- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 4, 2004

Acting silly

“Oscar-night politics are always something to look forward to. The tedium of having to sit through a four-hour orgy of self-congratulation by people who have obviously had far too much congratulation already is enlivened only by the prospect of watching as one or more of the beautiful people say or do something so ineffably silly that it will accompany them like an epithet to their graves. But, alas, in the event there was precious little for us to enjoy in this way. Tim Robbins, accepting for best supporting actor, only used the fact that he was playing a victim of childhood abuse as a pretext for urging those who were the real-life victims of such abuse to seek help — and so ‘end the cycle of violence.’ … Sean Penn, accepting for best actor, made an incomprehensible allusion to the supposed fact that actors were particularly well-qualified to ‘know’ that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in [Iraq], but couldn’t be bothered to explain himself further. …

“Generally speaking, actors are more likely to tumble into such ridiculousness than other sorts of people. It would probably never occur to a plumber or a grocery bagger to take for granted his own qualifications to evaluate those of the leader of the Western world — and to find them wanting.”

James Bowman, writing on “Repression night,” Wednesday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Anything goes

“Well-meaning people who oppose ‘gay marriage’ often float the compromise of ‘civil unions’ as a way to keep everybody happy and to demonstrate their good will. …

“[T]he ‘gay’ activists themselves have told us over and over that ‘civil unions’ are merely a steppingstone to ‘gay marriage.’ Some observers predict that the whole idea of marriage will eventually become passe if same-sex unions gain legal status.

“That is what has occurred in Scandinavia, where marriage is nearly extinct.

“As Stanley Kurtz of the Hoover Institution puts it, ‘Instead of encouraging society-wide return to marriage, Scandinavian gay marriage has driven home the message that marriage itself is outdated, and that virtually any family form, including out-of-wedlock parenthood, is acceptable.’ …

“Richard Goldstein, writing in the Village Voice, noted that the real goal of many homosexual activists is to transform marriage itself: ‘Generations of radicals have imagined a world in which the norm-making rules of matrimony are suspended. … Down the road, we may see groups of people sharing the custody of children.’ ”

Robert Knight, writing on “When you hear of ‘civil unions,’ recall Czechoslovakia, Sweden,” Wednesday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

‘Terrified’

“Naomi Wolf says she can no longer keep silent about why she turns down speaking invitations from Yale, her alma mater. The reason, she explains in a March 1 New York magazine cover story, is that 20 years ago when she was a student, Professor Harold Bloom put his hand on her thigh. …

“There used to be something unseemly about constantly quaking in your boots, but no longer, and to read Wolf is to be reminded where this attitude comes from. For the New York piece, she interviewed her old roommate to confirm how ‘anxious’ she seemed to everyone after the groping incident. But the roommate (now an editor) didn’t want to be named: ‘I’m still terrified.’ How, exactly, a 73-year-old college professor in failing health fills an editor with terror is never explained.”

Catherine Seipp, writing on “The Wolf of the Left,” Tuesday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

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