- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2002

'Scooby-Don't'

"Despite months of optimism on the part of parents the film 'Scooby-Doo' will generate more disappointment than childhood memories. According to TV Guide Insider Online, the self-proclaimed 'family friendly' film contains references to marijuana use, a scene where Velma loses her inhibitions thanks to some 'special drinks,' and even hints at lesbianism.

"'There was one scene where Velma sings and dances on a piano after she's had a few, um, special drinks,' Linda Cardellini, the actress who plays Velma, told TV Guide Insider. 'She sings "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and we don't know if she's singing to Daphne or Fred!'

"That may sound like a stretch until you read more of the comments made by Cardellini and her co-star, Sarah Michelle Gellar, who plays Daphne.

"'We did kiss it got cut,' Gellar told TV Guide Insider, referring to a scene where, in the voodoo-related plot, the girls' souls are switched.

"It must have been more than a peck, because she went on to praise Cardellini's kissing ability.

"The 'Scooby' kissing scene, along with one where Velma lifts her sweater to expose her bra, were cut from the film by producers wanting to keep the family audience. But they are not gone for good.

"'We hope they will add it in the DVD,' Gellar said."

Martha W. Kleder, writing on "Scooby-Don't," in the June 12 Culture and Family Report


''Sinners, not saints'

"Is my church dying? I cannot be the only Catholic in America asking this question. It's unthinkable, in a way. For those of us who grew up in the techno-accelerated modern world, the church has long been a source of stability, permanence, transcendence. I remember the feelings of my childhood, when my local Catholic church was the only place I felt connected to something truly profound. Where else do we experience simple injunctions to reverence any more? To obedience? To simple silence in the face of an ineffable God?

"And yet, as a post-Vatican II Catholic, I also lived in a wide, diverse world. In this modernity of discussion and skepticism, of irreverence and sensuality, of technology and pop culture, I felt equally at home. Like many Catholics of my generation (I'm in my late 30s), I grew up not in a tightly knit urban Catholic enclave but in the booming suburbs of the 1960s and 1970s. My Irish grandmother was barely literate. Her grandson has an Ivy League Ph.D. But while my peers left the church or scorned its structures, I stayed.

"Although the gulf grew between my life and the institutional church I still attended, it never occurred to me that I was no longer a Catholic. I was a sinner that much I knew. But the church, I was taught, was for sinners, not saints. And for all its many faults, I still trusted the church, revered it."

Andrew Sullivan, writing on "Is the Church Dying?" in the June 10 issue of Time magazine


Moderate' moderator?

"George Stephanopoulous has been anointed the new host of ABC's flailing Sunday talk show, 'This Week.' The media establishment has been politely pondering the appropriateness of a former hatchet-man's trying to fill the shoes of David Brinkley and going 'head-to-head' with the esteemed host of NBC's 'Meet the Press,' Tim Russert (another former Democratic aide, by the way, like scads of other TV journalists).

"In the first show after his elevation, the normal chit-chat panel at the end of the program had two new faces, Michael Eric Dyson and Patricia Williams. Both come at racial issues from a hard-left perspective. Dyson is a voluptuary of gangster rap who has compared the deceased rapper Tupac Shakur to Martin Luther King Jr. Ms. Williams is an unapologetic feminist neo-Marxist and columnist for the Nation. By comparison, Stephanopoulos is indeed a moderate, unbiased reporter."

From "The Week," in the July 1 issue of National Review


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