J. H. Hatfield's 1999 biography of George W. Bush, Fortunate Son, alleges many sordid details of Dubya's salad days, including cocaine-fueled parties, arrests for drinking and driving, and business connections with Sheik Salem M. bin Laden (Osama's father). The original publisher, St. Martin's Press, recalled the book in October of that year after learning that Hatfield (pictured on the far right, with publisher Sander Hicks) was a convicted felon. Shortly thereafter, indie imprint Soft Skull Press announced that it would republish the book but ended up struggling for more than a year with lawsuits, poor press and disagreements with the book distributor before finally getting Fortunate Son back in brave bookstores. Horns and Halos, a documentary by Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky, chronicles the travails of the book, its author and its new publisher as they attempt to bring their version of the Bush story to the American public.
The first step in mending our fractured democracy is education. Read the book, see the film, then discuss both with other people -- even if you disagree, you're part of the solution. (And if you haven't already, it wouldn't hurt if you registered to vote.)
Horns and Halos, part of Webster University's film series, screens at 7 p.m. Friday, March 19, through Sunday, March 21, in the Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue, 314-968-7487). Admission is $4 to $6. -- Guy Gray
A Modest Proposal
Let's all get married!
With marriage becoming a national pastime (consider the Bachelor/ette and Jessica Simpson), it only makes sense to give some press to a holiday long overlooked: Proposal Day. No, we're not kidding. According to John O'Loughlin, the vernal equinox is the perfect day to proclaim your undying love and ask for blessed domesticity. O'Loughlin developed the holiday several years ago to promote marriage, unaware that the institution we thought was fading away would become prime-time television in our brave new conservative century. To his credit, O'Loughlin has spoken against marriage-based reality TV shows, not because they're a waste of time, of course, but because they cheapen the institution. Guess no one told him about the Proposal Day e-cards, now available at Amazon.com. -- Mark Dischinger
Mad About Mad Cows?
Then meet us at the Meatout
Are you unconvinced by the late Dr. Atkins' carnivorous carte blanche but still seeking better living through nutrition? Have you ever wondered how life might feel without those bacon-encrusted triple beefburgers packing your intestines? Take a vegan diet for a test drive at the Meatout Bash, an all-you-can-eat buffet containing not a single animal-derived ingredient. The St. Louis Vegetarian Society and the St. Louis Animal Rights Team are hosting the dinner in observance of the Great American Meatout, a call for Americans to abandon their carnivorous fixations. Noted vegetarian speaker and author Dr. Michael Greger will take the podium to make the case for veganism, but the proof is in the dairy-free pudding. Diners are seated at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the dining commons of Eden Theological Seminary (475 East Lockwood Avenue). The cost is $12 in advance or $15 at the door; call 314-995-2699 to find out more. -- Jason Toon
It's a PC World
Museums are repositories for works of art and ancient artifacts; this makes Grace's Place, the new computer museum at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (named for Grace Murray Hopper, creator of the computer language COBOL), a touch disconcerting. When you see behind glass the same IBM clone you thought was high-tech nine years ago, you're a little unsure if it's art or if you're getting old. The museum is located in the Computer Center Building (8001 Natural Bridge Road, 314-516-6281) and opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 19, with a free reception. -- Paul Friswold