Monday, August 21, 2006

Shorts in brief

Since I started my new political column gig I've been reading lots more news, which means I also get up earlier to get through my usual morning rituals. I'd go to bed earlier but I still need to put in overtime at work. Anyway, while cruising the news this morning I noticed some shorts I found interesting and disturbing.

Travel writers have a hard time getting published these days if an agency or mode of transportation (cruise, train, airline, etc.) pays for their travel. Their writing is considered tainted by association, and yet it is standard operating procedure (SOP) for journalists to get into concerts and baseball games, among other places. I think even food writers have to pay for their meal or their reviews are called into question. I remember a time when I went to bat against a theater critic for The Columbus Dispatch who would give good reviews when he got laid and was wined and dined. I nearly cost him his job, but it wasn't about his personal habits or his quid pro quo. It was because he gave a bad review to a play he hadn't seen opening night. He saw a technical rehearsal, which is not a good way to see any show since most of the time is spent starting and stopping to get all the technical elements in a play right, and he clipped coupons during the entire rehearsal. Rehearsal is just that, a rehearsal, not the play. Opening night he came, stayed for five minutes and left then wrote a scathing review. I called him on it.

But back to Ryan Leli. Okay, the kid got into Shea stadium for free and he watched a game, but seven years for impersonating a journalist? That's a bit much when you have people who are recognized to be journalists and do nothing to earn the title or the position, other than feeding the public what they're told. Talk about impersonations.

Religion is always in the forefront of the news and so is Madonna but what else is new? She lives to shock and flaunt and her latest stunt has the Vatican in an uproar. I wonder if it is just because she uses sacred icons and beliefs to keep her name and concerts in the news or if they, like some because she's a woman. Okay, so a female Sunday school teacher won't be able to keep teaching men in church as she has for 11 years, but at least she wasn't fired from her day job. She's allowed to do anything she wants, even to being a man's boss, just not in church. According to Rev. Timothy LaBouf when quoting Paul of Tarsus in Timothy: I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. That's one way to maintain control when a woman questions your opinion or the direction of the church to which she belongs, and it only took Rev. LaBouf 11 years to find that passage in the New Testament. Guess he was too busy learning from the city manager when he's serving on the Watertown City Council. The city manager is a woman.

That is all. Disperse.

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