- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 13, 2000

'Peace and love'

"I was born … on April 8, 1963, and lived with my biological father, John Lennon, for just a few years. After that I only saw him a handful of times before he was killed.

"Sadly, I never really knew the man. I think that the work he produced was incredible and so was what he achieved with his three friends, Paul, George and Ringo. But his work hasn't given me a clear insight into what his real life was about or how he truly felt about it… .

"I went through a series of love/hate relationships with Dad, whether he was there or not… . There was a lot of anger in my life during my teens and 20s, because I didn't understand what was going on or why things were the way they were. I had a great deal of anger towards Dad because of his negligence and his attitude to peace and love. That peace and love never came home to me.

"I wonder what it would have been like if he were alive today… .

"Once I began to look at his life and really understand him, I began to feel so sorry for him, because once he was a guiding light, a star that shone on all of us, until he was sucked into a black hole and all of his strength consumed.

"Although he was definitely afraid of fatherhood, the combination of that and his life with Yoko Ono led to the real breakdown of our relationship."

Julian Lennon, in a statement posted Dec. 4 on his Web site, www.julianlennon.com

Powerful TV

"Arguably, America's most powerful cultural institution is television.

"Ninety-eight percent of American households currently possess at least one television set. Three of four households have at least two TVs, and half have at least three or more… .

"The average child in the United States views three to four hours of television per day. Indeed, half of American children have a TV set in their bedroom.

"As a result, by the time they are 6 years old, American children, on average, will have spent more time watching TV than they will spend talking to their father over their entire lifetime …

"Given the current scope of fatherlessness and the ubiquitousness of television, it is no exaggeration to say that for millions of children, the primary contact they have with the idea of a father is the time they spend watching a father on television."

from "Fatherhood and Television: An Evaluation of Fatherhood Portrayals on Prime Time Television," issued Dec. 5 by the Fatherhood Initiative

'Sex' and self-loathing

"As a Cosmo girl fantasy, 'Sex and the City' can be fun… . But it's being treated as much more than a lively comedy it's being hyped … its good points overblown and its bad points ignored.

"The praise for 'Sex and the City' has become a feedback loop of self-flattery.

"The sense of entitlement that underwrites the characters' existence results in a clique mentality that the audience is assumed to share. Uncool outsiders can be treated with lightning contempt… .

"Enthusiasts cite 'Sex and the City' as a cheeky example of female empowerment, but it's spiked with self-loathing, which surfaces not only from Samantha's foul mouth but in the characters' constant drinking ….

" 'Sex and the City' … has a following among gay men who recognize themselves in the show's bump-and-run dynamics… .

" 'They all go to the gym, have sex, drink Cosmos, and show. They are gay men,' an entertainment attorney told New York magazine in a survey of the show's gay fans… .

"According to New York's informal poll, the most popular 'Sex and the City' bachelorette is Samantha, the biggest tramp, ergo 'the most gay-man of them all.' "

James Wolcott, writing on "Twinkle, Twinkle, Darren Star," in the January issue of Vanity Fair

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