An image of gout is easy to conjure up: The portly, elder royal resting his foot on a pillow, with a swollen, red and extremely painful big toe. It could be Henry VII, who was afflicted with the "disease of kings."
But today gout seems to be the disease of the average middle-aged American who's pudgy, consuming too much meat, and drinking too much alcohol — not unlike what the royals used to do.
OK, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. But the abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America says that none of the declared Republican candidates for president — nor any of those thought to be waiting in the wings — would pass muster with voters who support a woman's right to choose.
Mid-summer is a time when movie audiences crave action. And that's no truer of the multiplex than it is at the art house, where Point Blank, a new thriller from France (no relation to the Lee Marvin/John Boorman crime picture from 1967) opens — quite literally — with a bang. It's the crash of a man who, clutching his bleeding stomach, smashes through a door into the wall of a metal staircase. And it's followed by another crash seconds later, when two men with guns smash through the door after him.