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James Wolcott Quotes
The Beltway media went into caroming-off-the-walls hysterics over Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, whipping itself into a flaming casserole even as Clinton's standing with the American people remained upright and firm, so to speak.
The days when the words 'Hollywood actor' framed Ronald Reagan like bunny fingers as an ID tag and an implied insult seem far-off and quaint: nearly everybody in politics - candidate, consultant, pundit, and Tea Party crowd extra alike - is an actor now, a shameless ham in a hoked-up reality series that never stops.
The lies the government and media tell are amplifications of the lies we tell ourselves. To stop being conned, stop conning yourself.
The unhappy irony is that, while 'Glee' is hitting the heights, school arts funding is being slashed across the country due to the steep recession and declining tax revenues.
The whole ecosystem of celebrity has broken down for writers. If you go back to the '50s, '60s, and '70s, writers were on TV a lot, and they were allowed to misbehave a lot.
There was a time when idealistic folksingers such as myself believed that Reality TV was a programming vogue that would peak and recede, leaving only its hardiest show-offs. Instead, it has metastasized like toxic mold, filling every nook and opening new crannies.
Today a celebrity sex video isn't a stigma that requires penance and smarm removal; it's a branding device, a platform enhancer, a show reel.
Truman Capote was a pop figure, but it wasn't until he went on David Susskind's show and had that extraordinary voice and manner that everyone could imitate, that he really took off as a figure.
Used to be, conservatives revered the Average American, that Norman Rockwell oil painting of diner food, humble faith, honest toil, and Capraesque virtue.
What a turnaround in sentiment 'Glee' exemplifies. It was only a few years ago that pursuing the dream of a Broadway career or cabaret stardom relegated some poor yearning dope to a lavender ghetto of losers, self-deluders, and social rejects.
What had brought me to New York in the autumn of 1972 was a letter of recommendation written by Norman Mailer, the author of 'The Naked and the Dead' and American literature's leading heavyweight contender, to Dan Wolf, the delphic editor of 'The Village Voice.'
What stars do in their off-hours is a never-ending source of diddling curiosity to the tabloid sensibility.
What's happening to movie critics is no different from what has been meted out to book, dance, theater, and fine-arts reviewers and reporters in the cultural deforestation that has driven refugees into the diffuse clatter of the Internet and Twitter, where some adapt and thrive - such as Roger Ebert - while others disappear without a twinkle.
Whenever I catch a chunk of an Adam Sandler comedy on cable, it looks as badly shot and goofily tossed off as a Jerry Lewis gag reel once he hit the late downslide with 'Hardly Working' and 'Cracking Up.'
Who elected Larry King America's grief counselor? We, the viewing public, did, by driving up his ratings whenever somebody famous passes.
With 'Black Swan,' the ballerina saga flips its tiara and goes on a hallucinatory bender, a scary acid trip where transfiguration and disfiguration meet.
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