Reporting from the wild side
It was an evening that would have given femi-Nazi-baiting Rush Limbaugh weeks of material. Dallas' Association for Women Journalists gathered recently to hear Grace Halsell speak. Halsell, who says she's a journalist, author, and one-time speech writer for Lyndon Johnson, apparently mesmerized the gathering with her tales of undercover reportage. And we're talkin' way, way undercover.

Halsell's books include Soul Sister, in which she describes her experiences after darkening her skin to live as a black woman in Mississippi; Bessie Yellowhair, pretty much the same thing--only this time as a Navajo; and The Illegals, in which she colored her skin to become a Mexican illegal immigrant and sneak into the United States (except she wasn't really illegal--but you know what we mean).

(Important Buzz credibility note: We are not joking here, nor is the above a script from a particularly tasteless Saturday Night Live skit.)

Like it says in the AWJ newsletter: "Her experiences of becoming someone other than herself--while remaining herself--are journeys within her lifelong odyssey of living free from barriers of gender, color, creed, and race."

To which Buzz can only reply, Did you say gender? Whoa. We figure that would take a little more, ah, personal modification than a few intensive days in a tanning parlor and a new 'do. But we have to admit, it would easily top Halsell's other chameleon stunts. If Grace decides to write about that particular transsexual odyssey, we'd like to suggest a book title: Butch Like Me: How I Learned to Leave the Toilet Seat Up.

A confused Buzz also noticed in the newsletter's thumbnail biographies of the AWJ board members that the majority of the women journalists made a point of noting who their husbands are and where they work. Gosh, aren't those the kind of patronizing, sexist references that make women politicians and newsmakers highly agitato and make Brenda Starr blush?

Not-so-blue helmets
Winter in Bosnia is probably more frigid and bleak than a Dallas sports fan can imagine--think Green Bay with land mines and even more belligerent natives.

Now, imagine spending the Christmas holiday prancing around in freezing Tuzla in hot pants, a peek-a-boo blouse, and a cute vest for a windbreaker. Not a chestnut-warming picture.

Sometimes, you've got to wonder who's the toughest squad at Texas Stadium, the 'Boys or Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. This week, in what military types like to call a "vertical insertion of force," the Cowgals are being airlifted into several Bosnian bases to "spread Christmas joy" among U.S. peacekeepers.

According to the official USO dispatch, the cheerleaders will perform a variety show, sign autographs, and visit with homesick peacekeepers. (Something tells Buzz that homesickness is about to reach epidemic proportions in the Balkans.)

Though the tour is called "A touch of home," Buzz offers an important tip to lonely and excited peacekeepers: Don't touch!

--Glen Warchol

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Glen Warchol