In this first installment of Mr. Manners - in this regular weekly feature at the Tattler - it's important to drive home first things first!
We're mad as heck - the polite word to use in mixed company - in Los Angeles (and elsewhere around the country, I expect) and we're not going to take it anymore!
If no one has lamented about this in the past, then let me be the one to enlighten the teaming masses.
There's no scenario worse (or ruder, for that matter) than one in which a couple of immigrants are inclined to speak in a second language - Spanish, Russian, Chinese, you name it - which results in an English-speaking citizen being excluded from the conversation.
This is particularly so when the location happens to be - a business entity, hospital facility, or Government Office.
Indeed, boorish conduct such as this - not only amounts to bad manners - but reaches the level of a tasteless lack of etiquette in a polite society.
With one exception.
Unless, of course, there are no other English-speaking residents within ear shot which might be insulted!
And, common-place International greetings, aside (common sense, of course).
Say, that was quite a show of force by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, today at the Metro Line's Westlake/McCarthur Park station!
About a half-a-dozen-or-so armed officers - with dogs in tow - stood at attention near the turn-styles on the lower level as passengers scurrying to work were checked for tickets & passes at the crack of dawn.
Were they looking for drugs?
If not, just maybe, the canines were bomb-sniffers on the alert?
A short dumpy uniformed female officer gave me the once-over as I approached the gate, but allowed me to pass, once I offered up my tap card for proof of payment.
Amid a sea of controversy - Bristol Palin slipped off her ruby red slippers and skulked away into the good night from whence she came - on Tuesday eve.
Her last hurrah?
In spite of the bold-faced deceitful efforts of a posse of Republican Tea Party upstarts to catapult Sarah Palin's daughter into the winning slot on "Dancing with the Stars" - pretty Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing) and Derek Hough (handsome professional dance cutie) - prevailed and snatched up the glittering disco ball!
The feat was not accomplished without a lot of sweat and tears, though.
In fact, in the final hours of the heady competition, Grey threw a disc in her spine after dancing her little heart out to a captive live! audience.
In recent weeks - fans of the hit show bit their nails nervously as they cursed the TV screen in disgust (one dude shot his screen out) - at what was shamelessly going down on the popular entertainment show.
Although more talented "dazzling" contestants scored high with the show's competent (professional) judges - for some inexplicable reason - the Alaskan tart (Palin) continued to score big-time with her sloppy dips and awkward two-steps with viewers around the country and at home.
By the time Levi's ex shot into the top slot, critics began to cry foul!
Were Sarah Palin's Republican Tea Party supporters in the political arena stuffing the ballot box at the ABC web site online???
At this juncture, a furor erupted in the blogosphere, and eleswhere!
Once the word was out, the viewing public fought back fervently to "right the wrong".
On Tuesday night, for example, a multitude of fans - anxious to vote for the best dancers (Grey & Hough) - overwhelmed the site with legitimate nods.
And, in the aftermath - after the ballots were tabulated - the deserving talented twosome were named top dogs on "Dancing with the Stars".
That just goes to show 'ya.
Hell hath no fury like an American viewing audience scorned!
A few years ago, I penned a popular column on manners and etiquette under the catchy by-line of Mr. Manners.
Needless to say - the undertaking was always a complete-and-utter hoot - for the duration I slaved away on the weekly column (which aised a few hackles now-and-then by the way).
Since I have returned to the multi-cultural "Big Bad Orange" - it has not escaped my attention - that the madding classes are more-often-than-not clashing (at blows!) because of cultural, social, and politically-incorrect differences.
So, in the city's hour of need, I have elected to start up the column once again - if only to smooth the way for the huddled masses drifting aimlessly through a sea of uncertainty about deep-rooted traditions (and misguided assumptions) - so they may ultimately gain a footing in this great country without rubbing the locals the wrong way!
The first installment launches tomorrow - so cruise on by - eh?
Up front, everything looked pretty kosher at the sneak preview of FASTER last night at the Mann's Chinese Theatre.
A stream of limos pulled up to the curb, lookie-loo's gawked at the celebs who alighted from their plush environs, and a posse of frenized paparazzi snapped away fevisherly at the stars who ran the gaunlet under the glare of the dazzling kleig lights.
Oh, there's nothing like a splashy Hollywood premiere, alright!
For the celebrated elite, that is.
In contrast, the highly-publicized event - which touted an appearance by star Dwayne Johnson - was a lesson in humility for the die-hard fans who turned out in full force to take part in the glitzy festivities.
Although the cast and studio suits made their entrances into the Theatre in grand style - the fans were left to huddle outside on a windy corner (a stone's throw away) in a long queue that snaked all the way down one dark lonley side-street - and then on - behind a run-down old building across from the football field at Hollywood High!
Many of the filmgoers - who initially turned up all gaga and excited about the screening - ended up standing in line for over two hours before they were turned away with crumpled invites in their numb little hands totally pi**ed.
Once again, sponsors - this time it was Power 106.1 and CBS Films - overbooked the seats to ensure there would be a noticeably large turn-out on the "WALK OF FAME" - for appearances sake.
How many folks are anxious to catch Johnson's new flick?
In the past, it was evident that Johnson once had a following.
For example - I witnessed excited crowds turned out at a CineVegas Film Festival screening of "Get Smart" - to catch his comic performance in droves.
However, there was upside to the fiasco that unfolded last night in the mean streets of Hollywood.
Folks waiting in line behind the El Capitain Theatre were treated to segments of the Jimmy Kimmel Show (which was being taped in the same block on a sound stage which opened at the rear of the building into a spacious parking lot) every time the security guards opened-and-closed the gate.
Curiously, Billy Bov Thornton (a star of FASTER screening across the street) was a guest on the popular talk show last night.
In the final analysis, fans got their monies worth, but in an odd round-about-way!
If you have ever been a victim of Internet Identity theft, then you are no doubt aware of measures that may be taken to prevent it from happening again.
For starters, a consumer may ask a credit bureau to post a statement on their profile requesting that potential creditors contact the individual first, before issuing credit automatically by computerized methods online.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems with this practise.
When a potential creditor spies the "fraud alert" on a credit report, more-often-than-not, they assume that the agency has posted the warning to alert the company that the person requesting the credit may have engaged in wrongdoing or fraudulent conduct in the past.
On occasion, creditors are unaware that it was the debtor - not the credit bureau - who placed the alert on their credit report to prevent identity theft.
Then, there is the issue of identifying the individual, when such an alert pops up on the computer screen.
A potential creditor may be posed up to five questions - with the specific intent - of determining their true identity.
For instance, one question may ask that the debtor state which address listed on the notice applies to them.
But, here is where problems often arise, as well!
Instead of posting a former address of the applicant (home or business), the credit bureau may list addresses that are tied to their credit accounts.
For example, if a consumer had a car loan with Bank of America, that address may be posted for the applicant to identify.
However, if the credit bureau posts the address for the Bank's headquarters - and not the one for the branch where the account was approved - the consumer may be totally in the dark as to the significance of the entry on their credit report questionnaire.
I laughed yesterday - when a credit manager at Toyota of Santa Monica - made the stupid mistake of assuming that the customer seeking a loan that afternoon must have been an imposter because they were unable to fathom the correct response in a similar scenario.
The mistake was a particularly shocking one to watch down go down when you consider the over-riding factors.
The method for identifying the individual - five questions posed to an applicant, for instance -is used specifically for individuals applying "sight-unseen" on the Internet.
Since the applicant appeared in person at the Toyota lot in sunny Santa Monica - with driver's license and supporting documents in hand - the internet confirmation was redundant (not necessary) in this instant case.
Notwithstanding the obvious, the Credit Manager proceeded to waive the applicant away - and in the process - the car dealership lost an important sale to a reputable individual who just happened to be very well-known member of the community at large.
In these tough economic times, that is a bleeding shame!
Clearly, the staff at Toyota of Santa Monica are not only a posse of losers - but short on brains!
Justin Bieber became the youngest performer ever to snap up a "Best New Artist" honor last night at the fast-paced high-energy American Music Awards which were broadcast live! from downtown Los Angeles.
Indeed, by the time the lights went down at the Nokia Theatre at the end of the dazzling evening, the sizzling hot Pop Star managed to scoop up four of the Golden statuettes in total (including one for best break-out artist of the year).
When Bieber trotted on stage to snap up one award, he was quick to thank Usher, who was also honored with two of the coveted prizes, as well (one for Best male R&B performance).
In so many words, mop-haired "Bieb" acknowledged that the talented showman was not only his "mentor", but also a "best friend and big brother", of sorts.
Usher is credited for having nurtured the career of the young music phenomenon since he was first discovered on YouTube a scant couple of years ago.
The annual awards show belonged mostly to a bevy of dazzling young performers last night - highlighted by live performances from Miley Cyrus, Kate Perry, and fiery-headed Rihanna - although seasoned pros like Carlos Santa also graced the stage in highly-entertaining moments that riveted the audience.
Old boy-band faves - the Back Street Boys and New Kids on the Block - brought back a few nostalgic pangs back for a handful of us older pop music fans.
For the most part, the awards ceremony - amounted to a popularity contest more than anything else (unlike the Grammy Awards or the Oscars in the film arena) - and a shameless stab at self-promotion on occasion.
For example, in one impromptu moment, Nicki Minaj was inclined to tout her debut album.
Nobody else would, I dare say!
In contrast, a low-key Taylor Swift (who was given the nod for favorite female country artist) was quite gracious.
"I only want to thank the fans," she said, with an infectious smile on her face.
On the chic heels of Prince William's engagement announcement - knock-off artists sprang into action - to fill the potential demand for all-things Kate Middleton!
For example, quick-as-a-wink, a cheapo version of Kate's engagement sparkler (the ring that once graced the finger of Prince Willie's mother Lady Diana) was being hawked on HSN (by an enterprising Carol Brodie) for a posse of young lovers to scoop up for their own upcoming trot down the aisle of wedded bliss.
Issa - a popular fashion house for the tony elite - was quick on the uptake, too!
Within hours of the future Royale's appearance before the frenzied fleet-street press - the top brass was drawing attention to the fact Kate was gussied up in one of their own understated - but elegant - saphire blue frocks.
Once Ms. Middleton is firmly entrenched in the uppercrust society of the super rich - and the International Jet Set - will she go the way of Lady Diana before her or the Duchess of pork - er - York?
Much in the tradition of the New York Times - the staff at the LA TIMES cast caution to the winds this weekend - when they opted to publish a red-carpet publicity still of Cher's "son" at the "Burlesque" premiere in Hollywood earlier this week.
Chaz Bono was pictured beaming (in her new sexual skin) alongside current girlfriend Jennifer Elia.
Christina Aguilera was dazzling in an emerald green gown that flattered.
Other cast members - Julianne Hough, Cam Gigandet and Stanley Tucci - were well-received by a gaggle of paparazzi who snapped away at a fever pitch!
Was it just me, or did the photograph of Cher give off the impression she has hairy legs?
No sneak previews of Sarah Palin's new book - America By Heart - if the feisty "Alaska" reality star has any say in it!
When Palin's handlers spied unauthorized excerpts of the her latest offering on a Gawker Media web site at the tail-end of this week, they were quick to petition the Court for a temporary restraining order to halt the material from being reviewed by curiosity-seekers on the Internet (sans pay).
U.S. Distict Judge Thomas P. Greisa found merit in the pleadings submitted to the bench and issued an injunction after Palin's publisher (HarperColins) filed a lawsuit for damages in Federal District Court.
In response - Gawker staffers countered that there was no wrongdoing on their part - pursuant to applicable fair use clauses under U.S. Copyright Law.
Notwithstanding, the Palin material went "poof" (disappeared from the site) for some inexplicable reason.
Julian first sauntered onto the stage in a production of "The Marriage Proposal" in 1968 (Chekhov).
First-time out, Ayrs won an "Award of Merit" from the Simpson's Drama Festival for his portrayal of the nervous suitor "Lomov".
Essentially, though, he started his career as a painter.
Ayrs was part of a group show of West Coast artists at the Galerie Allen (Gastown) in 1970.
On the heels of that exhibition, he was commissioned by the City of Vancouver to create kiosks for the downtown core (1972).
One-man Exhibitions followed at the Contemporary Royale Gallery (Vancouver) and Open Space Gallery (Victoria).
In 1973, Ayrs made an entrance onto the International Art scene when he was invited to exhibit his abstract-expressionistic paintings at the San Francisco Arts Festival.
During a brief visit to New York in 1974, Ayrs appeared off-off Broadway in a "Hot Peaches" spoof on the Andy Warhol stars.
The production was titled "The Magic Hype".
After his short stint on stage in that successful musical comedy, Warhol Star Jackie Curtis
invited Ayrs to appear in a special New Year's Show at the Fortune Theatre in the East Village.
Ayrs was first published in IS8 - a Coach House Press publication edited by Victor Coleman (Toronto).
In addition, a short story - Cottage Cheese - was broadcast on CBC Radio (Robert Chesterman / Producer).
Julian modelled in the early eighties.
His face has graced the pages of National ads for American Express, the Bay, Eatons, Big Steel, and Sears (to name a few).
Ayrs' fashion column - Dressing Right - appeared in the morning newspaper "The Province" (Southam News) for approximately two years after he gave up the fashion runway.
An acting bug catapulted the struggling actor into the exciting Film & TV industry full throttle when he moved to California.
Ayrs has appeared in parts on the popular soap "General Hospital"(Reporter), "Victims for Victims" (Doctor), "Murphy Brown" (Doorman), and Fox Studio's big-budget comedy "How I Got into College" (Harvard Recruiter).
Drawing on his background in writing, Ayrs pursued a career as a Literary Agent for the next two years at Wallack & Associates and the Camille Sorice Agency respectively.
An opportunity to pen a blog for a Fox Network Show "On the Lot" - not only opened up a new well of creativity - but the opportunity for Ayrs to flex his visionary skills in several areas of the arts such as writing, film & video, web design, etc.
Then, Ayrs sequed into film reviewing.
Currently, he is a well-known film critic in the Los Angeles Area.