Saturday, January 24, 2009

Whatever happened to Elsa Klensch?

Back when I had a real job, that is a job that required me to be somewhere accountable during ordinary business hours & usually well past them, my only reason for getting out of bed on a Saturday was Style with Else Klensch. Then one Saturday she just was not there anymore. I weakly searched for her but being able to sleep in on Saturdays eventually won out & I have not thought of her from that day to this.

It turns out, Else Klensch has been writing a mystery series. What are the books about? I have no earthly clue. Mysteries I suppose. With style. I am sure there was more to it than that. Sex & the City was barely a twinkle in the eye when Elsa went off CNN but I can picture the scene: A dim blue light is cast across the junior associate producers desk. Elsa Klensch enters stage right. The junior associate producer does not have the decency to make eye contact.

JAP: It's like this, Elsie...
EK: Miss Klensch, if you please.
JAP: Right. It's like this. We don't need to get people out of bed early on Saturdays to see fashion-type's nipples anymore,. There's this new HBO program gonna do it in prime time.

Then Elsa Klensch stabs him repeatedly with her shoe blade (you KNOW she has one), the junior associate producer slumps over his desk & the lights dim. I think this murder is probably what inspired her to start writing them.

Ms. Klensch is not the first person to retire to a mystery-series. I am told the books by Harley Jane Kozak are actually quite good. Also, if you have not seen The Favor, undiced by commercials on Comedy Central, it really is funny. Then Marion Chesney had not-quite retired from Regency Romances & began writing Hamish MacBeth & Agatha Raisin. Even Anne Perry had a short career as a murderer herself before she started writing mysteries.

I am thinking of writing my own mystery series. An unemployed fixed asset consultant solves crimes that are not really there... I think I may need to work on my noir, just a bit.

But back to Style with Else Klensch. I find that I miss it. Red carpet shows are just not nearly crazy enough (no, really, they are NOT). Ms. Klensch used to give us this season's leather & knitwear from Milan in the same episode as the influence of Japanese water gardening on the pop music scene & how this filtered into the latest wedding gowns. Seriously. I mean seriously that is what she did & I also mean she took herself very seriously.

I can see why she & CNN stopped being a good fit. No matter what she covered, Ms. Klensch made sure we knew that it was very important & never trivialized even the silliest of trends (she faithfully reported on the annual return of chaps; they have not appeared on any red carpets since the Red Hot Chili Peppers &/or David Lee Roth attended an award show & maybe even longer).

Now all news programs seem to flatten even the major news stories. Like it or not, some pieces information are more important than others & playing them all together in the same endless loop minimizes the value of everything.

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