Thursday, August 24, 2017

O J Simpson

In 1996 a paperback version of my book was published in the United Kingdom with the title The Secret History of Alcoholism. This re-publication of my 1992 book gave me the opportunity to update some of the chapters, to include other famous people who I had reason to suspect were alcoholics. One person I added was O J Simpson,the American football player who was found "not guilty" of murdering his ex-wife and her friend in a famous trial. I included (in Chapter Eight, Alcoholism Kills) the following, with emphasis now added:

Years later, another husband (and possible alcoholic) stood accused of murder.  Over many months of 1994 and 1995 O.J. Simpson was tried for the brutal knife-slaying of  Nicole Simpson, his  former wife and Ronald Goldman, a young male acquaintance.  Admitted to evidence during the lengthy trial was a note Simpson had written in 1989 to his then wife, in which he apologized for punching her: "... I'm not going to blame being drunk thats [sic] no excuse.  (But I have decided to stop drinking and will go to  A.A.)"  While  testifying, Denise Brown, Nicole's sister, was asked if Simpson had a drinking problem.  Because of Simpson's lawyers' objections, Denise (a recovering alcoholic) was not allowed to respond.  O.J. Simpson was acquitted, but opinion polls showed that most Americans were convinced that  this charming, dapper, over-achieving ex-football star was indeed the killer.
Although he was acquitted in the murder trial, O J Simpson was convicted for another crime and sentenced to prison. In October 2017 he will be released on parole.



Saturday, February 18, 2017

Karl Marx

I writing my book I considered the possibility that Karl Marx ought to be included but felt there was insufficient evidence.

If I were writing it today I'd include him.
 
Some excerpts from this article.

The money that his father sent to him for tuition at the University was spent on food and drink, with many of his nights spent at coffee houses and taverns getting drunk and arguing about Hegelian philosophy with other students.
 Other telling behavior:
  
Marx’s Mean and Mendacious Manner
In temperament, Marx could be cruel and authoritarian. He treated people with whom he disagreed in a crude and mean way, often ridiculing them in public gatherings. Marx had no hesitation about being a hypocrite; when he wanted something from someone he would flatter them in letters or conversation, but then attack them in nasty language behind their backs to others. He often used racial slurs and insulting words to describe the mannerisms or appearance of his opponents in the socialist movement.   

For instance, in an 1862 letter to Frederick Engels, Marx described leading nineteenth-century German socialist, Ferdinand Lassalle, in the following way:
The Jewish Nigger Lassalle ... fortunately departs at the end of this week ... It is now absolutely clear to me that, as both the shape of his head and his hair texture shows – he descends from the Negros who joined Moses’ flight from Egypt (unless his mother or grandmother on the paternal side hybridized with a nigger). Now this combination of Germanness and Jewishness with a primarily Negro substance creates a strange product. The pushiness of the fellow is also nigger-like.

I recommend reading the entire article.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Mary Tyler Moore, R.I.P.

"Her father, George Tyler Moore, a clerk, and her mother, the former Margery Hackett, were both alcoholics... "

"In the 1980s, Ms. Moore admitted to having a drinking problem. It had started, she said, when she was starring in “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and had finally reached untenable levels. (In 2000, Mr. Van Dyke told Larry King that he was also an alcoholic and that he had also started drinking heavily while working on the show.) Ms. Moore entered the Betty Ford Center for treatment in 1984."
                                                                                                            
            
LINK to The New York Times obituary
 

John Hurt, R.I.P.

From Hollywood bad boy to national treasure: The notorious hell-raiser who drank up to seven bottles of wine a NIGHT

  • Sir John once boasted he drank seven bottles of wine a night during wilder days
  • He gave up alcohol in later years and became one of world's most beloved actors
 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon was warned to cut back on his boozing by NBC chiefs following a series of bizarre late-night accidents, according to multiple insiders.
An NBC insider said of the funnyman, “There were fears that Fallon was out of control and something could happen while he’s out drinking. Things got so serious at one stage that execs feared that Jimmy was splitting up with his wife over his drinking, but they patched things up.”

The beloved “Tonight Show” host’s recent allegedly alcohol-aided antics include tripping on a rug at home and nearly severing his ring finger on a table in June 2015.

Then he chipped his tooth “trying to open medicine for his injured finger” a few months later. In October 2015 he cut his hand on a bottle of J├Ągermeister. In September of this year a “very drunk” Fallon was seen alone at an NYC punk bar at 3 a.m, which sparked more NBC concerns.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

N.S.A. Appears to Have Missed ‘Big Red Flags’ in Suspect’s Behavior

WASHINGTON — Year after year, both in his messy personal life and his brazen theft of classified documents from the National Security Agency, Harold T. Martin III put to the test the government’s costly system for protecting secrets.

And year after year, the system failed.

Mr. Martin got and kept a top-secret security clearance despite a record that included drinking problems, a drunken-driving arrest, two divorces, unpaid tax bills, a charge of computer harassment and a bizarre episode in which he posed as a police officer in a traffic dispute. Under clearance rules, such events should have triggered closer scrutiny by the security agencies where he worked as a contractor.

From The New York Times.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Warren Hinckle

Peter Collier on the passing of Warren Hinckle:


When I joined Ramparts in 1966, Hinckle was already well on his way at age twenty-seven to becoming a living legend. While most of the staff came to work in street-fighter chic, he had his own homemade version of bella figura, showing up most days in a tie and three-piece suit, although sometimes changing pace with patent leather dancing pumps and a maroon velvet jacket. Jowly and plump and conveying an impression of fluid retention, he was an imperious alcoholic and only those who didn’t realize how Irish he was regarded it as paradoxical that he should become more fluent and inventive the more he drank, and that he never—even after several hours at Cookie Pacetti’s, the working-class watering hole where he went to escape intellectuals and politicos—appeared drunk.