American Suckers

Close to the centenary, all is not well in Dali world. Robert Deschames, author of a Dali biography, has been fighting the Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation for some time. He claims that Dali gave him the commercial rights to his work during their friendship. The Foundation says no. The battle has waged in court for some time. Attorneys have profited. Deschames’ attorney claims that his client is ruined. This wouldn’t be the first time that money got in the way of one of Dali’s friendships, but it does mark the first time that it’s happened beyond the pale.

Putin is pissed. A history book suggested that he was a dictator running a police state. The great irony is that he’s now ordered a review of all history books.

Proving once again that Viagra conquers all, Julio Iglesias (that would be Dr. Julio, father of the Julio we know) has fathered a child at 87. This beats out Saul Bellow, who became a dad again at 84, and whose illegitimate grandson has recently taken over Playboy. Bellow responded, “That bastard! Does he know how much work it took?”

Here are several reasons why I will probably never read David Denby’s American Sucker:

1. He finds spiritual redemption in 8 Mile.

2. The Washington Post: “This warmed-over Horatio Alger rhetoric is very hard to stomach coming from a man cushioned in a handsomely paid magazine job, trying to stake himself to a stock market windfall in order to keep control of a $1.4 million apartment financed largely by his own family inheritance — someone who spent not one but two tours of duty at an Ivy League university, subsidized the second time via the good graces of a book contract. Bleary-eyed community college night classes, indeed.”

3. The Boston Globe channels John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Great Crash, noting, “When those same [economic] leaders are led off in handcuffs, it is a pretty good sign the boom has turned into a bust.” Denby, of course, stayed in after the NASDAQ dropped in March 2000.

4. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: “At times, Denby’s obsessions become tiring – if he had a deeper navel, he would have written a longer book.”