"PERSONAL BEAUTY is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference," said Aristotle.
•LAST YEAR People magazine chose Gwyneth Paltrow as its Most Beautiful Person. The reaction was swift and unkind. Too unkind. Although I did wonder over the choice myself. Not that Miss Paltrow is unattractive by any means, but even in the world of hyperbole, "most beautiful" seems a bit much.
This year the magazine chose Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o and pretty much everybody agrees that if she is not the most beautiful woman in the world -- such things being subjective -- she is certainly a knockout. And a role model for women of color who don't care to embrace anything less than their strong color and African-American features.
I wait impatiently for Hollywood to cast this talented young woman intelligently and non-stereotypically.
•AFTER WRITING about J. Randy Taraborrelli's new book, The Hiltons I received a lovely thank-you from the author, which surprised me. I've written more glowingly about some of his past books, but Randy is a class act, and smart -- no publicity is bad publicity.
I also received a few Zsa Zsa Gabor memories. One person who knew Zsa Zsa, found her as nice as could be. Another did not. I'm sure Miss Gabor is like everybody else -- aside from the Hungarian part -- she has had many sides to her personality.
But she purposely created a comically overbearing image of herself in hundreds of TV talk show appearances. When she was young-ish, it was very funny. Later, not so much. But she was a great beauty, and possibly the first celeb to be "famous for being famous."
Zsa Zsa was never amused when reminded that her sister, Eva, actually had a better-remembered career, via TV's Green Acres series.
•BLONDIE and Debbie Harry have a new song. It's called "Drag You Around." Apparently it's receiving a lot of radio play. (Yes, radio still exists!) So much play, that Miss Harry has released what is known as a "lyric video" of the song. Literally, this is a video comprised of the lyrics to the song. Not a bad idea. How often do we not understand lyrics, and for years go around humming and hearing what are actually the wrong words?
Sometimes those words don't even make sense, but we think, "Eh, rock music -- it's not supposed to make sense!"
Blondie's latest album, a two-disc package arrives on May 13. It's titled Blondie 4 (0). This celebrates the band's 40 years of making music. Hardly seems possible -- especially when one runs into Debbie -- but, yes, it's been 40 years since Blondie drove the patrons of NYC's gone-but-never-forgotten CBGB's into a dance trance.
•WHILE IT is official that Channing Tatum will return to his role as a stripper in a sequel to Magic Mike --titled Magic Mike XXL --it is not official that well-chiseled actors such as Zac Efron, Ryan Gosling and Taye Diggs are on board, along with all members of the original cast.
The Efron, Gosling and Diggs rumors are wishful thinking. Perhaps even among a few of the actors. Or does anybody think Zac was surprised when an actress named Rita Ora jumped onstage at the MTV Movie Awards and tore off his shirt -- a garment with convenient snap buttons?
Matt Bomer confirms he will reprise his role, ditto Alex Pettyfer and Joe Manganiello.
I have to say, it's amusing and quite smart of Channing not to have run from his past as a stripper -- no matter that it was only about a six-month gig before he began modeling and then landed movie roles. He owned up and capitalized on his most negotiable assets. He's a good actor, and improving, but why not make hay while the sun shines on those deltoids, pectorals and abs?
•SO, Lindsay's Lohan's "reality" show for Oprah ended its eight-episode run and will not be returning. And that's a good thing. Oh, no -- not because I thought the series was uninteresting. On the contrary, I found it as chilling and tense as, say, The Americans. The show was really more of a documentary, and Lindsay, clearly, had no part in the editing. The result was compelling.
If one was interested, one saw Miss Lohan display a variety of emotions, in actressy high-voltage. Regretful, demanding, pissed-off, wistful, professional and quite un-professional. Her affect was jittery; it was usually painful to watch.
"Insiders" insist Oprah was disappointed in the show, in Lindsay, in the ratings. Well, ratings aside, I think maybe Oprah the Great and Powerful, ought to take another look. If her purpose was to "save" Lindsay, that was too much to expect. If the series existed to show what can happen when entitlement becomes a way of life, and a genuine desire to "recover" is sabotaged by that entitlement -- then the series was a brilliant success.
If Lindsay could snap her fingers and never be tempted by substances, never hang with inappropriate people, never allow her emotions to overwhelm the good sense she occasionally displays, I believe she would. But that's not real life.
The most genuine statements Lindsay uttered usually concerned her career, getting back to work and appreciating the attention she still garners from fans, even though most of them relate to the child/teenage star, and are fascinated -- in a grim manner -- by her adventures as a grown woman who hasn't grown up. She's a cautionary tale still possessing some glamour, and despite the ugliness that exists on social media, most people would like to see her pull it together.
Watching Lindsay Lohan for eight weeks one sees how difficult it is for the industry to take her seriously. On the other hand, she behaves the way many celebrities do, only they have hit films or TV shows to buffer that behavior.
One successful movie, one widely praised performance in a top-tier film is all it would take for Hollywood to look the other way and declare Lindsay Lohan resurrected. She'd likely behave the same way, but she'd be granted show biz clemency. For a while.