By Randy Cohen
"In some cases, people exiting the theaters were crying. In other cases, they could not initially talk," said entertainment executive Jim Tharp. What had they just seen?
by noon ET Tuesday to e-mail your answer (email@example.com).
Responses to Wednesday's question (No. 87)--"Woodstock III?":
Starting Friday, July 31, a weeklong event will feature Fireworks Night, Hispanic Night, Asian Night, Jewish Night, Irish Night, and African-American Day. Can you name that event?
"Rudy Giuliani's Blow the Fingers Off an Immigrant Week."--Larry Amaros
"Blondes Out of Porn! Week."--Colleen Werthmann
"War Movies of the 1950s-1980s Festival. Each day features discussion and free drinks for members of the relevant ethnic group after screenings of all the drill sergeant 'get to know you' scenes in which each minority receives ritual abuse at the hands of the sadistic officer."--Ananda Gupta
"Aryan Summerfest!"--Jim Hopkins
"Meet My Ex-Wives Week on Larry King Live."--Eliot Cohen
"It's the Carnival Cruise Theme Week. Launched after the stunning success of their two pilot programs: Assassinate Leon Klinghoffer Night and Life-Threatening Conflagration 20 Minutes Out of Miami Night."--David Rakoff
"It's a Small World After All Week, to celebrate the recently renamed IHOPE (International House of Pancakes and Explosives.)"--Meg Wolitzer
"Looking for more edge, the New York Times tests possible replacements for 'House & Home,' 'Circuits,' 'Dining In/Dining Out,' et. al."--Daniel Radosh
"Maya Angelou must be guest-hosting The Magic Hour."--Adam Bonin
"I like to think of it as just another good date week."--Beth Sherman
Click for more responses.
Tim Carvell's "Don't Stop Me, I'm on a Roll" Corner
"Third Annual We Love Fireworks, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, and the Irish, and Feel OK About--but Not Overjoyed by--African-Americans! Festival."--Tim Carvell
"Pledge week for my local PBS affiliate."--Tim Carvell
"Hey, is Malcolm Forbes having another birthday?"--Tim Carvell
"Celebration of things that make Trent Lott nervous."--Tim Carvell (Scott Ruthfield had a similarly Lottvian answer.)
"Festival of Jokes John McCain Thinks Are Funny."--Tim Carvell
"Theme Week at Nurse Wolf's Lair."--Tim Carvell
"Just another week at the Neverland Ranch."--Tim Carvell
Little things set the tone at these ethnic identity events. Calling attention to a group's love of education: good; calling attention to a group's unusually shaped noses: bad. Well-intentioned Americans: good; well-armed former Yugoslavians: bad. Fireworks: good; assault rifles backed by artillery support: bad.
Last Friday on the multiethnic festival that is the Cross Bronx Expressway, a car displayed a bumper sticker announcing, "Jesus Said: Surely I Come Quickly." Taken as one ethnic group's confidence of its imminent ascension to heaven: good; taken as a critique of Christian marriage: even better, at least for the non-Christian. And assuming the absence of assault rifles and artillery.
Batter Up Answer
It's International Week at Shea Stadium. The slogan of this Mets baseball promotion is "Believe in Diversity," a belief apparently best expressed on separate but equal evenings. So why does each group get a night except for African-Americans, who get a day? It's clear what stereotypes Budweiser embraces by sponsoring Irish Night and not Jewish Night, but why does the brewer endorse Hispanic Night and ignore Asian Night? The only other beer event: Rheingold Brewing Fireworks Night. Nothing celebrates diversity more than drunkenness and small explosives. Learn more about a noble social ideal debased into a cheap promotional stunt at www.mets.com.
Augmented Aftermath Extra (*final sentence added by "News Quiz")
Below, reactions to last Tuesday's fatal scaffold collapse at the Condé Nast building under construction in New York's Times Square.
"I think people are saddened by it and maybe vicariously guilty. It's a feeling similar to when Versace died, something we're all feeling together."--sensitive butanonymous Condé Nastemployee
"You had some of the top models in the world there, and they were hanging over the edge. It's frightening to think about that."--even more sensitive and anonymous Vogue employee
"I'm not going to pressure them to make a decision because people are yelling and screaming at them about pets. It's not like we're talking about top fashion models."*--sensitive but not nearly anonymous enough Mayor Giuliani, on when police will allow people to rescue their pets from barricaded buildings near the accident site
"The quality of the new shows this year is absolutely horrible. But at least they don't jeopardize any top models."*--sensitive and anonymous TV executive
"What can I do to make you like me?"--Randall Terry (Operation Rescue founder, on the congressional campaign trail)
"Nothing. Not unless you can go back in time and help those top models who might have been hurt."*--young womanselling pizza
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