"ADULTERY IS the application of democracy to love," said H.L. Mencken.
•SPEAKING OF Beyonce and Jay Z...no, no -- just kidding!
But the fact is, the question of whether or not this powerhouse couple is on the verge of breaking up -- at least according to 24/7 items via the New York Post -- has become a guilty pleasure over lunch or dinner, all over Manhattan. And other places where gossip is taken seriously. (That means everywhere.)
Is it just a publicity stunt, propagated by the pair themselves to hype their tour? (This is a very popular theory, although it seems to me they hardly need publicity. Beyonce's every little movement brings about some convulsive gossip item.)
Is it because Jay Z has been cheating? (Oddly, not too many seem to like that one. "Who the hell would cheat on Beyonce?" is the frequent outcry.)
Is it just a matter of a coolly "professional" marriage finally going under, with no actual drama? ("There's never been any passion. They have just used each other and now they are rich enough and famous enough and tired enough to let go.") I got that from a well-connected music type. This person does not believe the pair will split "This year. They'll wait until the holidays when nobody's looking."
Maybe, and maybe they'll stick it out and make it work even if they are having "issues." Wouldn't that be an amazing story? It's the story of many romances and marriages.
In that spirit, I wish Beyonce and Jay Z good luck.
•I ALMOST fell out of my chair reading that Sony wants to "freshen up" their Spider Man franchise. Because the last one, The Amazing Spider Man 2 made only $700 million world-wide! $700 million? That's all? Off with their...web-shooters!
What, another skinny kid who looks good in tights is going to be the next Spidey, following Tobey Maguire and the current guy, Andrew Garfield? Well, if they are going to "reboot," why not go all the way? Come on, Hollywood, come up with a fresh idea.
• Woody Allen and I have good selective taste, I'd say. He has given the entertainment columnist Roger Friedman a rare interview in the pages of The New York Observer. If you are a Woody fan, you won't want to miss this and also because the writer-director stays hot and creative year after year.
But I am proud of myself because I not only admire Woody, but I've been writing for ages that Roger is the best all-around show biz reporter on either coast.
Don't miss his with Woody in the August 4th New York Observer.
• I was fascinated to find in this chat, Woody discussing my pal, Elaine Stritch's death. Elaine had made one film for Woody -- September.
The article says the two of them poked fun at one another. But it was more than that for Elaine. She often complained to me that Woody hadn't written another role for her. She craved his attention and felt she never got it!
I often said to Elaine that she was too freaky and unique for Woody's purposes. "It's just one of those things, Elaine. He wrote characters. He didn't write for stars...You require too much attention for Woody. It doesn't mean he doesn't like you!"
Elaine, like a girl pining for a second date with a guy, never took my meaning. She had a hard time with any kind of rejection and reacted against being ordinary by over-reacting.
•In view of our on-going history of Marilyn Monroe, here's an email from E.cossitt:
"As a giddy teenager from Toronto, I visited with my family on the set of Niagara in Niagara Falls and met MM. She was resting and my family made the wrong turn. We came upon her propped on a "leaning board."
My father apologized for the intrusion, but she insisted we stay, and offered my parents a soft drink. I was totally overcome with this raving beauty. She told my mother she was so lucky to have such a cute little boy. All I remember about the very brief meeting was that I met this unbelievable glorious woman who was so nice to us. It had been a very happy experience over 50 odd years, I'm no longer a cute little boy but the memory lives on! Your story brought back those wonderful memories for me . . . . . Many many Thanks!"
•WE HAD a lot of response to our Joe and Marilyn column, including (of course) some people who insist the star was murdered. "She re-newed her driver's license that week -- does that sound like a woman planning to kill herself?"
Well, suicides are often sudden, especially in people who suffer lifelong depression, as Marilyn did. Also, she had attempted to take her life previously, and there had been accidental overdoses all along the way. She was deeply addicted to prescribed medications.
But I wasn't in Marilyn's bedroom the night she died. Nor were any of the conspiracy theorists. Let's say this -- she's dead. That's a fact. Now, let's pop in a DVD of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Or Niagara!