I never liked Martha’ until she was sentenced to prison and yet managed to hold her head high like a lady.
I love it that in a culture that prizes tearful breakdowns on camera, Martha refused to give us that.
Now I can’t get enough of the Martha-thon that has greeted her triumphant return from the clinker.
But I am worried about attempts by PR advisers to present a kinder, gentler post-prison Martha. For starters, Martha emerged from prison wearing a poncho made by a fellow inmate:
‘The dexterous ‘pen’ pal may have possibly been assisted,’ Myrna Blyth of National Review notes, ‘as she stitched away, by Martha’s many other prison buddies, including the gardener-inmate who has no place to go after Camp Cupcake. It’s said that Martha has offered that woman a job tending the roses on one of her estates. Tina Brown, on her TV show Sunday night, thought Martha’s Lady Bountiful gesture was a wonderful thing.
‘Meanwhile, those embedded reporters in Katonah were trying so very hard to be creative with their coverage. Some seemed overwhelmed that her staff passed out coffee and doughnuts, whole-grain buttered bread and hot chocolate made with ‘whole milk.’ Wow!
‘Other reporters told us over and over that this new Martha, who had always been so much about having or making the right thing, missed nothing ‘material’ during her prison stay except cappuccino. But coming home to a broken cappuccino maker had taught her she only really missed ‘the idea of cappuccino,’ whatever that means. I’m sure Starbucks hopes that notion doesn’t catch on.’
I think this New Martha thing is very unwise.
The whole point of Martha was that she had a cold perfection. It often veered into the ludicrous but was never sloppy or schmaltzy. Even hosting a wedding reception, Martha refused to be folksy.
Please, Martha, don’t cry for the public and don’t hold hands with Barbara Walters. Something in us needed your icy perfection.