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  • Scott Carter Cooper

Liza, Gaga, and Will. Oh, my.


Years ago, I saw Liza Minelli perform live. She’s never had the best voice, but she delivered in spades. The second half of the show was Liza on a stool, and she was riveting. There is simply no substitute for talent.


I didn’t watch the live broadcast of the 2022 Oscars. But what a woke up to this morning was shocking. We teach toddlers that hitting people is never the answer. Sometimes those lessons don't take.


I think we watched a career peak and die in an instant last night. I thought of Mel Gibson and Johnny Depp, whose alleged beastly behavior has never been fully witnessed by the public. We've only heard recordings and seen court filings. Both of those men were box-office titans, and it all evaporated in an instant. I believe Will Smith is history. Should he be? That’s another discussion. But however else this plays out, there’s no denying that his behavior was a colossal waste. The narrative of a Black man rising from a sitcom to the top of the industry is destroyed. I can't believe no matter how hurt Jada Pinkett Smith might have been, she wanted that. I believe Will Smith loves his wife. I believe she knows it. I can't believe she needed that.


And then there was Lady Gaga. I thought her Oscar was stolen from her for A Star is Born. Again, that’s another discussion. Apart from that film, I’ve never been a big Gaga fan. Not that I have anything against her; her work isn’t necessarily for me. I’m from a different time.

But the moment we should all be talking about is the moment she shared with Liza Minelli. I’m dealing with a parent in the middle stages of dementia. I recognized the signs with Liza. Gaga’s empathy and tenderness stole my heart. Covid, dementia, and two years of nearly complete isolation do things to you, and I find myself getting emotional over small things.


“I gotcha.”


“I know.”


I sobbed.


That’s how you demonstrate love and support, Mr. Smith. That’s how.

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