Jewish World Review March 10, 2004 / 17 Adar, 5764

Lloyd Grove

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Consumer Reports


The laugh that dare not speaks its name; Mistaken identity? NAH!; Is this a great country or what?


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | NEW YORK — Lynne Cheney's still-remembered 1981 lesbian romance novel, "Sisters," was feted Monday night in a special performance by the "Lynne Cheney Players" — to the delight of an audience of liberal East Village types.


The performance at the New York Theatre Workshop was part of a celebration of left-leaning radio personality Laura Flanders' new book, "Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species."


On Tuesday, Flanders told this column that Cheney's novel "is a breathy, gothic romance, horribly written. It's celebrating lesbian love and promotes the value of preventative devices, condoms, to women who want to remain free. It features a woman who has unmarried sex with the widow of her sister — all this by Lynne Cheney, the culture warrior of the right."


Monday's crowd of 200 — which included actress Janeane Garofalo — laughed throughout the satirical staging.


Choice scenes adapted from "Sisters" included one in which two female characters write to each other: "Let us go away together, away from the anger and the imperatives of men. We shall find ourselves a secluded bower where they dare not venture. There will be only the two of us, and we shall linger through long afternoons of sweet retirement."


One of the Cheney's characters swoons to a Sapphic love letter: "How well her words describe our love — or the way it would be if we could remove all impediments, leave this place, and join together. . . . Then our union would be complete. Our lives would flow together, twin streams merging into a single river."


Vice President Cheney's wife — whose 34-year-old daughter, Mary Cheney, is openly gay — has been silent on the hot-button issue of gay marriage. President Bush has come out in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.


"Here's a whole book where she gloried in lesbian love affairs," Flanders said. "The hypocrisy is rank."


Lynne Cheney's spokeswoman didn't respond to this column's request for comment.

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MISTAKEN IDENTITY? NAH!


Was Us Weekly snookered by a photo of Ben Affleck getting friendly with a "mystery woman" in Santa Monica?


The folks at rival Star magazine, run by former Us editor Bonnie Fuller, certainly gloated when they learned that Us bought the photo, along with several others, for a rumored $11,000.


"Absolutely not," Wenner Media spokeswoman Lisa Dallos insisted when I posed the question Tuesday.


It turns out that Affleck was putting his arm around Jancee Dunn — whom the Star folks immediately recognized as a writer for Rolling Stone, Us Weekly's Wenner Media corporate sister.


The Star people told me Tuesday that maybe Us editors didn't realize Dunn was acting as a willing prop in Affleck's little illustration of paparazzi madness.


No such luck, Dallos told me, noting that the incident is described in Dunn's upcoming Rolling Stone profile.


"We weren't fooled — not for a nanosecond," Dallos said. "We know who Jancee Dunn is. She's a former employee of Us Weekly. We weren't buying a photo of her and Ben. We were buying a set."


Dallos declined to comment on the rumored price.


THE BRIEFING


IS THIS A GREAT COUNTRY OR WHAT?: In the land of the free and the home of the brave, anything is possible. So even 28-year-old "Bachelor" cad Andrew Firestone can dream of future political office. "By 'the future' I don't mean the next couple of months; I mean the next 10, 15 or 20 years," Firestone tells Us Weekly. "Political office is earned. You have to have life experience." At least Andrew has a role model. His Republican dad, Brooks Firestone, was just elected a county supervisor in Santa Barbara, Calif.



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