Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Books (Isaiah, Kat, Ava and C.I.)



We're again increasing book coverage in the community.  Kat's "Elton John and Whitney Houston" reviews Elton John's ME ELTON JOHN and HOURLY HISTORY's WHITNEY HOUSTON: A LIFE FROM BEGINNING TO END and Isaiah's "DON RICKLES: THE MERCHANT OF VENOM," a biography written by Johnny Heller.  So, Isaiah, why this book?  What interested you?


Isaiah: I knew of Don Rickles -- mainly from TV talk shows.  I saw it in KINDLE UNLIMITED while looking for something to read.  I was really looking for a comic  book collection but I saw the book on Rickles and it interested me.


Do you recommend the book?


Isaiah: Yeah, but there has to be better one.  This was a good jumping off point for me but there wasn't enough in there -- plenty of pages, but just not enough.  Way too often it was sentences like "Only Don knows what really happened."  If you don't know if he dated a woman or not, don't include it.  There are things he did that we know, so focus on those.  I also felt him living with his mother wasn't properly addressed.  No adult male wants to hang a sheet to create two bedrooms for themselves and their mom.  Come on.  There was conflict there but it's not in the book.  And I have an LGBTQ+ issue to bring up in a moment but I'm thinking how this is sounding and want to be clear that I'm not suggesting that Don Rickles was gay.  He himself talked about how, when he wanted to go into the entertainment industry, his uncles all thought he was gay.  My point about the affairs is if you don't know if it was an affair and can't find anyone to talk about it or anything written about it, don't bring it up if two or three paragraphs later you're writing that no one knows what happened.  As for his mom, she was his biggest fan and he'd lost his father when she started going on the road with him.  They were close.  But don't pretend that they didn't have issues especially when he wanted to have sex with a woman.


Sure.  What was the LGBTQ+ issue?


Isaiah:  We got a heads up -- from C.I. -- when James Caan died where you said basically "write whatever you want but the man was a raging homophobe so don't be surprised if there's pushback."  No one noted the death in the community.  And I'm glad for the heads up on that.  But guess who shows up in the Rickles' book?  James Caan.  When Don's wife gives birth to a son, Caan shows up with $2,000 worth of sports equipment and told him, "This is to make sure your kid grows up straight."

That sounds exactly like something James Caan would do, he was disgusting.  He also prevented Sal Mineo from being cast in THE GODFATHER saying he would quit if they hired "that f**got."  There are many, many more examples.  Anything else you'd like to note?


Isaiah: Barbara Eden.  He was an insult comic.  She was surprised when she went to one of his gigs because he insulted every celebrity in the room except for her.  Backstage, he hugged her and told her he couldn't insult her, it wouldn't be right. 


Thank you.  Kat, you did two books.  Let's start with Whitney.


Kat: Yeah, I'd advise everyone to stay away from any book published by HOURLY HISTORY unless they're obsessed with the individual and can't find anything else to read.  These are very bad books.  At every turn, you'll find that WIKIPEDIA did a better job covering the topic than an HOURLY HISTORY book does.  Everything else I want to say on that book is in the review I wrote.


 Okay, the Elton John book?

Kat: I don't know if he got slammed for it or not, maybe no one pointed this out when the book came out, but when I said it and started reading, my first thought was, "ME's already been a book title."

Right, Katharine Hepburn.

Kat: And she got criticized for the vanity but I doubt he did.  He tends to skate by everything.  He's superficial and I don't like him.  I don't like how he applauds Eminem throughout the book.  Because he's gay, he thinks he can give Eminem a pass.  He does the same with Axl Rose.  On that, f**k you, Elton.  He even brings up "One In A Million" but just notes that it was seen as anti-gay.  F**k you, Elton.  He doesn't point out the racism -- and that song has the n-word in it -- or the attacks on immigrants.  Elton is Chaz Bono on the set of BRAVEHEART telling the press that Mel Gibson has no problem with gay people because he had no problem talking to Cher's child.  I'm tired of these celebrities rehabbing homophobes and insisting that because the homophobes are nice to them, they aren't really homophobes.  

Do you recommend either book?

Kat: Not at all.  There's a reason Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics to Elton's big hits -- Bernie knows words. 


Thank you both for speaking with us.




Previous book discussions this year:




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }