- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Offended, too

“Easily offended people offend me.

“I’m tired of them going off on God, Big Macs, SUVs and WMDs.

“We Red Staters get offended, too — although we’re too busy earning a living to squawk in a letter to the editor.

“I’m offended, for example, by school Christmas concerts that feature songs about penguins, snowflakes and Frosty the Snowman, but not a single word about the Christ Child. … By Target giving the boot to Salvation Army bell ringers. …

“By the relentless attack by the American Civil Liberties Union on Boy Scouts, Christmas displays and all that’s godly in the public square. …

“By liberals who whine about moving to Canada and never do. …

“By entertainers who believe Americans care about their political views, including: Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Dixie Chicks, Eminem, Ben Affleck, Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, Laurie and Larry David, Robert De Niro, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kirsten Dunst, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, Laurence Fishburne and Gina Torres.”

Dave Oliveria, writing on “We Red Staters can get offended, too,” Dec. 12 in the (Spokane, Ore.) Spokesman-Review

Chomsky says

“Noam Chomsky … has just used his new blog to make his case against the recent election victory of President Bush. …

“Chomsky’s take on the election is more or less a restatement of various talking points he’s employed for years, but these recurrent themes have a significance of their own, if only because their constant repetition indicates their intrinsic value to the Chomskyite worldview. …

“[Mr. Chomsky writes:] ‘The outcome was a disappointment, but there have been disappointments before. …

” ‘We can reach out to people, urban or rural, by taking them and their concerns seriously, trying to understand them, and working to find ways to realize legitimate concerns, without compromising our own principles. The same way we work in, say, liberal academic communities, where there is also vast diversity.’

“The only thing I can say on the subject of the ‘vast diversity’ of liberal academic communities … [is] that it sounds like an excellent idea. I have long felt that most academic leftists desire to turn the entire country into a reflection of their totalitarian fiefdoms. It’s nice to have one’s suspicions confirmed.”

Benjamin Kerstein, writing on “Chomsky’s Myth of the Leftist Silent Majority,” Dec. 14 in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

Death of bling

“Quoth Jay-Z: ‘You can’t be running around in jerseys when you’re 30 years old.’

“The oracle spoke, the people listened. Jay-Z, with his new fondness for suits and button-up shirts, best set the year’s tone: Maturity was in, clean-cut was in. An old-fashioned, elegant idea of what was stylish was ascendant. In popular music, this was the year of the white suit, of the rakishly angled hat.

“The new aesthetic was everywhere: in the retro-utopian ballrooms of R. Kelly’s ‘Happy People’ and Outkast’s ‘I Like the Way You Move’ videos; in the speakeasy vibe of Beyonce’s ‘Naughty Girl’ video; in the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ theme of the ‘Hey Ya’ video. …

“And look at what happened to Christina Aguilera. I don’t know how they got the skank out of that girl, but now she’s dressing in ‘20s-style flapper dresses with a coquettish curly bob. … Out with bling, in with bespoke.”

Thomas Bartlett, writing on “Goodbye pimps and hos,” Dec. 14 in Salon at www.salon.com

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