Saturday, August 28, 2010

Paris Hilton arrested for Cocaine possession

I don't know. The poor girl. She keeps getting arrested. In South Africa for marijuana. In France for marijuana.

She was in a car police say was "trailing marijuana smoke". How did they know it wasn't cigarette smoke? Apparently this entitled them to stop and search the car. They found marijuana, charged the driver with driving under the influence, found cocaine and I guess arrested Paris Hilton.

Well, why shouldn't she have cocaine? Does it really matter?

Like that movie, Little Miss Sunshine. The grandpa decided that at his advanced age it didn't hurt anything for him to become a heroin addict.

What does it hurt for Paris Hilton to be a hopeless drug addict?

Maybe this will do the trick for her

This could be a boon to Paris's "career".

Michael Jackson once advised Donny Osmond to get himself arrested on drug charges to revive his career. Maybe that's what Jackson had in mind when he kept getting himself arrested on those horrible sex charges.

If that was her plan, Hilton screwed up her first arrest. Cried on her way out of court. Then she was released because the jailers thought she'd have a nervous breakdown.

Look at Robert Mitchum, arrested for marijuana back in the '50s, photographed in jail cheerfully mopping the floor. Well, as cheerfully as he did anything. The public had no problem at all.

Well, there have been other things over the years that celebrities have done that should have boosted their careers but didn't.

Victor Sen Yung who played Hop Sing, the cook on Bonanza, was shot and wounded during an attempted airline hi-jacking. A passenger and the two hi-jackers were killed when the FBI stormed the plane. Sen Yung was struck by a bullet that otherwise would have killed a child in the next seat. Michael Landon never did anything like that.

Come to think of it, Alfalfa Switzer was shot when he was in his 20s and struggling in Hollywood. He survived that one, but was later shot and killed by a guy who owed him twenty dollars. Alfalfa had a terrible temper. He pulled a knife on the guy who owed him the money, and the debtor shot and killed him in self-defense.

Sonny Tufts kept getting arrested on drunk charges. So did Scotty from The Little Rascals, who went on to become a drunken wife-beater. The poor guy died in his 30s. He went into a nursing home where he died after a brutal bar fight.

There was Devon Sawa. What did I read about him? He was a pretty big teen idol after doing a nude scene when he was 13. He's been arrested four times, once for drunk driving, once for stealing a car, once for trying to evade arrest for probation violations for the first two arrests, and once for drug possession and beating up his fiance.

Many years ago Sawa dated a girl who had been on the sit-com Boy Meets World. They broke up. Years later, the girl appeared on a radio talk show. She didn't name Sawa, but she said she used to have a famous boyfriend who would "beat the crap out of me."

What makes someone act like that?

Getting arrested probably isn't the career booster Michael Jackson imagined.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Independent documentary filmmaker tries to murder cabbie

A film school grad named Michael Enright was making a documentary following U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Enright returned to New York City. He might have gotten drunk. Got in a cab. The cab driver was Bangladeshi. Enright asked if he was Muslim. Asked if he was observing Ramadan. Then attacked him with a knife, tried to cut his throat, and told him that this was a "checkpoint".

The cab driver locked Enright in the cab and got the police who arrested him for attempted murder.

Police said Enright was drunk, but the victim didn't think he was. Doctors said that if the cut to the cabbie's throat had been just a little deeper, he would have died.

Police also said that Enright carried a journal full of anti-Muslim rants.

Well. Enright's lucky the cabbie survived. He's only going to prison for attempted murder, rather than murder. I'm not sure what the difference is New York.

Says his documentary was non-political

Like the way Glenn Beck's political rally isn't political. I think all that means is that the motives of the U.S. in Afghanistan are never questioned or discussed, or the reason why anyone might feel compelled to fight back when their country is invaded. The U.S. troops are just innocent victims minding their own business.

If you watch The Sorrow and the Pity, the documentary about the Nazi occupation of France, you can see an indignant Nazi talk about how rotten the French resistance was. They attacked some Nazi soldiers who were innocently practicing their marching, not doing anything to anyone.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Office, Woody Allen

There was Woody Allen's old movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors. Another one of his more or less serious movies, although he acts in this one.

There were a couple of storylines in it. In one, Woody Allen plays an independent filmmaker who makes uncommercial high brow documentaries. He makes little money. He's struggling. He's excited because he wins a little award at a little film festival.

Allen is hired to make documentary about his brother-in-law (Alan Alda), a wealthy successful TV producer.

So, here's the thing. You have Woody Allen, a successful, wealthy, highly regarded maker of supposedly high brow intellectual movies, who gets a blank check from the studios to make one or two movies a year, and he's playing a failure.

There's just something wrong and kind of annoying there.

And then there's the sit-com The Office.

There's something I find troubling about watching a successful comic, whether it's the American one or the British version, playing someone who desperately wants to be a comic, someone who actually considers himself a comic genius, but is just terrible. It's rather cruel. Is this really what successful actors and comedians think of those who desperately wish they could do the same?

I guess it has to be that way. If you're going to have a TV show, the star, by definition, is going to have to be a TV star.

There was Robert DeNiro in The King of Comedy, but that was different since DeNiro isn't a comedian by trade.

They had sort of a reunion show of the British version.

I watched it on Netflix. It was pretty good. Poor David Brent. He was a little like Screech--like Dustin Diamond--trying not to let his small amount of fame go to waste. The show was supposed to be a reality TV show set in an office. So the poor guy was making personal appearances between working as a traveling salesman.

Back at the office, Tim is coping with his humiliation at having asked that English girl out for a date and begging her not to marry her fiance and to marry him instead. He seems to lead a sad lonely life.

It was always kind of depressing.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Oh, crap! Am I like that?

Many years ago, Christopher Hitchens was inexplicably invited to debate Charelton Heston on Nightline about "Operation Desert Storm", the first U.S. war with Iraq launched by George Bush, Sr.

Hitchens decided his course of attack. He wouldn't argue about what Heston thought; he would focus on what Heston knew.

He asked Heston to name the countries bordering Iraq. Heston named several countries including the Soviet Union, causing Hitchens to exclaim, "You think it's Iran, don't you!"

Anyone can work up an opinion but no one should care what it is unless you actually know something about it.

So anyway, I came across a guy's website. I had googled Wanda Coleman, a writer I met a couple of times. I came across the website which was a collection of "essays" by some guy. They were attacks on poets he didn't like. The essays weren't scholarly, but he thought they were. He attacked political opinions he didn't share as "political correctness", made mostly personal attacks on poets and their admirers. He offered no insight into their work or what he thought was wrong with it.

The internet is full of people like that.

Mr Cranky

Someone calling himself "Mr Cranky" ran a website where posted nothing but negative reviews. Some of them pretty funny. Everything he reviewed got a bad review.

But here's the thing---

A director told about an encounter he had with Pauline Kael. He had let Kael hang around while he made a movie, let her see how it was done. And she wrote an article attacking him.

He asked Kael what she was doing. She said she was trying to guide his career, telling him what she thought he should be doing.

He told Kael that she was trying to have the pleasure creativity without taking any of the risks.

Mr Cranky took this one step further. He was trying to have the joy of being a movie critic without the risk of making a bad judgment. All his reviews were bad--that was his whole routine--so he never had to state what he liked and what he disliked.

Real critics all write reviews that prove to be embarrassingly wrong. Roger Ebert attacked the soundtrack to The Graduate as "instantly forgettable" and for years he's had to defend his positive review of Cop and a Half.

TRUE critics

Maybe that's the test. You're not a true critic unless you can be embarrassed by your gross misjudgment.

That would exclude someone like Michael Medved. Some rich right-winger put up the money for him to host Sneak Previews, the movie review show on PBS. A show of the same name was originally hosted by Siskel & Ebert before they moved on to commercial television.

Medved's reviewed everything according to how closely they conformed to his right-wing ideology. Thus, Chuck Norris's Invasion, U.S.A., terrible even by Chuck Norris standards, got a rave review while he took part in demonstrations that were sometimes openly anti-Semitic against The Last Temptation of Christ.

Medved wanted more G-rated family films, but attacked Benji The Hunted because Benji stays in the woods to save some orphaned baby animals rather than running home to his master. Benji was disobedient!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Those Charmin commercials

Am I the only one who finds toilet paper commercials increasingly offensive?

I remember many years ago. I was at the library. I was a teenager. So when I saw book called Rated X, I was rather curious about its content.

Turned out the book was by some extreme conservatives complaining about all the filth on TV---and this was in early '70s.

I quickly lost interest in the book. They were outraged by Pepto Bismol commercials. They were also disgusted by The Hollywood Squares. And, actually, I watched that show a few times when I was five or six. There was one where they asked Paul Lynde about a famous quote, about something being "a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children." What did the quote refer to?

"A spanking," Paul Lynde quipped. (He went on to give the correct answer---Youth itself!)

They asked George Gobel, is it true that women in France pay twenty dollars an hour to have their breasts massaged?

"I'd do it for ten," George said.

Well, I guess there is nothing but filth on TV.

People make a big deal about them not being able to use the word "pregnant" on I Love Lucy. But there was an episode entitled "In a Rut" where Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel decide to have open marriages.

In another episode, Lucy suspects Ricky is having an affair. She finds a piece of paper with a name and address. She wants to get a look at the woman, so she and Ethel go to the woman's apartment. They knock on the door. An old woman answers.

"We're taking a survey," Lucy says.

"Your name's not Kinsey, is it?" the old woman says.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Zsa Zsa Gabor

It's been reported that Zsa Zsa Gabor has asked for last rites from a priest. She's in intensive care after complications from hip replacement surgery. She's 93-years-old.

She's appeared in something like 30 movies. A Touch of Evil was one, and The Queen of Outer Space and Moulin Rouge.. But they talk about her as being "famous for being famous", and she is the "ex-step-great-grandmother" of Paris Hilton.

There was the movie Earthquake. George Kennedy gets in trouble when a high speed chase ends with the cars crashing into Zsa Zsa Gabor's hedge.

Personally, I was on her side in that case where she defended herself after being attacked by that hulking L.A. pig.

Interesting facts

A couple of lawsuits.

Gabor and Elke Sommer got into a feud, supposedly after Sommer said that Gabor had inordinately large buttocks. Gabor's husband publicly stated that Sommer said that all German men were pigs, so Sommer sued and won $2 million. This put Zsa Zsa and her weirdo German husband into bankruptcy. That was in 1993.

Later, they sued Zsa Zsa's daughter, Francesca Hilton, for forging Zsa Zsa's name on a loan application and stealing millions, but the lawsuit was dropped.

Miss Hungary?

At different times, Zsa Zsa and her two sisters, Magda and Eva, have each claimed to have been Miss Hungary or to have been runners up in the Miss Hungary beauty pageant. You'd think it'd be easy to check, but no one seems to have bothered.

She and her two sisters had 18 divorces between them.

She and her husband keep adopting men!

That probably sounds more perverse than it is.

Zsa Zsa and her husband, "Prince" Frédéric von Anhalt, have adopted several grown men including:

Marcus Eberhard Edward Prinz von Anhalt, Herzog zu Sachsen und Westfalen, Graf von Askanien (formerly known as Marcus Eberhardt, born about 1969, brothel owner, was adopted in April 2006); Prinz Oliver Leopold von Sachsen-Anhalt, Graf von Westfalen und Askanien (formerly known as Oliver Bendig, born about 1967, owner of two strip clubs in Los Angeles); Prinz Michael Maximilian von Anhalt, Herzog zu Sachsen und Westfalen, Graf von Askanien (formerly known as Michael Killer, born about 1967, owns health clubs); and a surgeon who doesn't want to be mentioned.

They each paid lots of money to be adopted.

It seems that Zsa Zsa's huband's father, a police officer by trade, paid elderly Maria Auguste Antoinette Friederike Alexandra Hilda Luise Prinzessin von Anhalt, daughter-in-law of Kaiser Wilhelm II, to adopted his son who then took the name Fréderic Prinz von Anhalt. (His real name was Robert Lichtenberg.)

This turned out to be a pretty good investment. Better than paying for college. Zsa Zsa and her husband apparently made millions adopting grown men so that each could become a "prince" and use a royal title.

Zsa Zsa's marriage to Frédéric von Anhalt got her the title of "Princess Von Anhalt, Duchess of Saxony".

The legitimacy of any of these titles is doubtful. Of course, the legitimacy of hereditary monarchy itself has been in doubt for a while, too.

Well, I hope the last rites were premature and that she pulls through. If not, she's probably lived enough for several lifetimes, married over and over, each time to a wealthy husband, living in different countries. I don't know how many people would really want to live her life, but it had to be interesting.