HAPPY NEW YEAR! I guess we shouldn't make any predictions, because as George Eliot wrote, "Prophecy is the most gratuitous form of error."
And, speaking of the future, the best quotes come from Forbes magazine this month. "The future? Like unwritten books and unborn children, you don't talk about it," said Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, while Eugene Kennedy reminded us that "We not only romanticize the future; we have also made it into a growth industry, a parlor game and a disaster movie all at the same time."
Stars of '07
The top 10 celebrities of the last year have been listed as: 1. Britney Spears, 2. Angelina Jolie, 3. Brad Pitt, 4. Lindsay Lohan, 5. Jennifer Aniston, 6. Katie Holmes, 7. Paris Hilton, 8. Nicole Richie, 9. Anna Nicole Smith and 10. Jessica Simpson.
These were the darlings of the tabloids - and the reasons they were so famous in 2007, according to USA Today, are specious in almost every case save for Ms. Jolie. Reuters did say Angelina is "the best celebrity humanitarian of the year." But added to that, let's hope for more quality in 2008. Being infamous ain't quite enough.
Keep it real
Images of Kate Winslet were enhanced before they appeared on the cover of GQ magazine and caused even the actress herself to protest that they had prettied her up. In the movie King Arthur, the actress Keira Knightley found her cleavage digitally enhanced. All this happens more and more often.
But protests against the airbrushing and enhancing of models and actresses and just plain folks are growing. Editors are experiencing a backlash. Now the British Fashion Council has asked magazine editors to stop such practices because they feel enhanced photos "perpetuate an unachievable aesthetic" and are dangerous for young girls who try to copy "unrealistic" images.
Just as the New York Times Magazine was accused of "pornography" and experienced a tsunami of protest for using very, very young girls as fashion models, U.S. editors are bracing for an attack on their methods when it comes to anorexic models made even more so by digitalization. Jamie Lee Curtis and Jennifer Love Hewitt are two actresses who have made a plea for more natural-looking pictures of themselves and of other women!
Did you know ...
Ballroom dancing and tap dancing studios are experiencing revivals in the art of doing both well. The TV reality show impact has had a huge effect. ... Heather McCartney is about to be sued by her lawyers for $4 million in unpaid fees surrounding her unsettled fight with Paul McCartney. The Lady and Sir Paul go back to court next spring. ... The FBI is now adding iris scans of all people entering the United States, including our friends, the British. This new database will cost $1 billion. ... Former PM Tony Blair's conversion to Roman Catholicism has caused some British newspapers to say "Great Britain is a Catholic Country." In the past, Blair voted in favor of abortion and also backed trading on Sundays. But now he's in lockstep with his new faith. ... Michelle Obama told Vanity Fair that her husband Barack Obama's run for the presidency is "now or never." Well, that's a mercy, in case he doesn't win. I hate it when the same people come back again and again.