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January 18 - 23, 2000

 
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 Five No-Shows

Here are five who couldn't quite make it:
The Godfather and Cabaret, and for Best Actor winner Marlon Brando not attending. The stereotyped Italian mafioso was protesting the film industry's stereotyped treatment of Native Americans. He sent a Native American friend as a representative to deliver a poorly received speech admonishing Hollywood. The ceremony wasn't a total loss, as Best Actress Liza Minnelli got more airtime to convince everyone that life really is a cabaret.
When most wife beaters are given the choice between going to jail or seeing a counselor, they usually lie down on the couch. Not wife beater Jim Brown. O. J. Simpson's hero (in more ways than we realized) would rather spend six months behind bars than undergo domestic violence counseling. He is doing so to "raise awareness of the issue." The issue apparently being that he is an abusive thug. At least he'll get to learn the difference between domestic violence and prison violence.
The news media does not report reality. They create it. Take the story of D. B. Cooper, the notorious hijacker who in 1971 jumped from a plane over the Pacific Northwest. He gave his name as "Dan," but an error by a "reporter" has the jumper forever known as "D. B." The news media would have you believe that businessmen aren't exciting, yet ol' Dan took the plunge from 10,000 feet into subzero temperatures wearing only a suit and loafers. Good for him! While neither the man nor the ransom have been found, it could happen soon since the clearcutting of the Pacific Northwest forests is almost complete.
Count Madonna among those who believe that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Her self-imposed exile was ready to come to an end during halftime of the Super Bowl, but the Material Girl is out, and ABC censors are relieved. In a string of excellent career moves, this may rank at the top. Headlining a Super Bowl show is about as cool as attending a rave thrown by Alan Thicke. Has-beens looking to revive a moribund career should not look to the Super Bowl for help (see also: Jackson, Michael).
The odds are that Pete Rose still won't get into the Baseball Hall of Fame, despite his tasteless campaigning and current public sentiment. Being a jerk doesn't exclude you from the Hall (see also: Jackson, Reggie), but getting nabbed betting on baseball while you are a player and manager does. The first several years after his halfway house stint were relatively quiet, but now Charlie Hustle is shilling for a website (a piece of which he owns) that takes polls about whether he should be in Cooperstown. Of course, Pete is already in Cooperstown, because he opened up a museum and store in his honor just down the street from the real Hall. While being able to buy real estate in upstate New York is not necessarily a sign of financial well-being, it looks like the bookies are letting Pete build up a little equity before the inevitable thumb-breakings resume.

Emil Gam