- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Beautiful surprise

Renee Zellweger knows how to treat her fans.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that while the actress was shopping in Los Angeles, she noticed two girls following her every move.

She offered them her autograph, but they weren’t interested.

Miss Zellweger explained that one girl said, “We just wanted to see what products you are buying,” and the other added, “You’re so pretty; we were hoping to pick up some tips.”

The actress was so touched that she treated both girls to an expensive beauty spree, according to the Chronicle.

Bizkit limps

Apparently, al Qaeda is in “agreeance” that Limp Bizkit should “go away.”

The defiant rap-metal band has backed out of scheduled concerts in Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia because of State Department warnings of “increased security risks,” Washington Times correspondent Richard S. Erlich reports.

Fronted by the outspoken Fred Durst — who famously hoped aloud at this year’s Grammy Awards that all were “in agreeance” that the war in Iraq should “go away” — Limp Bizkit decided to ditch the Southeast Asia leg of its tour for fear that Islamic terrorists were targeting U.S. interests in the region.

“The band wishes to extend their deepest apologies to their fans in Southeast Asia and promise to return to perform once security for their fans can be assured,” read a statement from BEC Tero Entertainment, which successfully staged a Santana concert Nov. 3 in Bangkok.

Papal preview

Mel Gibson doesn’t recognize the authority of the pope over the Catholic Church, but nevertheless, the Vatican has asked to see his controversial movie “The Passion of Christ.”

Internet Movie Database reports that Andrea Piersanti, head of the Catholic entertainment group Ente dello Spettacolo, said, “This way, we will be able to form our own serene and detached opinion of the film.”

The select audience was hoping to have a private screening last night, but according to Reuters News Agency, Mr. Gibson’s Icon Production company told organizers in an e-mail that the actor-director was still working on the final version and asked them to wait because “the film is only weeks away from being finished.”

Unlovely prose

Sting is famous for boasting of his Yoga-energized love life, so perhaps it’s no surprise that he was chosen to present one of Britain’s most unwanted honors — the Bad Sex in Fiction Award.

Now in its 11th year, the dubious honor will be awarded today by Literary Review magazine for the most inept description of sexual intercourse in a novel, Reuters News Agency reports.

Nominated authors for this year’s prize include John Updike, Paul Theroux, Paulo Coelho and Alan Parker.

Swiss cheesed

It takes a lot to make the quiescent Swiss angry, but Marilyn Manson has done it. Again.

Mr. Manson (aka Brian Warner), a baptized Satanist, is the target of a criminal inquiry in Switzerland after a religious group made a formal complaint about his stage act, according to Associated Press.

Zurich District Prosecutor Michael Scherrer told AP yesterday that the macabre rocker was under investigation on suspicion of breaching Swiss laws that protect religion and inciting violence during a concert in the city in February 2001.

Mr. Manson and his band performed in Zurich on Sunday despite attempts by Christian groups and lawmakers to ban the group from playing.

Rap spiked

Spike Lee is tired of the way “gangsta” rap portrays blacks, and on Monday, the director challenged an audience of 400 at Brown University in Providence, R.I., to do something about it.

“I’ve always felt you can feel the progress of African-Americans by listening to their music,” Mr. Lee said. “Some of this gangsta-rap stuff — it’s not doing anybody any good. This stuff is really dangerous.”

The key to changing things, Mr. Lee said, is to use the power of the purse.

“We buy all this stuff, not even thinking about what’s behind it… Think about the power that we have,” he said. “We can’t just sit back and think it doesn’t affect us. We have to do something about it. We have to be more choosy about the types of stuff we support.”

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff, wire and Web reports.

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