"MARK MY word, if and when all these preachers get control of the Republican Party, and they're sure to try to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them."
So said Barry Goldwater, way back in the day (1964). Those chickens are now coming home to roost, along with even more disturbing elements.
But like lemmings we rush ahead, heedless of the warning, pushed by relentless and meaningless cable TV coverage, which cannot spare a moment to ask a sensible question. Then again, "60 Minutes" worked on its bungled Benghazi story for an entire year.
Conservatives have been shrieking for President Obama's and Hillary Clinton's heads over Benghazi, and all pointed to the "60 Minutes" story -- as it came upon us and then initially aired -- as "proof." But with the revelation that the British source for the tale was a big liar, the right wing simply ignores that fact. Literally. The revelation never happened. (Sen. Lindsey Graham still says he will block all of President Obama's nominees to various administration posts, unless he personally can talk to the American survivors of the Benghazi attack. And the beat-down goes on.)
THIS N' THAT: "Thor: The Dark World" is expected to eventually take in more than $600 million at the box office. So much for the power of negative reviews.
John Travolta wandered around Boston's Impressionism gallery at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, soaking up some culture. He was actually filming at the museum. The movie is titled "The Forger" and tells of a former art prodigy and thief, his dying son, his grandfather and a final job to be pulled off ... Gloria Gaynor, the legendary "I Will Survive" disco queen has written a new book (with help from reporter Sue Carswell) "We Will Survive: True Stories of Encouragement, Inspiration and the Power of Song." Gloria tells of her own struggles and those of people she has met along her life path. Grand Harbor Press publishes in December.
Angela Lansbury has weighed in on the "reboot" of her classic TV series "Murder, She Wrote." She's not happy. Angela much admires Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer, who will star in the show, but Miss Lansbury wishes they'd change the title. She says, "'Murder She Wrote' will always be about a place called Cabot Cove and this wonderful little group of people." Miss Lansbury was nominated for a record 12 Emmys for "Murder" and her fans cried "murder" when the series -- still doing well -- was canceled in 1996.
So Miley Cyrus smoked a joint (or pretended to) at MTV's European Music Awards show the other night. I'd say, sarcastically, "Her parents must be so proud." Apparently, they really are!...
Now Tom Cruise has learned the hard way that you simply cannot have a lighthearted moment in public (or even private, if it's in a lawyer's office). While being deposed for his lawsuit against Life and Style magazine, the actor talked about the rigors of making the kind of movies he makes, comparing his efforts to professional athletes and fighting soldiers. Then he laughed and said, "Oh, come on!" when somebody responded to this with "Really?" But damage done, eyes and ears are everywhere.
BRUCE WEBER, the filmmaker/photographer who has done more to get men up off the couch and into the gym -- via his famous studies of buff male bodies -- will have four of his most well-known documentary films screened at NYC's Film Forum beginning Friday. Fans can catch "Broken Noses," "Let's Get Lost," "A Letter to True" and "Chop Suey." Bruce is such a nice guy, and he'll be making appearances at some of the screenings. For ticket information, visit FilmForum.org.
I HAVEN'T yet seen "Blue is the Warmest Color" mostly because its three-hour running time gives me pause. But a film-going pal of mine (who is also a director) assures me it is "Absolutely fascinating and engrossing. Not at all what I expected. I did find the positioning of some of the sex scenes a little dicey, but then what do I know? I haven't been 22 in a while!"
The movie tells of the intense love affair between two young women. As to the length, my friend says it doesn't seem at all like three hours: "It makes you feel you are living their relationship in real time ... and I think both actresses, Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos are Oscar worthy."
WORD IS that Charlie Sheen wants to "make up" with his former "Two and a Half Men" producer Chuck Lorre. At least, so Charlie recently Twittered.
Maybe he's reaching out because the custody battle over his children and ex-wives has become so nasty, and he needs more to do? (He wants his children taken away from the oft-troubled Brooke Mueller, whom he has referred to as "a w---e." And that's the nice part.)
TMZ, the show-biz source for all the things you don't want to know but can't look away from, reports that the actor has made no friends among court officials. The court's opinion of Sheen's own parenting skills and actual interest in his children's well-being is said to be scathingly negative.
CHARITIES SCORE these days following natural disasters, they also fight illnesses, offenses against children, the environment, etc. But one of the big ones I work with -- "Living Landmarks" raises money for the New York Landmarks Conservancy to help keep NYC from being totally destroyed. (You do want famous architecture, religious buildings, museums, monuments, parks etc., to be kept from disappearing, don't you?)
Thursday night we are holding our annual black tie event at the Plaza Hotel ballroom, which the Conservancy just happened to save from destruction. Dancing to Peter Duchin's amazing orchestra will be our honorees -- Ann Buttenwieser, who is a parks saver, Oscar winner Joel Grey, hero of Hurricane Sandy, Dr. Robert I. Grossman, overseer of the new FDR Park, William vanden Heuvel, advertising legend Mary Wells Lawrence and the beautiful and talented actress and Princeton graduate Brooke Shields. I am threatening to open as emcee by singing. So it should be a night to remember.
If you want to attend or give us money, call 212-995-5260, or contact jennasmith(at)newyorklandmarks.org.
(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com.)
(c)2013 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.
This and That: 'Thor,' John Travolta, Angela Lansbury and more
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