If You Spun It, Here’s How It Would Have Happened
Now that we know Judith Regan was fired from HarperCollins over a volley of anti-Semitic remarks, it strikes us that with the recent bumper crop of Great Moments in Racism — Michael Richards–gate, Rosie-gate, Mel Gibson Über alles — our culture has found a new cottage industry: Awesome excuses for Great Moments in Racism. And nearly all of them have shown up already in the Regan affair. After the jump, a cheat sheet for spinning your next ching chong.
AARP Winners Hate Retirement
The American Association of Retired Persons changed its official name to just AARP in 1999, thereby eliminating that gauche r-word from the middle of its moniker. And it’s a good thing, too, considering how honorees at the AARP Impact Awards luncheon this afternoon reacted when asked how they plan to spend their retirements:
Valerie Harper: “Oh, not to retire! I don’t see myself retiring in the near future — I want to be just like Ethel Barrymore, never retiring!”
Marlo Thomas: “I’m never going to retire. I love to go to Barbados to water-ski and swim and sit in the sun with a lot of sunscreen on. But I only like that because I work before and after; I couldn’t do it otherwise.”
David Hyde Pierce: “My ideal retirement would be to not retire.”
Remind us not to hire them as our spokespeople. — Jocelyn Guest
The Strange Thing We Learned About Ryan Adams This Week
He’s apparently a big Friends fan.
A fan inexplicably yelled “Monica!” between songs at the first of the prolific troubadour’s three Town Hall shows Monday night, and that was all the cue Adams needed. “Don’t get me started on the Geller family,” he said, and then got started. On a monologue: “Why can’t they keep it together for America? And, I mean, he wants to go play a sergeant on Broadway?” Adams was referring now to David Schwimmer’s recent and not particularly acclaimed stint in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial. “No one’s gonna believe you’re a sergeant, man. They’re just waiting for Chandler to walk in!” No one, thankfully, asked him about Joey. —Rebecca Milzoff
McNally Robinson Reading Keeps Al Goldstein From Suicide
And in our continuing coverage of noteworthy occurrences at last night’s social events, here’s the quote of the day, from Al Goldstein’s I, Goldstein: My Screwed Life reading at Soho’s McNally Robinson bookstore. He had been asked whether he was surprised his memoir received major, and favorable, coverage in Sunday’s Times Book Review:
“I was shocked. When every piece of furniture and your underwear are taken by the bank, when you lose your house in Florida, in New York, in Amsterdam and L.A., when your wife is dying and your son abandons you, you don’t feel very good. I’m not very optimistic. I mean, do you want me to be like Pangloss and say that this is the best of all possible worlds? I gave up the lithium and I’m trying to stay alive, but I have enough Ambien to kill myself.”
He did allow, however, that he was pleased with the evening’s turnout and the crowd’s enthusiastic response. “That makes me not want to kill myself,” he said.
— Mary Reinholz