Show Biz

Going on line is, among other things, a societal portal, a window of cultural confirmation. The headlines of the hour are illustrative – from “Trump Trashes Angelina Jolie” to “Ladies’ Laser Parties All The Buzz.”

And before touching a mouse, you can’t help but notice the “Hot Searches.” They are right above the headlines of the hour – in this case, “Are Girl Scout Cookies A Scam?” and “Does Your Diet Look Like This?” The Hot Searchees this day are Billy Zane, Gene Simmons, Nicole Richie and Mike Huckabee.

Maybe we should be inured to such context in a celebrity culture. Or maybe it’s actually a good sign that an erstwhile, dark horse presidential candidate had enough star-power wattage to bump Britney Spears from the “Hot Searches” short list.

Or maybe it really is all show business.

Charlie Wilson’s Irony

There are a lot of reasons to see “Charlie Wilson’s War,” the movie with a pocketful of Golden Globe nominations. But the performance of Philip Seymour Hoffman may be the best. His portrayal of a cynically pugnacious CIA operative was amazing. And this, mind you, is the same actor who won an Oscar last year for his portrayal of Truman Capote. How’s that for range?

One caveat: “Charlie Wilson’s War” is top heavy with geo-political irony. It hangs over much of the movie like celluloid black crepe. Once the Mujahadeen had demoralized the Soviets and chased them out of Afghanistan with U.S.-supplied arms, they didn’t exactly beat them into ploughshares. As we well know.

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