- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Hollywood’s agenda

“While homosexual-themed movies were becoming staples in European cinemas in the [late] 1960s and early 1970s, the subject was still pretty much taboo in America. Only one major film, 1962’s ‘The Children’s Hour’ with Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine, went near the subject of homosexual behavior. It was considered box-office and public relations poison by Hollywood to produce a movie with blatant homosexual themes. …

“The breakthrough film … was ‘Philadelphia’ (1993) starring Tom Hanks. The makers of the film deliberately went out of their way to find the most likeable actor possible (Hanks — who has been compared to a modern-day Jimmy Stewart) in order to push their agenda that AIDS was a civil rights rather than a health issue and that homosexuals are victims of discrimination. Every major news magazine trumpeted the movie, and the entire Hollywood publicity machine and homosexual community got behind it to ensure that it was a success. Hanks … won Best Actor for the role. In his rambling speech, Hanks gave tribute to his homosexual drama teacher. …

“Just as Hollywood glamorized smoking back in the 1930s and ‘40s … it is now making homosexual behavior the in thing to emulate.”

Alan Sears and Craig Osten, from their new book, “The Homosexual Agenda”

Ensemble farce

“Ensemble comedies are tricky things, and the longer an ensemble comedy survives, the rockier the terrain gets. For most of its five previous seasons, ‘Sex and the City’ has been the brightest, most stylish, most consistently entertaining ensemble comedy on television. That’s largely thanks to [Sarah Jessica] Parker, but not solely: Her three costars have always been as integral to the show’s pleasures as she is. Kim Cattrall is Samantha, a woman who dates around, happily, without commitment, enjoying a sex life something like the one Hugh Hefner envisioned for himself and his fellow playboys back in the ‘50s. Cynthia Nixon is Miranda, the sensible corporate lawyer who’s tougher and more blunt than most of the men she dates, but who has a core of kindness that the others can’t match. And Kristin Davis is Charlotte, the sweet but hardly dumb brunette who believes in true love above all, although she doesn’t underestimate the value of real estate. …

“I’ve often heard real, live single New York women complaining about ‘Sex and the City’: ‘Five hundred bucks for a pair of shoes — no way!’ ‘That walk-in closet is the size of my bedroom and living room combined!’ …

“But since when is farce supposed to be realistic?”

Stephanie Zacharek, writing on “The trouble with Carrie,” Fridayin Salon at www.salon.com

Dumbed-down ‘Harry’

“Since it began, ‘Potter’-mania has represented a cultural infantilism, that only grows as the years go by. It is about what we expect from our kids, our books, our value system and ourselves. Whatever happens in ‘The Order of the Phoenix,’ the story of our obsession with Harry Potter is unlikely to have a happy ending. …

“OK, so it’s good that children read books — and we can assume, for the sake of argument, that they could do with reading more of them. But the excitement surrounding ‘Potter’ indicated just how far our expectations have fallen. Not so very long ago, it was not considered enough for children just to read books — they had to be good books. …

“In recent years, it seems that our expectations of children, and of the books that they should read, have plummeted: so much so that when the last ‘Potter’ book was published three years ago, many even complained that it was too long for [author J.K.] Rowling’s young fans.

Jennie Bristow, writing on “Harry Potter and The Meaning of Life,” June 19 in Spiked at www.spiked-online.com

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