I wanted to be stern and disapproving about Christian Bale, really I did.
He's been bothering me for some time with that odd transatlantic accent, and I also found him mediocre in The Dark Knight. So it's fair to describe him as being on my list.
Yet the more I click on to the TMZ website and listen to Bale's preposterous, expletive-laden rant on the Terminator set a few months back, the more I feel a vague swell of patriotic pride.
This is not, I must hasten to add, because I think that Bale's threat to "kick the fucking ass" of a hapless lackey who distracted him can be forgiven because of his artistic temperament. Being an actor clearly shouldn't give a grown man the right to behave like a playground bully.
Neither am I trying to condone workplace violence, which in the US – where employment rights have been attacked to the point of disrepair by eight years of Bush right-wingery – is a serious and pressing problem.
But here in Los Angeles, we so rarely get to see a good, old fashioned bollocking – the sort trademarked by John Cleese in Fawlty Towers – that watching Bale's four-minute rant provided a warm reminder of home.
This is a city where life has been shorn of interpersonal conflict. Everything is "have a nice day" and "suuuure!" Unless you're behind the wheel of a car (which, let's face it, no longer makes things interpersonal), or watch the fictional Ari Gold in Entourage, you can go weeks without encountering a decent display of anger.
Unlike in New York (where people wake up cross and get progressively crosser) Angelenos are supposed to pretend everything's always bright and shiny. And it can get awfully sterile. So Bale's hissy fit was a welcome reminder that people are still human, and that the glorious stinking metropolis of Joel Schumacher's Falling Down is alive and well.
The Beverly Hills Hotel emails its Oscars season menu which, in a feat of appropriately high camp, contains special dishes inspired by nominated films. To wit: "Button" mushroom soup, "Slum" hot dog of Indian lamb, "Milk" poached sablefish, German soup with "Alphabet" noodles and "Corrrupt" cream cheesecake with a black and white "Frost".
Don't spoil your nails, dear
A friend recently sat next to Victoria Beckham at The Paint Shop, an expensive nail salon in Beverly Hills. "She was having a manicure," I'm told. "It took an extremely long time, because she kept using her BlackBerry. Other celebrities get bodyguards to type for them." Two years, and she still hasn't mastered local etiquette.