- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Advice compiled and condensed from actual sources by Kelly Jane Torrance, who composed the questions.

I am bored. So bored. I retired three years ago, but I never realized I could be discontented while dating hot actresses and singers. I quit my job because it was stressful and didn’t leave me much time to spend with my kids. Now I miss being in the news for more than just my sex life. So I’m thinking about getting back in the game — the Tour de France, that is. What do you think?

— Lance Armstrong

Dear Lance,

As to that leisure evening of life, I must say that I do not want it. I can conceive of no contentment of which toil is not to be the immediate parent.

— Anthony Trollope

It seems like you’re not allowed to say anything in Hollywood these days. I’m the star of perhaps the best show on television. That’s “30 Rock.” Not many people seem to be watching it, though. “30 Rock.” It’s not because of the quality. Or my acting skills. It’s that the network that airs it, NBC, simply doesn’t promote it enough. If more people knew about this show — “30 Rock” — I’m sure they’d watch it.

All I did was point this out — and note that NBC spends plenty of money on shows that already have, in my opinion, jumped the shark, like “My Name Is Earl.” We get pre-empted for a dumb hourlong episode of “Earl” just because that gives NBC higher ratings.

Now the “Earl” creator is saying my show might be suffering just because I call my 11-year-old names. Isn’t that ridiculous?

— Alec Baldwin

Dear Alec,

We are never more discontented with others than when we are discontented with ourselves.

— Henri Frederic Amiel

I’m being sued, and it seems very unfair. I was the executive producer of a film released last year called “Disturbia.” Everyone at the time noted how similar it was to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 classic “Rear Window,” so I’m not sure why it’s taken this long for a lawsuit to be filed. In any case, I don’t see what the big deal is. We changed a lot of details — James Stewart was middle-aged in the original, for example, while Shia LeBeouf is barely legal in our remake. I mean, re-imagining.

Anyway, it’s not like Hitch himself was opposed to a little plagiarism. He remade his own film “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” And he constantly reused themes and plots. So what’s the problem with our little borrowing?

— Steven Spielberg

Dear Steven,

Self-plagiarism is style.

— Alfred Hitchcock

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