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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


Film Negatives

Even as Moscow's own James Cameron basked in the glow of the record-tying 14 Academy Award nominations for "Titanic" last Tuesday, he still must have shed a silent tear or two when his blockbuster was completely overlooked the next day in the nomination lists for that tinny Yang to Oscar's golden Yin: the Razzies.

But there were tarnished stars aplenty making the cut for the highly uncoveted Raspberry awards, which honor the worst in Hollywood film. Drawing Titanic-like attention this year was the epic atrocity "Batman and Robin," which garnered 11 nominations, including George Clooney and Chris O'Donnell as "worst screen couple."

Worst actor nominees included Kevin Costner for his mail-bonding saga, "The Postman," Moscow's own Val Kilmer for "The Saint," and Moscow's most beloved son, Steven Segal. (Who can forget his legendary 1996 visit to open Planet Hollywood, when the self-styled "world philosopher" brought "a message of peace for all the Moscovians"?) Segal is the odds-on favorite to win for his portrayal of -- honest to God -- a karate-chopping country singer.

Demi Moore received her second straight nomination, having won last year for her hydraulically-enhanced performance in "Striptease." This year she's back for her head-shaving, pec-pumping thespianization of a Navy SEAL in "G.I. Jane."

Maybe Cameron should hire her for a sequel -- "Titanic 2: Bottom Feeders." That should get him a Razz.


A tempest in an ice bucket was brewing in Britain this week, after a male anarchist in a miniskirt doused a leading Labour minister with cold water -- only to be doused in turn by a tabloid reporter.

Danbert Nobacon, lead singer of Chumbawamba -- the anarchist commune turned Top-40 pop group -- did the honors on Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott at the Brit Music Awards. After singing a Labour-bashing rewrite of the group's hit, "Tubthumping," Nobacon leapt onto a banquet table and dumped the leavings of a champagne bucket on the ministerial pate, The Guardian reported.

The next day, e'en while government hackles were rising at the "contemptible" act of "disrespect," Nobacon was ambushed outside his London hotel by a reporter from The Daily Mirror, who let fly with a firkin of the cold wet stuff in the singer's face.

But the outcry and retaliation cut no ice with the Wambas. "If John Prescott has the nerve to turn up at events such as the Brit Awards in a vain attempt to make Labour seem cool and trendy," they said in a press release, "then he deserves all we can throw at him."

The Chumbas said their "wanton act of agit-prop" was committed in the name of all those being squeezed by Blair's shrinkage of public assistance. The oft-beskirted Nobacon has not been charged, but Prescott's spokesman said "action may yet be taken." Yeah, they may get someone from The Times to egg him or something.

Total Recall

Hot news on the Bill Clinton scandal front! The Washington Post -- yes, the United States' most honored and respected fount of substantive, investigative journalism -- emblazoned its front pages this week with an incredible story of far-reaching implications.

The Post quoted a small regional paper which quoted a former Secret Service agent as saying that he knew of a single time that Bill Clinton and his alleged squeeze Monica Lewinsky were alone together in the Oval Office for almost 40 minutes. The reported incident allegedly occurred -- the Post noted with deadly accuracy -- "in September or October or November of 1995."

The impact of the revelations was somewhat lessened by minor details -- such as the door not being locked, and the presence of another aide in an adjoining kitchen -- but that didn't stop the venerable Post from jumping on the story like an anarchist on a banquet table.

Show and Tell

Meanwhile, the young lady in question received another interesting invitation this week. No, it wasn't an immunity deal from Kenneth Starr, or the offer of a night of longnecks and hootchie-koo from her Arkansas pal. It was $3 million in cold hard cash to bare all -- in the literal and literary sense -- for Penthouse magazine.

Porn supremo Bob Guccione and some "entertainment" associates said the offer, "which covers print, video and the Internet," would be a "compelling" way for Lewinsky to tell her story "with the broadest possible coverage." Or uncoverage, as the case may be.

Lewinsky's written story -- which is the most important thing to Bob and his pals, of course -- would be accompanied by "modest, semi-nude photography, along with live appearances" on various Web sites, The Associated Press reported.

Pundits from reputable publications like The Washington Post, The New York Times and Time magazine said they would not dignify such atrocious gutter journalism with any coverage at all. Besides, it might cut space for some of their "semen-stained dress" stories.

Cold Shoulder

Enmity, like revenge, is a dish still quite delicious when served cold. At least so it is with Margaret Thatcher and the British people. A full eight years after her own minions knocked her from the prime minister's perch, the Iron Lady remains the nation's most hated figure, Agence France Presse reported.

A survey in The Mail on Sunday ranked both the rancor and the reasons behind it. Maggie -- who was baronessed for her pains when they kicked her upstairs -- still rankled the hoi polloi with her ruthless handling of the 1984-85 miners' strike, and with her haughty, hectoring voice, the report said. Meanwhile, up in Cambridge, the dons were threatening a revolt over the brassy baroness' attempt to set up a professorship of "enterprise studies" (i.e., no miners need apply). Critics say the gift would "compromise the university's independence and expose it to claims of political bias," The Daily Telegraph said.

This promises to be yet another sticky wicket for the Metallic Madam, who only turned to Cambridge with her largess in the first place because her alma mater, Oxford, refused to give her an honorary degree.