Skip to comments.LIZ SMITH: End Credits (Doesn't regret supporting Harvey Weinstein)
Posted on 10/12/2017 8:00:10 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The Best From The New Vanity Fair ... Rick Skye ... Rainbow Flags ... and The End Credits Roll For Harvey Weinstein.
WHY? Are you planning to kill me?!
That is Shonda Rhimes of How to Get Away With Murder and Greys Anatomy fame, answering Vanity Fairs Proust Questionnaire query How would you like to die?
I love the PQ. I usually turn to it first, for laughs and more than occasional inspiration, before tackling the rest of the magazine.
NOVEMBERs VF, with Kate McKinnon on the cover, is one of those issues simply packed with great stuff.
McKinnons profile, by Lili Anolik begins with a great Annie Leibowitz photo of Kate done up like Marlene Dietrich, when Marlene acted as a circus ringmaster for some Mike Todd extravaganza back in the 1950s. (Todd was one of Marlenes many lovers. He was also the second of her amours to marry Elizabeth Taylor. Dietrich took it personally and really disliked La Liz. Marlene would exclaim bitterly: She is an idiot. It must be those enormous bosoms of hers!) I dont know if Kate was aware of the history behind her photo, but surely Annie Leibowitz was.
The interview with the talented Ms. McKinnon is very good, but I liked especially the beginning in which writer Anolik describes the tightrope elements of such a sit-down; They are by their very nature transactional ... Use and be used, give and take, a mutual hustle and slide ... its easy to forget that our interests are at odds and that the relationship is, at heart, antagonistic. Luckily for interviewer and subject, in this case, nobody is antagonized or left feeling they didnt get what they came for.
ALSO of note in the new VF is Rich Cohens big take on Jared Kushner The Potemkin Prince which is chock full of eyebrows-to-the-hairline observations and quotes on Kushners character, his history, his mysterious and infuriatingly opaque personality, his handling and helming of New Yorks once prestigious broadsheet, The Observer, his accomplishments so far in Washington. Id be hard-pressed to choose a favorite passage from this article. But heres one that has a lot of color: Donald Trump is all about loyalty and is vindictive; Jared is his de facto favorite son; the Kushners are also all about loyalty ... so people are also freaked about Jared. They project a lot onto him. Hes like the heir apparent to a Mob family that happens to run the whole country. So the big question is: is he Sonny or is he Michael? Author Cohen adds: Heres what I ask: What about Fredo?
VF OFFERS as well James Ellroys gritty rat-a-tat-tat dissection of the infamous 1963 career girl murders in New York City, titled Buzz M for Murder ... Fatal Initiation Benjamin Wallaces tragic and frustrating story of the hazing death of Penn State student Tim Piazza ... and Joe Hagans tale of the initially fond, then abruptly and bitterly aborted relationship between Rolling Stones Jann Wenner, and John Lennon. (Theres redemption in the end, however.) This is an excerpt from Hagans coming book on Wenner, Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine. (Hagan will be at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fames Foster Theater on November 6th to discuss the book.)
AND then there is the brilliant and always fired up James Wolcott, spewing righteous (and mostly correct, from our point of view) flames at our 45th president. But it is an article yet another that rests on the idea that Trump is somehow not going to finish his first term, and will certainly not have a second.
The piece, titled The Tyrant Trap warns how to avoid another Trump. Alas, that horse has left the stable. This wishful thinking The moment Trump leaves the White House for early retirement, jail, a sanitarium or a Russian refuge fatally underestimates the power of his small but made-of-steel base. Every time a Tillerson called Trump a moron story emerges, it encourages that base to be ever steelier. (That story may very well be true Tillerson did not deny those words but what was the point of it, except for Trumps detractors to gloat all over cable TV and preach to the choir?)
This sort of piece also fails to recognize the radical alt-right elements who will almost definitely take over the Republican party very soon Alabamas Roy Moore is just the scary beginning. And even if by some far-flung chance Trump exits before his time, we are left with the terrifying Mike Pence, religious ideologue who wishes to run the country according to Biblical tenets. Faced with that, I think trying to handle Trump, for all his childishness, is the preferable deal.
SAVE YOUR Saturday nights every month, from now on. Why? Because down at New Yorks famous Dont Tell Mama cabaret, Rick Skye, the acclaimed Liza Minnelli channel-er, will be the host with the most at Bazazz! A Sequined Variety. This will feature Skye, natch, doing his sensitive, boisterous and moving impersonation of Minnelli. Although impersonation is too banal a word for his affectionate, on-target work. (Skye trained with the Joffrey Ballet and Stella Adler. Hes won a fistful of awards, and written and produced shows for himself and others.) There will be other well-known performers on the cabaret scene contributing David Maiocco and Chuck Sweeney will join him for the first show. As well as Skyes Kit Kat Boyz. They provide visually potent backup. You can catch the first show on October 27th, at 7:00. For tix, visit www.donttellmamanyc.com.
YESTERDAY was a big day in Manhattan and in LGBT history. The iconic Rainbow Flag was unveiled and dedicated at the Stonewall National Monument (Christopher Street and 7th Avenue South.) The Stonewall is, of course, the bar that was raided by police on June 28th, 1969. This sparked a violent, totally unexpected response what, theyre fighting back?! and within 48 hours a new, powerful movement of liberation sprung vitally to life. This is the first time the Rainbow Flag will wave over federally-funded land, under the permanent protection of the National Park Service.
ENDTHOUGHT: Arent you ashamed of supporting Harvey Weinstein all these years?
Thats the way a lot of our emails have been going, since last week, when the New York Times broke the ever metastasizing story of Weinsteins three-decades of sexual harassment.
The answer is no, and please dont try that guilt crap with us. We dont regret praising his legitimate prowess as a filmmaker, back in the day. That has nothing to do with the horror stories unfolding here and now, in 2017. Okay?
Weve struggled, actually, to write about the scandal. But just as it seemed complete another ghastly revelation would surface. (In fact I assume between filing this column and tomorrow morning, therell be another lurid element to the story.)
Its all over for Harvey the end credits are rolling and no DVD extras. I think it will be difficult for him to mount a successful redemptive second act, as often happens after a sex scandal. This one is too much, a vomitorium of horrible behavior, intimidation, coercion, possibly rape. (He asked for a second chance in his last public statement. And while most people are entitled to that, in this case Id say, in show biz parlance, dont dress.)
Not only has Harvey destroyed himself, his company may go under, his marriage is over, his children are well, God knows what they are going through. And every person connected with him has been stained, some quite unfairly. It has, of course, become a political football, with conservatives forgetting SO much of their own history in such matters, and neatly side-stepping the fact that this story initially broke in that liberal bastion, The New York Times. (They only run fake news when its about the president, you see.)
Look, this emersion in sewage is not really a story about Harvey Weinstein or Hollywood or liberals. This is an indictment of the abuses of power in general, and the abuse of women, in particular. Somewhere, women in a law office or a bank or a restaurant or a tech company or even the halls of Congress, are dealing with their own Harvey Weinsteins. Alexander Hamilton said: A fondness for power is implanted in most men, and it is natural to abuse it when acquired. Were not confident that as grisly as Harveys ruin is, it will deter other men, with a fondness for power. But we can live in hope.
As for who knew what and when, I think that was best addressed the other day by a distraught employee at the Weinstein Company: Everybody knew Harvey did dirty things. But we didnt know THIS.
Indeed, everybody knew or assumed that Harvey was a lech, unfaithful to his spouse, etc. It was the kind of gossip one hears regularly about movie stars, sports figures, your next door neighbor, your friends. (You might even gleefully repeat such gossip yourself.) It was also the sort of tattle associated with movie moguls since the dawn of talkies. The words harassment or rape were not a part of any Weinstein chat we were ever privy to. (In fact, the most alarming stories we heard had much more to do with his terrible temper, the treatment of his staff, rather than his sexual predilections.)
Between the daily distress alarms sent up from Washington, D.C., the Las Vegas massacre, the horrific California wildfires, and this business with Mr. Weinstein, with its many tentacles repercussions, and partisan hypocrisies, we have never felt wearier, grimmer or less inclined to write entertainment.
But well get over it.
Is this the same Liz Smith who used to be on Washington Week in Review back in the early ‘80s?
I’m glad her mind is still reasonably sharp.
Can anyone cite for me a "conservative" who has raped anyone???
This whole thing poisons any move with his name on it.
The point of movies is to “suspend disbelief” in the audience to “feel” what is happening on the screen is real. But people attached to a film with really bad off screen antics prevent me from suspending disbelief.
To use hyperbole: If Hitler was an amazing film producer, I could not watch any of his films, for obvious reasons. I couldn’t get past what he did to make the films.
It’s a bit like wearing clothing that you KNOW was made by young children in prison with an 18 year life expectancy.
I’ll be going through my extensive collection of DVDs and BlueRays. Any with him attached will be burned in the trash.
Yep. It's like the guy who played Kramer on the Seinfeld show. He was a fan favorite for years and years but all he'll be remembered for is those 5 minutes on stage when was yelling the N word.
It’s gonna be funny to watch Hollywood whores lecturing us about morality again at the Academy Awards again this year. Anyone remember that Meryl Streep speech where she was castigating Trump for his salty language?
At that very moment she knew all about Weinstein and had for years.
Roy Moore and Mike Pence are radical extremists to be afraid of?
What a dope, the sort who thinks John MCain and Linda Graham are too conservative.
Harvey’s wife was complicit in all of this.
He told his targets that it was ok with his wife and he blacklisted actresses who didn’t have his wife make their awards gowns.
I heard new yorker broke it.
And NBC turned it down and didnt joke about it after it broke.
She probably thinks Mike Lee and Ted Cruz are theocrats.
I wonder how many pervs are shaking in their boots that they too will be exposed.
Won't it be funny when a whole lot of them are blaming each other as being worse then them.
Then maybe we will see the pedos exposed.
I think you are referring to Leni Reifenstahl, a very talented filmmaker who made propaganda gilmd for Hitler. No one can deny she was amazingly talented, but it’s not like she has a legacy as a filmmaker today. Even though many of the techniques she pioneered are still used in sports and elsewhere.
I was just using hyperbole to point out that sometimes a person’s off screen (i.e. REAL) persona is just so evil/bad/wicked that you can’t get that out of your mind when exposed to their stuff.
It’s why I got rid of all Barbra Streisand albums decades ago.
I have the same question. That sentence jumped out at me too.
Aside the joy over the stupid pride flag, the sentence you highlighted is a damn joke.
She thinks Bill Clinton is a humanitarian...
I'm 70 now, but when I was in my early 30's, I was working as a C.O. The job I had was running the phone-home program at Auburn Prison in NY State. The inmates would come down to the phone room to make their phones calls. They got two a month, and the officer running the program would dial the numbers from an approved contact list, and make the collect calls, then once the calls were connected, I would connect the call to one of the phone booths in the room. The inmates got 10 minutes for their calls. I usually had two inmate phone clerks there to help organize the cards for those who were scheduled. They'd also set up the next date for their second call of the month. One day I got a new inmate clerk. He was a young guy who was doing time for rape. I went to discuss this with the Sergeant who supervised my area, and his reply to me was "You've got nothing to worry about...he only likes them young." I never had a problem with any of the clerks who worked with me. Some of them were lifers. I never took any guff from any con during my 25 years. Once you are labeled a hard-liner, who does your job, and can't be conned, they left you alone.
Jeff Dahmer was a hell of a librarian I hear tell, didn’t get much press though didn’t have Miramax money
Wait, Liz Smith is not dead?
Denis Ferrara helped her write it....wonder how much is actually her writing.
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