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It seems to us . . . Hootin' Annie; Bishop's specials; PR offensive on third anniversary

ANNIE GET YOUR GUN: Author Annie Proulx wrote the short story that inspired the film "Brokeback Mountain," and she had a few words about its lack of an Oscar. In case you missed her rant, it's too rich not to enjoy: Best-film voters were "out of touch not only with the shifting larger culture and the yeasty ferment that is America these days, but also out of touch with their own segregated city." Proulx, 70, blasted the "atmosphere of insufferable self-importance" at the Academy Awards in Hollywood. Fixing on the "somewhat dim L.A. crowd," and a production "reminiscent of a small-town talent-show night," she called winner "Crash" a "controversial film for the heffalumps." Talk about sour grapes.


NOT AN EASY CALL: Buffalo Catholics probably see themselves as among the more traditional, so some might have disagreed with Bishop Edward U. Kmiec's decision to allow the laity to break from Lenten restrictions Friday for St. Patrick's Day in order to eat meat. Yet according to the Washington Post, only one third of the bishops in charge of the nation's 197 Catholic dioceses gave that permission. Those that did urged parishioners to do good deeds Friday instead. That's in keeping with the church's more recent emphasis on performing positive acts, especially in Lent, rather than "giving up" things like sweets. So, if, say, one or two Catholics locally gave up beer for Lent, were they allowed to ease that thirst Friday?


COINCIDENTAL TIMING: You have to admire the pluck of those Pentagon generals, or maybe it went higher, to the Sec Def, or even Karl Rove, himself. Don't let the American people focus on 2,300 Americans and an estimated 100,000 Iraqis dead on the third anniversary of that conflict Monday. Open a good, old-fashioned offensive. Launch it on the day Iraq's Parliament met for the first time, make the invasion force half Iraqi and resort to those Vietnam-era "body counts," of "insurgents captured," to make everyone think victory. We Americans so love the smell of napalm in the morning.

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