- The Washington Times - Monday, April 29, 2002

Humorless Madonna
"A catfight has apparently broken out between Madonna and Boy George.
"The former Culture Clubber has testily tattled to the U.K. Sun that his fellow '80s icon has forced him to remove a modified version of her 1990 song 'Vogue' from his West End musical, 'Taboo.'
"Madonna was reportedly displeased that George took the liberty not only of using her song, but of changing the words to 'Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, that Madonna, dyes her hair.' She wrote a note demanding its removal from the show.
"'I thought she was having a joke,' George told the U.K. Sun about Madonna's note. 'I used to think she was an icon but she's more eyesore to me now. It's all so inoffensive it's a tiny send-up.'
"But George isn't one to let sleeping sex kittens lie.
"'It's a shame because the song was funny but she obviously has no sense of humor,' he lashes. 'Americans don't have that ability to laugh at themselves in the way Brits do.'"
Amy Reiter, writing on "Nothing Personal," Thursday in Salon at www.salon.com

What scandal?
"The Catholic Church has been the object of much unwanted attention. Dozens of cases involving clerical 'pedophilia' have been tried in the courts, several priests have gone to jail, and various dioceses have had to pay out tens or perhaps even hundreds of millions of dollars (the exact sums are often in sealed settlements) to the victims.
"Almost all the cases reported in the media as pedophilia actually involve an attraction to adolescent boys. This behavior is a variety of homosexuality. Homosexuals are often attracted to very young men because they combine the charm of boyishness with sexual maturity.
"In the 1960s and 1970s the Catholic Church followed secular psychological advice that sexual involvement with minors should be dealt with quietly and privately, that the youth involved were more likely to be hurt by a public fuss than by the sexual involvement, and that sexual interest in minors could be disciplined and cured.
"[Philip] Jenkins' analysis indicates that the true nature of the problem in the Catholic Church is not pedophilia, but homosexuality, which can lead to sexual relations with sexually mature but underage boys."
Leon J. Podles, writing on "Catholic Scandals: A Crisis for Celibacy?" in the April issue of Touchstone

Mainstreaming porn
"The stories of porn stars' lives are rarely happy ones often green-screening a history of sexual abuse, violent relationships and drug habits. Even today, the industry's low-budget films showcase women who seem to have crawled out of gutters to grit their teeth in a polyester hotel room. Many of them differ little in desperation and lifestyle from the average dark-doorway prostitute.
"But Linda Lovelace and 'Deep Throat' became cultural markers because they catalyzed a transition in the pornography industry that would ultimately ripple through society at large.
"The lines have become blurry. Pamela Anderson looks more pornographic than most porn stars; her personal home videos with Tommy Lee are passed around on the Net. Porn stars are regularly seen on the arms of rock stars and Hollywood types.
"The popularity of 'Deep Throat' brought to porn a mainstream audience that with the advent of video would blossom into a business generating more sales than legitimate Hollywood earns at the ticket booth."
Collin Levey, writing on "Porn in the USA," Thursday in Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com


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