- The Washington Times - Monday, December 3, 2001

Beatlemania III
"About six months ago I bought my kids (8 and 10 years old) the new Beatles CD '1' which, of course, is the best-selling CD in a decade.
"The kids were somewhat puzzled and disappointed by the gift and asked who the Beatles were. I said they were the hottest band back when I was growing up. They asked if the Beatles were bigger and better than the Backstreet Boys, and I said absolutely not, but you listen to the CD and tell me what you think. Big mistake.
"They are now both unremitting Fab Four fanatics. I come home and they've got the CD player revved up to full-volume blasting 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand,' 'Can't Buy Me Love,' 'Hey Jude,' or some other Fab Four hit.
"Justin and Will represent the third generation of kids who think that the Beatles music is the best thing they've ever heard.
"[Friday] morning it was painful to tell the kids at breakfast that George Harrison was dead. Justin thought about it and said: 'Now I guess there can never be a reunion.' That made me incredibly sad. I remember when I was in college and heard the news that John Lennon (my favorite Beatle) was dead and I felt the world had been raped. I wore black for a week."
Stephen Moore, writing on "I Heard the News Today," Friday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Androgynous VMI
"After spending $10 million to ready the campus for a siege by women, the Virginia Military Institute in August 1997 reluctantly accepted its first female 'Brother Rat.' Last May, in a much publicized ceremony, a bevy of 13 female cadets received their diplomas.
"There had been a first of some considerable notoriety: VMI's first pregnant cadet. She opted to remain in the barracks through her second trimester.
"Before the arrival of women, the mission of VMI was to prepare men for leadership to fight and win America's wars. But learning how to treat women is indeed at the top of VMI's pedagogical agenda these days. The VMI management team, under the watchful eye of the U.S. Justice Department, has attempted to create a nurturing environment where women are humiliated and harangued in an androgynous way equal to their male peers without, well, actually harassing them."
Charmaine and Jack Yoest, writing on "G.I. Jane at VMI," in the autumn issue of the Women's Quarterly

TV hedonism
"It's all about sex, suds and buds on the new Fox TV series 'Undeclared.' 'Undeclared' features an ensemble cast of previously unknown actors. Steven Karp is the Everyman main character, a likeable gangly kid trying to recreate himself from high school dweeb to college ladies' man. Unfortunately, the show's producers went without the staple of most sitcoms the laugh track. At least laugh tracks would indicate what parts are supposed to be funny.
"If 'Undeclared' operates under a thesis, it would be the statement found on the home page of the show's Web site: 'First year of freedom. No more parents, no more rules, no more curfews.' 'Undeclared' celebrates that these freshmen have been emancipated from the constraints of their former lives. But the show misuses the word 'freedom.' Freedom isn't synonymous with hedonism, even if it is made out to be in the cultural parlance of today's universities. Freedom is defined as the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. It means an individual can do as he or she chooses to do.
"Hedonism is the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the sole or chief good in life. 'Undeclared' is undeniably hedonistic but is it accurate?"
Marshall Allen, writing on "Slavery in Freedom's Name," Thursday in Boundless at www.boundless.org

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