“WHEN THE heroes go off the stage, the clowns come on,” said Heinrich Heine.
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I enjoyed the ABC Republican debates in Iowa; it was a diverting hour. But when Michele Bachmann praised the now-departed-from-the-race Herman Cain twice within one debate, I asked myself how Ms. Bachmann can face any woman in the world with that on her conscience. Would that she even had a conscience about Herman Cain!
I am told that one former adviser to Michelle Bachmann’s campaign was asked about his biggest problem in working for the GOP conservative candidate. He said simply, “It was in trying to get her husband not to dance!”
Although I am a devout Democratic liberal and will vote for Barack Obama, I am very interested in all these Republicans who are running. And the one who continuously impresses me is Ron Paul. He is obviously the most conscientious person in the race. He really believes all that anti-government stuff he hangs onto. He is totally sincere. I suppose he doesn’t have a ghost of a chance in getting the GOP nomination. But he is the most sincere and dedicated person in the whole race. Smart, too.
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I COULDN’T fit every anecdote into yesterday’s column on Elizabeth Taylor’s display/auction at Christie’s. Here’s one I love.
After I told Elizabeth’s great friend, press rep and AIDS ally Sally Morrison, about witnessing Elizabeth cajole a producer out of a $25,000 pin, Sally exclaimed: “Oh, that’s so her! And it didn’t have to be anything expensive, either. Back in 1989, when Elizabeth had a terrible bout of pneumonia — months in the hospital — I visited her. I was wearing an inexpensive tee-shirt I’d purchased in Fiji, when we were all there with Malcolm Forbes. Elizabeth bought some too.
“She said, ‘I love that shirt. I want that shirt!’ I said, ‘Elizabeth, you already have some. We all bought them in Fiji.’ She said, ‘But I don’t have any in blue. I like that.’ So I said, ‘Okay, I’ll have it laundered and send it over.’ Nevertheless, she says, ‘Honey, you don’t need to launder it. Just take it off, now.’ So, of course I did. Aside from anything else, she’d almost died and the doctors still weren’t sure she’d survive. I took off the shirt and pulled my jacket around me, because all I had on was a bra underneath.
“The next day I visited her. She’s wearing the blue shirt and before I leave she casually tossed a Chanel handbag at me. ‘I know you always liked this.”
So, it was difficult to be mad at her. She just had to have her way.”
P.S. The Christie’s online auction of Miss Taylor’s “extra” goodies runs for 33 pages. And don’t think these are mere incidentals. Some gorgeous “rings and things” are available. (That is how I once heard Elizabeth shop, in Paris — “I want to see some rings and things!”)
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DO YOU like English history all mixed up with things going on in the current day?
Then let me abbreviate a wonderful article by William Langley who has just written about Pippa Middleton, sister to the newly made Duchess of Cornwall. Writer Langley notes that Pippa is now going out with a Percy — one George, the 26-year-old heir to the Duchy of Northumberland. The couple went to university together and have resumed dating.
Langley says this is well and good, but the problem lies in the fact that “the Percys have a remarkable talent for choosing the wrong women.”
Then he begins with Henry, the 6th Earl, who fell for Anne Boleyn in the early 1520s. When Henry VIII claimed Anne for his own, the Earl made an unhappy marriage to Lady Mary Talbot and died an unhappy death at age 35.
Then there was the famed 7th Earl, Thomas, who was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I. But he foolishly pledged himself to Mary, Queen of Scots, went all the way with her, and was sold to the English by the Scots who hated him. The English beheaded him.
(Henry was made a saint by the Pope three centuries too late to make up for it all.)
Several Percys have been lynched, one assassinated and several have been imprisoned, banished or drummed out of society.
Langley notes, “Still, nothing has held them back for long. By the 18th century, the Percys had been promoted to dukes.” They have always been rife at court and in Tory politics. They are worth over $500 million today, owning great swatches of North Country.
Langley: “Harry Hotspur, the son of the lst Earl, accurately depicted by Shakespeare as a hyper-energetic dimwit, led a rebellion against Henry IV, only to be defeated at the Battle of Shrewsbury. His body was chopped into pieces for distribution around the kingdom and his head displayed on a staff in York. Then there was the embarrassment of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605.” (Thomas Percy was one of the leading conspirators … the fallout came close to destroying the entire dynasty.)
Langley closes, saying: “Miss Middleton’s slinky lines have been rightly acclaimed. But they’ll never be able to match the twists and turns of her friend’s family history.”