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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

global eye

Unpleasant Reminders

Trixie? J.B. again. Listen, baby, see if you can get that German guy on the phone, you know, the old geezer who pitched us his life story a couple of years ago, what's-his-face -- Dorfman, Fussenmucher -- Bormann, yeah, that's it! The studio is red-hot for these Nazi guys, baby, I'm tellin' ya! Tom Cruise in jackboots, Day-Lewis in white tux and swastika -- it's gold, honey, Swiss gold! Get him on the horn!

Producers of one of the most heavily hyped movies coming this fall were taken aback last week by revelations that the hero of their story -- the tutor of the Dalai Lama -- was a member of Hitler's notorious SA and SS elite Nazi corps, said The New York Times.

Brad Pitt stars in "Seven Years in Tibet," which tells the story of Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer, who escaped from British internment in India during World War II and made his way across the Himalayas to Tibet, where he became the beloved tutor of the 11-year-old Buddhist leader. Harrer, now 84, went on to become a prominent advocate of nonviolence, but he had never revealed his Nazi past.

He said he joined the SS in 1938 in order to qualify for a Nazi-sponsored expedition to the Himalayas, a successful trip that garnered him a handshake from Hitler. But he gave no explanation why he had joined the SA, Hitler's thug-puppy stormtroopers, in 1933, when that organization was still banned in Austria. Reached for comment, Harrer told the Times his Nazi past was "unfortunate," adding, "I just have to grin and bear it."

Last year's multi-Oscared, box-office smash, "The English Patient," starred Ralph Fiennes as Laszlo Almasy, whose seedy, real-life collaboration with the Nazis was a good deal less exalted than the --ber-romantic screen version.

The Thrill is Gone

Really, you can only grab your crotch, rebuild your nose, replace your skin, engage in bizarre marriages and pay millions to ward off molestation charges just so many times before it gets old. And it seems America, at long last, has reached the saturation point with the weirdness of Michael Jackson.

The self-proclaimed "King of Pop" found himself in an unusual position this week: plummeting headlong down the charts. His new album, "Blood on the Dance Floor," has sold only 79,000 copies in the United States, leaving it far behind such music giants as Wu-Tang Clan and the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Not surprisingly, Jackson blames others for his musical demise: an unsupportive MTV, recalcitrant radio stations, puritanical record stores. "It frustrates an artist, not being able to exhibit his talent," said a spokesman for His Popness. But the ever-exhibitive Jackson needn't worry too much: he's still popular in Europe, where he joins the ranks of other American geniuses unappreciated in their native land -- Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and David Hasselhof.

Pulpit Politics

Mickey Mouse is of the devil;

Donald Duck is not of God.

Disney is a thing of evil:

Underfoot they must be trod!

That was the song of the Christian soldiers of the Southern Baptist Convention last week, as it called for a boycott against the Disney empire and all its works. The crime of the mass-market Mouseketeers? Being "gay-friendly." The nation's largest Protestant denomination called on its 15 million members to eschew all Disney theme parks, sports teams, entertainment venues and squeeze toys, to punish the company for its "anti-Christian and anti-family agenda."

Convention leaders said the last straw -- or the last two straws, actually -- were the open Lesbianism of Disney-owned ABC-TV sitcom star Ellen Degeneres, and the company's truly immoral decision to provide insurance benefits to the companions of its homosexual employees.

Healing the sick? Feeding the hungry? Ministering to the needy? Convention leaders never got around to those dreary topics during their conclave in Dallas. However, their splashy media play seems to have had little effect: In the week following the boycott call, Southern Baptists were thick on the ground at Disney theme parks, said Reuters.

This Gun for Hire

"The name is Bond; James Bond. And before I wow you with devastating woo, my lovely, cleavage-popping enemy agent, let me tell you a little bit about this mobile phone. Why, did you know with fine Ericsson products like this, you could give dear old mom a call no matter where ..."

Pierce Brosnan, fifth in the illustrious Jamesian line, said the latest Bond film will have more product placements than ever -- $20 million worth of them, in fact, according to The Telegraph. In the upcoming "Tomorrow Never Dies," the intrepid British superspy will be driving a BMW, quaffing Smirnoff vodka, hacking with Gateway 2000 computers, flashing a sporty Omega watch and dialing for danger on Ericsson mobile phones. Brosnan, who also signed a reported $900,000 personal endorsement deal with Omega, said he is "comfortable" with this melding of advertising and adventure. "Why yes, Q, you're right! These new elastic-band BVDs do keep an agent comfortable, even when he's dangling from the tailwing of a quality Boeing aircraft! Yes, for a safe, smooth ride, it's got to be Boeing ..."

Unfit for a King

Meanwhile, Princess Diana, Britain's self-proclaimed Queen of Hearts (certainly a lot of auto-coronation going around these days), felt compelled to issue heartfelt apologies this week for taking her two sons to the movies. And not even one of those heinous, decadent Disney movies, either.

The ex-future queen took the still-future king William and his little brother Harry to see "The Devil's Own," an action thriller about an IRA terrorist (Brad Pitt) hiding out with a family member (Harrison Ford) in America. The film has been attacked by some critics as excessively violent and pro-IRA, said Agence France Presse.

In a statement, the Princess said she was "unaware of the subject matter of the film" before she went. The cinematic man-flesh of Pitt and Harrison being the main draw, obviously. She also apologized for sneaking Prince Harry, age 12, into the flick, which is banned for children under 15.