- The Washington Times - Monday, October 9, 2000

Al and 'Angel'

"Tuesday was an evening of biology as destiny, genetically groomed specimens caught up in a battle over prescription drugs, the gulf between rich and poor, and apocalyptic pronouncements about the fate of the post-millennial world.

"That was the TV show you wanted to watch, over on Fox. 'Dark Angel' had everything the presidential debates did not. Snappy dialogue. Captivating style. Gripping fight scenes. A compelling star, 19-year-old Jessica Alba, as Max, the bicycle messenger in a 'Blade Runner' world who has black-leather attitude and a bar code stamped on her neck denoting her souped-up DNA… .

"She's not a Reformer With Results. She's a Reformer With Lips. And unlike Al Gore, she knows how to apply makeup so that she doesn't look like a big, orange, waxy, wickless candle."

Maureen Dowd, writing on "Dead Heat Humanoids," in Thursday's New York Times

Southern Catholics

"A growing number of Catholics are attending college in the overwhelmingly Protestant South. The shift is changing the culture of many campuses, particularly Baptist colleges that are dealing with large numbers of Catholics for the first time… . Many Catholic students, particularly those new to the Bible Belt, complain that some of their evangelical Protestant classmates want to 'save' them. Others are besieged by questions about their faith: Why do you say the rosary? Why do you baptize babies? …

"At the same time, religion is openly talked about in this part of the country a welcome change for some devout northern Catholics who feel their piety was viewed skeptically by friends back home. Less-devout Catholics have found that being part of a scrutinized minority has actually deepened their faith by forcing them to figure out what they truly believe… .

"Christen Wetherbee, a junior at the University of Georgia, moved from Illinois to Georgia when she was 11. She was stunned to discover that some junior-high classmates thought Catholicism was just like Buddhism. Since then, she's been determined to learn more about her religion. 'People have questions,' she says, 'and I feel like I have to be ready.' "

Beth McMurtrie, writing on "A Catholic Revival at Southern Colleges," in the Oct. 6 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education

Conservative stars

"Star power is a power of tremendous magnitude. It's little wonder that Hollywood is so heavily courted by aspiring politicians from both sides of the fence, but especially the left, the direction the Hollywood fence increasingly slants these days.

"It wasn't always so. Back when, actors like Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, and Jimmy Stewart were politically conservative, and a liberal like Humphrey Bogart was the exception, not the norm. The work of actors like John Wayne was steeped in the old-fashioned brand of American conservatism. But as the cultural war took its toll over the years, things changed.

"Today, it doesn't take two hands to tally the number of Hollywood luminaries willing to reveal their presence in the conservative corner. The most famous, of course, was Ronald Reagan… . It's a revealing miscarriage that so few in our Hollywood community today acknowledge that it was one of their own who was responsible for ending the Cold War. Without Reagan's leadership the Soviet threat might still be real… .

"You don't see many Hollywood luminaries writing books or speaking out for conservative causes these days… . The rising young conservative filmmakers in Hollywood are understandably careful about what they say, and to whom. Their livelihood may be at stake. I have often said there are more conservatives than homosexuals in Hollywood's closets."

Charlton Heston, from his new book, "The Courage to Be Free"

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