“Deceiving others. That is what the world calls romance,” said Oscar Wilde.
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AM I the one person on earth — or at least the one person who reads newspapers, magazine and watches TV — who is not “shocked, shocked!” over the Arnold Schwarzenegger scandal?
It is an unhappy tale to be sure, Arnold fathering a child by a woman who worked for him and his wife Maria Shriver, and keeping it secret from the media and (so we’re asked to believe) his entire family — for 13 years!
Look, we’re not talking Roy Rogers and Dale Evans here. Schwarzenegger was a reputed womanizer before and during his 25 year marriage to Shriver. And Shriver was a member of the Kennedy clan of relentlessly unfaithful men. She is an intelligent woman. She had already jumped to his defense years ago in the well-documented matter of his movie-set gropings. Having this long-ago affair and very current 13-year-old boy become a public matter has to be humiliating. But I don’t see her in any state of hysteria or even that much genuine surprise. She comes from a line of women who suffer, accept and look away. Also, the party line is that Maria has “known all” since January. I’d say the majority of the tears have flowed, and frozen.
But it is the ravenous media that has Maria “shocked … devastated … destroyed … the family in ruins.” To the latter, several of the children have already taken to Twitter and don’t sound all that broken up. They’ve all said “I love my family.” We assume that includes Arnold. Perhaps they’d feel differently if news had come out about an affair in which Arnold totally abandoned his ex-lover and child or forced the woman into an abortion.
He’s a pig. What’s new? A powerful actor becomes a powerful politician. Odds are, rules of some kind are going to be bent or broken.
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TO BE honest, if I want to get myself into a rage over Arnold, it would be because of the piss poor job he did as governor of California, wrecking the state’s already shattered finances. Now, Jerry Brown is attempting to salvage what Arnie left in his wake. (Having been in the governor’s seat before, at least Brown knows what he’s doing.)
I’m also laughing over the idea, put forward with such glee, that “this the end of Arnold’s movie career!” Uh … the man is well into his sixties. His particular career would be chilly now, love child or not. If he acts again, and those movies don’t do well, believe me, it will have nothing to do with having cheated and lied to his wife. Let me say it again — Arnold was no John Edwards with his choir-boy face and mealy-mouthed hypocrisies. Nor was Maria dying of cancer. And at least, when confronted by the LA Times and TMZ which was close behind, he came clean. He didn’t go running down hallways and ducking into bushes. One can survive such things.
Good grief, Eliot Spitzer is on the air every night on CNN — even having the gall to discuss the Schwarzenegger matter! (An example of how much class Spitzer lacks is that he wouldn’t politely recuse himself from that particular story.)
Oh, one other thing. We’ve been seeing a lot of pixilated and blurred photos of Arnold’s secret son here in the USA. But the British press is not so prissy and kindhearted. They have published a picture of the mother and child, crystal clear.
If indeed the birth and the true father was kept secret all these years, it’s easy to see why. The boy is the spitting image of his mother.
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IF YOU are Scandinavian, and have a propensity to write thrillers or mysteries, you’re in luck — you’re a potential hot property.
The Hollywood Reporter tells us that because of the huge success of the late Steig Larsson’s “Millennium” series of books (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” etc.) and the potential movie success of these works, Scandinavian scribes are in high crime cotton. These include Camilla Lackberg and Liza Marklund (both of whom were at Cannes.) Also Jens Lapidus and Lars Kepler. The latter’s book, “The Hypnotist,” is being adapted for the screen by Lasse Hallstrom.
Everybody in publishing and in the movie biz is looking for “the next Steig Larson.” Good luck, he was a genius —I’ll never forget becoming so caught up in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” pestering everybody I knew to buy it.
If only he’d lived to see phenomenon he created.
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ON MONDAY, at the Waldorf Astoria, the 70th Annual Peabody Awards Happens. The event will be hosted by the much-missed-on-CNN Larry King. Among the 38 winners for excellence in electronic media are CBS’s “The Good Wife”… HBO’s “Temple Grandin”… CNN’s coverage of the Gulf oil spill … PBS’s “Great Performances: Macbeth” and lots more. The attendees include: Ray Romano, Scott Bakula, Yoko Ono, Anderson Cooper, Spike Lee, Patrick Stewart. The Peabody “do” takes place at high noon. So, all the stars can go home to rest and come out at night, again.
Times have changed but this is still the city that never sleeps.