- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 17, 2001

Older and skinny
"People come up to me and say, 'Youre 41 years old? Oh, wow. Thats amazing. Well, dont give me that. Im two years older than Tom Cruise. Im three years older than Brad Pitt. Nobody comes up to them and says, 'Wow, I cant believe youre still doing this. Because theyre in their prime as performers, as artists. And thats the way I feel. Im in my prime. Sure, Im getting older and sometimes feel vulnerable. But frankly, I feel, as a public figure, vulnerability is not a bad thing to offer your public… .
"You wouldnt know it to look at me now, but when I was young, I used to have to shop in the husky-boys shop at Sears. I weigh 135 pounds now, but thats what I weighed in fifth grade… . I just stopped producing fat cells. I had a girlfriend at the time, but she grew to excess while I carried on, down the river of small. By the time I got to Athens, to go to the University of Georgia, I knew I was skinny enough to be a pop star. I met Peter Buck at a record store and said, 'Hey, lets start a rock band. It was just something I knew I should do, because it was something I already was."
—R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe, interviewed by Tom Junod in the June issue of Esquire

Theological women

"One of the strongest deterrents to women pursuing theology is the belief that theology is for men. Rarely does anyone come right out and say it. It comes across in more subtle ways — in hints that the woman who pursues theology has crossed the line, that women are 'not responsible for such concerns, and even in the suggestion that women may not be equal to the challenge.
"Women hear it all the time. I heard it in my friends decision to withdraw from teaching women. It surfaced recently in a young graduate students encounter with a clerk in a Christian bookstore. When she inquired about theological books, the clerk looked up with surprise and replied, 'We have books for men. Later, when she attempted to make her purchase, he cautioned her that the content of her theology book might be 'too deep for her. In effect, he was saying, 'Theology is not for women, its for men… .
"Even more disheartening is the tendency of some women to marginalize themselves. Surprisingly, men are not the only ones to advance the idea that theology is inappropriate for women. Women are among the strongest advocates of this view. To such women, theology is just another incomprehensible male obsession like boxing, auto mechanics and chewing tobacco, and seems equally uninteresting and irrelevant in the real world."
—Carolyn Custis James in her new book, "When Life and Beliefs Collide"

Suing too late

"Its been almost a month since an Italian-American lawyers group in Chicago announced it was suing … producers [of the HBO series 'The Sopranos] under an obscure 'individual dignity clause in the Illinois Constitution… .
"The lawsuit contends that 'Sopranos portrays all Italian-Americans, even non-mobsters, as 'lacking in civility, respectability or virtue and that it 'suggests that criminality is a genetic trait in Italian-Americans. If thats the concern, theyre a few decades late. They missed that obscure film, 'The Godfather. It had two sequels. I guess theyll have to rent the video for later litigation.
"'Sopranos lawsuit plaintiffs will have to sue a lot of fellow Italian-Americans in the process of cleansing pop-cultures mob genre. The whole Coppola family, Martin Scorsese, Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Marlon Brando, Ray Liotta, Talia Shire — theyll all be crowding Americas courtrooms, instead of a theater near you."
—Debbie Schlussel, writing on "Sue Sens. Clinton and Corzine, not 'Sopranos," Tuesday in World Net Daily at www.worldnetdaily.com


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