Monday, August 09, 2004

Barbra Streisand: The Bloviator

I know I should like Barbra Streisand, former lover of the embattled Don Johnson, as it was her donation to The Nation Magazine that allowed me to intern at that Magazine straight out of college with a nice little stipend to get me through the week. I should feel all warm and fuzzy and full of gish darn gratitude. And, damn, that extra beer money helped me slough through the Summer of 1995. But, Goddam, is she a bloviator or what?

According to The National Enquirer, that significant cultural artifact:

"Furious over Barbra Streisand's outrageous demands after they asked her to speak at the Democratic National Convention, organizers rebelled and yelled: 'Streisand . . . STAY HOME!'"

The Corsair heartily agrees.

"Snarled one insider: 'She was a nightmare!' La Streisand delivered a typewritten list of demands that blah-blah-ed on for pages about makeup artists . . . hairdressers . . . a fleet of limos . . . hotel suites for the star's entourage and a small army of private bodyguards . . . etc. In addition, say sources, she ordered Dems to hire extra guards for her protection and (here's my favorite!) even dictated strict security demands to the FBI! Topping it all off, party 'loyalist' Streisand refused to pony up a penny toward the staggering bill -- insisting that the tab be paid by campaign contributions from ordinary Americans! Seething party bosses told the singer through clenched teeth: 'Thanks . . . but no thanks!' Now Streisand's fibbing to pals that she couldn't attend the convention because she's working on 'Meet the Fockers' -- but sources say her scenes were shot long before the opening gavel banged!"

But that is nothing compared to the 4-page bio on her shameless web site, which bloviates at Wagnerian length about, among other things, her "honorary degree from Brandeis," and:

"Ms. Streisand's feelings about the rights and obligations of artists to participate in the political process were brought into sharp focus by her early 1995 speech at Harvard University under the sponsorship of the John F. Kennedy School of Government. The address won unprecedented reportage and reproduction in such print media as the New York Times and the Washington Post. It was carried a record number of times on C-SPAN and is included in Senator Robert Torricelli's book, 'In Our Words: The American Century,' a collection of important speeches of the 20th century."

This may in fact be a first, people: not only is Babs' site bragging about being her "The Artist as Citizen"(a speech written by Kerry's consigliere Bob Shrum and touched up by Peter Jennings) being carried a record number of times on C-Span, a dubious distinction at best, but, further, the site bloviates about being included in a collection of important speeches of the 20th century, edited by Robert "I'm Sorry" Toricelli.

Granted, lyrical stylings like "Love soft as an easy chair/Love fresh as the morning air," do not a Holderlin make, but if she's going to be so in-your-face about her left politics, she could at least frame it in such a way that it does not call attention to how many fucking diva perks she needs.

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