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Choosing sides in 3 public feuds

It's an old cliche that the hottest circle in Dante's "Inferno" is saved for those who remained neutral in time of crisis.

So neutrality no more. I'm going to take sides. Feel free to join me.

I may not always know what I'm talking about, but you have to admit I sure know how to pick a side, even if the subject doesn't even really lend itself to taking sides.

This is the modern world, after all, where there are ONLY sides to take on talk radio and cable-TV (where, if you interview one guy who recommends spaying and neutering pets, you also have to have a guy on who believes that sexual freedom for cats and dogs is a First Amendment issue, so he'll be happy to tell you all about it).

These are times of crisis, and I'm going to take a side. Here are the combatants and where I stand:

Dina Lohan vs. Jay Leno: Lohan's daughter was supposed to appear on Leno's show to promote her wretched new horror movie, but she got waylaid by some difficulties you've probably heard of by now. So Leno turned it into a comedy routine with an outrageous fake Lindsay and lots of jokes. Dina Lohan thinks that sends a terrible message.

I'm with Dina Lohan, even though only the mother of a 21-year-old publicity catastrophe still thinks her daughter is sending anyone messages, but she's right about insensitivity. The young woman is now, officially, unfunny. There are only two foreseeable roads ahead at this point: jail or a grotesque Anna Nicole Smith death. It really isn't funny to watch a beautiful young actress tormented by paparazzi while she does everything possible not to make it to 30.

Jon Lovitz vs. Andy Dick: If you believe the New York Post, Lovitz slammed Dick's head against a bar in anger because years before it was Dick who offered Phil Hartman's then-clean wife Brynn cocaine and got her re-started on the downward chemical spiral that eventually wound up with her murdering Hartman and herself.

If ever a bar brawl could be justified, it's this one. There may in fact be states in our union (Alaska? Texas?) where it is a crime NOT to slam someone's head into a bar for that reason.

I'm with Lovitz here all the way. He's a lot funnier than Andy Dick, too.

Bruce Willis vs. film director Michael Bay: Willis -- who's performing with his rock band this evening in Niagara Falls, Ont. -- has said he'll never work with director Michael Bay again after "Armageddon." Says Willis: "A screaming director does not make a pleasant set experience."

This isn't as clear-cut as Lovitz vs. Dick. If Bay's films were better, I would think a movie star would put up with a little directorial temperament every own and then (though it's said that George Clooney and David O. Russell came to blows on the set of "Three Kings"). But Bay's movies so often reek so noxiously ot state-of-the-art dumbing down in American movies (see aforementioned "Armageddon" and his perfect travesty "Pearl Harbor") that he'd be a good director for an actor as canny as Willis to avoid under any circumstances, even if he were such an on-set pussycat that he tied actor's shoelaces when they came undone.

Not only that, Bay always claimed that he was director John Frankenheimer's son, even though Frankenheimer -- the director of a few masterpieces, including "The Manchurian Candidate" -- refused to talk about it. That also means that Michael Bay will never find me by his side, either. I'm going with Bruce (whose movie "Live Free or Die Hard" is twice as much fun as Bay's bigger, louder "Transformers").

By the way, Bruce Willis, too, is funnier than Andy Dick.


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