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Nudes and Prudes

[whitespace] Disney rescues us from 'The Rescuers'

By Bob Harris

SO DISNEY pulled 3,4 million copies of The Rescuers off the shelves because of some mystery smut they wouldn't identify.

Geez, will anybody ever learn that censoring something is the fastest way to get people to want to see it? Apparently not.

Well, here we go again. Disney says there's something dirty in The Rescuers, but they won't say what. And now all anybody wants to know is, OK, what's so awful that they're willing to spend millions of dollars to cover it up?

Here we go: 38 minutes into the film, while Bernard and Bianca are flying around town, windows in city buildings are going by in the background. If you advance frame by frame, you'll see two frames where one of the windows contains a tiny, distant picture of a nude woman who is visible from the waist up.

Apparently somebody in post-production thought it was funny, although opinions differ as to exactly when the images were inserted. You can see the frames for yourself at the Urban Legends Reference Pages at http://snopes.simplenet.com/disney/films/rescuers.htm. Anyhow, it's completely invisible at full speed, the unidentifiable woman is not doing anything remotely obscene or gratuitous, and absolutely none of you would have any idea it's there if Disney hadn't called such attention to it.

So two points: (1) Censorship doesn't usually work too well; and, more important, (2) what's so obscene about a nude female body? Since when do children of breast-feeding age have to be protected from the image of ... breasts?

Excuse me, but the Disney corporation's attitude seems like what our kids really ought to be protected from.

IN MAY 1997, this space (along with Mother Jones, which rules) pointed out the odd coincidence between the $300,000 Bob Dole fronted to bail Newt Gingrich's more photogenic end out of his Ethics Committee penalty for lying and the $300,000 Dole received a few days earlier as a signing bonus to begin working for the tobacco lobby.

In December 1997, this space predicted that Liddy Dole would definitely seek the presidency in 2000, and that Newt Gingrich would not. Instead, Newt would defer and support Liddy as a quid pro quo.

So. Am I nuts, or was the tobacco money loan from Dole part of a deal to buy Gingrich's patronage? And did Dole, by fronting for them, buy Gingrich's support for Liddy?

Time cut to the present. Liddy's running. Newt's not.

Instead, Newt's setting up Gingrich Enterprises, a consulting firm to lobby on (get this) health issues. Newt's also about to start a speaking tour at $50,000 a pop. He's also setting up a new PAC, the Friends of Newt Gingrich Political Action Committee. So obviously he'll be raising money for somebody in 2000.

Maybe Newt won't support Liddy. Maybe he will. Let's watch. I give it six months.

Let's also see if Newt starts doing a bunch of speeches for tobacco growers and the like. Let's see how much FNGPAC (which I suggest we begin pronouncing as "Fringe-Pac") money winds up in Liddy's coffers.

Just as a coincidence, of course.

SOME PEOPLE would walk a mile for a Camel. An 89-year-old New Hampshire woman is walking 3,000 miles so that Camel won't have that kind of influence anymore.

Doris Haddock will be spending 1999 walking all the way from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in a one-woman crusade for campaign finance reform.

In an effort to show Washington that the American people do indeed want to clean up the way campaigns are financed, Miz Haddock is walking 10 miles a day, carrying everything she needs on her back, and spending the night wherever her sleeping bag hits the ground. And she's meeting with community groups and politicians at every stop along the way.

She started her trip at the Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day, and she's hoping to get to Washington by October. If you want more information, check out her website at http://www.grannyd.com. There's a map of her route, a copy of the petition she's handing out, and a really cool picture of her with a knapsack.

Y'know, Granny D here is trying to change the way we choose our politicians, but thinking about the effort she's putting into this at her age--just because she gives a damn about our country--maybe there's an even simpler solution:

Doris Haddock for president.

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From the January 28-February 3, 1999 issue of the Sonoma County Independent.

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