In the end...the awful truth is that Hollywood is us, which means that though its addictions may be another form of entertainment for jaded Americans, they are really no different from our own.
Take away Lindsay Lohan's beauty and notoriety, and she's just another pretty young girl trying to find herself. Take away Philip Seymour Hoffman's enormous talent and recognition, and he's just another middle-age man in desperate midlife crisis. Take away Robin Williams' manic humor and he's just another depressive staring into the abyss.
So ends Neal Gabler's excellent -- if not fun-filled -- article in the current issue of Playboy, titled "Hollywood High." This piece tells us that while drug and drink and sex addictions are not exclusive to celebrities, those addictions are easier to fall into, and more difficult to shake when one is famous, coddled and the golden goose for managers, agents, directors, studios and even those who claim it is their business to help stars "get sober."
It's a -- sobering overview.
•SPEAKING OF Playboy, author Patty Farmer is about to unfurl her new book, Playboy on Stage: A History of the World's Sexiest Nightclubs. This is the saga of the famous Playboy clubs, which dotted the country -- and the world -- for decades. That was before the bunny ears and tails lost their glossy coat. The book tells many tales, from many points of view -- all about the bunnies, musicians, singers and comics and others involved in launching and maintaining the clubs.
This should be fun. Miss Farmer wrote The Persian Room Presents, which chronicled that wonderful nightspot at the Plaza Hotel. Playboy on Stage arrives on November 17th from Beaufort Books.
•FANS OF Showtime's Homeland have to now accept that this series is not grounded in any sort of reality. At least not so far as its major protagonist is concerned. Carrie Mathison, played by Claire Danes, has broken so many rules (even by CIA standards) and behaved in such a loony manner that the credibility of her character has been totally compromised. Not that this is necessarily a bad or ruinous thing. It's only a TV show. And within that confine, Carrie's craziness is fun to watch. Her latest escapade -- seducing a 21-year-old Pakistani medical student, whose family was wiped out by a drone --has enraged some faithful Homeland-ers.
I say -- what, haven't you been watching for the past three seasons? Frankly, I was surprised the writers didn't make the kid 16. Nothing stops our bi-polar heroine from doing her job. Or whatever it is she does.
•MOST OF you have probably never heard of Stevanna Jackson. She is the daughter of Michael Jackson's younger brother, Randy. A recent grad of Harvard University (the only Jackson to have graduated from such a prestigious university) she is a TV and film writer and an actress.
Stevanna is referred to as the "Marilyn Munster" of the Jackson family -- she's smart and normal and appears to have emerged relatively unscathed from the dysfunction of the Jacksons. She is working on a screenplay about her family (uh-oh, if she's as smart as rumored, this won't be a rose-tinted project.) She also has a sitcom on the burner.
She's admirably athletic, a runner. Well, exercise helps everything. Even -- perhaps especially! -- being a Jackson.
•NOW if you want some glamorous fun, jot down the November 5th date for the 18th Annual Defining Moments Gala and Auction at Capitale in NYC. This is the Women's Venture Fund's premier fundraising event that brings together over 300 business leaders to commemorate the mission of the organization. The gala celebrates honorees who relate their defining moments.
This year's honorees are Lorie E. Almon, Esq., Partner at Seyfarth Shaw...Susan Avarde, Managing Director, Head of Global Branding at Citigroup...and Alexa Hampton, Owner, Alexa Hampton, Inc.; Owner, Designer, Mark Hampton LLC.
The event will be hosted by Rebecca Jarvis, Chief Business and Economics Correspondent of ABC News. Emmy Award-winning actress and comedian Judy Gold will serve as Auctioneer. (Judy has a great fan in Bette Midler, who has encouraged her talent and career.)
I actually know the beautiful honoree Alexa Hampton who has inherited her late father's talent (he was the incredibly gifted Mark Hampton) and her mother's charm. (She is Duane!)
•Palm Beachers won't want to miss Forbes Life magazine for November. It boasts a "Palm Beach" spread featuring George Hamilton, Donald Trump, Jim and Kristy Clark, Bridget and Bill Koch, Brooke Shields, Lily Pulitzer, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Steve and Kara Ross, and David Gilmour.
All photographed by the one and only Harry Benson and written about by Sugar Rautbord.
•ENDQUOTE: "I've always been determined not to accept the status quo. Had I settled down for any other life, I would have been unhappy. I didn't really have a choice."
That's my favorite blonde pop icon, Debbie Harry, talking to Charlotte Cowles in Harper's Bazaar. (You can't miss this issue, with its blazing red Anne Hathaway cover.)
Debbie is 69-years-old and shows no inclination of ever slowing down. She and Blondie toured the world to promote their latest album "Blondie 4(O)-Ever."
"I always wanted to have experiences -- that's all that I really cared about." Deborah, my dear, please don't ever stop having experiences. You are a real star. That's a position not easy to maintain these days.