than suitable before deciding her family was cracked and she didn't need any damn help.
The two are reportedly planning to celebrate Brown's most recent release by splitting an 8 ball with their daughter Bobbi Kristina after tonight's ceremony. Brown needs all the coke he can get his hands on to face the judge again when he stands trial for beating the hell out of Whitney a couple months back.
Some would say that Courtney Love's contribution to celebrity train wreck status causes Bobby and Whitney's to pale in comparison. Love whored around and did some stripping in the 80s, managing to sleep her way into a couple of go nowhere movie roles. She hit the celebrity succubus jackpot in 1992 when she married Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain. After having Kurt secretly write all the songs for her band Hole's second album "Live Through This", she had him murdered, making it look like a suicide, a week before that album's release and used his eulogy to promote the fact that her album was coming the following Tuesday. After this, toddler daughter in tow, she embarked on an extensive world tour, showing her breasts and crotch to audience members at every show, and generally falling down a lot.
After 5 years of near constant drug induced stupor, all manner of sex with any musician or Hollywood actor who was able to see her naked and not vomit, and the release of a few horrible movies where she demonstrated for the first time (that is to anyone who hadn't seen Sid and Nancy) that she legitimately couldn't act, she emerged with one of the 7 albums she's promised her record company, an effort penned almost entirely by Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan, whom she felt no need to have killed. She of course accused her record company of not playing fair by expecting her to deliver the albums she'd promised, and retaliated in public speeches condeming the greed of record companies and supporting illegal downloading of mp3s.
Another world tour, another bout of sex with anything breathing, and millions of dollars of drugs later, she emerged again this year with newly inflated lips, and an abysmally poor solo album of songs mostly penned by (and inexplicably actually credited to) former 4 Non Blondes leader and newly scarily dykey looking punk songstress Linda Perry. This album has thus far sold less than 100 copies worldwide, mostly because Courtney has ingested so much tobacco and booze that she sounds like the offspring of Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits after being awake for 3 days in a smoke filled room.
She kicked off publicity for her latest release in earnest about year ago by posing for impromptu nude photos for Q magazine during an interview (without them asking her to do so, in fact some would say they begged her to keep her clothes on), in which she talked about such thrilling topics as having her anus waxed. This happened the day after she was arrested on a New York to London flight for making an obnoxious ass of herself. She later on a whim just decided to tell everyone that she was Marlon Brando's illegitimate granddaughter without any evidence to support it, nor an explanation or apology to follow.
It wasn't until October of last year that she managed to kick in the window of her most current boyfriend's house while high on illegal narcotics. That night she tried to OD in front of her daughter and was arrested for felony drug posession. Courtney wined, stalled and postponed her court dates, while rambling incoherently, often on the Howard Stern show that nothing she did was her fault, and that it was all a plot to steal her daughter's inheritance. Somehow she even managed to lose custody of her daughter to a man who is not even related to her or her daughter, despite the existence of several blood relatives, mostly because she tried to beat Cobain's mother to a bloody pulp right inside the courtroom.
Then to prove what an upstanding citizen and mother she was, she made an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, where she failed to keep her legs crossed for an entire hour, and managed to flash her breasts at Dave and the entire audience no less than half a dozen times, prompting a male audience member for the first time ever in the history of mankind to utter the words "put it back on!" While there she dropped names like they were Tic Tacs, and disavowed any responsibility for any bad things that had ever happened in her life.
Hours later she split open a fan's skull with a microphone stand then incredibly claimed that somehow this live music venue at which she was performing had microphones but did not possess any microphone stands. Days later while still awaiting trial on her earlier drug charges, she claimed to have given head to Ted Nugent when she was 12, even though no one asked, during an interview in which she was actually asked to explain the pictures which had surfaced over the weekend of a reportedly homeless man suckling on her nipple. She is expected to OD some time in the next 24 to 48 months.
When asked what their future plans entailed, Love started to say something incoherent, took off her top and fell asleep in the middle of 54th avenue. As for Bobby and Whitney, they plan to have Bobby run down a blind nun on his next DUI while a coked up Whitney is giving him a rim job.
Competition for next year's award is already heating up. Fitness guru Richard Simmons already looks to be well on track for a nomination for next years' awards for being flamboyantly gay, yet in the closet for more than 30 years in the public eye, culminating in his arrest for slapping a 6'1" 255 pound Harley Davidson salesman who made fun of his "Sweatin' To The Oldies" tapes.