And more from our Gossip Girl: good manners for men? … Spike Lee tweets dangerously … “Bully” is a must see … our Liz moves to Huffington Post!
“FUKU AMERICANUS” writes the brilliant Junot Diaz in his prizewinning novel about descendants of the Dominican Republic.
These people believe that America has made a bad bed in the Antilles and is forced to lie in it. Junot’s unusual book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, won everything in sight a few years ago.
It won the Pulitzer Prize, among lots of other honors. I don’t know how I escaped knowing more about it. But one of the things I’ve never been in life is superstitious.
After reading Diaz, I am! And I go around crossing my index fingers and saying the anti fuku chant — “Zafa” — to ward off evil spirits. It actually means “victory!” (According to writer Diaz, the U.S. hasn’t always done the right thing in Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic — and this is the one surefire counterspell that will keep you and your family safe from historical blunders.)
So, as one of the founders of wowOwow.com, I want to wish you “Zafa” and hope you keep reading this creative site, along with the astonishing PureWow, our sister site. Hope you’ll also tune in to hear the wOw women on Sirius Radio, Wednesdays at 11: a.m.
I leave you with the gift of “Zafa” and hope it keeps you safe. The Liz Smith syndicated byline now segues to The Huffington Post, where I hope you’ll find me as of April 2, 2012 doing my thing: examining philosophies of show business, reporting news, writing about books and authors and celebrating gossip.
But of course, I remain in print, as well. HuffPo is my latest online outlet. I hope all of you whom I’ve met on wowOwow will follow me as I travel.
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I WROTE last week about the return of AMC’s great series “Mad Men” — how the show was morphing to incorporate the impending Swinging Sixties.
One amazing and amusing aspect of the series’ premiere was Jessica Pare’s sexy little song, performed at her hubby Don Draper’s 40th birthday party. The song was called “Zou Bisou Bisou.” Jessica (Megan in the series) sang it in a little whisper, with the French accent. Well, now the song has hit number ten on iTunes and the producers of “Mad Men” have rushed it out to stores. Best part — they released it on vinyl! (Remember, 1966 was about twenty years before the CD took over, rendering the warm, rich sounds of vinyl obsolete.)
Gotta hand it to those “Mad Men” producers. They know how to push their product.
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ARE GOOD manners and etiquette dead? Not quite, but life support is desperately needed.
Now comes something much needed for today’s man: Emily Post’s Essential Manners for Men. It was written by Peter Post, the great-grandson of the late doyenne of what to do, how to do it, and what to wear while you’re doing it.
The book offers much of what you might expect, including the old stuff like opening a door for a woman, helping her into her coat, and promptness. “These things remain appreciated,” says Mr. Post.
But in deference to our new world of cellphones and texting and iPads and all the other gadgets that are causing a generation of wretched posture, Mr. Post weighs in. “Make sure you are in control of your smartphone; don’t let it control you.”
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SPEAKING OF control, or lack of it, director Spike Lee offered us yet another example of how dangerous and irresponsible tweeting can be. Spike “re-tweeted” an address where George Zimmerman — the Florida man who killed young Trayvon Martin — was supposedly staying.
Actually, the address was that of an elderly couple with no connection to Zimmerman. They had to flee their house, in actual fear for their lives.
Nice going, Spike. The director has apologized, but he’ll probably be on the losing end of a lawsuit. Good grief — even if it was George Zimmerman’s address, it’s no business of Spike Lee or any private citizen to involve themselves in a law enforcement matter. If the innocent couple, or Mr. Zimmerman himself, had been harmed or killed, Spike Lee would be facing far more than a lawsuit. Think — everybody! — before you tweet, text and post intimate photos of yourself online.
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MY ADVICE to all parents this weekend: accompany your children to see the vitally important documentary “Bully,” which reveals the epidemic of adolescent bullying in the U.S. Harvey Weinstein released the movie as unrated, because the MPAA would not lower the R rating; children under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. However, the AMC Theatre chain will accept a written note from a parent or guardian. Either way — try to go with your kids or give them a note. As has been remarked upon, the violent, disturbing and fictional “The Hunger Games” is rated PG-13.
Children are exposed to so much pointless garbage, on TV and on theater screens. Let them see “Bully.” Let them see themselves how actions and words can have tragic consequences.