Now, Mr. wOw could write a million serious or sentimental words about Elizabeth Taylor on her 78th birthday. But I’m feeling rather lighthearted today. (The Wellbutrin must have kicked in, finally!) When I realized today was indeed February 27, and that la Liz was indeed 78, I was drawn back to remember the spring and summer of 1962. Outside the corner grocery store a block from where Mr. wOw lived with his mom, a rack of newspapers was always placed outside the store, weather permitting. Seven New York City tabloids. I’ll never forget passing that rack of papers, day after day, and on every front page screamed the scandal of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. I knew who Elizabeth Taylor was. I recalled my mother, two years previously, wondering if Elizabeth would survive her dreadful illness in London. (Mr. wOw was only about six, but … already very interested in the Lives of Glamorous Ladies. My mother thought it was amusing then. Later, not so much.)
But this attention to Miss Taylor’s love life seemed unprecedented (a word Mr. wOw probably didn’t even know at that time). It was thrilling and sexy (Mr. wOw knew that word!) and very exciting. Mr. wOw wanted to buy all the newspapers, and read every word about this monster of iniquity – my mother expressed herself as “very disappointed” in La Liz. But we could only afford one newspaper. Just one? Mr. wOw burned with curiosity. He was often shoo-ed away from the store because he tried to quickly flip through papers. And on more than one occasion, Mr. wOw went criminal for ET – he stole several of his favorite headlines right off the newspaper stand. “Liz and Burton Romp in Rome.” Mr. wOw had a pretty good idea what a “romp” was. (My mother later “forgave” Elizabeth because … she was too beautiful to know better and “she’s always so sick, poor thing.” Even Mr. wOw thought this made little sense, but it also made Miss T. seem quite powerful. She could change my mother’s mind – no easy task, that!)
As the years passed, Mr. wOw didn’t think much of Miss Taylor as an actress or even as a beauty (what was up with her weight and that double chin?!) But she was a fascinating creature – so excessive, so bejeweled, so overly made-up. So “I don’t give a damn what you think!”
Mr. wOw found that attractive and amusing. Finally, during the High Rococo period of Elizabeth’s career in the late 1960s/early 1970s, Mr. wOw came to appreciate the onscreen Liz – and in doing that, went back and looked at her earlier work, and found her surprisingly good and subtle. (Though, natch, Mr. wOw preferred the unsubtle Liz – anyone could act, nobody could do what Miss Taylor did with a teasing comb and liquid eyeliner!) Then, in 1973, Mr. wOw clapped eyes on Miss T. for the first time, and that was that. She was, in the flesh – and in the riot that broke out around her – every crazy headline, every lurid Photoplay cover, every fantasy of a movie queen come to life. And even – just for Mr. wOw’s sake, I am sure – very slender at that moment.
Birthdays are days of celebration. I want to celebrate all the good times, all the fun, that Miss Taylor has provided for me over the years. Her great movies, her great charity works, her sufferings, courage – all those are for a more serious day. Today I remember going to see “X Y & Zee” with four friends and a bottle of Jack Daniels (Miss T’s favorite libation), shrieking with pleasure as Taylor picked up a phone, furiously dialed her rival, Susannah York, and barked, “Is my husband in your skinny, chicken-like arms? He likes women to be a mess, that’s why he’s with me!” (Miss Taylor wears hot-pants in this movie. Need I say more? She deserved the Oscar.)
Oh, Elizabeth. I hope today is full of love, friends, family and a hell of a good time, honey. You deserve it.
Mr. W. didn’t think he could be any more depressed than he was last year when Rush Limbaugh spoke at CPAC. (Remember Rush, fat and repulsive, bouncing up and down at the podium?) But Beck brought me to a cellar beneath the cellar. A subterranean level of dread. There is something particularly disturbing in the intensity of Beck’s rhetoric. Oh, why dance around it? This appearance could be put side-by-side with one of Hitler’s early speeches.
Yeah, I know, we’re not supposed to ever compare anybody to Hitler. (Except if you’re a Republican talking about Obama.) Why not? Why not say it? I got a cold chill watching this TV and radio pundit, this “harmless clown” — as his detractors try to tell us that’s all he is — whip himself and his audience into some sort of mass hypnotic trance. Mr. wOw has perused enough History Channel documentaries about World War II to recognize an address from the Reich Commander. Hitler did just what Beck is doing now, criticizing like-minded types to “reform,” re-capture their strength and pride — only then can they rule.
Beck has used the most damaging and ugly and inflammatory language about the president. Tit for tat, I say, for those of you now blanching at my language. I know it’s extreme. It is meant to be. And I mean every word of it. Beck is a truly dangerous man. He works for a truly dangerous “media outlet” — an outlet that seeks to control the United States in exactly the same way they insist Obama and his “czars” plan to. Only, of course, their dictatorship will be true-blue American, Christian, heterosexual and white, white, white.
Beck peppered his political remarks with a lot of icky personal references, especially about his drinking problems. As someone who has struggled with liquor himself, Mr. wOw thinks Mr. Beck is a disgrace to drunks — active, recovered or not-yet-at-the-bar.
Bevare! As Bela Lugosi used to say. Our necks are on the line.
P.S. Mr. wOw is friendly with a number of conservatives, and he likes many of the obvious conservative readers here on wOw. My remarks above are about Mr. Beck. As far as I am concerned we need to be ever vigilant to madness. Because it can happen again. (I know, I know — you Republicans are gonna write in and say, “Yes! It can, it has! Obama’s in the White House!”)
Mr. Woods is lucky. In repose, his face is almost always rather sad and somber looking. So that face served his televised mea culpa well. Mr. wOw doesn’t live inside Tiger’s head and can’t gauge his “sincerity.” He sure looked and sounded sorry. Why he was sorry, I can’t say.
I don’t think he’s a terribly complex personality.
I was glad, however, that he came to his wife’s defense in the matter of beating him so badly with a golf club that he needed reconstructive surgery (and two front teeth replaced). Cheating is one thing, beating is another, and the idea that Elin Woods was “justified” in perhaps almost killing her husband was no joke. Though it has been treated as such.
So, let’s all move forward. I believe the earth continues on its axis.
P.S. Gloria Allred, stop defending porn actresses who want an “apology” from Mr. Woods. You are a shameless opportunist. Shut up.
(Mr. wOw has more to say about Gloria, but the first draft of this post came back with a note asking to tone it down — “a wee bit harsh” we were. So … I’ll bide my time and bite my tongue.)
ONE MORE THING: If nothing else came from Tiger’s press conference, at least now we know how to properly pronounce Elin’s name!
Last week’s stunning double dose of Sarah Palin – her Tea Party stump speech and her FOX News interview with Chris Wallace – was enough to make a grown Mr. W. cry. (And as I commented elsewhere, it’s usually the boy shooting his pet deer in The Yearling that gets Mr. wOw’s waterworks gushing.)
The woman is running for president in 2012. She’s gonna take her capacious handbag of tricks and she is going to seek this country’s highest office. It’s going to happen. So, in a way, it’s a relief. Like you always feel so much better after vomiting, you know?
There’s no point in criticizing Palin’s recent appearances – for one thing, the estimable Margo Howard said it all right here on wOw. Sarah is Sarah; equally loved and loathed by millions with an almost terrifying fervor. She’s like the Grand Canyon or poverty – here for the ages.
But what made Mr. wOw cry today? Why is he more convinced than ever that the Democrats just don’t know what the hell they are doing, cannot handle themselves when they win, and will likely lose everything in three years?
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs at the podium, mocking Sarah Palin’s hand notes to herself. Gibbs, one of the most inarticulate press secretaries to ever hold this position, wrote up a grocery list on his hand and read it. Hil-ar-i-ous! Of all the things to pay attention to, making fun of Mrs. Palin’s inky palm is way down there. Childish, pointless, the perfect opening for more “look-how-they-beat-up-on-poor-Sarah” responses.
If Gibbs, or the president, felt they had to say something about Mrs. Palin’s latest tumble down the rabbit hole, perhaps mention might have been made of her grotesque suggestion that the only way for Obama be re-elected is to, you know … kinda declare war on somebody. To prove he is a real-life true-blue American patriot.
This from a woman whose son serves in Iraq. Of course, who knows? Maybe Sarah is a true-blue Spartan gal from Alaska — “return either with your shield or on it.”
Gibbs is an idiot. His vaudeville turn was not funny. I bet it’s backfiring as Mr. wOw scribbles. This is so typical. If I was in Mr. Gibbs’s position nothing short of bamboo shoots under the fingernails could have prompted me to even mention Mrs. Palin’s name, to give her power and validation by recognizing her. “The president and his staff are too busy with health care and the economy to pay attention to doodles. Next!”
There’s a phrase I’d love to use to describe what I think of Mr. Gibbs and whoever else thought this Palin pokin’ was funny. But … Rahm Emanuel said it first.
Happy … Groundhog Day? Continue reading “Mr. wOw Emerges From Hibernation, Sees Idiots, Goes Back to Sleep” »