By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
This week, watching the lava roll through streets that my feet almost touched, filling the potholes with a vengeance, I found myself wondering whether the Hotel des Grands Lacs and Il Nyeri had been forever erased, and whether the people of the Congo will have hope for a decent life if and when their current civil war comes to an end.
And the chocolate mousse? It was as delicious as advertised -- one final colonial fillip. But later, back in my hotel room, I was kept awake all night by bursts of machine-gun fire that I felt certain must be coming for me -- a dabbler in misery, with 10 dollars’ worth of mousse in his belly.
I know it‘s incredibly September 10th of me, but I couldn’t resist watching Live! From the Red Carpet, Joan Rivers‘ Golden Globes pre-show on E! With her shrink-wrapped cheekbones and exuberant rudeness -- she called the event “fabulously pretentious” -- Rivers is every celebrity’s nightmare. You should‘ve seen the stars dashing down the red carpet to escape her pushy questions, demented aphorisms (“There’s a u-c-k in luck!”) and postmodern eagerness to mix her hate mail into her act. Unlike NBC‘s “official” preview hosted by Dick Clark, who appears to think such events are glamorous -- “the biggest party in town” -- Joan knows the whole thing’s tacky. While Clark was interviewing elder statesman (and NBC star) Martin Sheen, Rivers was talking to Sheen‘s whore-and-rehab son Charlie and fiancee Denise Richards, who flashed her engagement ring like a showgirl who just hooked the biggest Lexus dealer in Tulsa.
Ironically, now that the Golden Globes are seen as a predictor of the Oscars, the show has turned into a terrible drag, outdoing the Academy Awards in its tedious thank-yous and its genuflections to HBO and hard-working agents. Its old freewheeling energy survives only in Rivers’ monologues, on-camera realignment of her boobs and delirious attempts at praise. “I paid retail to see it,” she brayed to Ron Howard, thereby proving her devotion to A Beautiful Mind. If the Hollywood Foreign Press Association members knew what the world really enjoyed about their awards, they‘d get rid of that stupid globe and hand out a statue modeled on Joan.
The death of Talk has elicited the predictable outpouring of articles gleefully dancing on the grave of Tina Brown -- New York compared her to Enron. She’s faulted for being shallow, having an unholy dependence on thuggish Harvey Weinstein and, worst of all, failing to dream up a magazine wholly unlike Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, both of which she‘d, of course, reinvented and revitalized. In fact, by the end, Talk was a pretty decent magazine that was clearly getting better and better. But it fell prey to the grandiose expectations symbolized by its own launch party -- a premature climax, if you will -- and to the remorseless logic of our cultural life. The man who used to run the BBC once told me that, these days, if a TV show isn’t a sensation, it‘s as if it doesn’t exist at all. The same is true of magazines, and though I always defend Brown‘s career to other writers -- she drove up our rates, you idiots! -- I must admit that if anyone championed a world in which you’re either a sensation or a big zero, it‘s Tina Brown, whose earlier brilliance as an editor helped dig the grave in which Talk is now buried.