And more from our Gossip Girl: the new, and quite unusual, Byron Janis book
“EVEN THE gods love jokes,” said that ancient philosopher Plato.
* * *
WELL IT’S very interesting to write something about Sarah Palin and see it explode on the Internet.
The other day after giving the ongoing Sarah situation the best of my thoughts, commenting on her obvious attractions, the devotedness of her fans, and the fact that she has become the most famous polarizing voice in American politics, I was bombarded by these same fans and informed that I owed Sarah an apology.
Maybe I didn’t explain myself too well in ending my piece by saying Sarah is a “joke” on the American people. I simply meant to convey that she is not equipped to become the leader of the country.
She is sensational as a factor in making her points on public opinion, in leading her flock — and she is absolutely great looking in the bargain. She seems to be the one mother in the universe who really actually “has it all.” And she well may be the greatest “character” to come along in the history of U.S. politics.
So, she isn’t a great sharpshooter. (I happen to think a woman as a great sharpshooter is pretty much of a waste. I’m so old fashioned.) But still, she isn’t ready for the Oval Office. As the jokers say, “This doesn’t make her a bad person.” (I think she pretty much proved my point by her “policy” speech about not blaming every crime committed in the world on the conservative right. She was right about that but why didn’t she just leave it alone? It was a very well-manufactured speech, yet she and her advisors made a huge mistake with the use of the words “blood libel.” They simply did not know or realize the meaning of this term that is so anathema to the Jewish people of the world.)
Honestly, I don’t expect any of Sarah’s fans to agree with me. And they’re wasting their time trying to goad me into a response to explain why I don’t feel I owe her an apology. Sarah Palin doesn’t owe me anything either. She hasn’t noticed I exist and that’s OK with me. But we are of different opinions, so while I can be corrected and when I make a mistake, I’m willing to say so … I can’t change my mind about the most important issue. If she ever got elected President, I’d be very despairing, since I can’t see how she is qualified. (But here is a quote I found by dear old Anonymous: “The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.”)
But, of course, she is qualified, and has every right, to act out, to speak out, to write books, to do TV shows, to be a star on Fox News, to make millions. More power to her.
Oh, the other thing about responding to readers is I absolutely hate the Internet. It takes too much time for an old-fashioned dolt like me to figure out how to reply. I tried the other day as I really wanted to engage with some of my critics who seem very smart.
But by the time I figured out how, I was exhausted.
So, I’m sorry if you think I should apologize to Sarah Palin. Honestly, I’m sure she couldn’t give a… crosshair on a moose.
* * *
There’s nothing like a “celebrity” love story and while now, more and more, such romances do not last, here now is a new book where one does.
And this may be the most interesting part of the Byron Janis book about his life to someone like me. I especially love thinking on his marriage to the Beverly Hills beauty and excellent artist, Maria, the daughter of Hollywood’s Rocky and Gary Cooper.)
But, of course, the Byron Janis story, “Chopin and Beyond: My Extraordinary Life in Music and the Paranormal,” as written by himself alone, is much more than just his happy marriage. This child prodigy became an international music phenomenon, a protégé of Vladimir Horowitz, a protégé and eventual lover of the famous Wanda, daughter of Toscanini, who just happened to be married to Horowitz, and the story includes thousands of other prominent names in music, art, and celebrity.
This is a book where the gifted musical child grows up to discover unknown music written by Chopin (and he does this not once, but twice.) He hangs in the purlieus of Boris Chapliapin, Grace Kelly, Greta Garbo, George Schlee, Maria Callas, Elsa Maxwell, Walter Cronkite, Ronald Reagan, and on and on. He knows and has been known by the greats of the 20th century.
And he is a fighter who struggled to regain his manual artistry at the piano after an accident almost severed a finger. Then, later, Byron battles crippling arthritis and dabbles in the paranormal.
I know Byron and admire him greatly and I love Maria Cooper Janis who writes a handsome foreword to her husband’s life. This book is full of musical history, thrills and chills, personal battles, foibles, and adventures of the rich and famous and gifted.
A surefire hit if people who love music and musicians, stars and satellites are still reading.
* * *
On Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton in Hollywood, the Golden Globe Awards happen. Although the GG’s have gained more respectability in recent decades, there’s still a surreal quality to some of the nominees — Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in “The Tourist?” (Then again, the Globes are given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and “The Tourist” was a big hit in Europe.)
It’s down to “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network” to garner the big GG’s. My bet is on “The King’s Speech,” unless the Hollywood Foreign Press wants to prove how “modern” they are, and honor David Fincher’s tale of Facebook machinations and betrayals.