- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 6, 2006

The Brooke factor

“The Tom Cruise comeback has begun — he’s apologized to Brooke Shields. …

“Americans may be ambivalent about the war in Iraq, they may not be completely united about what to do with Castro and Chavez and Iran and Kim Il Sung — but there’s one thing every American knows you just don’t do. You don’t mess with Brooke Shields.

“When Cruise attacked Brooke he tapped into something huge in the American psyche. …

“If Tom Cruise makes it back from his self-inflicted career setback, he’ll have Brooke Shields to thank. He may be a big star, but it’s never too late to learn the first lesson of show business: you can jump up and down on Oprah’s couch, you can proselytize for Scientology, you can make a mediocre sequel or two to ‘Mission Impossible’ — but when you mess with Brooke Shields you’re messing with America, buddy. And America doesn’t like that. Because America loves Brooke Shields.”

—Dave Konig, writing on “All-American Shields,” Tuesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

‘Downward spiral’

“The public school’s downward spiral into moral oblivion continued last week when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 1441, mandating that all organizations receiving any kind of state funds, including faith-based groups, portray homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality in a positive light. As a gemstone of all government intrusions, the measure also requires Christian schools to contradict their deeply held beliefs or forfeit government tuition assistance for their students. And this is only the first of four bills aimed at California schools by homosexual activists.

“According to Ron Prentice, executive director of the California Family Council, many faith-based organizations doing excellent work will now be ‘forced to either discontinue taking funding or give up their principles.’

“‘This isn’t legitimate education; it’s indoctrination on steroids,’ said Jan LaRue, chief counsel for Concerned Women for America.”

—Olivia St. John, writing on “The public-school-mission-field myth,” Tuesday in World Net Daily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Full-circle folkies

“Bruce Springsteen’s retro-folk album, a tribute to the dean of American folksingers, Pete Seeger, has stayed way up in the Billboard charts of best-selling American records. Of course, the Boss — as Springsteen’s fans call him — has been one of America’s most acclaimed and dynamic rock-and-rollers. …

“But the Boss’s fans could not have been ready for this latest release. There is not an electric guitar in sight. Like Eric Clapton some years back, the rocker has gone unplugged. Springsteen presides over a down-home, back-porch get-together recorded in his farmhouse living room in just three days without any rehearsals. … And what irony: Folk purists and leftists, not least Pete Seeger himself, went ballistic when Bob Dylan ‘went electric’ at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, trading in topical songs for introspective rock. It was a long road from ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ to ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’ Now the Boss has moved in exactly the opposite direction, from rock to old folk, and we have come full circle.”

—Ron Radosh, writing on “The Boss, Rooted,” in the September-October issue of the American Interest

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