Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday Musings on Congress, Sherlock Holmes and My Limited Brushes With Greatness

Just keep reading, I'll have more on the Hound of the Baskervilles later in our story. But first ...

... I notice Kati Marton has a new book out. It is called Enemies of the People: My Family's Journey to America, and is about her journalist parents and their escape from Hungary after an imprisonment there. She was raised as a Roman Catholic, but when researching one of her books, discovered she was Jewish and that her grandparents died in the Holocaust. (Kati Marton, above left.)

I don't know Marton, but everybody in Washington DC knows who she is, since she used to be married to the late ABC anchorman Peter Jennings. Jennings had an eye for the ladies, as they say, and at one point when I was working in DC, the gossip was that she became so disgusted by his behavior she came to Washington from their home in NY and took up with one of Washington's most famous columnists, who was also a very nice man (though there is some dispute about his niceness, says one of my Washington friends.) When Jennings heard about it, so the story goes, he came to DC to get her. We all had this image of mild-mannered Mr. C, cowering as the dapper Jennings grabbed his wife and carried her back to New York.

I think she must have returned only briefly as she and Jennings finally divorced and she is now married to Richard Holbrooke. He used to be Diane Sawyer's boyfriend, and is a special envoy in the Obama administration and doesn't need a portfolio as he carries his ego around with him and that is a pretty heavy load ...

... Speaking of marriages, I also saw this week that Chelsea Clinton is engaged to Marc Mezvinsky, the son of a the former Iowa congressman who went to jail a few years ago for bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud. I don't know him but I used to know his wife, Marjorie Margolies, who was a reporter for many years at WRC-TV, the NBC station in Washington D.C.

At right, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky

After she married the congressman, she used come down from Philadelphia where they lived, and work part-time for WRC, a deal I thought was pretty sweet. Thus, I used to think she really had it wired. Turns out he was doing the wiring and she was married to a crook, and will now be related by marriage to the Clintons. That will teach me not to envy people ...

... and aren't you pleased Congress held those hearings this week into head injuries in the NFL? They were stunned and amazed, as well as very disappointed to learn you could hurt your head really bad playing professional football. Definitely worth a Congressional hearing, I would say. I hope they put a stop to that stuff.

... and, more shocking news. News so shocking all of the sports world and even some political commentators are trying to get over it. A famous and very, very, very wealthy, multi-cultural athlete with a blonde-Swedish-model wife has been caught running around on her. And has been in a suspicious car accident. ("Take that you a--hole," I imagine her saying, as she whacked his car with a nine-iron.) This news so startled me I think Congress should hold hearings on the matter. I mean, there oughta be a law and Congress, I hope, will put a stop to that stuff.

... Finally, I must confess to being a very big Holmesian, that is, a big fan of all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories about the Great Detective and his Boswell, Dr. Watson.

Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes.

Don't know whether I should look forward to the new movie coming out at Christmas starring Robert Downy Jr. as Sherlock, but I do hope it is true to the Holmes canon. I saw a clip that showed Downy Jr. (as Sherlock) using something that looked like nunchucks against the bad guys, so I hope that doesn't bode ill. Or perhaps this is a skill Sherlock picked up during the years he wandered in Asia after we all thought him dead at Richenback Falls, but I believe this would just be speculation ...

... Still, if you wear yourself completely out on Christmas Day and want to get away from all the fuss, you can curl up in front of the television for an entire night of really good Sherlock Holmes movies on Turner Classic Movies, including the 1939, 20th Century Fox version of the Hound of the Baskervilles, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.

It is the best movie version of any of the Holmes stories and I'll be watching it for the zillionth time, with a fire burning in the grate and my gas lamps turned down low. So call me Christmas Day, but not Christmas Night, as I plan to be lost in Victorian England where evil walks on the moors by night, but is never a match for the World's Greatest Consulting Detective.

New Movie "Sherlock" Starring Robert Downy Jr.

New Book by Kati Marton

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