Is Beyonce the Antichrist?


Homo erectus display
Diva cinema is popping up in the most unexpected places. Night at the Museum is pretty undistinguished family fare, but there's a cute gay moment when OWEN WILSON's figurine-come-to-life character tells his cohort (STEVE COOGAN), "I won't quit you!" And earlier, Coogan had gotten into a snit and sardonically called Larry—the night watchman played by BEN STILLER—"Mary!" God, who writes family films these days—the people who did Reno 911? Well, actually, yes.

You also have to love the fact that in The Good Shepherd, MATT DAMON is in full drag and gets peed on (but not at the same time). And the weirdies have taken over prime time too. A promo for a musical episode of Scrubs has ZACH BRAFFgrabbing DONALD FAISON 's fisted arm and singing, "He was the first man inside of me!" ("I just took out his appendix," assures Faison, only minimally subverting the fisting joke.)

Which reminds me of the most sizzling tired old gossip of all time: On Countdown With Keith Olbermann recently, I made a remark about the famous rumor surrounding a certain late TV star and a glass table. Since then, my computer has almost crashed from all the e-mails begging for raunchy details. Well, brace yourselves, freaks: Said actor would supposedly hire young guys to defecate on top of a clear glass table while he lay orgasming underneath it. Happy now? But three questions: Why not just skip the middleman and remove the freakin' table? Was he that much of a wuss? And if every name attached to this rumor really enacted the activity in question, wouldn't furniture outlets (not to mention paper-towel stores) be the most celebrity-packed places in christendom?

But back to high culture, if you don't mind: The Coast of Utopia is so long that, by the time I got home from part two, a spider had spun a web over my door that said, "Some pig." But it's shaping up as vital, glorious theater—just the kind of stimulating, elegant epic worth leaving the house for, whether the characters are gabbing about feudalism, adultery, or chandeliers. It's just sad that, looking around the Lincoln Center Theater, my wandering p.c. eyes strangely didn't see a single person of color. There isn't even anyone brown from the glass-table trick. I felt like I was at the world's most high-toned Klan meeting.

Presumably a more diverse group is being sought by HBO, which is adapting the book When I Knew into a World of Wonder– produced flick about coming out. My own tale—knowing I was that way when I watched Tarzan—is in the book but won't be in the film; they want complete unknowns, not just modified ones. So if you're not known, closeted, or ashamed, it's your turn to be an HB-'mo.

No, wait! I need someone to come out and admit something much more important: Who's the fucker who had the three balls to sell my new book's galleys to the Strand? What a bitch, what a bitch, what a bitch, what a bitch. Well, you can make up for this tawdry act of indiscretion by showing up for my reading at Barnes & Noble (21st Street and Sixth Avenue) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 9, and buying it back from me. And bring a toy too.


Web extra
Wait, I've got some more Dreamgirls bitterness for you. Next week Ill give you a fuller report about Jennifer Hudson's concert at the Saint-at-large party at the Hammerstein Ballroom, but for now let me tell you that the big shocker was that she didn't do her big number, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going"! This is like if TONI BASIL sang for 40 minutes and didn't do "Mickey"! Why in hell didn't she sing it? "Because she can't," murmured a promoter. "It's in her contract that she can't sing that song till after the Oscars." Gee, I wonder what kind of twisted internal campaign led to that insane little stipulation. And this from a movie in which Effie's song is stolen for Beyonce to do.

Update: The Academy just decided that Beyonce is ineligible for a Best Song nomination for "Listen" because a maximum of three songwriters is allowed per song! Poetic justice? I don't know, but I'd love to "listen" to her reaction.


musto@villagevoice.com

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