Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Raves & Rants & Romance, Arkansas

By Paul Levine

I got a sneak peak at "Fast Track," Lee Goldberg's two hour, action-packed pilot for German television.

SOCKO! It's a tire-screeching, heart-pounding, street-racing tale with the look and feel of a feature film.

Lee wrote and executive-produced the pilot, which was shot in English, and will be sub-titled on the Continent. While incorporating the action sequences of a Bruckheimer film, it's laced with the wit and charm that Lee brings to all his writing. I'm betting that "Fast Track" will be syndicated in dozens of countries around the world, including cable in the U.S.A.
Lee is a well known television writer ("Monk," "Diagnosis Murder"), showrunner ("Martial Law"), novelist ("The Man with the Iron-On Badge," "Mr. Monk and His Two Assistants"), non-fiction writer ("Successful Television Writing") and international playboy. Okay, maybe not the last item; he doesn't have the time.

While Lee Goldberg is a big macher, in Germany, I remain a little pisher.

Actually, I remain transgendered. Yes, "Polly" is back. The book club edition of "Solomon and Lord" is out with a new cover and the vomitous title "Liebe Lebenslänglich," ("Lifelong Love").
As anybody who's read the book knows, Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord are antagonists whose relationship is always on the brink of disaster. And...Victoria would never, ever wear that silly pink-bowed prom dress.

President Bush "reluctantly" accepted the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. Earlier in the day, the President reluctantly removed a splinter from his butt. Or to paraphrase MSNBC's Chris Matthews, the Administration has pruned the rotten limbs from the tree. Rumsfeld. Rove. Gonzalez.

Now if they could only do something about the trunk.

This award goes to Bill Stewart of Romance, Arkansas. Not making up the name of the town. The late John Keasler of The Miami News (also departed) often referred to the fictional town of Bark, Ark., but Romance is real. Here's Mr. Stewart, as quoted in The Washington Post (still alive, as of today).

"The reason for the Michael Vick thing . . . is because athletes have a keen insight into courage and determination, which is what pit bulls possess," said Bill Stewart, a breeder in Romance, Ark., who publishes the Pit Bull Reporter. "Athletes understand better than anyone what dogfighting is about. It's about two highly conditioned athletes going at each other with everything they have to try to win. It's the purest form of combat on earth."


A newspaper story recently reported that the tiny town of Arvin in the San Joaquin Valley was the "smoggiest" place in the United States. That sent me to Wikipedia Maps to have a satellite look. Wikipedia maps have little squares that can be clicked to show the locations of schools, parks, police stations. But on this satellite map, part way between Arvin and the even tinier town of Weedpatch (yes, from "Grapes of Wrath" fame), I found these unique locations. "Central City Crackhouse," "Dopers Delight," "Wetback City West" and "Huerta's Whorehouse."

I'm asking Agent Jim Born to investigate.


The Los Angeles Times reports that a small L.A. garment manufacturer made a custom pair of diamond and ruby encrusted jeans for Las Vegas hotelier and big shot Steve Wynn (right). The cost, $18,000. Just wondering what this says about values, folks.

Meanwhile, on the homestead, Renee keeps asking me to throw out my $11 bell-bottom jeans from the 1970's.

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  1. Congrats and best wishes to Lee, a truly talented and indefatigable guy.

    I love the new cover, Polly. And if Victoria needs a different dress for the next one, I have seven old bridesmaids frocks in my closet (with matching shoes) she could consider.

    Don't even get me started on the Vicks case. Why does everybody who commits a crime invoke the name of Jesus and expect to get a free pass from the public? Disgusting.

  2. You know, Polly, checking out that cover, it looks kind of like the cover for a fetish soft-core porn novel. (Oh, it IS a cover for a fetish soft-core porn novel? Never mind.)

    Well, maybe not the pink prom dress. (Or maybe my fetishes don't veer into the prom dress arena, who knows?) But the handcuffs...

  3. patty,
    "Indefatigable" is a great word, but it makes me tired saying it.

    I believe fur-lined handcuffs would be in order for the activities you refer to...not that I would know.

  4. Paul,
    I can promise that Steve Wynn doesn't look as good as you without a shirt. No matter what it cost.


  5. Oh, and never never never let Renee talk you into ditching those bellbottoms!

  6. Polleeeeee, you're baaack! Not only that, it's a PINK book, sort of.

    Keep the bell bottoms, just for the heck of it, even if you don't wear them - mind you, as my mother always said, if you keep something long enough, it comes back in fashion again. Trouble is, it comes back in fashion in a slightly different way.

    And about the dog-fighting issue - that breeder should be thrown into a ring with his teeth-baring athletes. Dog-fighting is a bloody barbaric practice (can't call it sport) indulged in by thick people. But as one reporter observed yesterday, why don't the powers that be punish the wife-beating players (of which there have been more than a few) in the same way that they have punished a dog abusing player?

    Now that I've got that off my chest, I think I might turn to one of the pile of books I have just bought for my course which starts in a few weeks: Man And His Symbols by Carl Jung. Hmmm, $18,000 jeans. There's a symbol right there. Mr. Wynn, I am sorry you've lost your eyesight, or just about, but to lose your marbles as well? You've been had. I bet those jeans look really silly. Get someone to read you, "The Emperor's New Clothes."

    Great post, as always, Our Polly.

  7. Whenever I see "encrusted jeans," I think, ew.

  8. Thanks for the kind words about FAST TRACK. "SOCKO"was exactly what I was going for...

  9. Okay, I am late to the party. Why are you called "Polly?"