- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Radical irony
"If you should chance to stroll up through the airy, sylvan campus of the University of California at Berkeley … you might hit upon a slightly utilitarian concrete-modernist building … which advertises itself as the 'FSM Cafe.' The title enshrines the 'Free Speech Movement' which convulsed this Bay Area town in October 1964 and which, combined with the Kennedy assassination, the 'Freedom Summer' … and the early premonitions of the coming agony in Vietnam, announced that the '60s as we know them had begun. …
"The fortunate and mainly white young men and women of Berkeley didn't really want to be 'students' at all. … To judge them by their slogan of 'free speech' would be like believing that a Bolshevik only wanted 'peace, bread, land.' …
"It seemed at first as though the main political beneficiary of the Berkeley rebellion would be Ronald Reagan. … Reagan rode a backlash to the governorship of California and from there to the White House, and into history."
Christopher Hitchens, writing on "Free speech wars," in the March 6 issue of the Times Literary Supplement
Declining tradition
"The demise of the 'traditional' married-with-children family is nearly as old a story as the 1950s-era 'Ozzie and Harriet' plots that promoted this image of hearth and home in America. In 1960, nearly half of this country's households fit the mold of a married couple with at least one child under 18. …
"[T]he greatest decline in traditional family households actually began in 1960. The trend continued into the 1970s, when many Baby Boomers entered their family-forming years. By postponing marriage and childbearing … and by divorcing at higher rates, Boomers contributed to the lower share of married-with-children households. …
"Still, any pronouncements of the death of the married-with-children family may be premature, as its decline slowed considerably in the most recent decade. Although this family type now accounts for just 23.5 percent of all households, its share has dropped by only 2.1 percent since 1990, compared with a 9.9 percent drop between 1970 and 1980. …
"The stronger-than-expected showing of traditional families in the 1990s can be attributed in large part to the population growth of immigrant Asians and Hispanics. … In fact, married-with-children couples constitute more than one-third of Hispanic and Asian households."
William H. Frey, writing on "Married With Children," in the March issue of American Demographics
Old-fashioned girl
"'We knew she was talented, but we didn't realize how talented,' says Judy Lavigne, Avril's stay-at-home mom. …
"The Lavignes are devoutly Christian; some of Avril's first singing appearances were in church. … Though she was always a mischievous kid, Lavigne says that her core values were shaped by growing up in a religious household. 'My mom … protected my image. And that's not the only reason why I don't dance around like a [prostitute] onstage, but it definitely has something to do with being brought up with tons of morals.' …
"Her attitudes about dating are pretty old-fashioned, which isn't surprising considering the rules her mom enforced when she was a kid. 'I wasn't allowed to have a guy in my room,' Lavigne says. 'Especially not with the door shut. And she wouldn't let me call guys. They had to call me. I have that attitude now that if a guy wants to hook up with me, he can come after me. I'm not going running after him. … That's a good way to raise up your kid, because if you let your kid do everything go to parties, get trashed really young and get out of control she's gonna get taken advantage of, and she won't be taught that having sex with a ton of boys is a bad thing. I do a lot of things that are very rebellious, but it's not like I'm sniffing coke and doing dirty stuff."
Jenny Eliscu, writing on "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong," in the March 20 issue of Rolling Stone

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