- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 16, 2004

War of words

NME.com

Kiss bass player Gene Simmons has angered the Muslim community after labeling Islam a “vile” culture on a live radio interview.

Israeli-born Mr. Simmons, who is currently on tour in Australia, launched the attack on Melbourne’s 3AW radio.

“Extremism believes that it’s okay to strap bombs on to your children and send them to paradise and whatever else and to behead people,” the Web site NME.com quoted Mr. Simmons as saying.

“Your dog, however, can walk side by side, your dog is allowed to have its own dog house… you can send your dog to school to learn tricks, sit, beg, do all that stuff — none of the women have that advantage.”

Mr. Simmons also warned that the West was under threat, and that the United Nations didn’t work, adding the West must “speak softly and carry a big stick.”

The station was flooded with complaints, including one from Australian Muslim of the Year Susan Carland, who contested the rock star’s views of extremism. “I certainly do not walk behind my husband,” she said.

Britney speared

New York Post

Mope rock maestro Morrissey says he’s “sick to death” of manufactured music from the likes of “American Idol” and Britney Spears. “‘Idol’ is an easy target,” Morrissey tells Entertainment Weekly, “as [the contestants] are really just very simple children who are manipulated by truly awful grown-up people.

“But I certainly think Britney Spears is the devil. The way she projects herself and the fact that she is so obviously vacuous. I think it’s such a shame that she became so influential to very small children.”

Pointer’s plea

Reuters News Agency

June Pointer Whitmore jumped to her own defense in court Friday.

The youngest member of the Grammy-winning Pointer Sisters, who was ousted from the band four years ago due to substance abuse problems, pleaded innocent at an arraignment on a pair of drug charges stemming from her arrest last month in Hollywood.

Miss Pointer Whitmore and two other people were apparently hanging around outside of older sister Bonnie Pointer’s apartment when they had a run-in with a team of L.A.’s finest, responding to citizen complaints.

Miss Pointer Whitmore was taken into custody and charged with a felony count of cocaine possession and a misdemeanor count of possessing a smoking device. She was later released on $10,000 bail and is due back in court June 9.

Bonnie Pointer, also late of the Pointer Sisters since leaving to pursue a solo career, was not charged in the case.

Kudos for Murray

Associated Press

Bill Murray, who won a Golden Globe earlier this year for his role in “Lost in Translation,” received a lifetime achievement award at the Jacksonville Film Festival. Mr. Murray, 53, kissed the award — a glass-and-wood turtle — then made a face.

“It smells like the ocean,” Mr. Murray said at the ceremony in the Florida city Saturday night. “It’s the only award I have that does.”

“Lost in Translation,” Sofia Coppola’s film about two lonely Americans who find friendship in a Tokyo hotel, earned Mr. Murray a best actor Oscar nomination.

His latest film, “Coffee and Cigarettes,” is a compilation of 11 vignettes featuring actors and musicians playing versions of themselves as they sit down for coffee, cigarettes and banter.

Altar-ed state

San Francisco Chronicle

Destiny’s Child star Kelly Rowland has become the first of the trio to officially plan a wedding.

The singer has announced her engagement to Dallas Cowboys football star Roy Williams.

Bandmate Beyonce Knowles spent last week denying rumors she has secretly wed her boyfriend Jay-Z.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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