- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 19, 2005

Geriatric Jack Flash

“The Rolling Stones have announced yet another album and stadium tour. As expected, the usual ‘old age’ jokes are flying like shuffleboard sticks at a Naples retirement community.

“No, the new CD won’t be titled ‘Sticky Arthritic Fingers’ … but the tour does highlight the resiliency of the band and makes me look at today’s music scene and wonder where all the stadium rock has gone. …

“Economic conditions have left Generation Stones with the ability to afford enormous ticket prices. …

“Madison Avenue knows that there’s gold in Generation Stones, too. For example, who would have thought in the early ‘70s that someday Led Zeppelin music would be used to sell Cadillacs? …

“The decline in quality and quantity of live music, availability on DVD, and the expense of tickets may soon spell the extinction of stadium concerts. …

“Staying power helps define a generation, and Mick, Keith and the guys are proving that it is indeed only rock ‘n’ roll. Generation Stones still likes it.”

Doug Powers, writing on ” ‘Generation Stones’ rolls on,” Monday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Commie-in-law

“There are only a few points in ‘Monster-in-Law’ … where there are brief reminders of the one-time political prominence of Jane Fonda, its most venerable if not its most eminent star. … In one, Miss Fonda’s character, a TV talk-show host named Viola Fields, mentions the name of Henry Kissinger as being among the galaxy of stars whom she has interviewed on her show. … True, most of the young audience for which the picture is intended will hardly know who Henry Kissinger is. …

“Our first introduction to Viola comes when she goes berserk on her TV show after asking a Britney Spears-like pop tart what is the significance to her of Roe v. Wade and getting the answer: ‘Oh, I don’t support boxing as a sport.’ You’d think this is the last film in the world to sneer at vacuous youth who have no idea what was going on in the early 1970s. Without them, the movie would have no other audience than aging radicals and hippies like Miss Fonda herself.”

James Bowman, writing on “Monster-in-Law,” Tuesday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Barbienomics

“Ku Tsuei-eh … calls the plastic pop princess by her given Chinese name: Bahbi wa wa. The prim 49-year-old founder of Taiwan’s recently opened Taishan Doll Museum gushes girlishly about the ‘product of her youth’ — the Barbie dolls she used to dress during the 1980s as a contractor for the toy maker Mattel.

“Barbie is revered like a messiah in Taishan, a municipality nine miles southwest of Taipei that the blonde doll transformed from an agricultural village of 5,000 to a manufacturing center nearly the size of Boston. When Mattel first broke ground here in 1967, Taiwan was still considered an underdeveloped country. But the Barbie factory … helped unleash an … economic miracle. The island nation’s economy grew by an annual average rate of 9.5 percent from 1960 to 1989, and by 6.4 percent from 1990 to 1995, shifting from subsistence farming to industry and services.

“By the late 1980s, however, Barbie had moved on to cheaper labor markets such as Indonesia and China. — But the impact that Mattel left on the town, and the country, was indelible. Barbie generated enough momentum for Taishan to continue to thrive long after she left.”

Holiday Dmitri, writing on “Barbie’s Taiwanese Homecoming,” in the May issue of Reason

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