Murder, he wrote

In Page 6 today, there’s an item about the believability of Tom Cruise’s heroic exploits:

The wacky superstar and fiancée Katie Holmes were widely reported to have pulled over when they saw an accident on L.A.’s 101 freeway last Saturday, and waited with motorist Jon Henningsen and his wife until police arrived at the scene.

But that was hardly the first time that Cruise has supposedly come to the rescue of some lucky civilian. According to various press reports over the years:

* In 2003, while filming “The Last Samurai” in New Zealand, Cruise supposedly helped a local family change a flat tire on a country road and assisted a young girl in catching her runaway horse. He also donated $3,800 to a local school that needed a “sun shelter.”

* In 1998, Cruise rushed to the defense of a woman being mugged on a London street and stopped thieves from making off with more than $150,000 in jewelry.

* In 1996, he summoned an ambulance to help an aspiring actress who was the victim of a hit-and-run, then paid her $7,000 emergency room bill.

* While he and then-wife Nicole Kidman were vacationing on a 210-foot yacht in Capri in 1993, they were reported to have come to the aid of a family whose yacht had caught on fire. Cruise and Kidman allegedly rescued the family from their life raft and took them aboard their luxury yacht until help arrived.

* That same year, Cruise was said to have pulled two young boys to safety after they were almost crushed in a mob of out-of-control fans at the London premiere of “Mission: Impossible.”

The item (I’d link to it, but the page’ll be dead within a week) casts doubt on whether all this stuff actually happened. Cruise’s new publicist comments, “I don’t know about the rest of them, but the one on Saturday night actually happened. The others happened before I represented him.”

Now, I subscribe to the Howard Stern school of How To Tell When a Celebrity Has Gone Batshit. Namely, if the celebrity claims he has super-powers, he’s nuts. Think you can heal sick children by making a publicity-visit? You’re losing touch with reality.

But what if all this stuff with Cruise did happen? It doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s particularly heroic, nor a magnet for trouble. It could mean that he’s deliberately been causing these incidents just so he can step in to protect people and seem heroic!

I’d liken it to Angel Heart or Fight Club or something, but it reminds me more of the finale of Murder, She Wrote, when the viewer discovers that it’s been Angela Lansbury committing all those murders over the years, and framing a different person each week!


According to this NYTimes article, my coffee habit may reduce my risk of getting type 2 diabetes, cirrhosis, liver cancer and, if I were a chick, cardiovascular disease. Hooray, coffee!

I like that one of the reviewers of the article is named Rob Van Dam.

Team Galactico

Here’s a neat article on the finances of Real Madrid ‘football club’, the biggest sports brand in the world. The team is actually a non-profit organization, with 70,000 “club members” and a team president who gets elected by them every four years. It’s a neat take on how to build a brand with global reach, without the deep pockets of a single owner, a la the Yankees.

Making the official VM wife happy, the article is accompanied by a slide show with a nice pic of Beckham. Grr.