Monday, July 23, 2012

LIZ SMITH: Too Close for Comfort

SOME THRILLERS..."Full Black" and "Private Games" — Hit Too Close for Comfort.
Tippi Hedren Braves Death Threats to Protect her Beloved Big Cats...Ryan Reynolds is Hot — But he doesn't Want to Be Flammable!
by Liz Smith
Monday, July 23, 2012

“... THE STRATEGY in this novel (is) based upon a disturbing blueprint designed to assist in and encourage the destruction of America. This blueprint, entitled ‘Unrestricted Warfare,’ is real .... Many of the vulnerabilities depicted in this novel continue to exist.”

So writes thriller author Brad Thor in introducing his new Pocket Books paperback — “Full Black,” which is on newstands even in places like Walmart. (Well, that’s where I bought mine for about $8.)
THE NIGHT before the Aurora, Colorado killings in the movie theater showing “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises,” I was actually reading this very frightening fictional scenario.

In reality it seems that a lone gunman killed a dozen people and wounded many more. In the book, Islamic terrorists set off a series of murders and bombings in U.S. theaters across the nation. This novel offers a conservative conspiracy view which was meant to launch one terrible scene of chaos and destruction after another, over the nation.

(The author offers that Islamic terrorists have stolen a Chinese plan for total warfare and are operating behind the scenes funded by a crazy super wealthy tycoon who eats at places like Le Bernardin in Manhattan.  And he has operatives in Great Britain who will do anything for money. Of course, the CIA and FBI and a socialist government aren’t doing a thing about this and it’s up to Black Op veterans to solve everything.)

There are subplots about a Hollywood producer and attempts at various love affairs, Russian hitmen, the insertion of agents into terrorist groups, and all the rest of it. In spite of its over-written details of torture and listening devices and heroes continuing to fight after overwhelming odds is the unusual stuff of such mystery thrillers. I can’t criticize them too much since I’m an addict.

And, still, this book is a nail-biting exciting read. My only justification for spending so much time on it (it’s long) is the juxtaposition of current events. I read it at the same time, something somewhat like a tiny part of it, is also happening.

No doubt, for all their kind words, the two presidential candidates won’t or can’t do anything about the control of guns — not while the National Rifle Association has such  a powerful hold on politicans. 

It will be interesting, if not important in the larger sense, to see how the Colorado event colors the fortunes of Warner’s latest “Batman.”  Who can possibly take Batman seriously except as an entertainment?  I wish it well.  And wish Warner’s well. (Maybe when I finally see it, I will like it as much as I enjoyed the recent "Spider-Man" movie.)

Conservatives have a plus in the book “Full Black,” with its criminal, outside-the-law heroes operating as if the end justifies the means.
A Remington 870 shotgun, Smith & Wesson model M&P15T rifle and a Glock 22 handgun; the models of guns James Holmes purchased. (CBS)
MORE DISTURBING fact and fiction as the Olympic Games open this week in London.

The news is that the security people say that they are not up to providing even half of the necessary protection for athletes and the public.

So where did we hear that before? Why, last year when Little Brown published “Private Games” by the bestselling James Patterson and his coauthor Mark Sullivan. 

Now it is out in paperback, prescient and thrilling.  It a great read even if one discounts the plot device of a villain comparing himself to the Greek god Chronos. 

The London and Olympic details seem to be distressingly exact, imagining security ineptitude months ago.  
ACTRESS Tippi Hedren has survived extremely annoyed birds ... director Alfred Hitchcock ... Sean Connery raping her in her second movie with Hitch, “Marnie.”  She even survived Hitchcock sabotaging her career after “Marnie” when the beautiful blonde actress resisted his advances.    

I don’t think a career meant much to Tippi anyway.  She almost immediately devoted herself to raising her daughter, Melanie Griffith, and raising consciousness about the vital preservation of endangered animals all over the world.  Especially big cats.  She is president of the Roar Foundation, and Tippi has a famous sanctuary for animals, in California, The Shambala Preserve.  (Tippi also loathes what happens to all animals in circuses.)
Tippi Hedren in The Birds.
Recently, Tippi appeared before Congress, to try to help pass legislation about the breeding and raising of exotic felines for personal possession or financial gain.

She must have been pretty impressive. No, she didn’t get the legislation passed, but she apparently angered enough breeders and owners to find herself on the scary end of numerous death threats! Her family is terribly concerned, but Miss Hedren says she has no intention of backing down, and will speak out and appear before Congress as often as it takes. 

If she could get through hours and hours (literally!) of having live, panicked birds thrown at her in “The Birds,” she’s not gonna let a few nuts who want to walk a leopard down the street on a leash stop her.
IN GLAMOUR magazine for August, the “Beauty Star” of the month is hunky actor Ryan Reynolds (who may or may not be married to his sweetie, Blake Lively.)  Asked if he’s ever had his nose done, Reynolds says no, but he did get his forehead busted up in a motorcycle spill. See, even men get these questions now.

When told that “Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm resisted compliments about his own good looks, saying “That’s reserved for Brad Pitt and Ryan Reynolds,” Ryan says, “I think all of Jon Hamm’s mirrors are broken.”

His grooming tip. Not a lot of fragrance. “Never leave the house when you are actually flammable!”
Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern.

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