Saturday, January 27, 2007

Peter O's Tool

I knew I would love Peter O'Toole the first time I heard his name. Any man who has a doubly-phallic name is my kind of man. And what do we find when we are sandwiched between his Peter and his Tool? The Big O, of course. Works for me

Then, when I met him and I found Petey loved Social Drinking as much, if not more (If that's possible.) than I did, well, it was a match made in Heaven. That his dreamy-blue eyes made him almost as pretty as me only cemented my adoration of him. (Noel Coward said he was so pretty that he seemed to be "Florence of Arabia.")

And then there's his voice, as distinctive as my own, and so musical, I could listen to him read Delores Delgado's autobiography and enjoy it. (Before you go shifting through looking for Delores's worthless memoirs, I should say that that was a hypothetical reference. That friendless cow never wrote a word in her life, apart from all the libelous Mary K. Bilge she invented about me and then sent to all the gossip and scandal rags over the years. Honestly. She kept saying I'd had an affair with her husband, when they were only still married in her eyes, and those of The Church and The Law, as if they counted for anything.)

A couple years ago the academy gave Petey one of those Honorary Lifetime Achievement Oscars. Now non-competition Oscars are the awards they give to people who actually deserve awards but haven't thought to buy one, the way the winners do. One has to translate what they actually mean. For instance, The Irving Thalberg Award is what any normal TV show would call a "Lovely Parting Gift." The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (And for those of you who don't know, Jean Hersholt was actually a man, though why he called himself "Jean" I'll never know.) is really the "Sexually Ambiguous, Bleeding-Heart Liberal, Tree-Hugger Award."

The "Lifetime Achievement Award" is really the "Next Year's Obituary Montage Award". You get up, take the award, everyone says how well and how amazingly-lifelike you look, and then, three or four months later, you keel over and they bury you. It's Hollywood's Last Rite of Passage. Bobby Altman, whose former heart I received when we had our mutual heart transplants a decade back, got it right last year. In February he picked up his award. Everyone said he looked great. His Netflix rentals skyrocketed for two weeks. And then in November, he checked out, and caught the Last Train to Darksville.

But Petey, lifelong maverick that he is, got it wrong. He picked up his Lifetime-Achievements-Are-Over Award a few years ago now. Everyone lied through their teeth, saying he looked great when he actually looks closer to my age than his own. But then he not only neglected to die, but he's gone on to give yet another brilliant film performance and rack up another normal nomination. The nerve!

Now understand, I don't want Petey to die. I adore him. There's nothing more fun than going out drinking with Petey in Dublin, and waking up in Leningrad (The vodka in Leningrad is superb!), except maybe getting gang-banged by the Wayans Brothers. (All except that troll Marlon!) But The Lifetime Achievement Oscar is supposed to be an advance obituary you get to attend vertically. If you can then expire in The Press Tent, that would be just peachy. You're not supposed to then go on and take nominations away from Living Actors.

Really Petey, take the hint from your previous nominations; they're not going to give it to you. You're too good. You keep reminding them of how an actor should look and sound and act and behave. Will losing to Forest Whitaker in 2007 be any more fun than losing to that Master Thespian Cliff Robertson was 39 years back in 1968?

You know, if you'd stop giving performances that are so much incredibly more brilliant than everyone else's, maybe they would give you one. It's "Best Performance by an Actor", not "Best Actor". The Academy logic is: it's a much greater achievement for a lousy actor, like say John Wayne, to give a passable performance, than for a Great Actor like yourself to give yet another great performance. "Oh Peter O'Toole was incredibly magnificent and moving again? Ho hum. what else is new?"

Of course, this year we have Peter O'Toole and Helen Mirrin both nominated. I still have a DVD of their memorable performances in Caligula. I hope that their nominee's-past-performances-montage includes clips of them in that memorable skin-flick. "Here's a look at the previous performances of Helen Mirrin, nominated for playing Queen Elizabeth." and then we see Malcolm MacDowell actually performing genuine cunnilingus on her in Caligula. Then, to show Peter's distinguished career, we again get to see him with Malcolm and Sir John Guilgud in togas, walking-and-talking just like in an Aaron Sorkin show, except they're walking past couples butt-fucking. That's entertainment!

Imagine, they could have Malcolm present their awards, and finally have that Caligula Reunion Show that everyone's been asking for, for the last 35 years.

Malcolm: "Helen darling, here's your Oscar. Where would you like it lodged?"

Helen: "I'm sure you remember the way in, Malc."

It could be quite a show this year. At least three of the nominated songs actually have melodies, which is up from last year. Who's hosting? Judy Tenuta? Pee-Wee Herman? Oh wait, I remember now. Carrot Top! I can't wait.

I understand that the Queen, clueless-as-always, hasn't got the nomination concept straight in her mind, and thinks that she's been nominated for Best actress. Since in England, if The Queen is nominated for an award, she gets it, period, she is assuming that the nominations are some sort of Hollywood Honors List, so she's actually working on her Royal Acceptance Address to the Nation, which will be transmitted via satellite to the Kodak Theater, and be projected on a huge flat-screen TV behind Carrot Top, in a vain attempt to make him seem entertaining. Was The Queen in Caligula, or am I mixing her up with John Hurt - again?

The irony is that Best Actress awards are given to women for displaying emotions, which rules the Queen out categorically, since she's dedicated her life to never displaying any human emotion. The entire Royal Family, the Saxe-Coburgs, a.k.a. the "Windsors," aspire to be Vulcans, only they don't have pointed ears, or indeed, any point at all.

(Can you imagine what that old icebag was like during sex? "We are not aroused!")

I'm afraid Prince Charlie will never wear The Crown. Assuming the Queen ever does die, which I wouldn't make a large bet on, she could so easily be replaced by one of Disney's audio-animatronic figures, and never have any danger left of showing a trace of humanity. In fact, the substitution may have already been made, years ago. Did the Queen Mother die, or just break down?

I would love to see the Queen subjected to the usual treatment afforded the winners. Can't you see it now?

Generic Disembodied voice: "Accepting the award for lowly commoner Helen Mirrin, is Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II."

The Queen: "To My Loyal Subjects around the Empire, I mean world, and Mr. Carrot Top, Good Evening. I would like to tha---"


Yes, you have to love the way that the one class of people they definitely do not want to hear a word from during the Oscar Awards is the people being honored. "You're great! You're brilliant! We worship you! Now shut up and go away!" After all, they have to keep time free for Celine Dion to sing It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp, and for the Apocalyto Snuff Ballet dance number, and the comic, If Mozart Wrote The Magic Flute in Hip-Hop Style medley, performed by a flock of tone-deaf rappers in formal Laker jerseys, not to mention Carrot Top's comic riffs.

Thank Heaven no one's ever given me a Lifetime Achievement Award, although at 109, just being alive is an achievement, my Life Achievement.

Good luck Petey. And win or lose, drop by after the ceremony for a drink or 50. Just don't bring Sir Judi Dench along. That woman never lets you forget that she's already won an Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth. Hmmm. Maybe that's where I made my mistake, not that I would want one of those meaningless trinkets. But maybe I should have played queens, instead of marrying them.

Cheers darlings.

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