Celebrity News

Will Levi Johnston save us from Sarah Palin?

When the great historian Robert Massie, author of Dreadnaugh, went back to find the root of the Second World War, the Great War and the rise and fall of Victoria, he found the singular warrior of Britannia who, in one astonishing afternoon in 1805, turned Napoleon’s fleet away from England, Lord Nelson. We face tough times ahead in the world again today. Unfortunately, we have no Nelson. But we do have Levi Johnston. Possibly he will save us.


Gore Vidal's increasingly tenuous grip on reality

Last week when Gore Vidal said a bunch of stupid things about Barack Obama, I left him alone. He’s old and prone to saying anything that will get his name in print. Remember, he was completely inconsistent during the primaries, flip-flopping between Obama and Clinton. He said things that many people observed were racist. Everyone left him alone.

Today in The Atlantic, Vidal said he never should have supported Obama and “experience mattered.” He then went on to suggest that the 13-year-old girl Roman Polanski had sex with was a “young hooker” and that Roman was only persecuted out of anti-Semitism.


More on the Roman Polanski debate

After all the punditry last week about the legality and morality of Roman Polanski’s extradition, two recently publicized items are relevant.

1.    Those who demean the crime Polanski was charged with — “the so-called” crime, as one film producer called it — should read the extracts of the grand jury testimony of the victim. It is available on the Internet, here, here and here.


Come home, Roman

Roman Polanski is shocked that after fleeing from his sentencing at his criminal trial and remaining a fugitive for over three decades, the California justice system still wants to prosecute him. He was arrested in Zurich and awaits extradition. Notable friends in the film business and politicians in France are urging that bygones be bygones. The man is 76 — why hassle the talented movie director?


A Month of Sarah Palin

It is remarkable in itself that when Sarah Palin comes down to the Lower 48 to go to a baseball game with Rudy Giuliani, she remains in the press for a month.

It is interesting as well that this has taken place as a parallel event to a funeral of a popular dancer whose celebrations and remembrances are dragging out longer than Washington’s, Lincoln’s, Kennedy’s, Gandhi’s or Victoria’s. Maybe things begin where they end. Here is a thought to her and her delightful Alaskan family from another free spirit and a neighbor in the Northwest who was thrown to fame and fell victim to it as well:

Gibbon’s Lament

I didn’t watch the Michael Jackson memorial service. I didn’t boycott it, exactly, but I actually had some work to do, so I didn’t turn on the television to catch it.

I know. I can always watch the replays or catch it online. I think I will resist that urge, however.

Michael Jackson was a weird dude. Yes, he made some really cool music. My favorite song was “Billie Jean,” a song about a guy who is trying to explain away a child who was conceived out of wedlock. Nice values, eh?

Michael Jackson

Many of us grew up as huge fans and were consistently affected by his music and persona for much of our lives.

Hearing the news of his shocking death has quickly reminded us of our own mortality and imminent death. The world was absolutely crushed when the reality set in that he was gone too soon and would never return. This will deeply resonate within the now-seemingly hollow spot Michael Jackson left in the hearts of followers across the globe who grew up with the pop star-turned-tragic figure — one that even the masterful craftsmanship of Shakespeare couldn’t create.

History Happens, Sometimes Quickly

When I left for my vacation (a Disney cruise for the whole family — back to that later), history was being made in Iran. As I was getting ready to come home last night, the new history being made was the news that Mark Sanford was in Argentina and not in Appalachia. And tonight, the story is all about Michael Jackson, who apparently died of a heart attack.

The attention span of the American media last about 30 seconds. And that makes Mark Sanford the luckiest man in the world.

Imprisoned at Last

He just couldn’t leave bad enough alone. Getting away with murder(s) was not enough. This time, the scene changed, and so did the key characters, except O.J. Johnny Cochran is gone to his maker. Judge Ito replaced by a low-visibility, no-nonsense judge. The glow is now gone from the younger, untouchable star.

The bizarre administration of justice finally worked its way. Nullification in Los Angeles was replaced by overreaction in Las Vegas. The man is finally there for all to see, shackled hand and foot, in prison-issue garb, whimpering before a judge, who was sipping her Slurpee while the prisoner begged for forgiveness.

William F. Buckley Jr.

William F. Buckley Jr. passed away yesterday after a long illness. His voice is now still, but his legacy is intact. Bill Buckley was, quite simply, next to Ronald Reagan, the most important conservative of the second half of the 20th century. His erudite and humorous writing and speaking style proved that conservatism can be not only intellectually compelling, but also entertaining. He was Rush Limbaugh and Bill Bennett before there was talk radio.