Item: Police release Phil Hartman 911 call.
No one would ever accuse Culturebox of not being interested in the foibles of the famous. But the by-now routine procedure of making public the tape of a frantic, teary cry for help has never failed to shock and appall. Surely no one believes that the reason these tapes are made public is because the people have a right to know if their emergency services were performed appropriately.
Item: Spice Girls lose Ginger.
Now this is news, and not just because it got one of those great Brit tabloid expressions, "blazing row," into papers worldwide. Who, if anyone, will replace her? Culturebox keeps imagining the Spice handlers sitting in a conference room mulling over prospects ("Mother of God! It's another fax from Shirley MacLaine!") At first our money was on Marilu Henner—you know: red hair, kinda curvy, sings and dances, good with the media—and Culturebox thinks "Taxi Spice" has some zip as a name. But to keep their position as the most-talked about group in England, it's clear whom the Girls must hire: Paul "Gazza" Gascoigne, the once-brilliant, always-troubled soccer star who was recently denied a spot on the British World Cup squad, and in the process blew the Spice Girls off the front page and next to the recipes and the crossword puzzle.
Item: Rockers to raise awareness for plight of Tibet with D.C. benefit shows.
The way rock & roll has been selling this year—as in, Not At All—Tibet may need to stage a raising-awareness benefit for the plight of the electric guitar.
Item: Leonardo DiCaprio offered $21 million for American Psycho.
Does everyone realize now that they got taken? That he never had any intention whatsoever of doing this movie? His list of "approved directors" allegedly featured just two names: Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick. (Hey, why not ask for David Lean while you're at it?) From here, it looks an awful lot as if the whole purpose of this charade was to get a little faux buzz for an all-but-unknown production company ... and in the process, get DiCaprio's price locked in for all to see—above the fold in Variety—at 21 big ones. Mission accomplished ... until people actually started taking the prospect seriously, and in the wake of the bad press for Leo's taking the role of a sadist, everyone released statements denying that anyone had agreed to anything. Hollywood historians will recall when CAA's ace agent Ron Meyer locked in Sylvester Stallone's price at $20 million per by cutting a three-picture deal for Sly at Universal. One year later, Meyer was running Universal. None of those movies has ever been made.
Item: Si Newhouse buys Wired.
1) Assure Louis and Jane: You still matter! Founding editor = permanent voice in growth of Wired! Move forward together!
2) Ask James T.: Whatever happened to Annie Flanders? You know, the one who started Details?
3) Tell Anna W.: Your couch is the biggest!
4) Wired BOBook: Horo(cyber)scope! Take old "Athena Starwoman" column, change "planets" to "processors," "Saturn" to "San Jose," "Mercury rising" to "digital revolution."
5) Confide to Graydon: No one else has a couch your size!
6) Slip "Seinfeld Online" piece to Jerry S. Take out reference to AOL handle, YADASTUD
7) Lunch with Ruth W. Convey message: Your couch rules!
8) New Republic piece on Jukt Software—not bad! Why didn't Wired have this?
9) Commission feature: Bridget Jones's ONLINE diary
10) Assure Tina B: Your couch eats all theirs for lunch!