Mr. wOw’s Midsummer This N’ That


Our beloved columnist reflects on the news of the day — followed by a suitably summery dessert

First off, I’m pissed off. If the president and the Congress fail to come up with some kind of deal regarding the debt ceiling, I’m calling on every member of Congress, and President Obama, to stop receiving their paychecks. Everybody should be ashamed and nobody in Washington deserves to be paid. At the moment, I am thoroughly ashamed to be an American. But I deserve my paycheck!

Here in late July, I almost felt sorry for poor old Rupert Murdoch, grilled by Britain’s Parliament. Almost. Then I got over it. Even when he was hit with a pie, I think he’ll survive to continue to influence America’s politics. But it was nice to see him humbled in Britain.

Also: enough with the crap about “hunting down” Casey Anthony. Excuse me — because it’s easy to intimidate a woman? I don’t recall O.J. or Robert Blake needing to go into hiding. I think she killed her child. The jury (rightfully, given the evidence) found her not guilty, which is not innocent. Leave her to heaven or hell. Go about your own business.

There — relax. My three serious thoughts. Now, the silly:

Now, some of you might recall last year’s Mr. wOw post about the terrible sunburn back when he was 16. It’s an amusing story now, but almost required hospitalization at the time. And I never quite learned my lesson. For years I tanned during the summer months, convinced it would finally clear up my acne prone skin (not really) and that I looked so much cuter with a tan (that was true.) But about ten years ago, my adorable freckles were turning into “age spots.”  Who the hell’s hands and arms were these, I gasped. So, I became a vampire, slathered in sunscreen even on cloudy days, walking on the shady side of the street, certainly never ever deliberately baking myself. The result? Nada. The spots kept on popping up, especially on my left hand. My dermatologist told me it wasn’t so bad, these were the results of my youthful sunbathing and “Anyway, you’re well into your fifties, how do you expect to look?” This guy doesn’t know too many gay men, clearly.

So this year, I looked at my pale self and I said, “Mr. W, you have only one life to live — so live it this summer with a bit of color.” I still slather myself with sunscreen, but on sunny days I take 10 minutes to bathe in the vitamin D. That’s all I need. I look fabulous.

Summer reading? Alas, when it’s this hot I find it difficult to wrap my head around something new and challenging. Or even light and fluffy. I have re-read Antonia Fraser’s “Mary Queen of Scots.” Good grief! What a story! I’m sorry, you are missing out on so much if you don’t love history.

TV viewing? I must admit, lately I have fallen into true-crime programs — “ID” and “Snapped” and other grisly fare. I also enjoy my share of mindless horror and action films. I did try, over the weekend, to give “House of Sand and Fog” another try. I’d loathed it on release some years back, but there it was on one of my 500 cable channels and I thought, “Oh, don’t be so inflexible. Maybe you missed the point.” I did not. It is as vile and depressing, misogynist and pointless as ever. And Jennifer Connelly’s character is as miserable and pathetic as I’d remembered.

And there are always the “Law & Order” marathons. And a few Disney shows with cute boys. I like “The Closer” and “Breaking Bad” and “Royal Pains” — I have a weakness for smart, hot Jewish guys like Mark Feuerstein.

On the upscale side, I caught “All About Eve” again for at least the hundredth time since I first saw it, at the age 10. I didn’t quite “get” it then, though I knew I was seeing something pretty fabulous. By the time I was fifteen, and on my own, I watched it one night and literally pissed my pants it was so great, funny, trenchant. I called friends to say, “Oh, my God — ‘All About Eve,’ it’s incredible.'” “Yes, honey — we know,” came the replies.

I especially like the scene in the theater lobby with George Sanders, when Bette Davis, as Margo Channing, ends up standing next to a caricature of herself, in whatever play she is supposed to be appearing in. “How nice for you. How nice for Eve. How nice for everybody!” she bites out those lines with the famous eyes popping grandly.

Summer appreciation: to The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody, who wrote a wonderful review of Marilyn Monroe’s 1960 musical comedy “Let’s Make Love.” (Included in a New York City retrospective of her films.) This is one of Mr. wOw’s fave MM flicks. It’s minor, it’s poorly directed, and Monroe doesn’t have much of a role. But she is utterly charming in all she does — an attractive, affectionate, normal young woman. Her musical numbers are over the top, which gives the movie a kind of schizophrenic vibe. I much prefer “Let’s Make Love” to the pretentious and condescending “The Misfits.” Anyway, thank you, Mr. Brody.

Love to all,

Mr. wOw

72 comments so far.

  1. avatar Andy C says:

    Since so many were asking for a summery dessert — here’s a great one:

    one graham pie crust
    1 can frozen pink lemonade (just for the color)
    1 tub of regular (original) size Cool Whip – frozen
    1 can of sweetened condensed milk

    Mix the lemondade, Cool Whip and condensed milk all together in a bowl, pour/mound in pie crust, sprinkle with sliced almonds if you have them (just for aesthetics), freeze……………serve — get ready for raves.

    Sprinkle some flour and stuff on yourself since people really think you worked on this one :)

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Thank you, Andy…
      Though it still sounds way too complicated for Mr. Wow.   But I think Sandra will appreciate your suggestion.

  2. avatar Karen Ferguson says:

    Wow, Mr. Wow, you not only write well –you WATCH well. My favorite movie lines ever — Do you know who I am? I am Addison DeWitt. I am nobody’s fool. And especially not yours.” As for television, I’m afraid I can’t take one more corpse or laugh track after the word wiener. Alas, shortly after Ray Romano’s Men of a Certain Age won its Peabody and Andre Braugher got his Emmy nom, TNT cancelled this compelling, perceptive, thoughtful drama to replace it with a Dallas remake. I hadn’t really thought the lives of three men who are hitting 50 would transect with mine, but how I felt the empathy. So please allow me to say that a growing grassroots effort of people wanting quality programming is fighting to find another network — I’ve “liked” (as have Robert Loggia, Barbara Walters, Patricia Heaton and even AARP– and I hope some readers here will do the same.

  3. avatar HauntedLady says:

    Here in SW Mich the worst of the heat is over but the humidity is still high – 94% at the moment (9:00 a.m.). Tanning has been replaced with sweating. Growing up in Southern California, tanning was nearly a religion but I always found it mind-numbingly dull to sit in the sun and bake like a potato. The summer before I left SoCal, I made an effort to get a tan. Never again. I also don’t have the skin damage so many of my contemporaries have so I guess it all worked out for the best.

    I keep missing all the good movies lately. Maybe the schedule will work out a little better in a couple of weeks.

    Here’s another recipe for you:

    Raspberry Blueberry Salad
    1 large raspberry Jello
    1 can blueberry pie filling
    1 can crushed pineapple with juice
    1 1/2 c boiling water
    Stir boiling water into Jello until dissolved.
    Add pie filling and pineapple with juice.
    Pour into 9×12 pan. Refrigerate until set. Top with Cool Whip.

  4. avatar Scarlett Ohara says:

    I recently youred the House and the Senate floors…guess how many of our dedicated elected officials were present….. 3….. in the senate…the house was not even in session! this was LAST week. I am was extremely upset by the situation.
    Mr. Wow I have become hooked on Criminal Minds this summer. And I am becoming quite hooked on the new legal show Suits (comes on right after Burn Notice!). Hope all is well and you have ‘survived” the summer.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Miss O’Hara…

      I like “Suits,” “Burn Notice” and “Franklin and Bash.”  And I love “Rizzoli & Isles”  (I know Angie Harmon is a hardass conservative but she is one hell of an actress!)   Oh, and “The Closer.” 

      Alas, as I said above, I have also fallen into “true crime’ progams–“ID” and “Cold Case,” etc.  I don’t know why I have, and I don’t know why I feel so bad that I become so wrapped up in the damn things–especially the ones with that lurid over-done narration.  I guess I feel I should always be watching PBS or The History Channel for anything that’s factual.

      All is pretty good with me and I can’t wait for sweater weather.

      • avatar Lila says:

        Mr. Wow, I have never been able to enjoy “Burn Notice,” nor other shows like “Covert Affairs,” “Alias,” and the like. Even James Bond or the “Bourne” movies… sorta fun, BUT… ugh. “The Recruit” seemed to take itself seriously but was way off base. But the absolute worst was “24.” That was entertainment because it was SO far off the mark. Until certain policy wonks became fans, anyway… truly frightening.

        Dad’s career was spent in “that” world, and my own career touched on it from time to time. Enough that I have a pretty good idea of things. And that, unfortunately, sort of wrecks the fun of the fictions for me. I guess I’m one of those unimaginative people who does best by keeping my mindless entertainment completely separate from anything else in my life.

        Oddly, Dad LOVED “Get Smart” with Don Adams. Apparently the goofy stuff that went on was actually a pretty good parody of some of the things he dealt with in real life. He did not have much of a sense of humor, but when he laughed at “Get Smart,” you could bet he was thinking of something real (he never got tired of the Cone of Silence… years later, I learned why).

      • avatar Richard Bassett says:

             The only two crime shows I’ll watch:

        1. Law and Order” SVU: (I know it is because of Christpher Meloni….for just being him and Mariska Haegitary   (because she is a good actress.). I’ve been watching the show for 15 years.

        2. Cold Case: I have to watch that one pretty closely but the song (and ghosts) that they show at the end gets me all the time…I cry like a baby.

      • avatar Lila says:

        Oh, I love any of the “Law and Order” shows. I know they often play out the different viewpoints on real-life issues and cases, but I find that interesting and… well, more intelligent than a lot of other TV shows.

  5. avatar Scarlett Ohara says:

    I soooo understand the guilt thingy!