NY Mirror

All the usual suspects are scrambling for Oscars, hoping a trophy will lend some validation to their grasping careers—but meanwhile, you can't even give away the Felix Awards! These salty salutes to shame—presented by me, for me, about me—are so universally despised that people practically take ads in the trades withdrawing themselves from consideration. But I still feel the pressing need to dole these babies out—it's an annual tradition, sort of like putting razor blades in Halloween apples—and this year, I'll even skip the opening number (another of those insipid Randy Newmanditties about the importance of friendship with anyone) to get right to the ignominy-celebrating hoo-ha. And so, this year's freakin' Felixes go to . . .

• Most Ill-Conceived Headline:The Daily Newsran a story detailing how some African American activists were getting a chance at City Council positions. The head? "Activists Get Shot at Office."

• Kookiest Column Idea:New York Post scribe Victoria Gottidebuted with a Father's Day ode to her dad, John, gushing about all the marvelous values and ethics he's instilled in her through the years. Any arguments?

• Another Lousy Idea:The insistence of all those who recently came out with shitty cabaret shows, crappy CDs, and rotten theater pieces, that they were somehow striking great blows for freedom. These deeply untalented people invoked our need to carry on in the wake of September 11 and the importance of expressing yourself as a way of defying the terrorists while ringing bells for democracy. Yes, that isincredibly important—but sorry, folks, you're not.

• Oh, Here's Something Else I Really Hate:When people who moved to L.A. because they basically couldn't afford New York start preaching about how "youreally should relocate here. It's so much more livable—and you get a backyard." No, dear, I'm successful.

• Weirdest Turn of Events: Tom Cruise sued a male porno star for allegedly saying in an obscure French magazine that he had an affair with Cruise. Tom just wanted to make a statement, and as a result, we now all know about the male porno star!

• The Porn Star's Response to the Ruling That Cruise Must Pay the Porn Star's Ex-Wife's Court Costs (the result of another messy lawsuit—don't ask): "My first reaction was, 'You go, girl!' It's about time the bullying stops." (You go, girl—but wait, the porn star has an ex-wife?)

• Celebs Who Spent Time in Various Forms of Rehab:Let's see—burp—there was Ben Affleck, A.J. McLean, Robert Downey Jr., and Paula Poundstone, not to mention Mariah Carey's stay in a mental clinic. And like an idiot, I'm still searching for famous people in nightclubs.

• My, Things Happen So Quickly Here:After about a week in the institution, Mariah popped out of her straitjacket with the intention of promoting her various projects—but she was only inthe establishment because of her relentless drive and overbearing workload! Sorry, butterfly, but even in these rapid-fire times, a breakdown isn't resolved in 15 minutes on the way to a Barbara Waltersspecial. Fortunately, a professional forced the woman back into submission for a few more weeks. The promo probably wouldn't have helped poor Glittermuch anyway.

• Worst Movies:The Million Dollar Hotel, Someone Like You, Town & Country, Moulin Rouge, Planet of the Apes, Swordfish, Glitter, Ocean's Eleven, Charlotte Gray, The Majestic (a/k/a Hail the Conquering Patch Adams—though I only made it halfway, at which point I suffered a life-threatening treacle attack), Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles(I didn't see that one at all, but can't you just imagine?)

• Best Movies:Southern Comfort, Waking Life, Ghost World, Gosford Park, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Man Who Wasn't There, L.I.E. (until it got soft), Under the Sand, Monsters, Inc., Monster's Ball, Funny Girl(rerelease)

• Worst Performances: Estella Warrenin Planet of the the Apes, Timothy Daltonin American Outlaws, everyone in Glitterand The Majestic, Gary Condit's kidson Larry King Live, Tim Burtonclaiming he started going out with Helena Bonham Carterafterhe dumped Lisa Marie, Dubyapresiding over the Chanukah menorah lighting

• The Gary Condit/Connie Chung Tango:"Did you sleep with Chandra?" "I've been married for 34 years . . . " "Did you sleep with Chandra?" "I've been married for 34 years . . . " "Did you sleep with Chandra?" "I've been married for 34 years . . . "

Robert Blake's Big Booboo:As a loving husband who supposedly left wifey by a dumpster, only to come back and, to his horror, find her brutally murdered, he probably shouldn't have had lawyers immediately slime the woman as a small-time con artist and sleazeball detested by millions. That didn't exactly reek of sincere bereavement—but hey, what do I know? I haven't been married for 34 years.

• Exqueeze Me?: Giuliani's divorce lawyer, Raoul Felder, angrily called Donna Hanovera press whore. That's like the pot calling the kettle a press whore!

• Most Misleading Advertising:The molto Italianocommercials for the Olive Garden ("When you're here, you're family"). Please—I've seen gutters swarming with rats eating discarded pizza that were more lively and authentic, and way more welcoming.

• Slay Bells Ring:The best Christmas show since Charlie Brown's was the Jackie Factory's A Very Jack the Ripper Christmas at the Slipper Room—an all-diva revue set in Ripper-torn England, replete with all the fear, denial, exploitation, and mayhem of today's New York. From Jessica Rabbit's saucy "Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Bow Wow" to the Butoh Rockettes' glacial, androgynous opium-den dance to the music-hall cavortings of Hattieand Lavinia, and beyond, it sleighed me.

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