- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Britney’s ‘burnout’

“On her otherwise faithful new cover of Bobby Brown’s ‘My Prerogative,’ Britney Spears adds a whispered line of her own: ‘You can’t tell me what to do.’ And as tabloid readers are well aware, the 22-year-old superstar … has spent the last nine months doing exactly what she wanted. She started the year by marrying some guy in Vegas and having it annulled two days later. She then got engaged to another guy: … backup dancer Kevin Federline, whose ex-girlfriend was eight months pregnant. …

“Ever since Spears canceled her lavish, poorly reviewed Onyx Hotel Tour in June … her career has been on hold. … But as Britney Spears Inc. gears up again … will the public’s overfamiliarity with her messy personal life keep them from buying her products? ‘Her image has crumpled a bit. She’s definitely hit a burnout period,’ says Paul ‘Cubby’ Bryant, music director for New York pop station Z100. Adds Ruben Garay, webmaster of the fan site worldofbritney.com, ‘Her fans think she doesn’t care anymore.’”

—Brian Hiatt, writing on “Star Burst,” in tomorrow’s issue of Entertainment Weekly

Payment due

“Over 30 years ago they put away their medals and their uniforms. They buried their anger and bitterness and moved on with their lives — and they waited. …

“Most of them didn’t know who or what would be the signal to make their move, but they knew they would recognize it when it happened.

“On July 29, 2004, it happened. John Forbes Kerry came to the podium at the Democratic Convention and uttered three words that made many Vietnam vets’ skin crawl: ‘Reporting for Duty! …

“Kerry had stripped them of their dignity the day he sat before Congress [in 1971] in his fatigues. … He had publicly turned on his fellow vets while they were still in harm’s way and American prisoners were still in the hands of the enemy. Kerry accused them all of being out-of-control animals, killing, raping and pillaging Vietnam at will. …

“Kerry denied them their rightful place as heroes and they will deny him his dream of the presidency. Angry Vietnam veterans, silent for so long, will finally have their say. Payment in full will be delivered to John Kerry on Nov. 2, 2004. Revenge is indeed a dish best served cold.”

—Barbara Stock, writing on “Revenge Is Dish Best Served Cold,” Sept. 1 at www.americandaily.com

‘Universal appeal’

“[‘Gone With the Wind’] has universal appeal for not only individuals but whole nations. I get letters from every country in the world. All countries have experienced war and defeat. And survival. They can identify with that film for … that reason. …

“The film was beautifully cast. It’s a most remarkable job of casting. Vivien [Leigh, as Scarlett O’Hara], especially. Perfect, perfect. Clark [Gable, as Rhett Butler] was perfect, perfect. …

“It was an immense responsibility for the different actors. Especially for Clark. Because he had to match in the film the readers’ impression, image, of Rhett Butler. And his career was at stake. And, well — he matched the image, didn’t he?

“I just loved that character of Melanie. … She was such a loving person. Of course, to play a loving person, well, you become loving. And you become happy. I think loving people are happy people.”

—Olivia de Havilland, age 88, interviewed in the October issue of Premiere

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