"I want you to know, my dear, that even though we are sitting down, we are giving you a standing ovation," said Zero Mostel in "The Producers."
SPEAKING OF standing Os, every time I switched onto The American Music Awards Sunday night, somebody was getting one. I know the place was packed with talented people, but honestly, were the chairs that uncomfortable? A standing ovation used to be something really special. Now it seems it is just an excuse for people to stretch their legs. Or to stand up and take cellphone pictures.
JUST ABOUT the only thing about the awards show that stuck with me -- and millions of others -- was Miley Cyrus belting out her "Wrecking Ball" hit with an adorable sort of "space kitten" on the screen behind her. Hard to know what it meant or what to look at, despite the brevity of Miley's outfit. But these days, young Miss Cyrus is more interested in having people talk about things like this, than really listen to her music. She has got quite a pair of pipes on her.
I mean her voice. She doesn't need kitties, twerking or that rolling tongue. But once you've been a Disney girl, you are apparently scarred for life. For the next 10 years all you seem to do is try to make everybody forget you were ever associated with mouse ears.
I LOVE the (almost serious) speculation I heard over the weekend that the mammoth success of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" was going to inspire hoards of young girls who identify with Jennifer Lawrence's heroine Katniss, to go out with a bow and arrow and have at an unsuspecting real-life populace, willy-nilly.
I HAVE been meaning to rave about the incredibly moving and real performance Allison Janney has been giving on "Showtime's "Masters of Sex." Ms. Janney plays the sexually starved wife of university head Beau Bridges. By this point, her character may or may not know her hubby is a closet homosexual, but her agony at his disinterest in her physically and his genuine deep love for her, has provided Janney -- and the show -- with some of its most masterful moments. Her monologue last week (to of all people, one of her husband's paid lovers) about the pain of no longer being wanted was itself Emmy-worthy.
Janney has a number of Emmys already for her acclaimed work on "The West Wing." But too much is never enough as Mae West used to say.
P.S. Janney has a significantly less traumatic role in the CBS sitcom, "Mom" co-starring Anna Faris. The usually seriously actress is very funny here!
I APPRECIATED the way the postman staggered to my building with Anna and Graydon Carter's advance Christmas gift. It is the big Vanity Fair coffee table offering, which would make a perfect gift for anyone who cares what the glitterati has been doing "from the Jazz Age to Our Age."
The accompanying card read, "In anticipation of another government shutdown, we thought it wise to mail early this year."
I found myself three times in this tome and appreciated being a small part of cultural history.
I suggest this as the gift for the person who has everything and you can buy it from Harry Abrams for $65.
YOUNG AUTHOR Diana Oswald is bringing out a coffee table book titled "Debutantes: When Glamour Was Born."
A party celebrating the book happens Dec. 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. at one of my favorite spots, Swifty's on Lexington Avenue at 72nd-73rd Streets. Try to get yourself invited to this throwback to yesteryear.
ENDFACTS: The Internet used to be the bane of my existence. I didn't "get" it. I'm better now, but still prefer to read newspapers and magazines.
But one aspect of the now jammed cyberspace is all the new words and terms we use, commonly, every day, that have sprung from this technology.
PromotionalCodes.org says that there are at least 50 new words the Internet has given us. (Or in some cases old words with new meanings.) Among them are social media, website, troll, twitter, blog, hashtag, stream, Facebook, eBay, viral, online...
And, of course, the infamous "selfie," which can bring down careers, humiliate you and your loved ones for life, or land you on a porn site, quite unbeknownst to you. At the very least overuse of the "selfie" brands you a narcissist par excellance.
(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com.)
(c)2013 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.
Miley Cyrus purrs at American Music Awards
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