- The Washington Times - Friday, February 11, 2000

Pathetic men?

"As most critics have noted, [feminist Susan] Faludi's study of the 'male crisis' is based on an odd cast of highly unrepresentative characters some colorful, some tragic, some merely pathetic.
"There are laid-off shipyard workers and middle-aged victims of corporate downsizing. There are the infamous 'Spur Posse' boys who engaged in a points-for-sex contest, and who seem far more excited about being on TV than they are about sex. There are Promise Keepers and militiamen, rabid football fans… . And there's Sylvester Stallone, whose angst gets more than 30 pages of text… .
"But what does it all add up to? Faludi wants men to rebel against their 'ornamental imprisonment' as women did against theirs, and suggests that feminism which, in her peculiar interpretation, becomes an anti-consumerist revolt can offer men a key to their own liberation."
Cathy Young, writing on "The Man Question," in the March issue of Reason

Anti-baby budget

"William Jefferson Clinton, in the last budget he will submit as president, has proposed a whopping $35 million increase in domestic 'family planning' spending… .
"The beneficiaries of this government largesse will not be soccer moms. Rather, this new funding is directed at curbing the fertility of what the president's budget summary calls 'over 5 million low-income women' by stocking 4,600 urban contraceptive shops with 'a full range of reproductive health services.' …
"In a time of anemic birth rates across America, [minority] groups have higher-than-average birthrates. With the exception of some Asian-American groups, all of these minority populations tend to be concentrated in urban centers and have incomes below the national average. They thus fit the president's description of his target population.
"Most of the '5 million low-income women' who will be given government money and encouragement to contracept and/or sterilize themselves will be African-American or Hispanic… .
"In fact, America's Hispanic population enjoys the highest Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of any ethnic group tracked by the U.S. government, averaging just under 3.0 children per woman… . Perhaps this is why they are being targeted."
Steven W. Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, writing in the PRI Weekly Briefing

Anarchy, U.S.A.

"The day before demonstrators dressed as sea turtles battled … cops, John Zerzan arrived in Seattle… .
"Most of the protesters who came to Seattle are well-versed on the issues of the [World Trade Organization] and would happily debate the pros and cons of international trade, patented genes, and the future of sea turtles all night long. But not those in the Eugene [Oregon] fringe group that once called itself the Black Army Faction… . Zerzan said they hate the WTO, but they aren't into protesting an 'issue.'
"Anarchy comes in an assortment of flavors… . But for cut-to-the-core intensity, it's probably impossible to trump the school of 'neo-primitivism' that Zerzan … and others have developed over the years. Stopping a single bulldozer, or even a hundred, doesn't mean much by itself. Zerzan wants to go back to the time when there were no bulldozers, back to the time when humans were hunter-gatherers… .
"Sometimes called 'The Wild Man of Oregon,' Zerzan's been portrayed as the pied piper of dissent in Eugene, a middle-aged thinker who sends out his young minions to get in trouble… .
"Despite the anarchists' efforts, Seattle still stands. The U.S. government still stands. Even Starbucks still stands. But Zerzan is confident. 'A new movement has arrived. A new generation is forming. A lot of people aren't going to slumber through the decade.' "
R.J. Smith, writing on "Chaos Theories," in the March issue of Spin

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