"THE ENDURING, trashy mystique of celebrity super-couples, with their cartoony portmanteaus -- Bennifer, Brangelina, TomKat -- has something to do with 1 plus 1 = 3 fame math, but more to do with category confusion, the blurring of real people into characters and lives into plots."
Thus speaks article writer Benjamin Wallace in the July 30th New York magazine, in which seven full pages are devoted to the usual/unusual Tom Cruise- Katie Holmes divorce. For Tom, who just turned 50, this is his third. For Katie, who was 27 when they married, it is her first. It lasted six years. There are millions of dollars and custody of daughter Suri at stake. And there is Scientology lingering not so unobtrusively in the background.)
If you've been following this show biz event in the tabloids, get thee to a newsstand, pay your money and read instead a more "intellectual" turn-out of this rather mysterious, except inevitable, happening, titled "Katie Holmes Cruise Has Left The Building." Who are they? This over-in-love duet of a super star bending down from his control-freak mount to make another pretty, attractive and aspiring actress his bride? And who is she this time around -- an innocent, or a conniving bitch who announces their divorce without a word to him beforehand? Was she just in it for the short haul with her lawyer father ever-ready with settlement terms? Why can't Tom Cruise quit making his wives into stars?
And the mystery "religion" - Scientology. Once you are on their mailing list, as I am, you can't
escape even if you throw it all away unopened. And as for Tom -- why can't he be content to just be Mr. Super Star who leads Hollywood, does his own stunts, never relaxes, makes millions of dollars, but can't convince anybody that (1) he isn't gay (2) he isn't diabolical (3) he is capable of letting his women belong to themselves (4) has already recruited two of his children for his religion and will do - what? -about the third?
Oy vey! I'd just say if you are following this story, at least follow it in New York magazine and sign off as bewildered as you were before. But you owe it to yourself as a celebrity junkie , at least, to consider Mr. Wallace's "wisdom." No, I don't own stock in New York magazine. It just happens to be one of the most enlightened pieces of newsprint still left to those of us trying to understand what's going on.
- AND SPEAKING of what's going on: Does anybody besides me want to go right on extolling, examining, and being grateful for New York's Mayor? Do you truly think that you will ever see his like again in this great office that oversees the lives of 8 million people? Are you still criticizing him and making whoopee over whether he wants you to drink tall hefty sugary things that will eventually help kill you? (He has already saved thousands of lives by being implacable about people smoking.) Michael Bloomberg is a destroyer of things that are bad, not just for us, but for many in this nation. (If you read the recent New York magazine article--again-- describing his many many philanthropies outside this city, you know what I am talking about.) But, feel free, go ahead with wanting to kill him over how many ounces are in that soda.
- TO BE on the record, it's true that the mayor has done a lot for charities I cherish and for many others. I have even been invited to his town house and to Gracie Mansion and to his office several times. But that's just quid pro quo for the charities I work with. I personally have never gotten anything, but a certain pleasure, from knowing the 11th richest person in the United States.
I suppose a lot of you would like to settle for some other mayor, one not personally worth $22 billion, so as to be above corruption or politics. Not me! Incidentally, isn't Mike Bloomberg just about the only famous influential person really speaking out today on the gun control mess? The presidential candidates and other politicos are too afraid to even address this issue. If we could just go back to reinstating the minor law against assault weapons, which Congress happily let lapse - we'd be ahead of the game. And then Mike Bloomberg would go on using his millions and maybe billions for further gun control.
I am with MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell in saying that the NRA talks constantly about "freedom" being taken away if there is more gun control. We all already live with a lot of laws that protect us and control freedom -- like where we park our cars, how fast we drive, how we must obey local, state and federal rules meant to save us from ourselves. THIS is what makes up so-called "civilization."
Do you really want to live in a country with no laws? The weaker, less aggressive of us would be dead within hours. "Freedom" to the NRA means the right to do as you please with an assault weapon, where you can't be punished until after you let loose with it. What kind of "freedom" is that?