My May 2011 Interview with Actor/Author Rob Lowe

My PCTV show is called “About Writing,” and Rob Lowe had written his own book, so it looked like the perfect match. Station Manager Shane MacGaffey said he’d free up the studio for an evening interview. Shane sounded almost as excited as I was.

Marmaduke Factory colleague Pat Eisemann was handling publicity for Stories I Only Tell My Friends. Pat made it happen.

Of course I’m the sort of person who pretends not to care at all about celebrities. “They put on their pants the same way I do.” That’s what one of my childhood friends once told me more than forty years ago, and while it didn’t have the ring of truth, it is still ringing in my ears. That friend of mine—in case you’re curious—fixes cars for a living.

In any case there’s no denying that the very existence of group of apparently superior creatures leads to difficulties.

I know for sure that it creates difficulties for the celebrities themselves. Seems they can’t stay married, or off of drugs, or keep from being photographed just when they look their worst.  By this I mean that they get photographed looking like the rest of us look all the time: Startled. Dismayed. Bewildered. Even fat.

The category celebrity also creates a problem for the rest of us.

1. Either these people don’t deserve the adoration of the crowd.  In which case they’re sopping up love that should be spread around to other and more deserving sorts like yourself. Or myself.

2. Or they are smarter, better looking and harder working than the rest of us.  This doesn’t feel nifty either.

If I had my druthers, I’d go for answer #1.

“Injustice is relatively easy to bear,” Mencken wrote. “What stings is justice.”

I’m afraid, though, that Lowe is a clear example of the second and more troubling circumstance. Yes, he’s good looking and a movie star.  He’s also smart. He’s written a splendid book.

Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Westchester Arts Award

Lu Picard BenCheever John Nonna This is the speech I gave in April when Westchester Arts gave me their prize for being an artist, a prize I was certain my mother [(92) and in the audience]  would  be amused by. (In photo from L. to R.: LuPicard,  Ben Cheever (me) and John Nonna.)

“I’m too polite to ask what you’re being honored for,” my mother said, when  I invited her to come today. “That’s good,” I said, “because I’m not at all  sure myself. I wonder if these people  know who I am.” And I thought this, too, until I saw today’s program and  noticed that my remarks had been restricted to a single  minute. “Well then,” I thought,  “maybe they do know who I am.”

I certainly know who some of you are. I know  Steve Apkon and how he (more…)