We had the “bellicose mom” movement a few years back. Now, maybe it’s time for the bellicose model to step up.
When I first meet him in the summer of 2006, on the occasion of his passing the torch as official non-butter spread spokes-hunk—he juiced annual sales of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! from around $25 million to $250 million—he’s in a voluble mood. Finally unshackled from his major sponsorship obligations, he’s eager to show that he has more on his mind than the ripping of bodices—or, for that matter, the metaphysics of butter.
“The Israeli people have been the sacrificial lamb of history,” Fabio declares. It’s mid-August, and the bombs are dropping in Lebanon as we stand in the kitchen of his sprawling Spanish-style mansion in Los Angeles (his publicist asked that we keep the neighborhood a secret to deter stalkers). The so-called Harlequin heartthrob, a diehard news junkie, has had a lot on his mind lately, particularly when it comes to Middle East policy and the Iraq war.
“It’s about f*cking time,” he says, as Fox News reports on Israel’s attempt to push Hezbollah out of Southern Lebanon. “[The Jews] have been getting killed for 5,000 years. Enough is enough. The rest of the world does not give a sh*t, except America, because the Israelis have no oil. Everyone sticks with those Arabs—because they have the oil.”
He’s not just talking the talk.
Even so, Fabio has a deep respect for the United States, which he credits with helping him achieve his incredible success. He has traveled the world, and says he has no doubt that America is by far the best country out there. His Ride for the Heroes, as he envisions it—20,000 or so motorcyclists cruising the Pacific Coast Highway from L.A. to San Francisco or thereabouts, each rider raising a certain amount of money—is his way of giving back to the nation and to the families of injured and fallen troops.
“They are the true heroes—not the people in Hollywood,” Fabio says. “I guarantee the majority of stars, they hear a gunshot, they’d be the first one under a car.”
Those are probably the two best quotes from the piece, which on the whole is full of odd surprises. I won’t spoil the biggest disappointment in the article. That’s on the last page.