Weekend SpecialNo. 69: “No More Pencils”

Weekend SpecialNo. 69: “No More Pencils”

Weekend SpecialNo. 69: “No More Pencils”

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
June 20 1998 3:30 AM

Weekend SpecialNo. 69: “No More Pencils”

Weekend Special No. 69: "No More Pencils"

By Randy Cohen


As June concludes, it's time for editors to run the annual school's out photo, like this one from today's New York Times:

Photo: Lovable tots in yellow caps and gowns exchange hugs.

Caption: CONGRATULATIONS ALL AROUND. Candace Rambaran, right, and her classmate, Jennifer Marte, hug each other after graduating, along with 12 other legally blind 5-year-olds, from the Children's Learning Center at Helen Keller Services for the Blind yesterday.

Adorable, but perhaps anachronistic. You are invited to submit a more contemporary school's out photo and caption likely to run in the newspaper of your choice.


by 5 p.m. ET Sunday to e-mail your answer (newsquiz@slate.com).

Responses to Wednesday's question (No. 68)--"I'm a Believer":

Fill in the blank.

House Majority Leader Dick Armey found common ground with Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott yesterday, noting,"Both myself and Sen. Lott believe very strongly in _________."


"Seeing other people."--Dan Simon

"The saying 'majority rules.' "--Patty Marx

"Cabaret as a meaningful form of self-expression."--Larry Amaros

"The theory that Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was really about a homosexual male couple. And when the revival of Tiny Alice opens in D.C., count us out!!!"--Meg Wolitzer


"Mispronouncing Barney Frank's name."--Aaron Schatz

"The hazing ritual for junior senators, which includes vodka, the soundtrack from Sleepless in Seattle, and a naked run through Strom Thurmond's office."--Danny Spiegel

"Love at first sight."--Danny Franklin

Click for more responses.


Randy's Wrap-Up

Many responses pivoted on the comic irony of the hypocritical, the seductive 19th century idea that generated all those French sex farces and Austrian psychiatric sessions: that a passionate belief conceals its opposite--the prig is really a lecher, the ascetic is really a glutton, the candy mint is really a breath mint. But sometimes the true believer truly believes. In the sad and modern version, the ugly duckling turns out to be a swine; the Christian Fundamentalist sees the light and goes Taliban.

In other words, even if we did recruit the hunkiest bunch of congressional aides this town has ever seen, got them jobs in Lott's and Armey's offices, and turned them loose on a suicide seduction mission, this wouldn't usher in a golden age of tolerance. It might, however, make for a great movie sure to be overlooked by the American Film Institute.

Fundamental Answer

The Bible.

Endorsing Trent Lott's view that homosexuality is a sin, Armey added, "The Bible is very clear on this." In a New York Times op-ed, A.N. Wilson points out that Paul's Epistle to Philemon condones slavery and cites biblical passages that approve of the stoning of adulteresses. Wilson writes, "Paul thought the world was about to end. Far from having a cozy 1950's style idea of family life, he advised his followers not to marry at all. The early church was consistently hostile to family life, and held up as role models ascetics, celibates, self-mutilators and desert dropouts."

Second-Guessing Extra

"News Quiz" participants amend the AFI's list of the 100 best American Movies.

Should have been off the list:

Schindler's List, Forrest Gump, Dances With Wolves

Should have been on the list:

Fritz the Cat, The Right Stuff, The Big Sleep--better crime movie than Pulp Fiction, Slapshot--better sports movie than Raging Bull, Beauty and the Beast--better cartoon than Fantasia, The Empire Strikes Back--better space movie than Star Wars, Night of the Hunter, The Last Emperor, Gandhi, Do The Right Thing

Matthew Budman's Corner

Worst films on the AFI list:

2001: A Space Odyssey--stultifying even at thumb-on-the-fast-forward speed, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington--anti-politics and anti-democracy, The Sound of Music--cloying and sentimental, Rebel Without a Cause--hilariously tame and unconvincing, Close Encounters of the Third Kind--diffuse, unmoving, and interminable, Forrest Gump--effects-heavy and politically insidious, Easy Rider--dated and content-free, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner--simplistically simple-minded

They picked the wrong Hitchcock--North by Northwest and Rear Window rather than Rebecca and Notorious, and the wrong Coen Bros.--Fargo rather than Miller's Crossing or Raising Arizona

Best films not on the list:

The Big Sleep, Brazil, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Drugstore Cowboy, The Front, Holiday, The Last Picture Show, The Lion in Winter, Manhattan, Matewan, Miller's Crossing, Rebecca, Smile

Disclaimer: All submissions will become the property of Slate and will be published at Slate's discretion. Slate may publish your name on its site in connection with your submission.