- The Washington Times - Friday, August 10, 2001

Computer kids?
"A doctor remarked to me that she was constantly amazed by the endless similarities between the workings of the central nervous system and those of a computer, each with its interdependent network of subsystems. If God made man in His image, she concluded, surely man made the computer in his.
"This got us talking about the summer sci-fi epic 'A.I.,' which takes this theory to the literal extreme. In the movie, the boy robot is the cutting edge of technology. He is as close as ever a computer has come to being human. Yet the film itself is the cutting edge of irrelevance. For in contemporary society, it is not machines that are becoming more like us, but we who are becoming more like machines.
"It may have started earlier, but sperm banks and surrogate motherhood definitely signaled a new dawn, followed by egg donation and fertility drugs. Meanwhile, so that no one would have to raise a mentally or physically defective child, prenatal genetic research started raising red flags, and expecting parents could opt to terminate pregnancies. And now that we've moved into cloning, fertilizing eggs without sperm, and breeding embryos for research, the first baby grown entirely in a 'test tube' is not far off.
"It's not difficult to envision a world in which couples simply call the baby farm and place their order: sex, race, height, hair, eyes, intelligence, personality, and musical predisposition.
"Spawned in a tube or a pod, the real Cabbage Patch Kids are coming."
—Julia Gorin, writing on "Artificial humanity," Wednesday in the Christian Science Monitor

Southern response
"Global warming, anyone? Anyone? Just as I thought, so let's get to Condit-Levy.
"America needs the Levy case because it lets us tell ourselves that Clinton wasn't so bad after all, and lets us forgive ourselves for electing him twice. Our instinct warns that it is better to have about us men who are fat, and yon Condit has a lean and hungry look that makes Clinton seem safe.
"The purists who say they are offended by the media's wall-to-wall coverage are like men who say they buy Playboy for the articles. This is as close as we've come to a murder rap in Congress since Preston Brooks caned Charles Sumner nearly to death in 1856.
"My own visceral responses to the case are distinctly Southern, which is about as far removed from the civilized response as you can get. You can take the girl out of the South but you can't take the South out of the girl, e.g. 'Why doesn't her father kill him?' Fathers are supposed to do that sort of thing for you, and so are brothers."
—Florence King, writing on "The Misanthrope's Corner," in the Aug. 20 issue of National Review

Perverted values
"Eminem is not just another rap star. In a genre overwhelmingly dominated by (indeed, almost reserved for) black performers, Eminem is that rare thing, a white rapper with street cred. But Eminem's rap legitimacy has come at a price. To be accepted as a genuine rapper, Eminem has had to out do the rap world at its own game of tedious one-up-manship and vulgar self-assertion. In the process, Eminem has proven that, when it comes to the vices of the average rap star, he can hold his own with the best of them.
"Eminem's music is objectionable. But this isn't primarily because Eminem has it in for gays and women. Rather, it is objectionable because Eminem, like so many other artists today, makes it his business to instill in his mainly teen-age audience values that are in the end perverted and anti-social."
—David Orland, writing on "When Music Is Our Enemy," Aug. 2 in Boundless at www.boundless.org

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