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  • Marriage & Money: What You Should Know

    Tax time can tax even the strongest marriages, but newlyweds Brad and Drew Erb, who took their vows last October, should be feeling particularly in love as April 15 approaches. Over the past six months, the couple has done nearly everything possible to avoid the kind of financial conflicts that often lead to nasty fights between husbands and wives: they combined their checking and investment accounts, made each other beneficiaries of their respective 401(k)s and are bumping up their life insurance. Brad, who is now on his wife's medical plan, saves a few hundred dollars a month. Even better, filing a joint tax return this year gave them a 15 percent higher refund. "Our situation is probably luckier than a lot of people's," says Brad, a Winter Park, Fla.-based financial adviser for Edward Jones.He's right. All over the country, freshly married couples, confronting that cold 1040 "EZ" form for the first time together, are finding out the hard way that when it comes to marital stress,...
  • Will Smith: Hollywood's most powerful actor?

    A few decades ago, paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould developed the theory of punctuated equilibrium, which states, in essence, that evolution doesn't happen at a slow, steady rate. It happens fast, in bursts, after long periods of stasis. Maybe he should be required reading in Hollywood.For almost as long as there have been power lists, Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise—"The Toms"—have jockeyed for first position, occasionally letting Mel Gibson sneak up on the rail, just to keep things interesting. But just like that, the race has changed. Gibson hasn't starred in a major film in five years. Cruise lost his cool on Oprah's couch, and it's unclear if he can get it back. And Hanks, while undeniably bankable, is, at 50, no longer viable for most leading-man scripts. In the past year, all three men have been eclipsed. With a worldwide career box office of $4.4 billion, Will Smith is now the most powerful actor in Hollywood, followed by Johnny Depp and Ben Stiller. Talk about punctuated (or maybe...
  • Wildlife: Advice on 'Solo Baby' Animals

    Spring is birthing season for baby animals. What should you do when you come across newborn squirrels, raccoons and skunks under your deck or in your attic? It's likely that their moms moved there to find a private spot to give birth. If you can, wait until the babies are 6 to 8 weeks old. Then, rather than move the animals yourself, make their moms want to relocate by blasting rock and roll and keeping lights on, says Laura Simon, field director of urban wildlife for the Humane Society of the United States (wildneighbors.org).Don't assume solo babies are orphans. Mothers of bunnies and deer visit their little ones only a couple of times a day. "People will take a wild animal away from its mother without meaning to," says Simon. Don't feed them anything. They can't digest cows' milk and lettuce.If you're sure the babies are motherless, call your local nature center or an animal shelter to find a "wildlife rehabilitator"—a volunteer licensed by the state fish and game agency to take...
  • 'Run's House:' Reality TV Gets Real

    When “Run’s House” began on MTV three seasons ago, the plot line was family life with a hip-hop twist. Joseph Simmons (a.k.a. Rev Run of the seminal rap group Run-D.M.C.) was cast in the classic “Father Knows Best” role, with his wife, Justine, and five children cheerfully going along for the ride. Most of their antics were lighthearted fare—an over-the-top high-school graduation party, homework problems, the saga of one child wanting to move out on her own—made all the more comical because Simmons is both a rich semi-celebrity and a real reverend, and a stern one at that.But lighthearted wasn’t the tone when the show returned last night. Last season ended with Justine, 43, several months pregnant and the family preparing for the birth. But the comedy took a tragic turn. Justine was rushed to the hospital—with the cameras rolling—and given an emergency C-section. The baby, who was named Victoria Anne, lived less than two hours. Suddenly, the family and MTV faced a difficult...
  • Living With Cancer in America

    I took the call on my cell phone at the Starbucks in New York's Penn Station. It was from a doctor I barely knew telling me that a CT scan—ordered after three weeks of worsening stomach pain—showed a large mass in my abdomen, with what she said was "considerable lymph node involvement." I rubbed my eyes and sensed the truth instantly: cancer, and not one that had been detected early. I was 46 years old and had not spent a night in the hospital since I was born. Nonsmoker. No junk food beyond the occasional barbecue potato chips. Jogged a couple of times a week. I was not remotely ready for this.It was Super Tuesday, March 2, 2004, the day voters would select most of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Although the complete diagnosis was still several days off, the intense abdominal pain meant that my wife, Emily, and I had no time to stop, absorb and adjust to our twisted new world. We immediately began negotiating the endless round of doctors' appointments and...
  • My Turn: The Miracle of My Mother's Easter Pies

    In early spring, my mother would make an announcement from her kitchen in Brooklyn. "I'm making the Easter pies," she would say. "Going to be busy, so nobody bother me."The pie was an Italian specialty known as pizza rustica. Her mother had once made the same pies from a recipe her family brought to America from a small town near Naples, Italy. My mother had watched her mother prepare the pies for Holy Saturday, slicing the smoked ham and hot sausage into bits, filling the dish with fresh ricotta and Romano cheese, brushing the beaten egg wash onto the crust to give it a glaze.By the time I came along, my mother and grandmother were making the pies together, so I never got a chance to taste one of my grandmother's original creations. I don't know if my mother followed her recipe exactly, or added her own touches. I do know that everyone in the family agreed that my mother's pies were the best they'd ever tasted, hands down.My mother made 15 or 20 pies every April for more than 40...
  • Gellman: Imus Must Repent for His Remarks

    After a decade as a regular on his show, I would not call him a bigot. But the talk host does need to take three spiritual steps of repentance in order to be saved.
  • Book Exerpt: 'Positively Fourth Street'

    In the winter of 1949, when Joan and Mimi Baez were little girls, their aunt Tia moved in with them. She came through the chimney and brought music and ice cream in her carpetbag, or it seemed that way to them at the time.Joan, who was eight, and Mimi, who was four, shared a bedroom on the second floor of the Baez's family's clapboard house in Menlo Park, California, near Stanford University, where their father, Dr. Albert Baez, thirty-seven, worked in a cold war program to teach physics to military engineers in training. Their older sister, Pauline, ten, kept to herself in her own small room, a converted closet, and their mother, thirty-six, for whom Joan was named, tended to the house while listening to classical music on 78-rpm records a salesman picked out for her. The female contingent of the family submitted reluctantly to rooming-house life until the elder Joan's sister Tia, thirty-nine, joined them, freshly divorced for unimaginably adult reasons never to be discussed...
  • Starr: Don Imus Is Us

    As the college basketball season wound down to its ends with a distinct lack of any of the promised madness, the Rutgers women’s basketball team was the closest thing to a Cinderella story that this year’s tournaments offered. Rutgers was not quite that much of a long shot—it has long been on the periphery of elite women’s teams—but was still a scrappy underdog that had overcome an unfavorable draw to reach the final against the University of Tennessee, the gold standard of women’s basketball.What pretty much anyone watching could see in that women’s final was that Rutgers was overmatched in almost every facet of the game, except possibly grit. And it quickly became clear that the team’s frantic effort—it seemed to be trying too hard—wouldn’t be enough even to keep it close.But Don Imus apparently saw something else. On his nationally syndicated radio show, “Imus in the Morning” (simulcast on MSNBC TV), the reigning king of the radio talk show empire revealed that instead of game...
  • Book: Watching a Fiddle Come Alive

    Eugene Drucker of the Emerson String Quartet owns one of the most sought-after instruments in the world—a Stradivari violin. Named "the Rosgonyl," it was made in 1686 during Antonio Stradivari's early period (his "Golden Period" was after 1700).  It is a magnificent instrument with one serious downside: on tour, a change in humidity can cause it to choke up and require nerve-wracking, emergency adjustments.  So Drucker has decided, somewhat reluctantly, that he needs to commission a less temperamental, more dependable, instrument. In "The Violin Maker," John Marchese tells the story of how this new violin was built by modern master Sam Zygmuntowicz, a luthier who has earned his reputation by building prized instruments for such eminent musicians as Isaac Stern and Yo Yo Ma, as well as for other members of the Emerson Quartet.Having completed his training at the Violin School of America, Zygmuntowicz apprenticed for five years in the New York studio of the mercurial master Rene Morel...
  • Who Knew Air Guitar Could Be Endearing?

    As a subject for a documentary, a bunch of dudes competing in an air guitar contest might be high on your list—as it was on mine—of totally unnecessary cultural events. I had visions of, at best, a few cheap laughs at the expense of some pathetic kids with delusions of rock-star glory. Did we need another condescending carnival of no-talent exhibitionism in the era of "Jackass," Paris Hilton and the early rounds of "American Idol"?Well, "Air Guitar Nation" is not that movie. Alexandra Lipsitz’s fleet (82 minutes) doc is certainly funny, but never at the expense of its subjects, who are a surprisingly self-aware and sophisticated bunch. How can you not appreciate a contestant—the heady New Yorker Dan Crane—who dubs himself Bjorn Turoque? Bjorn enters the East Coast air guitar competition, held in the Pussycat Lounge in New York, in hopes of becoming the first American champ to compete in the world finals in Oulu, Finland, where air guitarmanship is not taken lightly. ("Make air, not...
  • Book: Paula Deen Spills

    Even as someone who prays at the altar of butter, Paula Deen considers herself to be more spiritual than religious, yet it was, in fact, a prayer that changed her life. “I can tell you about that morning I got up—I can take you right back to the very spot I was standing in when that Serenity Prayer went through my head,” says Deen. “I finally accepted my mother’s death, my father’s death, my death, my children’s death—everybody that I loved—because dying is a big, big part of living; ain’t none of us going to get out of this alive. I accepted that.” Death? Dying? Is this Paula Deen, the Food Network’s gregarious Southern cook who has a personality the size of Texas and a laugh to match? Sure enough it is, and she confesses her darkest moments in a new memoir, “Paula Deen: It Ain’t All About the Cookin’,” which reveals … well, let’s say the only dirty little secret she’s got left to tell may just be her cholesterol score. She had warned me it would be warts and all, and hoped that...
  • Q & A: Quentin Tarantino

    People are always eating and drinking in Quentin Tarantino's films, and he always makes sure to give them cool places to do it. The 44-year-old filmmaker loves colorful banter, and restaurants and bars are the ideal setting. Over the course of his career, he's given us the diner at the beginning of "Reservoir Dogs," Jack Rabbit Slim's and Big Kahuna Burger in "Pulp Fiction" and the glamorously serene House of Blue Leaves in "Kill Bill, Volume 1." He gives us two more hip establishments in his new movie, "Death Proof": a Tex-Mex joint named Guero's and a dumpy roadhouse bar called the Texas Chili Parlor. So frankly, it's a little disappointing when Tarantino asks a NEWSWEEK reporter to meet him for an interview at his local Starbucks. It's just down the street from his apartment in New York's West Village, but still. Fortunately, when Tarantino shows up, he's exactly the guy fans have come to expect: a manic, mile-a-minute talker in blue jeans and a vintage T shirt. For his latest...
  • Sloan: Harpooning Blackstone Group

    If you're wondering why people like me keep writing about Blackstone Group, the big private-equity player, there's a simple answer: The whale that comes to the surface gets harpooned. And whales don't get much bigger than Blackstone, which lately seems to be bidding on every asset in sight.When private-equity firms and hedge funds kept low profiles, they were well out of harpoon range. They benefited from an enormous tax loophole that few but the cognoscenti knew about and a nice legal loophole that's familiar to people in the world of partnerships but that I'd never heard of until last week. These things have now emerged into public view, thanks largely to Blackstone's bid to become a publicly traded company. The harpoons are flying-as well they should be.Let's start with the tax loophole. Hedge funds and private-equity funds charge substantial fees to their investors, but what's made some hedgies and private-equity folks into billionaires is that they get a "carried interest" in...
  • Sloan: Blackstone Is Hiding Its Private Parts

    What a letdown. Blackstone Group, the giant "private" equity firm, finally filed its going-public documents last week—but left out what Wall Street's financial voyeurs most wanted to see: how much of the firm cofounders Steve Schwarzman and Pete Peterson own, what their stakes might be worth and how much they and their partners have been paying themselves. It was like watching "Sex and the City" on basic cable: the good stuff's gone missing. Bummer.But this disappointment notwithstanding, there is news buried in Blackstone's 300-plus-page filing, like truffles hidden on a forest floor. The most interesting single revelation involves how much Blackstone made last year in "carry": the portion (typically 20 percent) of investors' profits the firm gets as a fee. The carry, buried on Page F-29, some 250 pages into the filing, is a stunning $1.55 billion, more than two thirds of Blackstone's $2.3 billion of "economic net income." Now watch. Blackstone's partners, like those at other...
  • 'Planet Earth': 'Breathtaking' New Series

    Could any TV program sound more boring than an 11-hour nature documentary? Lions. Tigers. Bears. Oh my. But "Planet Earth," the Discovery Channel's breathtaking new wildlife series that globetrots from caves to jungles to deserts to polar ice caps, never feels like homework. It feels more like an action movie that just happens to be on TV, and just happens to feature snow leopards instead of superheroes. Filmed over five years with high-definition cameras, "Planet Earth," which begins airing on March 25, is a reverse trompe l'oeil. It looks so crisp and real that you can't believe it's not fake.The Discovery Channel partnered with the BBC to produce "Planet Earth," spending more than $1 million per episode—a fortune in the nature-doc universe. But every penny is on screen. "Every frame had to be a Rembrandt," says executive producer Alastair Fothergill. To paint on screen like grand masters, Fothergill's intrepid team used innovations like the heligimble—a motion-stabilized camera...
  • The Weight of 'What If'

    In the summer of 1971 I stood at the wire ticker and watched as my college boyfriend's lottery draft number came up 365. Only his cousin, born in a leap year, did better. It made it a certainty that neither would have to serve in Vietnam. Every once in a while I've flashed back to that roll of the dice, as the college student morphed into the attorney, the boyfriend into the husband and later the father. It could have been a different future, for him, for me, for the three kids who might never have existed, if he'd wound up in the single digits.From the snug harbor of their settled lives, people like to torture themselves a little with the specter of what-ifs, which is why so many still watch "It's a Wonderful Life" every year at Christmastime. A different school, a different job, a different town, a different choice. One brick out of the wall, and the whole thing tumbles. The randomness of life is disconcerting.But there's nothing quite like a protracted war to shift the landscape...
  • Medicine: Two Shots for Chicken Pox Now

    Like 100 of their peers at Orchard Park Elementary in Ft. Mill, S.C., Emily Rivers, 9, and her sister, Olivia, 6, contracted chicken pox this year—despite getting immunized when they were a year old. The girls got sick because a single shot—the old recommendation—protects only 85 percent of kids. As a result, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that kids get a second shot between the ages of 4 and 6.Ironically, says Dr. Robert Frenck of the American Academy of Pediatrics' committee on infectious diseases, "the vaccine program has worked so well that people just don't see the benefits anymore." Many Americans no longer view the disease as a health threat. But chicken-pox outbreaks tend to start with unvaccinated kids, says the AAP's Dr. David Kimberlin.Pam Rivers praises the vaccine for reducing the severity of her girls' outbreak. They got just a few dozen bug-bite-like "pocks." By contrast, her husband, 48, who'd never had the disease or the vaccine,...
  • America's Top 50 Rabbis

    Last fall, Sony Pictures CEO and Chairman Michael Lynton got together with his good friends and fellow power brokers Gary Ginsberg, of Newscorp., and Jay Sanderson, of JTN Productions and started working on a list of the 50 most influential rabbis in America. They had a scoring system: Are the rabbis known nationally/internationally? (20 points.) Do they have a media presence? (10 points.) Are they leaders within their communities? (10 points.) Are they considered leaders in Judaism or their movements? (10 points.) Size of their constituency? (10 points.) Do they have political/social influence? (20 points.) Have they made an impact on Judaism in their career? (10 points.) Have they made a "greater" impact? (10 points.) This system, though helpful, is far from scientific; the men revised and rejiggered their list for months, and all three concede that the result is subjective. Here, then, published for the first time, the top 50 rabbis in America:
  • Levy: Death to DRM?

    A new deal between Apple and EMI drops restrictive software from their songs, paving the way for better portability of digital music and improved sound quality. So why does it have to cost more?
  • French Nun Says Pope Cured Parkinson's

    It’s been a highly guarded secret for the past year: the identity of a French nun said to have been miraculously cured through the intercession of the late Pope John Paul II. Now, though, the mystery is over.Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre, a nurse at the Sainte Felicite maternity hospital in Paris, decided to come clean on Friday with her remarkable story—a day after Le Figaro revealed her identity. Speaking to reporters from the headquarters of her religious order in Aix-en-Provence, southeast France, she said she was mysteriously cured of Parkinson’s disease—literally overnight. If the church declares the cure a miracle, John Paul will very likely be beatified, or made “Blessed” in the coming years—a major step to sainthood. Roman Catholics place great importance on Blesseds and Saints because they believe they give glory to God and provide role-models for the faithful. Catholics also believe these men and women of holiness are confirmed in heaven, meaning that anyone can pray to them...
  • Poll: God’s Approval Rating

    The latest Newsweek poll shows that 91 percent of American adults surveyed believe in God—and nearly half reject the theory of evolution. Also, Americans on John Edwards and the Senate's goal for troop withdrawal.
  • Gallery: Shock Jocks in Hot Water

    Don Imus is neither the first--nor is he likely to be the last--radio talk show host to find himself in scalding waters. Imus has been cracking wise behind a microphone for nearly 40 years, since 1968, and has been dubbed by Talkers, a radio trade magazine, one of the greatest radio talk show hosts of all time. Hardly a stranger to controversy, he’s been accused of homophobia, racism and misogyny in the past. But it was one sentence, an unfunny three-second throwaway line in a conversation about the Rutgers women’s basketball team, that threw the future of his decades-long career into question. “That’s some nappy-headed hos, there,” he said on April 4, painfully aping the language of the streets, offending some listeners and insulting the highly accomplished members of the team.Fallout was swift. After community leaders such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, Jr., and even genial Al Roker called for his dismissal, Imus apologized and promised to change the character of his show....
  • Mark Starr's 2007 Baseball Preview

    The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry in the American League East will finally tip the other way, but both teams will be there in October. And this year's surprise playoff team is ...
  • Q&A: Richard Rogers on Winning the Pritzker Prize

    Richard Rogers, 73, who just won this year’s prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, first seized the international spotlight in 1971 when he and Renzo Piano beat out 680 entries with their outrageous design for the Pompidou Center in Paris. Their brash building—its brightly colored tubes, ducts and pipes exposed on the outside—landed in an old neighborhood like an alien spacecraft. Not long after, he began his own practice in London, where he once again rocked the old guard with his gleaming stainless steel Lloyd’s of London slapped down among the dowdy office buildings of the city’s financial district. Though he now carries a British title—Lord Rogers of Riverside—he’s actually Italian by birth (his great-grandfather Rogers was an English dentist who settled in Venice); his family moved to England on the eve of World War II. Not that it matters—Rogers’s outlook is clearly global. In honoring him, the Pritzker jury cited his consistent pursuit of “the highest goals of architecture...
  • 'The Dinner Party' Gets a Home

    Lots of people think that Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party” is lousy art. Chicago (and a few hundred disciples/volunteers) made the restaurant-size work in the ’70s as a kind of feminist encyclopedia. The tables are decorated with elaborate place settings for 39 women, from an archetypal “Primordial Goddess” to Susan B. Anthony, and each plate is decorated with a motif deemed particular to that honoree—or at least to a part of her anatomy. If you only dimly suspect that Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower paintings resemble female genitalia, then you ain’t seen these dishes yet. The whole thing looks like an R-rated banquet at an overdressed Trump hotel. All art, of course, is to some degree political. But can something this blatantly didactic still be any good?The fact is, “The Dinner Party” is one of the most influential pieces of the last 50 years. Without it, there would be no art-star Cindy Sherman, no “Vagina Monologues,” even, in a way, no Hillary Clinton. Chicago obviously wasn’t the...
  • U.S. Kids Bombarded By TV Food Ads

    A new study reveals that American kids are exposed to as many as 50 hours a year of TV food advertising—much of it for sugary snacks. Are the ads exacerbating the national obesity problem?
  • The Oval: Bush's Rough Spring

    Bush soldiers on with his domestic energy agenda. But he's having trouble getting traction amid an ongoing blizzard of bad news.
  • Nepal: Hopes for a Tourism Revival

    Few sights are more breathtaking than Mount Everest—especially if its snow-covered summit is seen at eye-level from a commercial airliner flying to Nepal, home to eight of the world's 14 tallest mountains. Equally amazing things are happening beneath Nepal’s clouds these days. For the first time in a decade, the country is enjoying a semblance of peace—and optimism that its tourist industry can reinvigorate itself.Nepal has long been recognized as one of the world's most desirable outdoor playgrounds, offering activities like mountaineering, trekking, river rafting and jungle safaris, to name a few. But in recent years, the country’s name has been more associated with civil war, tragedy and oppression. In 1996, an obscure group of Maoist rebels in the remote west began fighting the central government, a conflict that killed more than 13,000 people and rocked this tranquil Himalayan kingdom to its core. Things worsened in 2001 when the country's distraught crown prince shot and...
  • New on DVD: Bluegrass Legends in Their Prime

    One day in 1989 while cleaning out the garage at his Tyne Boulevard home in Nashville, Willis Graham uncovered the holy grail of country music: 24 episodes of the "Flatt & Scruggs Grand Ole Opry" television show. The significance of the cache wasn't lost on Graham, a retired advertising executive who had worked with the show's sponsor. Until that bout of spring cleaning, the received wisdom was that the Flatt & Scruggs shows had all been erased or taped over, that no copies of its 1955-69 run survived. This week, nearly 20 years after Willis donated the films to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, fans will finally have the opportunity to see some of them on DVD with the release of "The Best of Flatt & Scruggs TV Show," volumes one and two.And what a treat it is. Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, backed by the Foggy Mountain Boys, led what was surely one of the two or three greatest bluegrass bands of all time. And they were at the height of their powers during their...
  • Anna Nicole Smith and Human Growth Hormone

    The dead starlet's autopsy revealed that she was injecting human growth hormone to counter the effects of aging and promote weight loss. Does that work? Inside the HGH boom—and the backlash.
  • Humor: Choose Your Own Hillary Positions

    Crisscrossing the nation in her quest for the 2008 Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton today unveiled new state-of-the-art software that will enable voters to customize her positions on a host of issues. Dubbed "Hillary 8.0,” the software will be handed out for free at all of Clinton’s campaign rallies and could provide the technological advantage she needs to sew up her party’s nod.At a rally in Chicago, campaign workers handed out the software disks to supporters while Clinton told the crowd, "Hillary 8.0 means victory for Hillary in '08." The New York senator told her supporters that the new application "will make me the very best Hillary you want me to be, whatever that happens to be."The software, compatible for both Mac and PC users, allows potential Hillary voters to configure their very own version of Sen. Clinton, choosing from over 57,000 positions on a variety of issues ranging from health care to immigration to the war in Iraq.But according to one early user,...
  • Study: A Downside to Day Care?

    A new study finds that children who regularly attend day-care centers develop more behavioral problems in kindergarten than those that don't. What's a parent to do?
  • Vanessa Redgrave at 70: A Magical Role

    Vanessa Redgrave is standing in the damp chill of a New York City street smoking a cigarette. It's early January and she's just given a talk, with writer Joan Didion, about "The Year of Magical Thinking," the upcoming one-woman Broadway show that Didion adapted from her 2005 memoir of her husband's death. Suddenly, the door of the building flies open and out bounds none other than Jane Fonda, Redgrave's costar from "Julia," the 1977 film for which Redgrave won an Oscar. They hug, and then Redgrave spills some big news: "I got married!" Fonda squeals, and the two clutch hands and beam like schoolgirls. Redgrave hasn't gone public about her marriage to her longtime companion, Franco Nero (and seems to have forgotten a reporter is standing nearby). But it's not surprising that matrimony is on her mind. Marriage is a powerful thread in "The Year of Magical Thinking," Didion's exploration of mourning and the near-madness it caused. She and the writer John Gregory Dunne were married for...
  • Health: Can Exercise Make You Smarter?

    Exercise does more than build muscles and help prevent heart disease. New science shows that it also boosts brainpower—and may offer hope in the battle against Alzheimer's.
  • A New Battle Over Gays in the Military

    Brian Fricke says he played the "pronoun game" for about three years. The Marine Corps sergeant substituted "she" for "he" when he told peers about his relationships, keeping the fact that he was gay from all but a small number in his unit. It wasn't until the day he left for Iraq in 2004 that the pretending got to be too much. Fricke, a Tennessean stationed at Miramar air base near San Diego, was being driven to the departure point by his boyfriend, Brad. The two had been together for several months, and it dawned on Fricke at the staging area that, with the bombings in Iraq, he might not see Brad again. Around them, Marines were taking leave of their own loved ones. Fricke felt the resentment rise. "I'm putting my life on the line like the others," he recalls feeling. "Damn it, if I'm not going to say goodbye to the person I love." Fricke kissed Brad hard on the lips. When he turned to face his unit, he realized no one cared. "People want to know that you'll be there for them in...