- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 4, 2001

'Stifled' star

"Sexy 'Austin Powers' star Heather Graham has come out swinging against the Catholic Church ripping it as a group of close-minded men who believe a woman's sexuality is 'evil.'

" 'Organized religion, in my experience, has been destructive,' Graham, 30, tells the February issue of Talk magazine.

" 'Why do I have to do what all these men are saying? Why is a woman's sexuality supposed to be so evil?'

"She adds that the Catholic Church stifled and stigmatized her sexuality as she was growing up clouding her view of what relationships should be.

" 'I was afraid to put myself on the line. I would always try to go out with someone who liked me more than I liked them. That way if they hurt you, you say, "Oh, I was never really into them," ' Miss Graham says.

" 'I wanted someone to pursue me so that I didn't have to worry about getting rejected.' "

Bill Hoffman, writing on "Catholic Church Catches Holy Hell from Heather," in Tuesday's New York Post

Politics and science

"Fascinating piece in the Sunday Times of London… . It's a report of a lecture given by British science legend James Watson, the man who co-discovered DNA and received the Nobel Prize in 1962. Among his recent work is looking into the role of a protein called pom-C in promoting happiness.

"According to the Times, 'Pom-C is involved in the production of various hormones, including melanin, whose concentrations determine skin color; beta endorphins, which control mood swings; and leptin, involved in fat metabolism. [Watson] suggested that concentrations of these hormones might be increased by sunlight and described how men injected with melanin in an experiment had experienced surges in their libido. This, he said, implied that people exposed to the sun would experience surges in melanin levels, boosting sex drive.'

"His memorable line summarizing this insight: 'That's why you have Latin lovers. You've never heard of an English lover. Only an English patient.'

"Of course, Watson made the mistake of giving the lecture at Berkeley, where science is required to comport with politics. Such politics must deny the existence of any biological differences between groups of people for fear of giving aid to oppressive white males (even though such research tends to show how white males are not the most genetically blessed creatures on the planet). So Watson was greeted by a walkout and demands that he never appear at Berkeley again."

Andrew Sullivan, writing on "The Sex Protein," Monday at www.andrewsullivan.com

'That's all, folks!'

"The reason I'm going to miss Bill Clinton is that watching him these past eight years has given me the same unbridled, childlike joy as watching a cartoon. Clinton was our first cartoon president. He ran off cliffs, was crushed by anvils or flattened by turn-of-the-century trains. Yet moments later, we always saw him, just like Wile E. Coyote or Daffy Duck, completely reassembled and eagerly pursuing his next crazy scheme.

"Essentially people love cartoon characters because they cannot be hurt. They defy the rules of Greek tragedy. Clinton, unlike Richard Nixon or Lyndon Johnson, was not undone by his flaws. Whenever the smoke cleared, Clinton remained standing, covered in soot and looking at us slightly chagrined. But before we could pity him, the music was back on, and he was confidently strutting across the New Mexican landscape… ."

"And now the show is over. The stuttering pig is telling us there is no more."

Conan O'Brien, writing on "What I'll Miss About Bill Clinton," in the Jan. 8 issue of Time

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