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Condoleezza Rice's KISS Bliss

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 03 June 2008 02:05 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Condoleezza Rice's KISS Bliss
2. Lauren Hutton's 'Sex and the City' Gripe
3. Angelina Jolie's Gun Stun
4. Barbie and Bratz, the Dueling Dollies
5. Cate Blanchett's Indefensible Defense

1. Condoleezza Rice's KISS Bliss

Condoleezza Rice is full of surprises.

The current secretary of state is a serious classical pianist and all-around music lover.

Apparently, she even enjoys banging out the notes of KISS tunes.

While in Stockholm, Sweden, for an international conference on Iraq, Rice happened to be in town at the same time the rock band was scheduled to do a concert.

When the band asked if Rice could stop by after her scheduled dinner with the Swedish foreign minister, she enthusiastically agreed to meet with KISS members including Paul Stanley, Eric Singer, Tommy Thayer and even the former blood spitting, fire-eating Gene Simmons.

"I was thrilled. It was really fun to meet KISS and Gene Simmons," Rice told the press.

Rice even let it be known that the rock stars were well versed in current events. The group and the diplomat met in the executive lounge of the Sheraton Hotel.

KISS reportedly gave backstage passes and T-shirts to State Department staffers and signed some autographs to boot.

Rice apparently has a favorite KISS tune, too. It's "Rock and Roll All Nite."

Just imagine a Cabinet meeting sing-along of the tune with backup vocals by Margaret Spellings, Robert Gates, and Michael Chertoff.

2. Lauren Hutton's 'Sex and the City' Gripe

Who's been influencing Lauren Hutton?

The actress-model recently aired her complaints about the way women are portrayed in the "Sex and the City" TV show and new movie of the same name.

Much like concerns expressed by a lot of parents, Hutton raged about the promiscuous lifestyle of the women in the storylines.

Hutton blamed writers for turning the female characters into floozies.

While appearing on NBC's "Today" show, the actress decried "Sex and the City" for perpetuating what she sees as the myth of female sexual promiscuity somehow being a natural behavior.

"It's written by guys, who happen to be gay, who are sluts," Hutton commented. "Let's face it, most men are sluts. That's what testosterone is supposed to do. As a hunter, if you stayed alive after 30, nature wanted your genes out there. Women were just trying to get the best sperm to make a masterpiece."

"You have a bunch of guys who are sluts, writing for women and telling them they are supposed to act like this," Hutton lamented.

3. Angelina Jolie's Gun Stun

When it comes to worldview, Angelina Jolie is gaining fame for standing out from the Hollywood crowd.

After meeting with Gen. David Petraeus a while back, Jolie made clear her preference that the U.S. not withdraw from Iraq as quickly as some prominent Democrats wanted to.

Well known for her work as goodwill ambassador for the U.N., Jolie has made more than 20 visits to countries with human rights violations and, along with companion Brad Pitt, given millions to related charities.

Most recently, Jolie is talking as if she's adopted some of the late Charlton Heston's viewpoints.

The actress reveals that she and Pitt are gun owners and keep firearms in their home.

"I bought original, real guns of the type we used in ‘Tomb Raider' for security. Brad and I are not against having a gun in the house, and we do have one," Jolie tells the U.K. Daily Mail.

In case you're wondering whether a Malibu celeb would really use a firearm for self-defense, Jolie supplies the answer: "Yes, I'd be able to use it if I had to. I could handle myself. I think there are certain combat skills that would come out."

"If anybody comes into my home and tries to hurt my kids, I've no problem shooting them," the someday Mrs. Pitt says. (Angelina apparently envisions eventual nuptials, saying, "I'm sure one day we'll do it.")

Adding to her newfound gun owning rep, Jolie has been spotted with a machine gun pendant around her neck, a reported Mother's Day gift from Brad fashioned in the shape of a drawing made by son Maddox.

Jolie is raising her children with an understanding, too, that the world contains good and evil. "It's just not a reality in this day and age to say, ‘I'm never going to let my kids watch a movie that has a gun in it.' It's important to know that this exists," she explains.

"But I'm very clear with my children about who's a good guy and who's bad. If they're watching a movie at home and they say, ‘Is that a bad guy, Mummy?' I say, ‘Well, is he trying to hurt somebody? If you see somebody picking on a person or starting the fight, that's the bad guy.'"

Makes one wonder if Jolie's dad, actor Jon Voight, has had an influence on her current beliefs.

Although they've had some problems in their relationship and gone for long periods without communication, Jolie recently talked with her father via phone.

"We've had a difficult relationship," she admits, adding that it has been important for her to "distance myself from it, because it was unhealthy."

"But I called him and we've spoken recently. We're going to try to see each other. I don't think we'll ever have that daddy-and-daughter relationship, but maybe we can get to know each other as friends," Jolie says.

Two people who believe in protecting and guiding the ones they love? Sounds like the basis for a beautiful father-daughter reconciliation.

4. Barbie and Bratz, the Dueling Dollies

A trial that's of interest to young girls and old lawyers has just begun. It's the duel of the dollies, Barbie vs. Bratz.

In a Riverside, Calif., federal courthouse, a multibillion-dollar battle is taking place between Barbie manufacturer Mattel and Bratz maker MGA to determine who will ultimately own the rights to the Bratz dolls.

Barbie has been on top of the glam doll world for a good long time. But now a defiant, scantily clad, young upstart toy is threatening to knock her off her plastic pedestal.

The Bratz dolls are the brainchild of former Mattel employee Carter Bryant, who moved to MGA Entertainment, Inc. in 2000. The crux of the legal dispute focuses on when Bryant first thought up the bright Bratz idea.

Mattel claims Bryant created the controversial dolls (that by normal dolly standards are overly made up and dressed too provocatively) while still an employee of the Barbie maker, and consequently Mattel should receive a stake in the ownership rights from MGA.

The 50-year-old Barbie doll has been struggling because of the share bite taken out of the market by the younger, rebellious Bratz.

Barbie sales are down 12 percent in the U.S. from last year.

When compared to the skimpily dressed, pouty mouthed Bratz, Barbie dolls seem downright wholesome. Much to the dismay of adults, girls are going for the Bratz at estimated levels that are bringing MGA $2 billion a year.

That's enough to turn Barbie's blue eyes green.

5. Cate Blanchett's Indefensible Defense

Cate Blanchett may be great on a movie set, but she sure seems to lack judgment when it comes to social policy.

Blanchett has come to the defense of a photographer whose work includes portraits of nude children.

Bill Henson's photographs of naked 12 and 13-year-old kids were going to be exhibited at the Roslyn Oxley Gallery in Sydney, Australia. But the gallery was closed by police before it could open and the images seized, thanks to a watchdog child advocacy group called the "Bravehearts."

Henson's so-called art was also stripped from the walls of two other galleries in New South Wales.

In an open letter to Australia's environment minister and the premier of New South Wales, Blanchett and other "arts" defenders claimed that stopping the exhibition could damage the reputation of Australia.

"The potential prosecution of one of our most respected artists is no way to build a creative Australia and does untold damage to our cultural reputation," the letter read. It also asserted that the manner in which "artists and art are treated by the state" is an "index of social freedom" in repressive regimes.

The writers expressed that "none of us endorses, in any way, the abuse of children" but still classified Henson's work as having "nothing to do with child pornography," claiming that according to "some of the most respected curators and critics in the world, it is certainly art."

Seems to me Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had the description of Henson's pictures just right. He called them "revolting."

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Condoleezza Rice's KISS Bliss2. Lauren Hutton's 'Sex and the City' Gripe3. Angelina Jolie's Gun Stun4. Barbie and Bratz, the Dueling Dollies5. Cate Blanchett's Indefensible Defense1. Condoleezza Rice's KISS BlissCondoleezza...
Tuesday, 03 June 2008 02:05 PM
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