Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Barney Blogs from Panama

It has been a busy week. Very little time to reflect on all that has happened in light of my all but immediate departure for Panama. Yes, that is right, Panama… as in Canal. There is no truth to the rumor that I am going there to buy a hat... although I just may buy a hat. (Did you know that the hat we all refer to as the “Panama Hat” is, in reality, made in Ecuador? But I digress.) There is also no truth that I am going to look for sanctuary in the event of a John McCain victory. It is true I cringe at the thought of another four years of Bush policy wonks, but I am not crazy. I am going to Panama for research. I want to find a sanctuary much like the one I have on Fisher Island in Florida, but that is more affordable. My health is such that I feel I must make some contingent plan for a much longer life than I heretofore ever anticipated. I will report my findings.

What has this to do with the busy-ness (almost spelled that business… think about that) of the week? True, there has been packing, checking weather forecasts, explaining myself to incredulous family members, and dodging all the USC haters who were just too happy after Oregon State revealed my team to be all too human, but—the fact is—much of the time was taken up with the resultant hubbub over my last blog. The response that so many of you had, and the subsequent calls by the LA Times and their production of an article about our fans and their loyalty to this show called Cagney & Lacey, was… well, gratifying.

I wish I had been more articulate with the Times reporter who called me for some comment on the whole thing. I am out of practice. No one interviews me very much any more and so I fear I was not as succinct as I might have been. Keeper of the flame is one thing, but I don’t want to be any crazier in that assignment than I am about anything else. Still, I have my standards: if someone wishes to write an article about Thelma and Louise and say that it was the best partnership of two women… ever…. in the history of Hollywood films or television, I would swallow hard , but I think that would be it. I mean, I would disagree, but… hey… to each her own, right? Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and taste (after all) is a subjective thing.

You only get into trouble with me when you say something like Thelma and Louise was the first female buddy film or that it was ground breaking (meaning first). That is where I get protective and territorial. I see that as revisionist history and that is what boiled my oil when I read Lynn Smith’s piece in the LA Times. I hated that she lumped my show in with Police Woman, but (again) there is no accounting for taste. What I got all pissy about was the “groundbreaking” thing vis-à-vis Prime Suspect and Cagney & Lacey.

I confess to being a bit rough on Ms Smith, and have written her a note of apology for going over the top with my reaction, but before and beyond that there is some good news: Ms Smith wrote about my initial reaction… and yours. The LA Times saw fit to publish it and I learned something in the Smith article about another instance of fan outrage over a similar some-time-ago “dissing” of Cagney & Lacey… in Daily Variety, no less! Fans took on the flame-keeping mantle without my cheerleading them on and I didn’t know about this until I read it in Lynn Smith’s article. So thank you… and thanks to Ms Smith for making me aware of that and something else: this Web thing has value. I am not always as clear about that as I might be. I guess it is a generational thing, but the Internet has not yet really fallen within my comfort zone. I like it better now.

Adios from Panama y muchas gracias a todo. Hasta luego. I’ll be back ’atcha in a matter of weeks.

Barney Rosenzweig
October 7, 2008


Mimi said...

Barney, you always crack me up, lol. Love the way you write things. Enjoy Panama!

Kristy said...


Glad you're blogging so frequently these days! You know we love hearing from you. Can you give your wife and her former partner a little nudge to do the same? I've been wondering what's up with "Round-Heeled Woman".

The whole LA Times thing was interesting to say the least. While taste my be subjective, good taste is easy to recognize (at least that's what Lauren Bacall always said in her Fancy Feast voice-overs). Uninformed journalism is easy to recognize, as well. There's so much of it these days...

I'll have to tell my Dad about the Ecuadoran Hat - he'll get a kick out of that. He loved the cruise he took to Panama a few years back and did, indeed,come back with a hat. And a sunburn - so lather up... :)


P.S. Please never refer to yourself and a "dust-bin" in the same breath ever again! How did she ever manage to pick that one sentence to use as the quote from you???

Rach said...

Hi Barney,

Thanks for the updates we appreciate them. Have fun in Panama (with or without the new hat from Ecuador*g*)

Rachel B

Unknown said...

Hope your trip goes well...hey, on the next release of Cagney and Lacey DVD's, can you include outtakes? I bet there is some funny stuff there, huh?