Guiltiest Pleasures

99972819 Guiltiest Pleasures

Evelyn Lauder.

The sad passing of Evelyn Lauder this week has us wearing our pink ribbons proudly (and also buying up half of Estée Lauder’s cosmetic counter at Bloomingdale’s). The cancer survivor, advocate and entrepreneur was one hell of a lady. You’d have to be to have Estée Lauder as a mother-in-law (we imagine her as the perfume magnate version of Anna Wintour’s surrogate in The Devil Wears Prada). But even a real Mommy Dearest couldn’t hold a candle this week to Patti Labelle. Page Six painted the Lady Marmalade crooner as a terror-inducing psychopath, who scared her 18-month-old so badly that young Genevieve Monk suffered “personality changes.” While we don’t doubt the righteous ire of Ms. Labelle, we also wonder how anyone can tell when a toddler has a mood shift. Does that involve more crying and rending of garments, or less?

Speaking of scary mommies, Piper Laurie—well-known for, among other things, playing the religious lunatic who pushed Sissy Spacek’s wide-eyed Carrie into murdering her entire high school with her mind—has a new memoir out. It’s called Learning to Live Out Loud, which in Ms. Laurie’s case means dishing about losing her virginity to Ronald Reagan at 18. Even creepier, it was on the set of Louisa, where the  future president played the role of her daddy. (We’re just going to go thumb through our tattered copy of Freud … )

Of course, kids today don’t have to pull a Carrie at the prom to sufficiently alienate their parents and the rest of society; they can simply snag a spot on one of our million reality TV shows. (That said, it’d probably make for better viewing if a Snooki or Kendra Wilkinson-type developed telekinesis—think of the ratings!) And for the aspiring dead-eyed starlets and socialites among you, American Media Inc. is developing a brand new magazine catering to your fantasies of sub-prime time stardom. Reality Weekly will feature a dating column from Victoria Gotti—which we assume will tackle everyday relationship dilemmas (i.e., What to Do When Your Father Puts a Hit Out on Your Boyfriend)—as well as tips and cheat sheets for devotees of America’s guiltiest pleasure.

Which is only a bit guiltier than our other great American guilty pleasure: developing wishy washy conspiracy theories and floating them to see who’ll bite. Which is what The New York Times’s Nicholas Kristof did Tuesday when he theorized that Mayor Michael Bloomberg was secretly pro Occupy Wall Street. After all, Mr. Kristof argued, why else would he raid Zuccotti Park in the middle of the night unless he wanted more public sympathy and attention drawn to the OWS movement? We’re pretty sure he had a cheek full of tongue at the time, but one thing’s for certain: if Rudy Giuliani were still mayor, he would have been at the park on day one with the batons out, ready to bend some protesters over his knee for a personal spanking. Next to his predecessor, Mayor Bloomberg’s reticent behavior toward the seemingly unending Occupation is more June Cleaver than Father Knows Best.

But if your eyes glaze over and you start feeling feverish every time you read about protests (which may be a sign you’re getting Zuccotti Lung, the super-flu going around the tent city, so please see your doctor), the antidote could be found Friday night at Avenue in the meatpacking district, when Leonardo DiCaprio’s 37th birthday bash raised $1.3 million for his disaster relief and wildlife preservation charities. (As Estée Lauder once said, “If I believe in something I sell it, and sell it hard.”) Robert De Niro, Naomi Campbell, Bradley Cooper and Edward Norton celebrated with the J. Edgar actor, and an auctioned 15-liter bottle of Veuve Clicquot painted by artist Peter Tunney went for $50,000. We can’t help but think it would have been a little more exciting with a few Patti Labelle-inflicted “personality changes” or Carrie-at-the-prom moments—but then we’ve probably been watching too much reality TV.