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Author Topic: Current Events
Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 12-09-2002 08:23 AM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rated G [Eek!]

Santa's Pants Drop in Front of President, First Lady
Thu Dec 5,11:03 PM ET

(Washington) - Ho, ho ... whoaaa! No it wasn't old Saint Nick's way of saluting the Commander in Chief. Apparently, Santa is more svelte than we thought and needs a new belt for Christmas. The President agrees.

Though the nation's capital was blanketed under its first snowfall of the season Thursday and temperatures dipped to below freezing by the evening hours, it wasn't cold enough for country singer Roy Clark (a.k.a. Mr. Claus) to notice that the pants to his Santa suit had fallen to his knees - in front of thousands of onlookers that included President Bush (news - web sites) and the First Lady.

Clark, a famous country singer and host of the former Hee Haw television show, was picked to be this year's Santa Claus for the 2002 Christmas Pageant of Peace on the National Mall in Washington. The ceremony is an annual event when the President lights the national Christmas tree on the Ellipse, just south of the White House.

The blooper happened after actress Barbara Eden, who was emceeing the event, tossed the show over to Clark to begin singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". A few seconds passed and Clark's red trousers slowly began slipping to below his knees - and stayed there for several minutes. Luckily for him, he was wearing sweatpants underneath.

Television cameras cut to a shot of the President, sitting behind bullet-proof glass, as he was laughing hysterically. Mrs. Bush, ever so dignified, chuckled and then smiled politely.

It's not clear when Santa realized his pants were down, but the President couldn't let this one go quietly.

"I appreciate Santa coming," Bush said later in his address to the audience. "It looks like he needs a belt for Christmas."

The crowd roared in laughter.

Bush, with the help of two Washington-area seven-year-olds, then flicked a switch and a blaze of light illuminated the national Christmas tree - a Colorado blue spruce. The President was still laughing, while the leader of the free presents must've been hiding somewhere in embarrassment. [Smile]

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Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 12-09-2002 08:50 AM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rated G [Eek!]

Osama And His Toy Soldiers

KARACHI, Pakistan, Dec. 5, 2002

The Osama action figure is a big hit with parents in Karachi buying holiday gifts for their youngsters. (Reuters/RTV)

"As you know Osama is very popular in the whole world. The same thing is happening in Pakistan. People like him and he has become a celebrity now."
Imran, a young boy at a Karachi toy store

(CBS) Toy crazes are a common theme in the build up to Christmas holidays in the West - with certain 'must-have' presents.

Think back to the frenzy stirred by the Cabbage Patch Kids or the fever incited by Sesame Street's Elmo doll.

These 'essential' toys disappear off shelves in a flash, with parents queueing up for hours or even coming to blows to make sure their offspring has the latest thing.

The story is no different in the Muslim world with the approach of Eid ul Fitr, the festival that marks the end of the month of Ramadan. But one of this year's 'must-haves' would probably be banned from sale in many parts of the West. It's a distinctive, bearded figurine, riding 'shotgun' in a military jeep.

The Osama bin Laden action figure, complete with military jeep and bodyguards, is proving to be a big hit with mothers and fathers buying holiday presents for their youngsters.

"As you know, Osama is very popular in the whole world," said Imran, a young boy eyeing up the goods on offer at a Karachi toy store. "The same thing is happening in Pakistan.

"People like him, and he has become a celebrity now."

"Children like Osama's car," echoed Eram, a young girl showing an equally keen interest in the toy. "They want to buy toys like Osama's cars or Osama's guns."

According to a toy stall holder, Naseer, some parents were even paying up to $4.00 in advance to insure they could become the proud owners of one of the dolls.

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Dennis Atkinson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 129
From: Birch Run Michigan
Registered: Feb 2000

 - posted 03-01-2004 06:59 AM      Profile for Dennis Atkinson   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Atkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
NEW YORK (AFP) - One of the most talked about films of recent years,
Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Curly," depicts Jerome "Curly"
Howard's final 12 hours on earth and, by Gibson's own admission,
includes several hours' worth of extremely graphic and violent images
of Curly being repeatedly slapped, poked in the eye, conked on the
head, and other forms of torture at the hands of fellow Stooges, Moe
and Larry.

Industry insiders have predicted an opening week take of up to 30
million dollars. Those figures are all the more extraordinary given
that just one year ago Gibson was struggling to find a distributor for
a film that boasts no big-name stars and dialogue lifted entirely from
1930s Columbia two-reelers. And, in what appears to be an omen, the
lead actor was struck by a pie during filming.

Controversy has focused on charges, mostly levelled by Shemp fan clubs
and strongly denied by Gibson, that the movie somehow blames Shemp for
Curly's death and will fuel anti-Shemp sentiment.

Those accusations have to an extent been buttressed by unguarded
comments from Gibson's father, Hutton Gibson, claiming that the
success of Shemp's career as a character actor independent of the
Three Stooges is greatly exaggerated and that there is a conspiracy
aimed at proving that Shemp was really a more talented, funnier Stooge
than the others.

Gibson and his father are both Traditionalists, who have never
accepted the various reforms which, among other things, led to Shemp,
Joe Besser and "Curly" Joe DeRita being named Stooges.

Gibson has staunchly defended himself and the film against the
charges, insisting that he had never intended to trigger a "blame
game" over responsibility for Curly's death. "Curly was beaten for
our enjoyment," Gibson said. "He was wounded for our laughter and by
laughing at his wounds we are comforted and healed. That's the point
of the film. It's not about pointing fingers -- except, of course, to
poke out Curly's eyes." Gibson then added, "Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. Woo woo
woo woo! Why, soytenly!" and barked like a dog before slapping himself
in the face several times.

Some pro-Shemp groups, notably the influential Amalgamated Morons
League ("We're not just morons -- we're organized!"), have argued that
while Gibson may not be anti-Shemp, his film is capable of arousing
hatred against Shemp and other later, lesser Stooges.

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