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Bard and Soul 

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Although politics is full of drama, and drama can be full of politics, is it really so smart to mix the two? We should all remember how peeved Sen. Orrin Hatch became after his cameo in Traffic. Closer to home, however, more politicians are giving the stage a shot. The Utah Association of Counties was kind enough to inform us that, last week, Gov. Mike Leavitt recited his own version of the famous Hamlet soliloquy during a Shakespeare “Feaste” in Cedar City. Here’s an excerpt:

To veto or not to veto—

That is the question.

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind

To suffer the slings and arrows

Of an outrageous Legislature,

Or to take nuclear waste out of Utah

And by taxing, end it.

Funny how such a partisan, decisive politician could possibly feel empathy for a teenager who spends an eternity trying to take a course of action. Besides, the thought of Leavitt in tights, dueling sword in hand, just does not wash. As Puck said, “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”

• Last week saw the untimely passing of that great, great granddaddy of American punk rawk, Jeff “Joey Ramone” Hyman, lead singer of great, great granddaddy of American punk bands, the Ramones. Never heard of them? Stop what you’re doing, run to the nearest music store, and charge your credit card for a copy of the band’s debut album, The Ramones. Do it now.

The Ramones never had a Top 40 hit, naturally, because they sucked all the pretensions out of rock and made it fun—and really, really stupid. Songs like “Teenage Labotomy” and “Blitzkrieg Bop” wiped the floor with most other ’70s-era tunes. BenBomb, however, is partial to the one-note guitar solo of “I Wanna Be Sedated.”

Joey Ramone was also the only rock musician to take Reagan to task for putting flowers on the graves of Nazi storm troopers. (The name of that immortal tune is “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg.” Play it loud.) Ramone died of lymphoma at age 49. “Gabba Gabba Hey” and R.I.P.

• Remember Julie Stoffer? The feisty BYU coed asked to leave the university after sharing the same house with members of the opposite sex on MTV’s The Real World? She’s back. In an article titled “Risk Takers” in the March issue of Cosmogirl! our beautiful hero sports hair dyed red and a snazzy-looking quilted, zip-up, dress-length green coat. And what an attitude! Stoffer talks about how her world has opened up since leaving the “Y,” about how she’s learned to respect other viewpoints, including that of her gay friend, Danny. She’s living in California, and loving it. And, from the sound of it, she’s grown rather tired of her Mormon upbringing. “I realized everything I’d been told my whole life wasn’t necessarily true. Nobody knows everything. That’s a humbling thought. Ignorance, it turns out, is not bliss,” she says. Our girl is growing up. The folks in Utah County must be seething.

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