No. 211: "A and Q"

No. 211: "A and Q"

No. 211: "A and Q"

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
March 24 1999 3:30 AM

No. 211: "A and Q"

I give President Clinton's answer; you give the question from his rare and recent press conference: "I think it's very important. And I think that what young people will learn from my experience is that even presidents have to do that, and that there are consequences when you don't."


by noon ET Tuesday to e-mail your answer to

Thursday's Question (No. 210)--"Let Us Now Praise Famous Me":

"You like me! You really like me!"--Sally Field

"I'm the king of the world and the lord of Monkey Island!"--James Cameron

Every Academy Awards broadcast yields one perfect remark. Participants are invited to predict the comment from Sunday's Oscars that will be most quoted in Monday's papers.

(Topic courtesy of Greg Diamond.)

"Fernanda Montenegro: 'Why is the sickly girl holding my Oscar?' "--Beth Sherman

"Roberto Benigni: 'Yes I'm look nuts, but I'm the winner. I want to thank Stan for 2,000 mics of acid. I am a lacto-vegetarian. You can give me milk and spinach. I like cheese and radish. Now I am biting the moon.' "--Marshall Efron

" 'Oh God! Someone just shot Joan Rivers!' (or was that 'THANK God'?)"--Al Petrosky

"James Coburn: 'And I especially want to thank my life partner, Cardinal John O'Connor; this one's for you, honey!' "--Susan Vance

"Academy President Arthur Hiller: 'I'm terribly, terribly sorry.' (Rescinding the Academy Awards given to Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Goldie Hawn, and Kevin Costner, and reassigning them to Martin Scorsese, Judy Davis, Lauren Bacall, and Albert Brooks.) 'Also,' Hiller added, 'Al Pacino's Oscar is no longer for Scent of a Woman but for The Godfather. That is all.' "--Tim "They Don't Have the Met Here, but They Do Have Back to the Future: The Ride, and That Counts for Something" Carvell

Click for more answers.

I no longer watch the Oscars. They're neither good enough to take straight--the choices convey no aesthetic authority; the performances make no earthly sense--nor consistently awful enough to enjoy as camp. (Yes, Rocky was claptrap, but Shakespeare in Love was indeed wonderful.) Or perhaps I've simply lost my taste for cleavage and greed. There's a relentless evolution in this sort of event, from genuinely interesting, to ludicrously bad, to soporifically bland. The Oscars are in the terminal stage, having achieved the tone of a shopping mall, a corporate charity event, frozen Cajun food, Al Gore. So each March, instead or watching the Academy Awards, I rent All About Eve and heave a smoke bomb through Democratic Party headquarters. And the best thing about my evening: It's Whoopi-free.


Politics and Poetry Extra

Both the New Republic and the Academy of American Poets have announced major changes. A comparison.

Most Apparent Change:

AAP: More people of color on board of chancellors.


NR: More color photographs of Rudy Giuliani.

What the Changes Mean:

AAP: "The board is more representative of the many things going on in poetry today," says President Jonathan Galassi.

NR: "It's going to be fresh and frisky," says publisher Will Lippincott.


Will it Be Fuddy-Duddy?:

AAP: No official position.

NR: "It's not going to be fuddy-duddy," insists Mr. Lippincott.

Biggest Prize Offered:


AAP: $100,000 Tanning Prize.

NR: Winner of new subscriber sweepstakes gets to attend NR editorial meeting; loser forced to attend two edi ... oh, you know how this one goes.

Possible Impetus for Change:

AAP: Maxine Kumin and Carolyn Kizer resign from board in protest.

NR: Stephen Glass dragged from office in handcuffs.

Means of Avoiding Stasis:

AAP: Rotation system instituted for board of chancellors.

NR: Frequent firings and resignations instituted for editors in chief.

Means of Avoiding Pro-Gore Bias:

NR: Martin Peretz's public pledge to do less boosting of Al Gore.

AAP: John Galassi's implicit pledge to discourage erotic sonnets about Al Gore.

Common Denominator

Elia Kazan.