Monday, April 27, 2009


1) I just spent ten minutes trying to track down a record of Larry King's old USA Today column, then spent a few more minutes attempting to confirm that The Suspendered One does indeed have a Twitter feed. All in an attempt to find a random quote with which to title this column, simply to continue my wholly inexplicable tradition of using Larry King quotes to indicate a Random Thoughts post. No wonder I'm spending less time writing this thing!

2) Originally I intended to write entirely about Bea Arthur's death at the age of 86, or specifically about how somebody can spend their entire life as a performer doing fine, distinguished work, but can nonetheless be defined in death by one role.

In Arthur's case, two roles, as she would always be known for her work on TV's Maude and Golden Girls. But that ignores her work in the hugely influential 1954 Off-Broadway production of Threepenny Opera (largely responsible for reviving interest in the life and work of Kurt Weill, who had died four years earlier) and the original production of Fiddler On The Roof. She worked with Lotte Lenya and Jerome Robbins, she won a Tony, she'd had a fine career prior to her work on Maude. And yet the headline for The New York Times obit reads Bea Arthur, Star Of Two TV Comedies, Dies At 86.

Death, apparently, reduces us all.

3) Speaking of gay icons and The New York Times--can I write transitions or what?--a bit of a controversy has broken out among web-based cinephiles over a piece by Dana Stevens in The Times Book Review on Emanuel Levy's new biography of Vincente Minnelli. Deservedly so--I haven't read Levy's book (it sounds awful) but Stevens' review shows a complete lack of knowledge of Minnelli or his work, though she does effectively make the point that Levy seems oddly disinterested in his own subject as well. She raises a valid question--why write a biography of an artist and completely ignore the art? But a better question is, why assign somebody to review a book on a topic they know nothing about?

4) This being a a Random Thoughts post, I'd ordinarily throw in a randomly-chosen clip right about now. But I'm not doing that this time. I'm rising above that.

And then of course, following tradition, I say, "Who am I kidding?" and go with the clip. But it's not happening this time. Mostly because I've run out of Lynda Carter footage.

5) The Yankees lost to Boston again. Have I mentioned Red Sox fans are a force of evil in the world? Because they are.

6) And finally...the cats. Delmar is on my lap. Monika is sleeping on the bed. And I only mention them because I am contractually obligated to do so.