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They'll Praise the Lord and Pass the Contraception

Newsmakers

March 05, 1989|JAMES MARNELL

--Lyn Paleo of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation doffs her hat to Roman Catholic school nuns for their frank and open discussion on the use of condoms to fight the deadly disease. Paleo says that while most people try to avoid talking about the C-word, as she refers to condoms, Catholic schools are playing an important educational role. "The nuns tell us: 'You tell them everything they need to know, whatever you need to say,' " Paleo said of the foundation teams that visit the high schools. "One nun said: 'We preach 364 days a year about abstinence. You tell them what they need to know for the other day in case our preaching hasn't worked.' " Paleo added: "Condoms and condom use are the true cornerstones of preventing the transmission of the AIDS virus." But, she said, selling the idea is another matter.

--For now, rock star Madonna's new video doesn't stand a prayer of being shown on Italian television. Charges by the conservative Roman Catholic group Famiglia Domani that the video, "Like a Prayer," is blasphemous have led state-run RAI television to cancel plans to show the video on the program "Notte Rock" (Rock Night) this week. In the video, the singer witnesses an assault on a girl, and a black man is wrongly accused. Wearing a slip, Madonna enters a church, where she stands before a statue of a black saint. The face is that of the accused man. Madonna, moved by the statue-come-to-life, develops bleeding hands similar to the wounds of the crucified Jesus. She kisses the statue and tells the police the accused man is not guilty. Madonna's Italian record company, WEA, said it will temporarily suspend TV distribution of the video.

--Wait no more. A mere $1,720 will buy a rare find these days: Samuel Beckett's latest novella, entitled "Stirrings Still." Only 200 signed copies of the 83-year-old Nobel Prize-winning author's work are being printed in London right now, but a mass-market edition should be in U.S. stores in a couple of years. The book by the author of "Waiting for Godot" is a meditation on old age that one reviewer lauded as "another of Beckett's nihilistic mantras, best mumbled aloud." A sample: "A clock afar struck the hours and half-hours. The same as when among others Darly once died and left him. Strokes now clear as if carried by a wind now faint on the still air. Cries afar now faint now clear. Head on hands half hoping when the hour struck that the half-hour would not and half fearing that it would not. Similarly when the half-hour struck. Similarly when the cries a moment ceased. Or merely wondering. Or merely waiting. Waiting to hear."

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