- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 24, 2004

‘Professional help’

“Michael Moore’s previous book was ‘Stupid White Men,’ titled in a spirit of gentle persuasion unmatched since Martin Luther, that original Antinomian, wrote ‘Against the Murderous and Thieving Hordes of Peasants.’

“Moore’s new book, ‘Dude, Where’s My Country?’ contains 10 chapters of fulminations convincing the convinced. However, Moore does include one chapter on how to argue with a conservative. As if. Approached by someone like Michael Moore, a conservative would drop a quarter in Moore’s Starbucks cup and hurriedly walk away. Also, Moore makes this suggestion: ‘Tell him how dependable conservatives are. When you need something fixed, you call your redneck brother-in-law, don’t you?’

“Arguing, in the sense of attempting to convince others, seems to have gone out of fashion with everyone. I’m reduced to arguing with the radio. …”

“Today’s Americans are working harder than ever, trying to balance increasing personal, family, and career demands. We just don’t have time to make ourselves obnoxious. We need professional help.”

P.J. O’Rourke, writing on “I Agree with Me,” in the July/August issue of the Atlantic Monthly

Elite reaction

“I don’t know how long-lasting the impact of ‘The Passion’ is going to be. And there’s also a backlash — there are a lot of people in the elite media who are disturbed and offended by the success of ‘The Passion.’ They went from saying, ‘Look at this lunatic who spent all this money to make this movie’ to suddenly he’s a very shrewd businessman who made a calculated move to make a lot of money — so it’s cutting both ways.

“Certainly, I think that in the executive ranks it’s finally dawned on them that this is essentially a Christian country. …”

“The media can’t deny the economics of it, if nothing else. And I think they recognize the general sense of unease all across the country about the moral climate, about what may be coming as a result of political developments. … I also think executives are realizing, not just that there’s a huge Christian market, but that there are people out there who are open to the subject of faith and long for some affirmation of their feelings.”

Author Randall Sullivan, in an interview posted June 14 on the Catholic Web site Godspy at www.godspy.com

Celebrity faces

“The faces and bodies of many celebrities testify to the unhealthy lure of excessive physical transformation: Michael Jackson’s many surgeries have left him nearly unrecognizable. …”

“Cosmetic surgery, once the province of celebrities, has in the last several decades begun to appeal to other public figures, including politicians. Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole’s post-retirement face-lift led to lucrative advertising work for Pepsi and Viagra, and his new, tensile look is not the only one inside the Beltway.

“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s official Web site unwittingly features two images that represent commendable examples of human achievement in architecture: the Golden Gate Bridge in her home state of California, and Ms. Pelosi’s own stretched, lifted and resculpted visage. … Commenting on the American scene recently, a reporter for an Australian newspaper noted, ‘It’s hardly surprising that while Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign of the 1990s was haunted by whispers of infidelity, the first rumor to dog the campaign of … Sen. John Kerry was that he had had botox injections in his patrician forehead … .’ ”

Christine Rosen, writing on “The Democratization of Beauty,” in the spring issue of the New Atlantis

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