And more from our Gossip Girl: The Civil War — has it ever really ended? … the Lindsay/Gotti merry-go-round
“IF THE Clintons have not found anything on Barack Obama — trust me, they are the masters at finding any dirt!” This from Mike Huckabee to the birthers.
* * *
OUR REMARKS here yesterday on Donald Trump seem to have struck a nerve – especially that NBC should suspend Mr. Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” show until he decides whether or not he is sincerely running for president.”
My spies tell me that the voice behind Trump’s birther conversion is none other than our old Nixon dirty trickster – the GOP’s Roger Stone. He is the same man who exposed Eliot Spitzer’s call girl problem, and he was thick as thieves with the late Roy Cohn. How well I remember Roger’s parties and machinations during the Ronald Reagan years. That all seems downright innocent these days.
* * *
LAST WEEK I read a headline in the London Daily Telegraph about a simple injection being given to patients up to 12 hours after a heart attack or a stroke. It claims that this antibody reduces more than 60% of the physical scarring of the heart muscle or damage to brain cells.
I have looked in vain for a U.S. followup to this amazing headline — “New Heart Attack Jab Even Better Than Statins. Breakthrough Hailed As Biggest Ever in Fighting Britain’s Two Major Killers.” I searched through the New York Times and other papers for this report. (Eventually, I just Googled “heart attack injection” and found some American press on the story.)
The British story went on to lavish praise on Professor Wilhelm Schwaeble, who carried out the research at University of Leicester. Human trials are to begin within two years.
Since heart attacks and strokes are greatly feared in this country by all of us, I can’t believe this story hasn’t had a wider credence or examination.
* * *
SO PROUD of our friend Whoopi Goldberg. We, at the New York Landmarks Conservancy, made her a “Living Landmark” back when Whoopi was on the receiving end of attacks from George W. Bush supporters for something she didn’t even say.
I am happy to report that Newsweek is now reporting that she is more popular with adult females than any of her “ View” co-hosts — “and even more liked than Oprah.”
And when you see Whoopi’s brand new production of the musical “Sister Act” on Broadway, you will like her even more. Insiders are saying that now, the one to take the Tony away from Sutton Foster of “Anything Goes” is “Sister Act’s” leading lady Patina Miller.
* * *
OVER LAST weekend, because the young student I was with was studying Ken Burns’ great documentary “The Civil War,” I had a pleasant crash course in re-running through America’s most traumatic moments, save for the original Revolution of 1776.
This great classic reminded me all over again of the clash of North and South, the clash of liberal and conservative ideologies, and the way a rising hatred
of “the other side” of any question can deteriorate into something tragic.
Seeing again the use of the Revolution’s “Don’t Tread On Me” flag, the enthusiastic sentiments of the South against the North, of crazed abolitionists against slave owners and white people unwilling to give up their privileged slaving sins, made my heart ache. And what about a President so hated it makes one’s teeth clinch, whether for or against. During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was just as despised as Barak Obama is today. Just as despised as Bush before Obama.
The irony of the Burns documentary’s opening in 1861 with Southerners roaring to go to a glorified war, bragging about “killing me a Yankee” and what happens only weeks later when the limbs pile up outside hospital tents and men left in the gore and mud no longer think their uniforms are so smart and their lives so useful.
Lincoln always said the war was not over slavery, but whether a state had a right to secede from the union. Slavery was simply the financial giant apparatus that started it all. We see parallels today: People against their government, ranting about state’s rights, ranting about seceding from the union if they don’t get their way, using differences to exaggerate their patriotism.
I find the nation divided — and it is frightening to look back on history when division was effective enough to split common sense. The aftermath is something we have never recovered from, not even today. You could order the entire Ken Burns “The Civil War” series and you would really get value from it. And the list of heroic actors and creators who made it is astonishing and very encouraging.
* * *
WE END on what is (to many of you) an absurd note. Lindsay Lohan. First she was “negotiating” for a role in the new big screen movie about the Gotti family, which will star John Travolta. Then she turned up, rather uninvited, at a Manhattan press conference touting the film — but everybody seemed pleased to see her. Then director Nick Cassavetes dropped out of the film, perhaps because he didn’t cotton to working with LL. Then producer Nick Fiore announced that Lindsay’s “people” had made it too difficult — she was out. Late last week Fiore reversed himself and said not only was she definitely in (playing Junior Gotti’s wife Kim) but that it was she who smoothed everything over and made it happen. Like a real pro.
Lindsay hasn’t starred on the big screen in five years. She deserves a break, but she also needs to behave herself. There are third acts in American life, F. Scott Fitzgerald notwithstanding. But you have to work for it.
That’s the latest, but by Monday it might be a whole different story. Hell, it might be a different story an hour from now!