lover's Opinion on War?
Don't Get Him Started
It's always nice when Hollywood types get in touch with their social consciousness, and DANNY GLOVER, GLENN CLOSE and MICHAEL DOUGLAS made nice by gathering at the United Nations on Tuesday evening to promote global-crisis documentaries that they host.
Each actor was matched with a different social issue and a lofty title. Mr. Douglas (messenger of peace) got African child soldiers. Mr. Glover (goodwill ambassador) did child AIDS.
Mr. Glover, 55, finished giving an interview about apartheid and headed down a hallway to the exit. His publicist made him available to us for the length of the hallway, and we decided to pursue a line of questioning that we knew he felt strongly about: the bombing of Baghdad.
Mr. Glover is one of Hollywood's most vociferous opponents of the war with Iraq. He orated, he marched. But now that Saddam Hussein has been toppled and many Iraqis are calling President Bush a hero, does Mr. Glover still denounce the bombing?
"Absolutely, I do," he said. "We devastated one of the oldest civilizations in the world. We decimated and buried that country. And did they find weapons of mass destruction? No."
Oops, end of the hallway already. But Mr. Glover, whipped into a lather, continued.
"The White House's inhumane and cowardly bombing killed thousands and thousands and thousands of defenseless people," he said. His handlers seemed to be pushing him through the door the way a rugby team heaves its ball carrier over the goal line, but the goodwill ambassador wasn't finished.
"Yes I'm angry," he yelled back through the door. "I'm angry!"
Now we were late for the screening of Mr. Douglas's documentary, one of a series produced by the United Nations and RCN Entertainment and being broadcast on Showtime.
We took the only vacant seat left, which happened to be next to Glenn Close. Ms. Close, 56, shared both the armrest and a bit of information: Her documentary in Morocco was to be shot this month, but was delayed.
"I had to put it off," she said. "My daughter had this big school project. It just took over, so I had to postpone."
The photographers closed in on her, and she turned away, saying: "Oh don't take my picture. I look terrible." How she can lie.
She escaped by dashing over to Mr. Douglas and giving him an exuberant hug that gave some of us "Fatal Attraction"-induced shivers.
Mr. Douglas's documentary was about children in Sierra Leone abducted for soldiering and the effort to reunite them with their families. Mr. Douglas was having his own family contact problem. He and his wife, CATHERINE ZETA-JONES, are infanticipating. She's due any day now, so he brought along a special cellphone.
"It's the baby phone," he said, patting his blazer pocket. "But I'm not getting a signal in here."
The news media has yet to learn the baby's name, so we asked him.
"Yes, we have a name," he said.
Do tell, we said.
"Awww," he drawled, giving us a once-over and turning away.
Was he preserving the surprise for us, or had he already sold the information to another newspaper? (You may recall that a week ago, he and Ms. Zeta-Jones won a lawsuit against Hello! magazine for publishing wedding photographs when photo rights had already been sold to OK! magazine for $1.6 million.
Your Fire Truck, Sir Lately, New York City firefighters have been struggling just to keep their firehouses open, never mind clean.
But on Wednesday, Engine 39, a firehouse on the Upper East Side that is not closing got a butler for a day.
PAUL HOGAN, the real-life butler in the reality TV series "Joe Millionaire," visited the house, on East 67th Street, to promote his new sponsor, Lysol.
Mr. Hogan, 52, has received raves as the show's starchy manservant. With such typecasting, could a cleaning products sponsorship be far behind? So there was the butler-pitchman in a photo op, cleaning a fire truck windshield with Lysol spray. Mr. Hogan may have perfected the butler's subtle service style, but his product placement skills could use a bit of work. He held the spray bottle with the label facing away from the camera, until a publicist ran up and fixed things.
We observed to Mr. Hogan that he seems to have wasted no time in capitalizing on his newfound celebrity. Indeed, he replied, he already has other TV deals and sponsorships in the works. The butler thing, he said, is "part celebrity, but more personality" and "a great foundation on which to build."
He admitted the servant-to-stardom story fell squarely into the "only in America" category.
"Life's like that," he said, "65 percent good luck and 35 percent hard work. Much of success is happenstance, and I happened to be Johnny on the spot."
Everyone knows that firemen keep their trucks spotless and their poles gleaming. But Firefighter PHILLIP LARIMORE, 28, said that firefighters (usually the most junior guys) also clean their own dishes, floors and toilets.
"I'm the butler around here," Firefighter Larimore said.