Tuesday, January 19, 2021

TV Quote of the Day (Fran Lebowitz, on Dolly Parton and NYC’s Bill de Blasio)

“The present mayor, Bill de Blasio, is pretty much the most unifying politician in the country. Everyone hates him. Everyone. The city is as one in its hatred of de Blasio…. Rich people hate him, poor people hate him, white people, black people, young people, old people, men, women. He’s universally hated. He’s like the opposite of Dolly Parton. Like, everyone loves Dolly Parton and everyone hates Bill de Blasio. There’s no doubt in every New Yorker’s mind that Dolly Parton would be a much better mayor than Bill de Blasio.”—Humorist Fran Lebowitz appearing on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Jan. 8, 2021 episode

Even as I laughed hard at Ms. Lebowitz’s description of Bill de Blasio, I wondered: Is it that bad for him now? Surely his family are still with him, right? And doesn’t he have any remnant of the original coalition that brought him into Gracie Mansion?

As for Dolly Parton (pictured, of course)—who, incidentally, was born 75 years ago today in Locust Ridge, Tenn.—it’s only been in the last 20 years or so that I’ve come to appreciate her. But it really is rather hard not to love a woman who:

*can poke fun at herself with lines like, “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap”;

*stole the film 9 to 5 right from under the nose of veteran actresses Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin;

*not only made millions singing herself but made even more millions for others by writing songs covered by the likes of Whitney Houston, Olivia Newton-John, Merle Haggard, Skeeter Davis, and Tina Turner;

*boosted literacy among children by founding the Imagination Library; and,

*helped fund Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine through a $1 million donating this past spring.

Over the years, Dolly has given people plenty of reasons to smile. These are just a few of them. But even one is enough to lead us to wish her a very Happy Birthday.

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