- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 23, 2004


“Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker’s fashion sense raised the ire of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel who demanded that billboards featuring the actress in a skimpy dress be covered up.

According to Reuters News Agency, photos of Miss Parker lying in a skin-revealing spaghetti-strap gown were pasted on billboards across Israel promoting Lux soap.

Almost immediately, the Israeli branch of consumer product group Unilever removed the posters and replaced them with a more chaste version.

Downplaying the makeover, a marketing manager for Unilever said jokingly, “We decided to make her dress more suitable for the winter weather.”

‘Bush the Great’

Prodded for parallels between Alexander the Great and President Bush, lefty director Oliver Stone, whose “Alexander” opens today, wouldn’t take the bait.

“I would not put Bush down. We have to move on,” Mr. Stone told Associated Press. “The election happened, and there’s no point in crying over it. It’s a fresh slate for me, personally. I look at him fresh. People change.

“Often, second-term presidents do become better presidents,” he continued. “They’re a little bit wiser, and they don’t have to run so hard to get elected. So things might change. You hope for that.”

If the president leaves behind a democratic Afghanistan and Iraq, a pacified Iran and good relations with Russia, Mr. Stone believes the Bush legacy will be one of Alexandrian proportions.

“It’s a grand scheme,” Mr. Stone said. “If he pulled it off, … in 20 years, maybe he would be considered ‘Bush the Great.’”

Shocking lecture

Marilyn Manson, self-proclaimed “Antichrist Superstar,” recently tried his hand as a philosophy professor.

With an MTV film crew in tow, Mr. Manson surprised students in a Temple University art and society class this week with an hourlong guest lecture.

AP reports that he opened with a question: Could he share a bottle of red absinthe with the students?

The liqueur stayed on the desk as Mr. Manson — wearing an all-black suit with chrome-tipped platform shoes, dark lipstick and bulbous sunglasses — responded to students’ questions about art, politics and religion.

“I’m not someone who doesn’t respect religion, but I don’t care for the way religion is used to manipulate people,” he said. “We create our own gods. We create our own devils.”

Ticking ‘Bomb’

Music industry observers think it’s possible that all the attention paid to the pirating of U2’s latest CD, “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb,” which hit stores yesterday, may actually boost sales.Frontman Bono wouldn’t be surprised.

“I’m not afraid of music downloading,” he told Reuters. “I think it works for us, not against us. Yes, our CD has been robbed, and yes, it is on the air and people can get it for nothing, but our fans generally don’t do that.

“I think if you make it easy and interesting for people to download … people will do it,” he said.

That’s cold

Director Michael Moore has topped an annual list of Hollywood’s “coldest” celebrities.

The outspoken filmmaker, who warmed up the presidential campaign with his anti-Bush propumentary “Fahrenheit 9/11,” ranked No. 1 on this year’s “Frigid 50” roster of lackluster stars published by online movie magazine Filmthreat.com.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports

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