- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 5, 2004

Hollywood chutzpah

“I see where Britney Spears is planning a Kabbalah wedding. This is actually being trumpeted as ‘the first celebrity Kabbalah ceremony.’ They’re saying she may even get married under a chuppah (canopy) which probably means she’ll also have the ritual smashing of the glass — the whole schmear.

“What chutzpah! Her Baptist mom nearly plotzed!

“I hate to see Kabbalah taken over by Celebrity Trendoids. Way back, Kabbalah’s sacred mysteries once ‘belonged’ to the Jews. …

“You cannot begin to convince me Britney and her ilk have achieved mastery of the intricacies of the Sefiroth and other Kabbalah esoterica.

” ‘What they are embracing is not Kabbalistic esoteric Judaism by any real definition,’ [a Kabbalah scholar] e-mails me. ‘They’re … embracing the form but not the substance. … But hey, all of the sudden Jews are cool again. Best thing since Dylan.’ …

“This is how it begins. Re-packaging a spiritual tradition as another Hollywood fad.”

Maralyn Lois Polak, writing on “Britney’s big fat kabbalah wedding,” Wednesday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Drawing on the left

“When editorial cartoonist Wayne Stayskal retired from the Tampa Tribune last December, he left as one of his profession’s most admired craftsmen. (He still draws for a syndicate.) For four decades, Stayskal’s distinctive, loose style and razor-sharp wit have thrilled his admirers, enraged his political targets and explored the frontiers of political satire. …

“And yet Wayne Stayskal has never won the newspaper industry’s top honor: the Pulitzer Prize. For Stayskal made one crucial career mistake. He is an unapologetic conservative. As Stayskal’s experience shows, ‘diversity’ — today’s media mantra — applies exclusively to race and gender. …

“In the last 10 years, not a single conservative editorial cartoonist has won a Pulitzer. In fact, of 30 nominations for the prize during this time, only five have been of conservatives. … The Pulitzer establishment’s bias has become so predictable that many conservative cartoonists simply refuse to submit for the prize. … Stayskal himself admits that he has not bothered to submit in recent years because of this prejudice.”

Henry Payne, writing on “Loony Toons,” in the July 26 issue of National Review

Invisible agenda

“Like a parade of other politicians who came to the Sheraton Boston to fire up the troops last week, Wisconsin House member Tammy Baldwin, the only openly gay woman in Congress, addressed what is known as the GLBT [Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender] Caucus at the Democratic National Convention.

” ‘Our nominee for president is the most pro-gay nominee for president in U.S. history,’ Baldwin said to the enthusiastic gay, lesbian and transgendered delegates. Later that day, Teresa Heinz Kerry would tell them that she would be their ‘mom’ in the White House. …

“The purge of gay issues from the [main convention] stage was more likely part of a mandate for the entire convention, to the point of becoming fascistic: Don’t talk about anything even remotely likely to upset straight, white male voters in the Midwest.

“Even Baldwin, a lesbian, didn’t say anything about gay rights during her speech on the floor. … The irony of this was lost on many in Boston. … Baldwin was another openly gay member of Congress talking about health care and education — and not daring to mention gays.”

Michelangelo Signorile, writing on “A Curious Silence,” in the Tuesday issue of New York Press

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