And more from our Liz: Beyonce expects … Lady Gaga is a man, baby … Will and Jada and … Marc Anthony? Really?!
“EVERYTHING in nature is lyrical in its ideal essence, tragic in its fate and comic in its existence,” said George Santayana.
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WELL, for those who rode out Hurricane Irene, there was something lyrical (and overpoweringly impressive) in the footage and photos of the roiling seas … tragedy for those two dozen or more who lost their lives and for the thousands who suffered damage to their homes … and even comedy, as people made fools of themselves, pulling down their bathing suits, water skiing as newscasters, trying to do their jobs, were buffeted by the strong winds.
Irene was not the apocalyptic event that so many feared, but it could have been. And although ordering mass evacuation and shutting down all New York City transit has been called “extreme” by some, it is truly better to be safe than sorry. Media hyperbole is what it is. They love to put a good scare into us. And the anchors relish practicing their “look of concern.” Some, like Anderson Cooper, sport a perpetually worried look, and therefore have an edge. Except when Anderson catches a case of the sillies, and giggles uncontrollably like a teenage girl. (Hey, he said it himself.) Many people who were only mildly concerned about Irene were driven to nervous distraction as the coverage of the impending big wind went into overload on all cable and local stations, beginning last Friday. Others stayed calm and read a few good (or divertingly trashy) books.
New York City looked sparkling fresh on Monday morning, and charmingly uncrowded, as many people stayed home. You could really see Manhattan!
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HURRICANE Irene might have put the kibosh on travel and fun for the weekend, but what couldn’t it stop? Not even Irene pulled “The Help” from its top spot at the box office, despite the fact that many theaters on the East coast were closed.
“The Help” pulled in $14 million, clobbering all competition, including Paul Rudd’s “Our Idiot Brother.” “The Help” is as great a force of nature as Irene — greater, even.
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BEYONCE is not only talented and gorgeous and rich—she is one smart and savvy cookie.
The pop goddess revealed her pregnancy news (her first child, with hubby Jay-Z) on the red carpet at Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards. She even showed off an already rounded tummy. This was clever on several levels. She neatly hijacked the evening’s news, and also ensured there would be no future intrusive paparazzi frenzy, with everybody trying to get the “first baby bump shot.” Beyonce gave it away to all. No exclusives, no ugly scenes for her.
I did tune in to the VMAs to catch Lady Gaga’s opening number. By now we all know she ain’t coming out in a simple evening gown and, you know, just sing. It is always a spectacle.
But when she appeared onstage in drag, at first I thought it was Lily Tomlin, in character as male lounge singer Johnny Velour. But it was indeed Gaga, as her own male alter-ego, Joe Calderone. She sang “You and I” and sounded great, of course. (Though a younger, modern-music-savvy friend of mine pronounced Gaga’s vocal performance as “over-the-top, unfeeling theatrics.”) I prefer Lady G. as a woman, but that’s just me.
Still, Joe was more palatable, actually, than Gaga when she appeared as a walking butcher shop (the infamous “meat dress.”) I noticed when Joe C. turned up later, to present Britney Spears with an award, Miss Spears seemed less comfortable than, say, when she was kissing Madonna onstage. But Britney’s been through a lot. Maybe Joe was just too aggressive for her?
The only other thing I saw on the VMAs was Adele. She has a splendid voice, but does an awful lot of distracting business with her hands. But, so did Judy Garland —especially when she was dieting — so to each her own gesticulating.
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THE ONLY “showbiz” news that caught my attention over the weekend were the stories emanating from In Touch magazine that Will Smith and his Jada were separating because Jada had fallen for Jennifer Lopez’s ex, Marc Anthony.
Within seconds, it seemed, Mr. and Mrs. Smith were out in Hollywood, having a happy-looking breakfast together, and of course denying In Touch’s tale.
The magazine covered itself with its final assessment: “Will and Jada may very well choose to work things out for the sake of their children.”
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SHIA LaBeouf’s press reps were working overtime on the weekend as well. Rumors emanating from the respected rumor mills of Life & Style magazine and the UK’s Mirror tabloid insist the young actor had a “public meltdown” after an altercation with rocker Marilyn Manson at an L.A. event.
I think Mr. LaBeouf is a victim of some past wild-boy behavior, and the fact that he has grown a rather scruffy beard. (Gossip-lovers always interpret sudden facial hair as a sign of distress.) And that he left an event early, rather than staying and jawing with the showbiz types he never jaws with anyway.
I like Shia, even in his “Transformers” movies, which hardly show off his acting chops. So, yes, I want to give him the benefit of the doubt.