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A precocious, outspoken girl who favored tomes on the Holocaust to Tiger Beat, my 14-year-old cousin sat reading Camille Paglia’s Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays during my mother’s wedding ceremony. Years before, her hyper-liberal Southern parents had made a deal with her that allowed her to read any book she wanted, at any age. So, at 14, with percolating hormones, she picked up Paglia—who scares the hell out of university administrators nationwide and whose opinions are often merely manipulative but always incendiary. After the ceremony, I trolled the pews for forgotten handbags and found my cousin’s fill-in-the-blank prayer card. It read “I wish…I wish Newt Gingrich would auto-erotic asphyxiate himself.” Wonder where she got that idea? Paglia speaks on “Women and Leadership” at 6:30 p.m. at the National Press Club, 14th & F Sts. NW. Free. For reservations call (202) 662-7501. (GE)