Adam Cherry grew up in Los Angeles in the ’60s (recall: The Doors, Charles Manson), and became politically active at the age of eight, stuffing envelopes for anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy. After five years spent toiling the volleyball courts and surf breaks at UC San Diego, and a brief stint at Price Waterhouse, Mr. Cherry attended the Wharton School of Business, where he graduated with honors. Returning to the West Coast, he attained the distinction of being the lowest paid private sector MBA in his class. Half a dozen ultimately lucrative if unremarkable years in investment management failed to quell the impulse to join three generations in show business; shortly after tendering his resignation, Mr. Cherry co-created the Fox television series VR.5. Unable to reconstitute this early success, Adam eventually left Hollywood and began writing for Bill Bonner’s The Daily Reckoning, Open Doors magazine and, ultimately, his own website.
I launched AskewedView in late 2002 as a response to the Bush takeover and attendant moral and economic denigration of our country. As Facebook and Twitter had yet to emerge, I was reduced to posting weekly articles and airing commentary on terrestrial radio, first locally in Southern California and then later on the now defunct Air America network. After four years, two things became clear: First, as the Democrats were poised to take control of Congress, the Right Wing could no longer freely impose its agenda on the rest of us. Second, my readership had plateaued around 1,000 and going viral (see: Justin Bieber, Shit My Dad Says) simply wasn’t in the offing.
So I took a year off. And contrary to rumors started by my agent, I did not go undercover with special ops forces in Iraq. Call me a coward, but I failed to see the value in trading my limbs for a bundle of ribbons and an endless string of appointments at the VA hospital. Nor was I toiling in the Ninth Ward rebuilding churches and elementary schools. My story is far less noble than that. And while I’m not at liberty to divulge my exact whereabouts, I can reveal that I was sequestered at a rehab clinic in Malibu. Which is not exactly a dead giveaway as the tiny seaside hamlet (100 sq. mi., 14,000 residents) harbors over two dozen facilities, including such Hollywood favorites as Passages, Promises, Harmony Place, Malibu Horizon, Cliffside Malibu, Sunset Malibu and Irv’s Junkie Grotto.
While what goes on in rehab is supposed to stay there, a first-name-only policy among the glitterari fails to provide very much in the way of anonymity. Nonetheless, I don’t feel I’m betraying any confidentiality by sharing some of what I learned. One patient, let’s call him “Mel”, taught me how to stumble my way through a field sobriety test after running over a clutch of elderly Jews, while “Britney” and “Lindsay”, ever mindful of the paparazzi, cautioned me before a moonlight foray to score some coke to re-shave my pussy before scaling the perimeter wall.
Reentering society in 2007, I attempted to revive AskewedView. A few dark and disenchanted months later, I thought I had put this endeavor away for good. But the financial meltdown and subsequent emergence of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party (think: Sharron Angle’s witchcraft) has increased the national threat level to fire engine red; nowadays, what isn’t being said is so glaring and so consequential that even I can delude myself into thinking my voice can actually make a difference.
I have long held that humor is the most effective, if insidious, way to alter the collective consciousness: laugh about it now, think about it later. Thankfully, the venomous diatribe first made popular by Morton Downey, Jr. may well have run its course as mainstream media’s prime modality. Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann have been fired, while Rush Limbaugh’s listenership is disappearing faster than the polar ice caps. And as religion fades as the centerpiece of American life, the polity seems to be groping for some kind of philosophy (isms, as they were known in the early part of the last century) with which to frame human behavior in a complex world. Frankly, I have nothing to offer on that score, though I might observe we would be better served with a bit less Ayn Rand and a tad more Dorothy Parker.
– Adam Cherry, 2011