January 13, 2013 |
Receiving the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award during the Golden Globes telecast is usually a time for some benignly pleasant remarks. Jodie Foster, however, used the platform Sunday night to publicly address her sexuality and private life. Introduced by Robert Downey Jr., who captured the freewheeling, slightly needling spirit one might more typically expect, Foster declared what "feels like the end of one era and the beginning of something else. " The actor-director seized the moment for an obliquely playful, complex and emotional speech in the middle of an evening otherwise reserved for glitzy Hollywood puffery.
July 29, 2012 |
CAIRO - An engineering student is killed for walking with his fiancee by men reportedly linked to a group called the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Women are harassed for not wearing veils, owners of liquor stores say they're being threatened, and fundamentalists are calling for sex segregation on buses and in workplaces. Egypt's recent election of an Islamist president has rekindled a long-suppressed display of public piousness that has aroused both "moral vigilantism" and personal acts of faith, such as demands that police officers and flight attendants be allowed to grow beards.
May 12, 2012 |
Johnny Carson did not invent late-night television - he wasn't even the first (or second) host of "The Tonight Show," which he captained for 30 years until he quit the business cold in 1992 - but he is the most important person ever to have made it his home. His name may mean increasingly little to younger generations, but late-night is still very much the thing he created, shepherded by hosts formed in his image. Any time a talk-show host plays disaster for comedy, building more laughs on the back of a dud joke than he might be getting with a live one, you are watching the shade of Johnny Carson.
March 4, 2012 |
Without Anne Lamott, the entire sub-category of contemporary parent writing - which includes Brett Paesel, Christie Mellor, Ayun Halliday - as well as all those mommy bloggers - probably wouldn't exist. Her 1993 bestseller "Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year" set the standard, acknowledging the doubts and the difficulties, the sense that many first-time parents have of being cast into an alternate universe where simply taking a shower and getting dressed in clean clothes is a moral victory over the chaos and entropy that every infant leaves in his or her wake.
February 16, 2012 |
Recently some readers complained about my characterization of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum as a " weird, pious wackadoo ," charging bias against religious conservatives. Obviously they didn't realize that when it comes to mockery, I'm an equal-opportunity columnist. I've taken plenty of stabs at Democrats over the years, not least of them Hillary Rodham Clinton, whom I've compared to an old sofa. Still, a lot of you thought the Santorum line was cheap and dismissive, and while I'm not inclined to recant (I was talking, after all, about a guy whose anti-gay rhetoric is extreme by any measure, and who seems to believe that married couples should have sex only for reproductive purposes)
January 27, 2012 |
Many years ago, when Sen. Ted Kennedy was challenging President Carter for the Democratic presidential nomination, I quit my job at a national magazine in protest of the owner's refusal to publish an article I had edited about the senator's extramarital activities. At that time, there was a general consensus among Washington journalists that one didn't do that sort of thing. ("That sort of thing" being reporting on politicians' extramarital affairs. Having the affairs was OK.) The article, which was eventually published in another magazine, didn't discuss any actual affairs or name any names.