Thursday, November 18, 2004


SANTA MONICA, California (AP) -- A fight broke out near the stage at the Vibe awards ceremony as rapper Snoop Dogg and producer Quincy Jones were preparing to honor Dr. Dre. According to authorities and witnesses, one person was stabbed.

Dozens of people sitting near the stage Monday inside a hangar at the Santa Monica Municipal Airport began shoving each other as the show wound down about 7:30 p.m., said a photographer who covered the event for The Associated Press.

News video showed chairs being thrown, punches flying, people chasing one another and some being restrained. It was unclear if the stabbing preceded or followed the fight.

The victim, a 26-year-old man, was taken to a hospital and was listed in stable condition.

Witness Frank Williams told KCAL-TV that Dr. Dre was involved in the brawl."I saw Dr. Dre fighting somebody," Williams said. "I don't know if he was fighting back. But there was a guy taken out basically bloodied."

Andrea Ferguson, employed by a public relations firm that worked with Vibe for the awards ceremony, called the incident a "disruption" but declined to provide details. She added the show was allowed to continue but it was halted for about five minutes.

Dr. Dre, who was scheduled to receive a Vibe Legend Award for his lifetime contributions to hip-hop, had not come on stage yet when the fight erupted. Jones and Snoop Dogg stood on stage without saying anything.

"My understanding is that it was somewhat chaotic in there," police Lt. Frank Fabrega said in a press conference following the fight.

The UPN network aired a taped broadcast of the Vibe Music Awards last night, but the stabbing and wild melee that disrupted the event for three hours ended up on the cutting-room floor.

Monday night's award ceremony deteriorated into bloody mayhem when a man who asked Dr. Dre for an autograph began pummeling the rap mogul. Others came to his defense and Dre's assailant ended up getting stabbed.

Not that you could tell from UPN's broadcast. The sanitized TV broadcast skipped any scene of the melee and moved seemlessly to Dre coming to the podium to get his award. Dre, dead-serious, then looked out at the audience and declared, without mention of the violence, "They can't stop me. I don't care. That's real."

But in Toobworld, Reality is unreal.........

As a Caretaker for Toobworld, the situation presents me with a conundrum. The basic rule of thumb for the TV Universe is that if it's broadcast in the Real World, it's part of the TV Universe. Yet UPN chose not to show what transpired during the "riot".

However, CNN and other news outlets did show the footage. Therefore it did happen. So how do we splain away such a contradiction?

There are three men in Toobworld who might understand that sensation of dis-continuity. At least, they would know what it was like, if not actually understand it. But they are no longer in Toobworld, and as far as anybody knows, they never were there in the first place. You could even ask their own parents about them and you'd be greeted with puzzled looks.

For these three men have been erased from all aspects of Toobworld - "a man named Harrington, a man named Forbes, a man named Gart. They used to exist, but don't any longer. Someone - or something - took them somewhere. At least they are no longer a part of the memory of Man....."

Colonel Clegg Forbes, Colonel Edward Harrington, and Major William Gart flew an experimental interceptor dubbed the X-20 nine hundred miles into space. But at some point in their thirty-one hour flight, the ship disappeared from radar screens for twenty-four hours before finally crash-landing in the Mojave desert upon its return.

The newspapers were all over the story, calling the three pilots 'heroes'. But Forbes, Harrington, and Galt soon began to feel that there was something not quite right about their return.

Harrington was the first to be overcome by the sensation. He felt this urge to call home to his parents, but he was informed by his own father that the Harringtons never had a son named Ed.

Suddenly he disappeared, and only Colonel Forbes ever remembered him. The newspapers - the same copies that trumpeted the return of three heroes, now only showed a picture of Forbes and Galt with no mention of Harrington. Even Galt didn't remember his flight partner when he was confronted by Forbes back at the hospital.

Clegg Forbes was soon overcome by the same feeling that he no longer belonged to this world. But unlike the experience with Harrington, it washed over Forbes like the sensation of euphoria. And even though he didn't want it to happen, he transcended as if being bodily taken to a higher plane of existence.

For Galt, having witnessed this, and after hearing about a man named Harrington of whom he had no recollection but was supposed to know, the experience became a terrifying one. And he too soon disappeared with no trace left behind that he even existed. Even the X-20 plane disappeared.

No one can say how it must have felt about it......

"And if any of you have any questions concerning an aircraft and three men who flew her, speak softly of them... and only in the Twilight Zone."

Ultimately, we are the Powers That Be who control what happens in the TV Universe: the writers, producers, directors, actors... and even the audience, who make the ultimate decision as to whether a show lives or dies. (But as we should know, cancellation never means the end in Toobworld. Those characters continue living their lives, but unseen by our eyes.)

Within the Inner Reality of "TV Land", most of the characters don't know about that. Some, like David Addison of 'Moonlighting', have the gift of tele-cognizance. They understand that they are all living inside one big TV show for the perverse pleasures of the audience viewing back in the Real World.

For the others, their fates are splained away as being left up to God, or the Fates, or some other kind of Cosmic Muffin. For those who became one with the TV Universe by having their involvement in the Vibe Award fracas televised on the news, it must be unnerving to have the official remembrance of the events excised of any mention that something bad had gone down. Who could have done such a thing on such a "universal" level?

Those who do get to "remember" (via interviews on TV talk shows for example) will be considered tele-cognizants.

By the way......

Viewership for Tuesday's telecast on UPN of "The Vibe Awards" was up 20% from last year to 5.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Sure. Everybody was hoping to see a replay of the violence! I'd watch that for a dollar!

('The Vibe Awards' & 'The Twilight Zone')


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