THE WITZELSUCHT MEMORANDUM
"Where Top-Hat, Red-Carpet Service is Considered a Motto"
Issue 4: Post-Labor Day Week . . . Back to Work!
THE NEWS. Again I missed THE SPICE GIRLS on Saturday Night Live, this time when the repeat broadcast was interrupted by news that DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES had been injured in a car crash that killed her paramour, billionaire scion DODI AL FAYED. We were first told that her injuries were not life threatening, and I envisioned the headline: JACKIE O STATUS SEEN FOR DI. When the grimmer truth was revealed, PRINCESS GRACE seemed the more apt comparison. That irony was missed by an MSNBC commentator who likened Di to Grace solely on account of having snagged a big-time royal bachelor. Another MSNBC commentator, Richard Mineard of the London Daily Express, predicted JFK status for Di: he'll always remember where he was when he heard. Others mentioned ELVIS and JAMES DEAN. MSNBC really made this tragedy their own; they grabbed the ball that is the Death of Diana and ran with it. At approximately 10:20 pm EST, MSNBC displayed a photo of Dodi, apparently from a tabloid cover, with one word from the headline remaining visible over the picture: DEADBEAT. The picture was cropped the next time they showed it. HENRY KISSINGER was heard lauding the late princess as a "very serious person," but he had second thoughts and changed "person" to "woman" before the word was all the way out of his mouth. Another MSNBC commentator disconcertingly described Di as both wife AND mother of "the future monarch." Keith Miller, on loan from NBC news, saw a silver lining in the tragedy in the form of a "new starting point" for the flagging monarchy. And amid the flood of eulogies after the death was announced, MSNBC incongruously inserted a statement from MOTHER TERESA that she and her order were still "praying for her." Hope somebody clued them in.
But MSNBC threw away all regard for the truth by recalling Di's fairy tale marriage to "a handsome prince." Whatever else may be said, Di deserves enormous credit for contributing some much-needed good-looks DNA to the woefully homely royal gene pool. The Windsors owe her a MAJOR debt of gratitude on that score. (How ugly is the Queen? She looks like she fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.)
THE BLAME. Cries for guillotining of the paparazzi rose up before the wreckage was cleared. Yet by the time the holiday was over and we went back to work, blame had begun to shift with revelations of the blood alcohol level of the driver who, fortunately for him, was killed along with his two more famous passengers. Look for this trend to be encouraged by the media, who've had more truck with snooping shutterbugs than they seemed willing to fess up to, and whose outraged pronouncements rang a bit hollow. PREDICTION: If there's no MADD in England now, there will be soon.
THE SCENE. Got a snootful late Sunday nite and walked the mile or so over to the British Embassy. Still a coupla TV trucks and some spectators out at 2:30. The steps were blanketed with bouquets, candles, and cards, some, I'm sorry to say, inscribed with REALLY BAD poetry, one was taped to a playing card, the queen of hearts. Later, a queen of hearts got play on CNN. Head-in-the-sand me, I never knew that some called Di "the Queen of Hearts." With only one in each deck of cards, will the gaming industry wind up an unexpected beneficiary? WIT MEMO had planned to leave for London immediately to report on the scene there. Unfortunately, what with airfares and trying to schedule leave, we won't be over there till mid-October, at which point our observations might be better suited for SHOES ACROSS THE WORLD (formerly TRAVEL DIARY).
NEGLECTED BIG LOSER? According to CNN, not-quite-super model KELLY FISHER is dropping the breach-of-contract suit she slapped on Dodi for dumping her for Di. The announcement was made by her lawyer, celeb attorney and tv commentator GLORIA ALLRED. CNN did not report whether Ms. Allred was able to keep a straight face when she asserted that "Kelly Fisher is a victim here."
WIT MEMO WANTS TO KNOW: HOW LONG WILL IT BE BEFORE (1) we see those photos, you know which ones, and (2) the backlash against Di's deification begins, led perhaps by one of those waggish Brit scribes, like that clever CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS. In fact, Mr. Hitchens was seen Tuesday evening (MSNBC again) complaining "that nothing that would appear to criticize the Spencer girl will get a hearing" for the near future. Your predictions are welcome.
AND, YES, as noted in the Washington Post, September's GLAMOUR does show Fergie claiming in a Weight Watcher's ad that staying on a diet is "harder than outrunning the paparazzi."
The LEGAL TIMES reported last month that Representative DAN BURTON, Chair of the House Government Reform and Oversight committee, who has called on JANET RENO to appoint an independent counsel to probe allegations of campaign finance abuses, does not want the probe to include charges that Burton himself tried to pressure a lobbyist to raise campaign dough.
In related development, O.J. SIMPSON and THE RAMSEYS have instructed the private detective they jointly hired to find THE REAL KILLERS to concentrate his efforts on suspects OTHER than O.J. Simpson and the Ramseys.
NBC is retooling one of its top sitcoms for the coveted post-Seinfeld timeslot. The story of a crew of aliens on Earth on a fact finding mission, who assume human form to live among us as a family. But instead of modern America, the new series finds droll ETs Dick, Sally, Tommy and Harry in BERLIN, 1936. Tune in Thursday nights this fall for THIRD REICH FROM THE SUN.
WEB SITE O' THE MONTH: YOU'RE ON TOO-CANDID CAMERA
The Washington, D.C. CITY PAPER profiled Jennifer Ringley, a 21-year-old, work-at-home web page designer for National Geographic, whose entire life is photographed and posted live on her web site at three-minute intervals, courtesy of a digital "JenniCAM" mounted near her bedroom workstation. The article indicated that the site sometimes includes pictures of her disrobing, and having sex. Ms. Ringley was the youngest grad in her class at Dickinson College, and her interests include fencing, writing poetry, and Pooh. The article indicated that the site sometimes includes pictures of her disrobing, and having sex.
Instead of the considerable expense and effort that went into Ms. Ringley's site, wouldn't it have been much easier for her to just get a gun, and SHOOT her parents RIGHT THROUGH THE HEART? www.boudoir.org.
One of the best theme-skit, ensemble comedy shows I've seen since SCTV and Monty Python, one I'd call brilliant, returns to HBO this month: MR. SHOW, with BOB Odenkirk and DAVID Cross. Have someone tape it, steal cable, or move somewhere where they forget to bill you for premium channels. And congrats and a tip o'the hat rack to HBO. Now, would someone PLEASE bring back the Ben Stiller show?
The last issue of the Wit Memo went under my email account handle instead of my name, and with a different email address. We're not trying to hide anything here. Responsibility for the Wit Memo lays solely with Jeffrey Sacks, Chief Facilitator of the Witzelsucht Collective. I love furry dinners, candlelight animals, and long walks in the rain ... or is it on the beach? I forget. Reach me at email@example.com, or at 4114 Davis Pl., N.W., #5, Washington, DC 20007. What, you're so busy at that fancy-schmancy college you can't even be bothered to write? Feh!
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