- The Washington Times - Monday, January 3, 2005

American original’

“Pat Tillman … was an American original: virtuous, pure and masculine like only an American male can be. The stunningly handsome athlete walked away from a three-year, $3.6 million NFL contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join the U.S. military and fight in Afghanistan, where he was killed in April.

“He wanted no publicity and granted no interviews about his decision to leave pro football in the prime of his career and join the Army Rangers. …

“He said he wanted to ‘pay something back’ to America.

“He died bringing freedom and democracy to 28 million Afghans — pretty much confirming Michael Moore’s view of America as an imperialist cowboy predator. There is not another country in the world — certainly not in continental Europe — that could have produced a Pat Tillman.”

Ann Coulter, writing on “2004: Highlights and lowlifes,” Wednesday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Sontag, R.I.P.

“There can be no doubt that Susan Sontag, the doyenne of (to use Tom Wolfe’s apposite coinage) radical chic, commanded rare celebrity throughout the 1960s and 1970s. …

“Few people have managed to combine naive idealization of foreign tyranny with violent hatred of their own country to such deplorable effect. She has always talked like a political radical but lived like an aesthete. … Consider the notorious essay she wrote about ‘the right way’ for Americans to ‘love the Cuban revolution.’ Sontag begins with some ritualistic denunciations of American culture as ‘inorganic, dead, coercive, authoritarian.’ …

“Since the counterculture is not strong enough to overthrow IBM, the Pentagon, etc., it must opt for subversion. [Sontag writes:] ‘Rock, grass, better orgasms, freaky clothes, grooving on nature … unfits, maladapts a person for the American way of life.’ And here is where the Cubans come in: … ‘The Cubans know a lot about spontaneity, gaiety, sensuality and freaking out. They are not linear, desiccated creatures of print culture.’ …

“In 1967 … Sontag had this to say about the United States: ‘[Vietnam] … is being brutally and self-righteously slaughtered … by the richest and most grotesquely overarmed, most powerful country in the world. America has become a criminal, sinister country.’ …

“[H]er celebrity was … the tawdry coefficient of a lifelong devotion to the mendacious and disfiguring imperatives of radical chic.”

Roger Kimball, writing on “Susan Sontag: An Obituary,” Wednesday at www.NewCriterion.com

Seeing the castle

“Andrew Breitbart is a paid assistant to the excitable editor of the Drudge Report. … ‘Twelve years into this adult nightmare,’ he tells me and two dozen other reporters, ‘I woke up, after having grown up in Brentwood as this liberal Jewish kid, and sensed that something was wrong — I started to realize that I was a conservative.’ …

“‘Every day I wake up in the battle about media bias,’ he says. ‘The best analogy I can give to you is this: Have you ever … seen one of those holograms on the wall, and you’re supposed to stare at it for a while, and there’s supposed to be, like, a magical castle in it? Well you look and you look and you can’t see that castle and you can’t see that castle, but eventually your eyes focus in such a way that the castle comes up. And then you can’t not see the castle. That’s how media bias comes to you from the conservative angle.’”

Matt Welch, writing on “Biased about Bias,” in the December issue of Reason

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