"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress, but I repeat myself!" -- Mark Twain.
I swore off writing about politics after the last presidential election because so many sore losers were threatening my editors and publishers. (We won't discuss 'free speech" here.)
But I confess that many of my so-called liberal friends shock me as they don't even know what's going on when there is so much blather these days. (Including mine!) I was with a smart friend this week who didn't realize that conservative Republicans in Congress are trying, after numerous failed tries, to defeat The Affordable Care Act. And that they are threatening to do this by shutting down the government and going on with their ridiculous "sequester," which will probably hurt America more than any health program ever could.
If you don't like the Affordable Care Act, which is already the law of the land, why not wait and amend the Constitution later? Why put the entire Republic in jeopardy just as our economy is beginning to rebound?
I TOLD YOU TO BE PATIENT, that Bette Midler would take her version of the late saucy talent agent Sue Mengers to L.A. Now it is announced that "I'll Eat You Last" will be at the Geffen Playhouse from Dec. 3 to Dec. 22. Why not? Bette earned more than $2.4 million in just eight weeks; rare on the Great White Way.
Bette hadn't appeared on Broadway in 40 years. Maybe after this she'll come back as herself, along with her Harlettes, wheelchairs and mermaids.
I HAVEN'T SEEN too much about a movie I enjoyed last weekend at the 86th Street Theater. "The Family" is a hoot -- a takeoff on a Mafia family you will both detest and root for. To tell even the slightest detail is to ruin whatever plot this comedy has. Suffice to say, Michelle Pfeiffer is still adorable after all these years, Robert De Niro is still himself and herein they have two gifted children, played by Dianna Agron and John D'Leo. The great thing is that these criminals all love each other very much.
I just had such great fun at this movie. And it has an inside joke about Nick Pileggi's famous film "Goodfellas," which makes it worth the price of admission.
SO, WE DISCOVER that there are no microbes or methane gas on Mars to sustain sentient life. So we can all stop worrying about all those Martians dropping down on us. And all those eccentrics dying to pay millions to go to Mars? Fine with me. We won't have to worry about them. They will probably come back with so much loss of muscle tone that it won't do us any harm. The indisputable bad weather and climate change are enough to worry about.
I LIKED a letter to the Times last weekend from Norman Wain of Lyndhurst, Ohio. He noted that long ago, while playing music on radio, he'd decided that Billboard was "unreliable." He started sharing music based on actual record sales. This worked.
But you can't pay much attention to what is being recommended to you as "hot" these days because, as Wain writes about current "ubiquitous media choices -- rather than sharing our experiences -- we are all relegated to our own individual cocoons."
AND THE "Eat, Pray, Love" author, Elizabeth Gilbert who has a new book coming from Viking in October, gives this advice to young writers and would-be entrepreneurs: "I was taught how to work. Creativity and imagination alone are not going to get you there."
Ms. Gilbert's new book is very different from her abovementioned hit. It is titled "The Signature of All Things" and is described as an "old-fashioned, rip-roaring tale."
(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com.)
Bette Midler brings her big Broadway meal to a Hollywood stage
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