Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Laak Thing Again (And Hopefully For the Last Time)

Bill Rini has posted what we can all hope is the last update on the bizarre Phil Laak extortion scheme/situation that developed on 2+2 over the past week. After much threatening to "go public with the whole story," the mysterious (but definitely sleazy) "Tom Grant" announced that all had been handled (with Laak) "to my (Grant's) satisfaction." Rini has archived a copy of "Grant"'s original web-site claims, as have many others, this poster included.

This one just looks ugly, and given the way things unfolded, there's really only three logical explanations, in order of likelihood:

Possibility 1) Laak really did get himself into a serious scrape in Thailand a few years back, and is still paying the price for whatever went down. Blackmailers never go away, however, so if this is the case, expect this to resurface again two or three years down the road. Given the way anti-hero types are seldom damaged by less-than-saintly behavior, unless they do something really repugnant, a la Michael Vick, one has to wonder just what it was that transpired. Maybe the thought of a Thai prison is a bit much for a well-to-do white boy that maybe strayed a bit too far. Maybe not. But hiding messes is like burying old tires; sooner or later, they work their way back to the surface.

Possibility 2) It's a bizarre hype campaign for Laak, who is getting reasonably good ratings alongside buddy Antonio Esfandiari in "I Bet You," the prop-bet show. Who says hype campaigns can't be insanely stupid and ill-conceived? I seem to recall some signs hung in public places in big cities promoting a cartoon character and show not long ago; in the current climate, that was idiotic;

Possibility 3) The Thai "Grant" is a truly psychotic, demented character, who created all this out of thin air and has been pursuing Laak for years on an imaginary tale. Cue David Letterman. This is less likely because of the consistency and duration of the rumors. This thing has been simmering for years, and the Thai guy seems to be a sleaze, not a whack-job. After claiming that money was no part of the situation, it now seems that money may well have been exactly part of the situation, to the surprise of, well, no one.

Ah, well, time for all of us to go wash our hands, and think again about what is about trainwrecks that never fails to draw an audience. It's a cautionary tale, too; usually, sooner or later, the truth comes out.

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