- The Washington Times - Monday, June 25, 2001

Pulp novel prophet
"Welcome to the 21st century, the age of 'reality television. Incredibly, this precise moment in TV history was predicted nearly 20 years ago by a pulp-fiction prophet of doom.
"In 1982, an unknown author named Richard Bachman published a straight-to-paperback novel titled 'The Running Man, a futuristic action story with a grim vision of 21st century society, a rugged hero, and lots of fiery explosions. When it was revealed that Richard Bachman was actually popular horror writer Stephen King, Republic Studios produced a film version, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. …
"'The Running Man is the story of a reality-based TV show which airs in the year 2025. The shows premise is simple: The Network gives a fugitive a 12-hour head start before releasing an elite squad of Hunters to find and kill him. The contestant earns $100 for every hour he stays alive, and $500 for each Hunter he kills — and if he manages to survive for 30 days, he wins $1 billion. But the game is not limited only to these players — the Network pays civilians for confirmed sightings of the fugitive, and it ups the ante for sightings that lead directly to a kill.
"Strangely, todays popular press has been silent about the chilling similarities between Stephen Kings creation and the upcoming ABC program 'The Runner. …
"In this newest reality-based show, set to air in the fall, a fugitive contestant will attempt to avoid detection while he crosses America. … Each day the fugitive avoids capture, he wins a cash prize, and if he remains at large for 28 days, he wins $1 million. … The only substantial difference between Kings show and ABCs is that the contestant will not be killed. Yet."
Ethan Campbell, writing on "The Running Man Revisited," Thursday in Boundless at www.boundless.org

Separate but equal?
"I guess it had to happen, but UCLA has initiated separate victim group graduation ceremonies. There are now individual ceremonies for gays (sorry, members of the 'LGBT community), Iranians, Asian Pacific Islanders, Latinos and, of course, blacks. At the All African Peoples graduation, they have dropped 'Pomp and Circumstance in favor of the theme from the 'Panther movie soundtrack. They also sing the Black National Anthem and have a libation ceremony for their racial ancestors. Yes, they can all go to the main graduation ceremony as well — and these do not replace the big one. But this is a sad development — a version of separate lunch-tables taken to a logical conclusion.
"No word yet on whether white students want their own ceremony as well. But I see no reason why not. Theyll be a minority soon in California. Come to think of it, if youre going to have separate graduations, why not just have separate colleges altogether? Or separate high schools? Didnt they once have that in this country? Oh, never mind."
Andrew Sullivan, writing on "Forget Pomp and Circumstance," Tuesday at www.andrewsullivan.com

'The Ur-Borker
"'Borking is back. The eponymous activity first perpetrated on Judge Robert Bork when he was nominated for a seat on the Supreme Court is the practice of painting a proposed judicial appointee as consciously demonic, in order to excite particular interest groups to oppose his appointment. …
"The Ur-Borker was Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who, when President Reagan nominated Bork to the Court in 1987, intoned on the floor of the Senate that 'Robert Borks America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution. … It is difficult not to conclude that Kennedy knew his anti-Bork rhetoric was a total fabrication. We may be about to see the same activity on an even greater scale."
Stephen B. Presser, writing on "Cultural Revolutions," in the July issue of Chronicles

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