- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Bond, James Bond

"For plenty of people who grew up in the '60s, as well as for anyone who has watched way too much TV … the dozens of spy movies and TV shows of the era were more of a mood that stretched across the decade than a fleeting trend. They represented better living not just through science, but also through go-go boots, lavish subterranean bachelor pads and cigarettes that killed with bullets instead of cancer.

"Who doesn't love the early James Bond movies? Plenty of people, it turns out. In Great Britain, there's a certain segment of the population that doesn't think much of them, mostly because they're redolent with the ancient, moldering sexual politics they'd much rather leave behind (in addition to the fact that Bond was so devoted to queen and country and all that rot).

"Bond is certainly a spoiled boy when it comes to earning the attention and affection of women; they're so compliant you can almost see their skin melting under his fingers.

"In the Bond movies, [Sean] Connery plays a sex symbol without actually being one. Connery as Bond is sexy, but mostly when he's not trying to be. His best look is that of wry, detached amusement, and luckily, he wears it often.

Stephanie Zacharek, writing on "The spies who thrilled me," Friday in Salon at www.salon.com


Subsidized subversion

"Politics & Prose does have an alternative families section and had on offer the two classics, 'Heather Has Two Mommies' and 'Daddy's Roommate' and a selection of other books showing the diversity of family structures.

"The Politics & Prose staff apologized for not having more alternative family books. It seemed that there weren't that many new books coming out, and the ones that do don't stay in print.

"[T]here aren't many 'Heather'-type books on sale because nobody wants to pay their own money for them.

"'Heather' celebrated her 10th anniversary two years back. So if it's not being bought in bookstores, then who's buying it?

"You are. That would be you, Ms. Taxpayer. According to their publishers and distributors, 'alternative family' books are mostly bought by libraries and school boards, not by people spending their own money."

John Zardi, writing on "Heather Has Two Readers," in the summer issue of the Women's Quarterly


Made in heaven

"Perhaps it is my imagination, but it seems as though we are in the midst of a full-blown summer funk. While trend writers and editorialists will have you believe this is related to the anti-climax of the war on terrorism or the free-falling Dow, astute culture vultures know what is really ailing us: the dissolution of the marriage of Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton.

"While it lasted, the Angelina/Billy Bob union was one that seemed to exist outside of time. Their connection was cosmic, as they had any number of things in common: Both had bizarre physical appearances. She had the feline, Bride-of-Satan eyes and lips like over-filled hot-water bottles. He had the head too big for his gaunt, hillbilly body, and choppers that looked retrofitted from the skull of an ape.

"Jolie had tied the knot once before with another actor in a quaint, romantic ceremony in which she wore rubber pants and a T-shirt with the groom's name scrawled on it in her own blood.

"As for the 46-year-old Thornton, Jolie was his fifth wife. The fourth one, Pietra Dawn Thornton, didn't work out so well. In court papers, she accused him of going off his lithium because he said it made him 'feel like a piece of driftwood.' He also allegedly punched her in the eye while she was holding their 3-month-old son, told her she was pathetic, and threatened to kill her. Likewise, according to her complaint, he repeatedly pushed her, hit her, choked her, and bit her eight times over a one-year period."

Matt LaBash, writing on "Le Divorce Terrible," Friday in the Weekly Standard Online at www.weeklystandard.com


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