Pygmalion (1938)

Eliza Doolittle … Professor Henry Higgins … The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plains.

And no singing:

This is better than “My Fair Lady.” Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller in the 1938 comedy classic “Pygmalion.” Written by George Bernard Shaw.

Shaw, who died in 1950, is considered one of the greats in English literature and was closely involved in the production of “Pygmalion.” He won an Oscar for best writing and best screenplay. According to legend, his was so dismissive of the award, it ended up being used as a doorstop. Shaw is the only person to win a Nobel Prize for Literature as well as an Oscar (although Al Gore also has a Nobel Prize and and Oscar, but his Nobel is for Peace.)

Wendy Hiller was a regular in Shaw productions on stage and starred in the screen adaptation of his play “Major Barbara.” She had a long movie career, with her last film appearance in 1993.

Leslie Howard was a superstar of early 20th-century film. He had top billing over Humphrey Bogart and Bette Davis in “The Petrified Forest.” In fact, he was the one who insisted Bogart get the role of Duke Mantee, the launch of another famous movie career. Leslie Howard had other major starring roles: in “Of Human Bondage” and, of course, Ashley Wilkes in “Gone With the Wind.” He died at the relatively young age of 50. Involved in Britain’s World War II film effort, he was killed when the passenger plane he was flying in was shot down by Nazi fighters over the Bay of Biscay.

Al Gore has a girlfriend

Here’s a bit of political gossip (from the Washington Post):

It’s never easy to re-enter the dating pool after years away — probably especially so if you’re one of the most famous men in the world.

But things seem to have worked out for Al Gore. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former VP has a serious girlfriend, we’ve learned.

Her name is Elizabeth Keadle — better known as Liz — a well-heeled Democratic donor from Southern California in her 50s with a background in science and a devotion to environmental causes.

Now Al, 64, and wife Tipper are still married, technically, though they’ve been separated for two years. And neither had taken steps toward divorce.

But let’s put this in perspective. Ever since Gore was vice president, we’ve been told that his running mate and his wife were only in a marriage of convenience and that after a certain affair with a certain intern, there was no way the wife would stick with the guy when his term of office was over. And we were told how that couple should be more like Al and Tipper, sweethearts forever and models for a turgid 1970 best selling novel called “Love Story.”

But today, Al and Tipper are separated and Al has a girlfriend.

Meanwhile, Bill and Hillary are still together.

So, there’s another thing to add to the list of things that were common knowledge to the chattering powers-that-be-led pundocracy that turned out to be outrageously wrong.

Bain bucks and Booker

Lots of agitation in political punditry over Newark Mayor Cory Booker saying President Obama should lay off on the attacks over Mitt Romney‘s tenure at venture firm Bain Capital. Booker is a Democrat and an Obama ally, so the Fox News types are having a field day since this helps their candidate’s cause and midstream media are revved up because it’s a “Democrats at odds” story that fills a news cycle.

So let’s cut through the fog of political navel gazing and follow the money:

A ThinkProgress examination of New Jersey campaign finance records for Booker’s first run for Mayor — back in 2002 — suggests a possible reason for his unease with attacks on Bain Capital and venture capital. They were among his earliest and most generous backers.

Contributions to his 2002 campaign from venture capitalists, investors, and big Wall Street bankers brought him more than $115,000 for his 2002 campaign. Among those contributing to his campaign were John Connaughton ($2,000), Steve Pagliuca ($2,200), Jonathan Lavine ($1,000) — all of Bain Capital. While the forms are not totally clear, it appears the campaign raised less than $800,000 total, making this a significant percentage.

He and his slate also jointly raised funds for the “Booker Team for Newark” joint committee. They received more than $450,000 for the 2002 campaign from the sector — including a pair of $15,400 contributions from Bain Capital Managing Directors Joshua Bekenstein and Mark Nunnelly. It appears that for the initial campaign and runoff, the slate raised less than $4 million — again making this a sizable chunk.

In all — just in his first Mayoral run — Booker’s committees received more than $565,000 from the people he was defending. At least $36,000 of that came from folks at Romney’s old firm.

Now Booker’s considered a good guy in Democratic circles. But this takes me back to the late 1970s/early 1980s and Philadelphia Congressman Michael “Ozzie” Myers (not to be confused with “Shrek”) who uttered the definitive political corruption quote in the Abscam scandal:

Myers was videotaped accepting a bribe of $50,000 from undercover FBI agents on August 22, 1979. Myers stated on that tape “money talks and bullshit walks.” Myers was expelled from the House of Representatives on October 2, 1980, by a vote of 376 to 30, becoming the first member of the House to be expelled since 1861.

Cory, I hear Bain money talking!

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook billionaire, gets married

The boy billionaire Mark Zuckerberg had an IPO this week and added to his billions. So what better way to end the week on a high note than to get married (from the New York Times):

On Saturday, the 28-year-old multibillionaire announced that he had married his long-term girlfriend, Priscilla Chan. The announcement was made, of course, on Facebook.

Details of the ceremony were scarce, but according The Associated Press, “The ceremony took place in Zuckerberg’s backyard before fewer than 100 guests.”

Mr. Zuckerberg did not wear his traditional hoodie for the ceremony, but instead chose a black suit and tie with a white shirt.

The couple met almost a decade ago, while attending college at Harvard University.

Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Chan also quickly updated their relationship status to say they were married to each other.

You’d think there would have been a longer story. After all, the guy invented Facebook, not Twitter.

And get this, as of midnight, he’s got more than 325,000 likes on his Facebook page about three hours after the announcement. That’s just showing off.

The TED Talk controversy that really isn’t controversial

There was a supposed controversy this week about how a TED talk on the myth of the job creator wasn’t distributed because it veered into political orthodoxy.

Kind of an overhyped controversy, because here it is:

The moral: Anything digitized is going to end up on the Internet.