Liz Smith: Newlyweds, Superheroes, Michele Bachmann, Oh My!

Newlyweds Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz

And more from our Gossip Girl: Smart chimps and dumb Texans

“TO KEEP your secret is wisdom; but to expect others to keep it is folly,” said Samuel Johnson.

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APPARENTLY Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz read their Johnson. The Oscar-winning Rachel and the movie’s 007 managed to wed in absolute peace, quiet and privacy over the weekend. They are reported to be “madly in love.” Well, I should hope so. Congrats!

Memo to all celebs. It can be done. It’s difficult, but privacy is possible. Just try not living your life in nightclubs on Sunset Boulevard. This means you, Lindsay.

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CASTING NOTE: Goods news for our favorite hot cop, Christopher Meloni. Now that he has forsaken his “Law & Order: SVU” anger issues; roughing up all those pervy perps, he has reportedly landed a role in the latest Superman re-make “Man of Steel.” Rumor has it he might play Perry White, the editor of the Daily Planet. Well, he will certainly be the hunkiest Perry White ever!

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SPEAKING OF superheroes, Ryan Reynolds might be back in that skintight bodysuit in a year or two. Even though “Green Lantern” has grossed “only” $118 million, there’s still franchise talk. These movies are grueling ordeals for the actors, but they can also set them up for life, financially. Mr. Reynolds is probably already set, but as the Sondheim song goes, “Nothing’s better than more!”

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TOMORROW NIGHT HBO’s Sheila Nevins will host the New York premiere of “Project Nim.” This documentary tells the story of a chimpanzee raised like a human child. Already acclaimed at the Sundance Film Festival, “Project Nim” is said to be a stunning work. Peggy Siegal has put the night together, so it’ll be star-packed and intellectually elevated.

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TWO TEXANS sitting in El Rio Grande restaurant in Manhattan, discussing the amazing possibility that off-the-wall Tea Party-ers and some Republicans might actually consider Governor Rick Perry of Texas as a viable presidential candidate:

First Transplanted Texan: “I can’t believe any sane person would want Rick Perry for dogcatcher, let alone for President. But he has that folksy good-old-boy charm of the last President Bush! You should have seen Rachel Maddow the other night talking about Perry and hoisting a giant slab of bologna, which she finally said represented all there is to know about Gov. Perry.”

Second Transplanted Texan: “Don’t worry. Perry is an outrageous fool and everybody knows it. Anyway, there are plenty of things in his past – let’s call them ‘character flaws’ – that would keep him from getting the nomination.”

First Transplanted Texan: “Are you kidding? So-called character flaws literally abound in Texas politicians. That’s why Texans have been able for years to dominate national politics and send John Nance Garner, Sam Rayburn, Lyndon Johnson, and two George Bushes to Washington where they resonated power! And don’t forget Karl Rove as the man behind the Bush scene.”

Well, I, Liz, have to ask how anyone can conceive of Rick Perry as President of the United States when only months ago he was talking about Texas seceding from the union! And now, some Texans are contemplating having a commemorative license plate extolling the Confederacy.

Actually, maybe Texans deserve the right to push the Confederacy since the Civil War only killed 620,000 Americans and its negative effects are unresolved to this day.

I was kind of half-wishing Texas would be allowed to secede. It was fun to imagine the Lone Star State waking up one day with no postal service, no system for raising taxes, no FBI, CIA or other federal agency to protect them, no standing army, or coast guard to help them, no Social Security checks arriving, no Medicare or Medicaid, no immigration officers at the border, no disaster relief available and hundreds of other federal services missing.

Hmmm … Texas, my Texas! This explains why that wonder woman from the New York Times, one Gail Collins, is now working on a book about the effect of Texas and Texans historically on the national scene.

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LAST WEEK I told you what Matt Taibbi wrote in Rolling Stone about Michele Bachmann, who is looking to be the Republican nominee for President next year. Over the weekend I watched Bachmann with Bob Schieffer on “Face The Nation.”

Well! She has been showing signs that she is no longer the crazy “Birther” Bachmann or the “Obama is anti-American” Bachmann for a while. But her chat with the well-respected Mr. Schieffer revealed at last the Bachman of her resume — highly educated, a lawyer and a slick, slick politician. No loony remarks, no Palin-like combativeness. Cool and modulated tones. She has mastered the great art of never answering a question. As with most politicians, “yes or no” is not in her vocabulary. She transformed Schieffer’s question about farm subsidies (she has a large farm) into how many limousines the Obama administration pays for. She scooted around her infamous list of “misleading” and downright untruthful statements by hitting Obama —“wasn’t he misleading when he said…etc.”

Schieffer, though he finally had to concede she had barely answered one question in a direct manner, is perhaps too much of a gentleman to be over-forceful with a lady. I hope future interviewers will … treat her like a man.


13 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Lila says:

    Well, of course Bachmann knows she can’t answer any questions directly. When she does, she comes across as an ultra-conservative crazy. A very noisy but very small sector of the public will love her, but that won’t be enough to win the primaries.

    • avatar Anais P says:

      Even when she just speaks without answering questions, she makes a gaffe. The latest is claiming she has the heroic spirit of John Wayne from Waterloo, Iowa, when the only (in)famous John Wayne born there was serial killer John Wayne Gacey. The actor, who was a hero only on the screen (he did not serve in war), was born in Winterset, Iowa. Oh, well …

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Anais…

        A scary Freudian slip?

        • avatar Baby Snooks says:

          She’s just scary. But then a growing number of Americans are.  Or “‘Merucuns” as some try to pronounce it. Morans all. And a reflection of our wonderful education system. Even Yale produces some stellar examples of minds long-ago wasted.  We seem to have the world’s worst education system to go along with the world’s worst health care system. 

          Personally I think Biker Chick Barbie convinced Brainless Barbie to run not because she is planing to run but because Brainless Barbie makes Biker Chick Barbie look good.  Sort of.  But if push came to shove, which Barbie would most choose?

  2. avatar Lila says:

    Ugh. The Nim Chimpsky story. A travesty, and I hope the documentary accurately reflects his entire life, not just the language-experimental portion.

    And then you have the chimp horror stories such as what happened to Charla Nash or St. James Davis. Chimps raised among humans bond just as tightly and need just as much love and attention as human children… but once they hit adolescence, they are incredibly dangerous and then the chimp, his family, and the community have an intractable problem that generally ends badly for everyone.

  3. avatar O E says:

    Bachmann has taken the time to be schooled in the art of evasive response typical of the politician who is keen on shoveling upon the incumbent, but has little substantive proposals to present to the voting public, other than personality, some background, and the ability to ignore the opponent’s accomplishments to her own benefit.  Law school helps in that sense: confuse and distract the jury for the benefit of your client.  Things may change between now and election day, because she isn’t the airhead Palin is, but that doesn’t mean Bachmann, so far, is presidential material.  Let’s see what happens when she meets persistent interviewers or participates in debates that require knowledge, thinking on your feet, and the ability to deliver with facts that have solid foundation, not based on fundamentalist Christian beliefs, John Wayne references or any other misinformed crap.  Also, let’s see what the opposition digs up about her farm subsidies and other enterprises.  Will she end up being another good looking lady wanting to climb up the political ladder, or will she be able to play on an even field with the boys?

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear OE…

      Her law background helps a lot.  As if politicans aren’t slimy enough in the modes of evasion. 

      As to her farm subsidies, don’t bother asking because she’ll bring it around to…limos!  (I watched Face The Nation–it really was fascinating, in a creepy-crawly way.)

      • avatar O E says:

        And most politicians start as lawyers.  They are able manipulators (the successful lawyers, that is) which  means not all lawyers turn out to be successful politicians.

  4. avatar Bethany Christian says:

    As a fellow Texan I feel the same as you do.  Please let them secede and wake-up as you described!  If he were to become President could America secede from North America?

  5. avatar D C says:

    Re: Rick Perry — the man actually talked about secession.  I was behind a pick-up truck yesterday (what else?) that had a Secede bumper sticker on it.  When I see that kind of stupidity actually driving down the road, it makes me want to pull into a parking lot til they get very far away.  Governor “Goodhair” as we like to call him down here, is nothing but a pretty face having a grand old time on taxpayer money and not really getting much of anything worthwhile done around here.  If the people of the USA decide to elect him President, then they can look forward to him invading THEIR womb with the mandatory ultrasound law just like he did for Texas women.  Our education system is going down the toilet, and he’s trying to please only one section of the electorate.  In a few years, we’ll have nobody of voting age that can put a coherent sentence together.

  6. avatar Bonnie O says:

    Hey folks, Hawaii has a large segment of citizens who have argued for separation from the union for years.  I do not know if the sentiment is growing, stagnant or just lying-in-wait.  Governor Perry is not unique in his statement … that is if it was a serious statement.  Those folks in Hawaii are serious.

    As for Congresswoman Bachmann ….. hmmm?   She is now at the stage of her campaign where she is being carefully scrutinized by both the media and most members of the GOP who have thought of her as a fringe candidate.  How she treads her way through the waves of questions and media traps will determine if she is indeed a force in the GOP, a contender or a welcomed fund raiser.  She may be all three.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      I would support secession if Perry would ban the Texas Democratic Party and exile them all to Louisiana. In the book I will never write. 

      Wo knows what Perry is really up to? Personally I still think he is just having a little fun with some “payback” and promoting his book. As for actually running and winnning the nomination I suspect  if he is serious that he will find out the way Huckabee did that not everyone in this country is into “fundamentalism” and go the way Huckabee did.