Whoopi! It’s Oscar time, and dear old Marion Barry has already set us up with a nice array of winners. Growing up, he tells the Washington Post, he identified with Bogart in Casablanca, Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney (“he was a gangster and he was a lover”). But then his current wife forced him to admire Forrest Gump.
Life does indeed imitate art. For instance, in picking Helen Mirren as his choice of best supporting actress for her performance in Gosford Park, Barry lets on that she was so good in the movie “at one point I even thought she was the murderer.” But she WAS the murderer, an independent investigation by Enemy Central has determined. Meanwhile, though his mind has shrunk, it’s also managed to grow. No longer does he judge a woman by her incredible looks, he lets on. Take Halle Berry. “When I watch her,” he says, “I don’t see the actress, I see the character.” Don’t we all.
Now to get Tom Hanks to star as Marion Barry.
The Senate conducted its own balloting, and eleven Beautiful Minds emerged victorious: GOP Sens. McCain, Fitzgerald, Lugar, Collins, Snowe, Cochran, Domenici, Specter, Chafee, Thompson, and Warner. Each voted in favor of campaign finance reform, so that they can remains in good favor with all the usual lords of the ring. For a while there was concern that McCain wouldn’t join them. He’s the last guy in Washington one would expect to find hanging around with Republicans.
Bogart-Cagney-Robinson movies finished out of the running this year, all because of Lewis Elementary School officials in Barstow, California, have moved to ban “cops and robbers” play by students under their supervision. The crackdown came after a dramatic increase in imaginary weapons on school property. One nine-year-old boy was threatened with expulsion after an investigation revealed his mind to be an arsenal of phantom Uzis, .45s, and B-52s. A school district superintendent told a reporter that play will remain suspended “until guidelines can be developed to help the staff differentiate between dangerous and imaginary play.” Thanks to GOP backed budget cuts, there may not be enough specialists on staff to do the differentiating.
In playgrounds closer to Enemy Central’s home, Mr. Chris Matthews remains under close supervision. One day he was ridiculing Ring Lords Koppel and Lehrer; the next he was practically breaking into their offices to beg for their forgiveness. A thorough investigation may reveal the case has Godfather possibilities. On the one hand, Matthews insisted it was his responsibility “to show my respect to real guys who are ahead of me.” On the other hand, he might have dug his own grave. There’s strong evidence he disturbed Lehrer while the NewsHour man was taking his afternoon nap. Which probably explains why Lehrer’s show that day lacked its usual zip.
In the obsequiousness category, Senator Hillary became the first woman to defeat a dominant male like Matthews. Before a live Senate audience, she went into overdrive to praise the fifteen-term U.S. Senator from West Virginia, Robert K.K.K. Byrd. It seems she’s modeled her career on his, which means New York state can look forward to having every other street, school, park and fisheries named after her. In her remarks, she emphasized how much her mother always found Sen. Byrd attractive. Word from the Hill now is that Sen. Hollings has gone into hiding lest he be singled out next — but that Sen. Thurmond has asked Hillary for Mom’s phone number.
In a close shave, the man who lost Florida by a wider margin than Andrew Jackson has changed his look once again. Now Al Gore wants be called Pale Face.
As if we or Naomi Wolf care. What we really care about are the finer things: world peace, universal day care, and three free meals a day (plus munchies and snacks). But then basketball comes on, and new priorities emerge. Last night, in the matchup of matchups, Indiana defeated Duke, or at least up to a point (literally, as they say), as Duke did the rest — missing a tying free-throw and losing as ignominiously as the Yankees did in the bottom of the ninth of game seven of last fall’s World Series. Soon enough the teams left the floor, but not before one of Duke’s reserve players had to be restrained by a dozen or so uniformed state troopers, from lynching one of the referees. The incident has gone largely unremarked but it captured nicely the “arrogance of power” phenomenon. It’ll be up to Coach K to make sure this reserve player, one Matt Christensen, this week’s EOW, remains permanently benched (unless of course he has a future as Alec Baldwin’s double).