I hate it when I have to eat my own words; it's so damn humbling. A lesson's a lesson, though, and it only makes you seem juvenile when you can't admit you've made a terrible error in judgment. I've had my share recently, and I'll fess up and hope for some hint of redemption. For years I've called Patricia perhaps the slowest-witted of the inimitable Arquette clan, and now she's an Emmy-winning performer—I just never thought she'd have the savvy to match that sleepwalking acting technique of hers with the role of a woman haunted by dreamlike psychic visions. And many more of us cynical media types have to head home with our tails between our legs now that the heated, near-bestial rutting that's plainly been going on between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes has resulted in some kind of embryo. Tom is top gun, alright. No doubt about it. What fools we've all been.

Worse for me, though, is the grand apology I owe to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Big boys don't cry, I know, but I was pretty rough on the old galoot. I took the Aryan Austrian to task a few weeks back for his vow to veto a bill that would have made California the first state to recognize (through its elected officials) the right of gay men and women to marry. The Terminator cared nothing for bravery, I carelessly suggested, and years from now he would know that he had missed his one chance to be remembered in history as a man who stood for what was honorable and just.

Boy, do I feel like a schmuck now. It turns out that when Ahnuld says, "I'll be back," he means it. Still reeling from his rejection of the marriage measure, I was not prepared for the palooka to turn right around and sign into law a bill of lasting importance to every sunny citizen of that Golden State. Nelson Mandela—whose emancipation, as you may recall, was cited by Gov. Schwarzenegger at the Republican National Convention as proof of the party's greatness—must be bursting with even further gratitude toward the GOP after the news that, thanks to the gov's commitment to human rights, celebrities in California can now win triple the usual damages from paparazzi who assault them. Did you hear that up there, Rev. Dr. King? I'll say it again: As of Jan. 1, 2006, pushy photographers are going to find their bank accounts bending over and begging for mercy if even one hair is aggressively mussed on Tara Reid's head.

Arnold, my glass is raised to you. You are a true American. You put me in my place, you big lug; now I know your power and influence are not going to be wasted on the selfish little stuff. Here I was, thoughtlessly typing away in the hopes that two silly queers could make sure their family and property would have legal protection, and there you were—altruistically worrying about Lindsay Lohan's next fender bender. Sign away, Schwarzie! John Hancock is smiling somewhere, assuming the reception for E! is as good as I hope it is in that great government in the sky.

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