Battle Cry

Battle Cry

Battle Cry

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Oct. 24 1998 3:30 AM

Battle Cry

Weekend Special
No. 129: "Battle Cry"

By Randy Cohen


Twenty-five years ago this month, President Nixon rallied America: "Let us set as our national goal, with the determination of the Manhattan Project, that by the end of this decade we will have developed the potential to ..." To do what? And (briefly) how did that work out, anyway? by 5 p.m. ET Sunday to e-mail your answer (

Responses to Wednesday's question (No. 128)--"You Say D'Amato":
Fill in the blank as Elizabeth Birch, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, America's largest gay and lesbian lobbying organization, defends its endorsement for the New York Senate race: "We have to admit that very few gay and lesbian New Yorkers know of Sen. D'Amato's ____________."

"Existence."--Brooke Saucier

"Ability to take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile."--Barbara Lippert

"Admirable restraint in not using anti-gay epithets until we've left the room."--Tim Carvell

"Gigantic collection of Leo Rosten Yiddish phrase books."--Aaron Schatz

"Willingness to sell himself to the highest bidder, regardless of lifestyle."--Barry Crimmins

Click here for more responses.

Randy's Wrap-Up
A thousand years from now, anthropologists of the future (and I, for one, wouldn't want to live in a future that lacked anthropologists) will unearth (or a future without plenty of earth) today's responses and discover just about the most dizzying list of gay stereotypes ever assembled. (Click here . And this time you really should.) That is, of course, the fault of "News Quiz." I asked for it. What I didn't ask for is the curious assumption that if you vigorously hate a thing, you secretly are that thing. It's the easy irony of methinks thou doth protest too much. And it's generally false. The most virulent proponents of apartheid were not secretly black. Spartans were not closet Athenian lovers. That kid Stimmel who bullied me in junior high was not my covert admirer. Except for the Christian right, of course; those guys are all gay.

Bedfellows Make Strange Politics Answer
Sen. D'Amato's record.
After the contentious 15-7 vote, board member Marylouise Oates resigned in protest, saying, "I do not wish to be a part of any organization that applauds and endorses a senator merely for his signing on as a co-sponsor of one bill after many years of anti-gay votes."
There may be more to it than a single bill. Former New York Mayor David Dinkins explains the Rev. Floyd Flake's endorsement of D'Amato this way: "Floyd is a businessman."
Clarification. Sen. D'Amato says that when he didn't call his opponent, Chuck Schumer, a "putzhead," he didn't mean it as a religious slur. He meant a nonsectarian "vulgar word for penis head."

Chart Busting Extra
These are the current Top 20. Top 20 what?

1. Veggie Line-Up
2. Savior
3. Dog Tags/Enlisted
4. Touched by an Angel
5. WWJD?--What Would Jesus Do?
6. WWJD?--Sports Logo
7. Driven
8. Today He Forgives
9. CK--Christ Is King
10. Sweet Jesus
11. Whitens Hearts
12. WWJD?--Dinosaur
13. WWJD?
14. WWJD?--Designer Colorblock
15. Pray Hard
16. Position in Life
17. WWJD?--Ask Me Blocks Solid Light
18. C.O.P.S.
19. Larry-Boy
20. Veggie Definition/Larry the Cucumber

Best-selling T-shirts, as charted by Christian Retailing magazine.


Plugs and Prods
This Friday at 9 p.m., CBS airs a very special episode of Buddy Faro called "Now You See Him, Now He's Dead." It's special in the sense that once it has run, its writer, Jon Hotchkiss, can concentrate on delivering amusing News Quiz responses. Welcome home!
(Hey, hey, hey, Mr. Marketer! Be like Jon! Let News Quiz help sell your projects and products! We use many persuasive exclamation points! Write for our surprisingly affordable rates!)


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.

Randy Cohen used to write Slate's "News Quiz." His most recent book—oh, like you don't know.