- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 31, 2006

‘Bombshell’

“Naomi Wolf’s utterances on everything, from childbirth to Al Gore’s demeanour, have a disproportionate effect on public opinion. This latest confessional, a self-acknowledged ‘bombshell,’ will make a generation of feminists cringe. … Wolf’s very soul is about to become a theological battleground, and she knows it.

“‘I am not going to be in the closet about this any more. I’m on a spiritual path, I answer to a higher authority,’ she says. …

“‘Yeah, God. I believe absolutely that every single one of us is here with a spiritual mission. We come in knowing it and then we forget. …

“But when one of the foremost feminists in the world, who is Jewish to boot, says she has met Jesus, the ultimate figure of Christianity and the redeemer of lost souls, it’s more than a little disconcerting.

“‘I was completely dumbfounded but I actually had this vision … of Jesus, and I’m sure it was Jesus. …

“‘On a mystical level, it was complete joy and happiness and there were tears running down my face. On a conscious level, when I came out of it I was absolutely horrified because I’m Jewish. This was not the thing I’m supposed to have confront me.’”

— Torcuil Crichton, writing on “Revered as a feminist icon …,” Jan. 22 in the Sunday Herald of Scotland

Marxist ‘martyrs’

“You would think, by now, with a half-century of scholarship behind us and a great deal of damning evidence on display, we would not have to be arguing about the guilt or innocence of various iconic figures of the late 1940s and 1950s: Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White or, perhaps most notoriously, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. But the martyr status of such figures seems irresistible, even today, to a certain kind of sentimental leftist. They still remain symbols of some malevolent American quality — never mind the truth of what they actually did. …

“For the record, both Julius and Ethel were convicted as communist spies and executed for espionage in 1953. …

“Guilt and innocence drop away (rather, guilt is converted to virtue) and the Rosenbergs are made into victims of ‘American fascism,’ to use Ethel Rosenberg’s own phrase. Or to borrow the exquisite formulation of the scholar-apologist Ellen Schrecker, the Rosenbergs were guilty only of ‘nontraditional patriotism.’”

— Joseph Rago, writing on “Rosenberg Reruns,” Friday in the Wall Street Journal

Defensive ego

“Michael Jackson has been at the center of popular culture for three-and-a-half decades, and for two of those decades he’s been arguably the most famous person on earth. … A whole generation has come of age since he last had a Top-Five hit, and it’s a dreary fact that today there are millions who know Jackson mainly as a celebrity defendant. …

“The truth is it’s hard to wrap one’s mind around Jackson and the multitudes he contains. Singer, dancer, and songwriter of genius. Plastic surgery victim, racial changeling, androgyne. …

“Most discussions of Jackson have made a distinction between his onstage brilliance and offstage freakishness — between Jackson the artist and ‘wacko Jacko.’ …

“Much of Jackson’s megalomania — naming himself King of Pop, the messianic posturing of ‘Heal the World,’ etc. — strikes me as defensive: an attempt to assert his dominion over pop culture in the face of declining returns.”

— Jody Rosen, writing on “Michael Jackson,” Monday in Slate at www.slate.com

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