- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 14, 2002

Ye olde movies
"The first film in the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy is a huge hit, because it proves that hair is destiny. The main character is a hobbit, a smallish guy from a race where everyone seems to be wearing a smushed Annie wig, and the word 'hobbit' may indeed mean 'perm gone tragically wrong.'
"The hobbits all have enormous, always-bare feet, they live in whimsically rounded thatched cottages, and they frolic at Renaissance Faire-type shindigs on the village green; they're like alcoholic Hummel figurines. Frodo, the central hobbit, is given a gold ring that contains overwhelming evil; this accounts for the story's enduring popularity with boys, but girls know there's no such thing as bad jewelry. …
"All of these ye olde movies, packed with wizards and wanderlust, are lots of fun, but I'm beginning to think that the Franklin Mint has started a film studio: Can we expect big-screen epics focusing on Troll dolls astride My Little Pony?"
Libby Gelman-Waxner, writing on "Barefoot in the Shire," in the April issue of Premiere

Easy as ABC
"It is fair to say that in many aspects of life, the concept of ABC now prevails: anything but Christian. For a cause to be supported by recognizable Christians (as in the teaching of Creation in public schools) is to be condemned in advance. The articulation of clear biblical principles with regard to homosexuality is stamped as homophobia and condemned as soon as it is uttered. Any suggestion that the Bible teaches us how the two sexes should behave towards one another is countered with cries of 'You're imposing your morality!' …
"Sunday church attendance is higher in the United States than in any of the other countries that make up Western Christendom. But America's Christians and America's churches have little recognizable influence on public life.
"This is less the fault of opposition from the elites than of pusillanimity on the part of the Christians. Credibly committed Christians such as President Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft hesitate even to express their religiously motivated, anti-abortion positions; pro-abortionists and homosexual activists are appointed to Cabinet posts and other high positions; and as far as is known, nothing is said or done to encourage them to change their views."
from "Religions of Peace and War," in the February issue of the Religion and Society Report

Ozzy, no Harriet
"Back in 1981, in an apparent attempt to impress Columbia Records execs that he still had the goods as a publicity-attracting rock star even though he'd left Black Sabbath the band he made famous Ozzy Osbourne used the occasion of an afternoon business meeting to bite the head off a live dove. …
"Ozzy's dodgy solo career can use a boost. So he's chosen to reveal an even more gasp-inducing surprise: In MTV's instantly addictive new docu-series 'The Osbournes,' the 53-year-old English heavy metal geezer exposes himself as … a loving husband and father. …
"Blank-faced, hands quivering as he pours endless cans of Diet Coke into an endless supply of glasses, Ozzy appears to be a burned-out case. … On 'The Osbournes,' 16-year-old daughter Kelly, a grumpy lump with pink hair, gets annoyed with her dad at dinner because Ozzy can't hear what she's saying. When she whines about this, he says, 'Well, you haven't been standing in front of 30 billion decibels for 35 years!' and everyone around the table cracks up. … Are we laughing with Ozzy or at him, and does this distinction even matter to the MTV audience?"
Ken Tucker, writing on "Osbourne Again," in the March 15 issue of Entertainment Weekly

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