Mrs. Sidney Sheldon’s Amazon Review of Robert Wagner’s “Pieces of my Heart”

* Very disappointment in you RJ
By A. Sheldon on April 18, 2010
“RJ,
Knowing you since 1981, I was so saddened and surprised and deeply hurt about all of the fiction in your book. The part that hurt the most is what you said about my husband Sidney Sheldon. I have a copy of his original script … ‘Double Twist’ and an original copy of the ‘Hart to Hart’ script. Basically, the changes in the script are the names of the characters and adding the delightful dog, Freeway. In Sidney‘s ‘Double Twist’, the story takes place at the Golden whatever spa … just as it does in Hart to Hart … the character of Sylvia is still the same. The man going over the cliff is the same. The car chase scene between ‘Jonathan’ and ‘Jennifer’ … only in ‘Twist’ their names are ‘Alex’ and ‘Penelope’. The character of Max is called Taylor in ‘Double Twist’. The story is almost identical. For you to say it was trash and say it was about two men living together with a bed coming down in the living room is outrageous and extremely hurtful not only to me … but to Sidney‘s daughter Mary, and his two granddaughters, Elizabeth and Rebecca. Sidney had the idea of the Thin Man series in Double Twist .. I have the original script, as I said, and will gladly print it for all to see alongside the original script of Hart to Hart for everyone to see how identical they are. I thought we were friends. You have been nearly lifelong friends with my brother in law, Roderick Mann and friends with my sister Anastasia for over 30 years. You were extremely wonderful to my daughter, Kimberly, who was in 26 Hart to Harts, before she was killed by a drunk driver. Natalie and I were childhood friends and she used to parade me around at the studio and say she was my sister, since we looked so much alike. I have always had so much respect as an actor for your craft and as a friend, but for you to so unfairly demean Sidney, a man who was your friend, and who did not write what you claimed he did, and for you to put it in the spin you did in your book … which you also have so many other partial truths … which I shant go into here, out of kindness to you, since they do not deal directly with me or my family. As stated, I am angry, hurt and ashamed of you. Sidney is not on this Earth anymore to defend himself against your untruths, but as his wife … I am … Shame on you RJ … you should retitle your book ‘Pieces of the Truth’ instead of ‘Pieces of my Heart’. You have deeply offended and hurt a number of Sidney‘s friends, family and fans that do know the truth in this matter.
Most sincerely,
Mrs. Sidney Sheldon”
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Welcome to Neom

In October of 2017 the planned transnational city and economic zone of Neom was announced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (the reformer who arrested his relatives and detained them in the Ritz Carlton Riyadh). The Crown Prince has appointed the former CEO of Siemens to run the $500 billion project. Operating independently of Saudi law, with “autonomous tax and labour laws”, Neom will be built south of the Sinai Peninsula near the borders with Egypt and Jordan. 

The promotional video for Neom features people working out mathematical solutions on a glass wall. Parachute boarders and scuba divers. Neomians turning cartwheels in the desert. Group tandem skydives. A man executing figure skating’s Ina Bauer move on the prow of a yacht. The website promises “Futuristic record-breaking theme parks. Endless natural parkland. The world’s largest garden in the heart of the metropolis. A waterpark with a wave machine where Olympians will perfect their technique.” The narration calls to mind Ja Rule’s ignominious Fyre Festival on the island ‘once owned by Pablo Escobar.’

‘You can look at these ancient hills and see nothing. Or, you can see nothing to hold you back. No set ways of thinking. No restrictions. No divisions. No excuses. Just endless potential.

This is the blank page that you need to write humanity’s next chapter. Neom. Over twenty five thousand square kilometers of inspiration. With room for your biggest ideas. A part of the world set aside for those who want to change the world. A land created to free people from stress.

A place where pioneers and thinkers and doers can exchange ideas and get things done. A startup the size of a country that will change the way we live and work forever. Healthier. Happier.

With more time for the things that really matter. A truly global culture, from every place and background you can image. That can show the rest of the planet how it’s done. With energy that flows from the sun and wind, neighborhoods that can feed and clean themselves.

Technologies that can make life everything it can be. This is where we can prepare together for the next era of human progress.

Some will look at these ancient hills and see nothing. But the rest of the world will know that this is where a new way of living began.”

Raisa Gorbachev’s Dream

Raisa Titarenko as an applicant to Moscow State University. 1949Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorvachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, married his wife Raisa Maximovna in 1953. “Raisa remembers to this day,” he wrote in his memoirs, “A dream that she had in those days.”

“She and I are at the bottom of a very deep, dark well, a ray of light glimmering somewhere high up. We are climbing the wall, helping each other. Our hands are cut and bleeding. The pain is unbearable. Raya falls but I catch her, and we resume our slow upward climb. Finally, completely exhausted, we drag ourselves out of this black hole, and a straight, smooth,k tree-lined alley opens before us. On the horizon we see an enormous bright sun, and the alley seems to flow into it, dissolving in its rays. We walk towards the sun. But suddenly, out of nowhere terrifying black shadows loom over us on both sides of the road. What is that? And we hear ‘enemies, enemies, foes’. Our hearts are filled with anguish… Holding hands, we continue walking on the road towards the horizong, towards the sun…”

Memoirs, Mikhail Gorbachev, Doubleday, 1995.

Lord Tonypandy Wears the Wrong Tie

George Thomas, Commons Speaker.png“It was in the 1950s that Lord Tonypandy first entered Parliament as George Thomas MP, a young and inexperienced member for South Wales. He began his career determined to make a good impression in a new suit and tie, and so he was horrified when, as he entered the House, the Tory benches burst into an uproar. A furious Conservative chief whip rose hurriedly, beckoned him into the centre of the chamber and, to a background of shouts and cries, whispered urgently, ‘Are you aware that you are wearing an Old Etonian tie?’

‘No,’ replied Thomas in all honesty, ‘I bought it in the Co-op in Tonypandy!’

The future Speaker of the House had not yet learned the language of the most eloquent item in a man’s wardrobe.”

A Gentleman’s Wardrobe: Classic Clothes and the Modern Man, Paul Keers, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1987.

 

Kingsley Amis sees “Beverly Hills Cop II”

Image resultIn 1985, Kingsley Amis was having difficulty finding a publisher for his novel Stanley and the Women “following pressure from those who judged it an outright incitement to misogyny.” “I was outraged” Christopher Hitchens told Martin Amis’ biographer Richard Bradford. “It was an extraordinary case of censorship and I was responsible for placing it with Summit.”

Christopher Hitchens: “Anyway, Kingsley phoned, thanked me and assured me that he owed me a night out when I was next in London. Well, he kept his word and it was a most bizarre evening, in keeping, I later learned, with what had become his routine. Drinks at Primrose Hill followed by more at the Garrick–predominantly whiskies–then a film before dinner. He insisted that we went to see Beverly Hills Cop II, perhaps one of the worst films ever made. Martin and I sat transfixed by its wretchedness but weirdly Kinglsey was rocking back and forth with laughter. During the meal he continued, remarking on how this scene or the other had worked so well and again shedding mirthful tears at the recollection. I was confused. Was he genuinely impressed, amused? That seemed preposterous. Or was he involved in some kind of extended act of self-caricature? Was he trying to provoke us?”

Richard Bradford, Martin Amis The Biography, Constable, 2011.

Donald Trump: You’re As Young As You Feel

“You know when I was young. Of course I feel young–I feel like I was 30…35…39… Somebody said, Are you young? I said, I think I’m young. I was stopping in the final months of the campaign, four stops, five stops, seven stops–speeches, speeches, in front of twenty-five, thirty thousand people… fifteen, nineteen thousand. I feel young– I think we’re all so young. When I was young we were always winning things in this country. We’d win with trade, we’d win with wars– at a certain age I remembered hearing from one of my instructors, the United States has never lost a war. And then, after that, it’s like we haven’t won anything. You know the old expression, to the victor belongs the spoils? You remember I always say, keep the oil. I wasn’t a fan of Iraq. I didn’t want to go into Iraq. But I will tell you, when we were in, we got out wrong. And I always said, in addition to that, keep the oil. ”

Donald Trump’s speech at the Central Intelligence Agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia, January 21, 2017.