- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 21, 2001

Neo-Beatlemania
"The new Beatlemania has surprised many people, especially because so many buyers … are under 20. … What can the Beatles mean to such listeners? Why such persistence? Certainly the older boomers dont get it. As the New York Times put it in a headline, yet last January: 'The Beatles Never Die, But Why? Ask Fans …
"To ask 'Why? about this Beatles resurgence is to pose the wrong question. A better question is 'Who? As in, Who are the Beatles now? While each new fan will probably answer that question differently, 21st-century fans are certainly using the group and its music differently from the original fans of the 1960s. That is, the meanings that boomers attribute to the Beatles are no longer the groups only meanings.
"Alternative hearings of the familiar songs have emerged, and these are claiming their own validity. Some new fans may be hearing the CD through the groups and music that have come since, in terms of musical influence. Some may be hearing the songs historically, attempting to associate it with their own understanding of the 1960s. Some may be using the music to distance themselves from their own contemporaries.
"Leading-edge boomers engaged in the same sort of cultural appropriation: When they flocked to Humphrey Bogart film festivals in the 1960s, they used his character and films for their own purposes, which were no doubt different from the purposes of the films original Depression-era audiences. Now they are on the receiving end of the same process."
Charles Paul Freund, writing on "Still Fab: Why We Keep Listening to the Beatles," in the June issue of Reason magazine

Rosies 'children'
"'Ive been a child advocate my entire career, said Rosie ODonnell to ABCs Cokie Roberts before the Million Mom March. '… When everyone was all upset about Columbine, I, too, felt spiritually called to the table to speak for the 4,000 children that are killed every year by gunshot wounds. …
"But what about those 4,000 children killed each year by gunshot wounds approximately 11 per day? …
"Who is killing these children and under what circumstances? [Researcher David] Kopel observes: 'The claims are true only if you count a 19-year-old drug dealer who is shot by a competitor, or an 18-year-old armed robber who is shot by a policeman, as 'a child killed by a gun. …
"When citing death figures, anti-gun activists typically categorize people up to 20 years of age as 'children. This allows them to include the astronomical death toll among black and Hispanic young men involved in drug trafficking.
"The carnage in our inner cities is certainly a problem. But is it a child-safety problem? … [I]t would seem that Rosie ODonnells definition of a 'child is a somewhat broader than the ordinary one."
Richard Poe, from his new book, "The Seven Myths of Gun Control"

Critic, schmitic
"[Columbia Pictures ran ads for its movies with praise from] a sham writer named 'David Manning of the Ridgefield Press, the latter a small weekly newspaper unaware its name was being used. Like many movie reviewers … Mr. Manning had few words, but lots of exclamation points.[Heath Ledger, the star of] 'A Knights Tale, was hailed as 'this years hottest new star! A movie called 'The Animal was hailed as 'another winner!
"As one might expect, the studio used these lush plugs to whip up business. One hates to sound too harsh, but Columbia can hardly be faulted for recognizing the obvious: There are many knuckleheads living among us who will pay good money to see movies plugged by absolute and total strangers. That this particular stranger was created by an advertising flack merely saved the studio from having to fly an additional 'real reviewer out on a junket, the result of which would have been plugs of a very similar nature."
David Shiflett, writing on "Reality Bites" June 8 in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

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