- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 10, 2004

Anti-war ‘moderates’

“Here at home, the anti-war movement got going well before U.S. forces entered Afghanistan. … Students and professors chanted, ‘One, two, three, four, we don’t want your racist war.’ …

“At first, outright Communists took the lead in the anti-war movement. … But then the radicals got smarter. Out went the Palestinian flags and in came the American flags, by the thousands. Groups like International ANSWER and Not in Our Name gave way to Keep America Safe and United for Peace and Justice. Some factions are pro-bin Laden and pro-Saddam; some factions are merely anti-war; sometimes it’s hard to tell. All are pleased to embrace the name ‘progressive community.’

“Radicals have accommodated ‘moderates’; ‘moderates’ have accommodated radicals. Again, the question of mainstream is confused. Michael Moore’s movie has grossed how many millions?”

Jay Nordlinger, writing on “All Spelled Out,” in the Oct. 25 issue of National Review

PC power

“Political correctness has a way of mysteriously defining its own boundaries that society is automatically supposed to know and follow. I can’t pinpoint when it suddenly became bad to say Hispanic rather than Latino, but I do know that when I was a reporter a few years ago, a source viciously snapped at me for using the H-word. A few PC terms are convenient. … Most just inspire eye-rolling and hefty, frustrated groans.

“I came across a list of ‘acceptable’ and ‘offensive’ terms given to computer-science students at a New England college: Acceptable is ‘non-disabled,’ offensive equivalents would be ‘able-bodied,’ ‘normal’ or ‘healthy.’ You can’t say ‘birth defect’; it’s ‘congenital disability.’ And amazingly enough, the term ‘psychopath’ is off-limits, even though this word defines a specific antisocial personality disorder. It’s enough to make you go crazy, wacko, bonkers, nutso and loony. …

“PC assumes people have all the resiliency of whipped cream and will be scarred by words that they might not originally find offensive, but PC has told them that they’re offensive.”

Bridget Johnson, writing on “‘Tard and Feathered,” Thursday in Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com

Show me the money

If Martin Scorsese, or whoever, desires a book saying that he is a great American artist, he may have to write it himself. Nearly everyone else writing about our movies has come to the conclusion that Scorsese’s history is far too interesting and conflicted to be written off as art. What happens to a Scorsese project now seems more enticing than what happens in it. Directors have become employees again. …

“Once upon a time in America, starting in the late 1960s, we had books that said, look, the movies are so terrific they may be an art form; or look, get a load of Orson Welles or Nicholas Ray or Alfred Hitchcock. We had books on genres, and we had portraits of movie stars. Two years ago, we had a book about Walter Murch, one of the cinema’s best editors and sound designers, in conversation with the novelist and poet Michael Ondaatje. It treated many matters in general, but it looked closely at the pulse, the structure and the meaning of films such as ‘The English Patient’ … and ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley.’ It was an endlessly stimulating book, but it said nothing about the deals or the numbers. And so it was already a little out of date, for it breathed the air of art (or work, or craft, or creative dedication) for its own sake.”

David Thomson, writing on “Follow the Money,” in the Oct. 4 issue of the New Republic

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