"Death in Gaza" (9:30 p.m., HBO) profiles the tragic lives of the children living in Rafah, a town on the southern tip of the Gaza strip. Salon critic Heather Havrilesky says "the images of the film will stay with you forever." Or, if you want something a little lighter, watch to see who the viewing audience picked to be "The Last Comic Standing" (9 p.m., NBC).
Amber and Scott: During Amber Frey's second day of testimony at Scott Peterson's murder trial, the courtroom was treated to more taped messages between Frey and Peterson, who pretended that he was hopscotching through Europe when he was really in Modesto, Calif., as police and family members still searched for his missing wife, Laci. No matter what else happens in the case, the tapes seem to give prosecutors irrefutable evidence of the one thing that observers had long suspected of both Peterson and Frey ever since their vacant expressions and slack jaws first dominated magazines and "Larry King Live" more than a year ago: They're dumb. Really, seriously, not smart. And he also is sure guilty of being creepy; in one taped conversation, Peterson waxes poetic about Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining." The exchange, according to the Post, was:
"That's a scary movie," exclaimed Frey.
"But it's the best movie ever made," Peterson insisted.
"The whole redrum [murder spelled backwards] and the bathtub that's scary," said Frey.
"Ooh, the two twins freak me out, baby," Peterson oozed.
He later noted that he also liked the movie "Meet Joe Black," in which Brad Pitt plays Death.
"Oh, yeah, I really like that one," Peterson said, mistakenly referring to the film as "Meet Jack Black."
Peterson also recommends the 1994 remake of "Love Affair," because it stars his "hero," Warren Beatty. Then, he asks Frey what she thinks the best movie of all time is:
Frey: Oh, I don't know how to answer that honestly.
Peterson: OK. How about if I give you a genre?
Frey: What? What are you saying, gen. . . I still don't know what you're saying.
Peterson: Genre. G-e-n-r-e.
Frey: Gen. . .
Peterson: It's a type of movie. Genre.
Frey: OK, I never heard that before.
In at least two of the phone conversations, when Peterson claimed to be in Paris, he was annoyed by a dog's constant barking -- believed to be Laci's black Labrador, barking in the backyard of Peterson's Modesto home. (The New York Post's melodramatic take: "WIFE'S DOG HAUNTED SCOTT.") At one point, Peterson says of the dog, "oh, I want to kill it." Later, he tells Frey that he's next traveling from Paris to Madrid ("I'll be saying 'hola' a lot more instead of 'bonjour.'") and at another point, he claims to be traveling to Brussels, which prompts Frey to ask: Is that in Europe? Later, now nearly two weeks after Peterson's wife had disappeared, he reads Frey a Boris Pasternak poem:
"'Beneath the willow wound round with ivy we take cover from the worst of the storm, with a greatcoat round our shoulders and my hands around your waist.
"' You intoxicate me! Let's spread the greatcoat on the ground.'"
Frey: "What are you talking about?"
Peterson: "I was thinking of you sexually."
Frey: "So you've been thinking a lot about me?"
Peterson: "Yeah, that's all I did today. And I'm sorry, I, I just, I just started rambling and there's a tear in my eye, and it's trickling."
(Masochists can go to the Modesto Bee and scan the tape transcripts here.)
Washington Post comes clean: Salon's War Room dissects the Washington Post's mea culpa on its pre-war Iraq coverage. (War Room '04)
Screwed: Al Goldstein, the "self-styled Robespierre of raunch, former publisher of Screw magazine," is now homeless since his publishing company and cable show, "Midnight Blue," went into bankruptcy last year. "Mr. Goldstein's probation papers officially list him as homeless, and he says he spent much of the last month sleeping in a borrowed car behind a Boston Market restaurant in Pompano Beach and at a shelter for the homeless in Fort Lauderdale," reports the New York Times. "Anyone who wishes ill on me should feel vindicated because my life has turned into a total horror," he said (New York Times)
Definitely Dick: (New York Post) Andy Dick, erstwhile comic and star of MTV's "The Assistant," went on "a randy rampage" at the New York bar Suede "that ended after he burst into tears over the death of his friend Rick James and was thrown out of the Chelsea club by 'Little Shop of Horrors' star [and former *NSYNCer] Joey Fatone." Dick allegedly repeatedly yelled "My best friend is dead! He's gone! He's dead! You don't understand! All my best friends die!" Dick also allegedly: "handed a dishwasher a stack of $100 bills so he could 'live in the room,'" and "taunted [Fatone] as 'Fat One'" and tried to buss former "Buffy" and "Austin Powers" star Seth Green, who muttered "That guy tried to kiss me," as Dick was being hauled out. "But Dick's rowdy romp wasn't over yet," as he apparently went into Plan B, "and promptly commenced smooching and slapping the people inside." "He was obviously obliterated," Plan B co-owner Josh Boyd told The Post. "He jumped on the back of Jason Battle, my co-owner, and kept trying to kiss him. Then he started getting violent and bitch-slapping people. We finally quarantined him and put him in a separate room. But then he slipped outside and skipped out on his $300 bar tab." For an earlier, unsettling interview Salon had with Dick, click here. (New York Post)
Bye, bye, bye!: Justin Timberlake has allegedly told his four other former *NSYNC mates that he's not interested in reuniting for the band's next record. (New York Daily News)
Bye, bye, bye!: Scholars question whether a planned 2005 blockbuster, "Kingdom of Heaven," by director Ridley Scott and starring Orlando Bloom, is a wise move, since it dramatizes the Crusades, and the bloody fight between Christians and Muslims in the 12th Century. After the New York Times showed a copy of the script to a number of academics, the reaction was mixed. But Khaled Abu el-Fadl, a professor at the UCLA, said: "I believe this movie teaches people to hate Muslims. There is a stereotype of the Muslim as constantly stupid, retarded, backward, unable to think in complex forms. It's really annoying at an intellectual level and it really misrepresents history on many levels." (New York Times)
-- Kerry Lauerman