“Lindsay Lohan must know there is a huge pile of the corpses of child star’s careers buried unceremoniously in a mass grave in a disused plot of scrubland near Pasadena. It cannot have escaped her that there have been about 5,000 child stars before her, each of whom once believed, as she does, the Eternal Party would go on forever, and destiny decreed that they would remain cute, in-demand and bankable forever. . . .
“If there is one iron law in Hollywood it’s that child stars are quickly discarded and forgotten. … You can count the exceptions on one hand. …
“On top of that, female actresses are absurdly disposable. Hollywood seizes onto a fresh young ‘It girl’ and they star in three movies a year … for about four years. And then they’re replaced with the next fresh young thing. …
“It’s not so much that I hate her (I don’t) as that I’m a bit disgusted at the waste. …
“She’s about to flush her incredibly-charmed life down the drain and she’s not even going to figure out why it all happened until she’s 45.”
— The blogger known as Ace of Spades, writing on “Lindsay Lohan,” June 27 at http://ace.mu.nu
“The Christian embrace of hip youth scenes can be traced, like so much, to the cultural ferment of the 1960s. Given that we are all weathering a Summer of Love flashback, it might spice up the tired images of the Haight Ashbury rebels to realize that a few of them were Christians. These mystic hippies sparked the mass Jesus People movement. … By the early 1970s, a new Jesus had hit the American mind — communal, earthy, spontaneous, anti-establishment. And this Jesus continued to transform American worship long after the patchouli wore off, inspiring a more informal and contemporary style of communion and celebration that, while holding true to core principles, unbuckled the Bible Belt from American Christian life.
“One of the earliest and most influential Jesus freaks was a guy with the fabulous name of Lonnie Frisbee. … Lonnie was a tripped-out young man who … saw God on LSD, and became a Christian in the Haight. Keeping his duds and long hair … Frisbee hooked up with straight-laced pastor Chuck Smith. Together they began an enormously popular youth ministry at Smith’s Calvary Chapel, a revival that almost single-handedly transformed the hippie Jesus vibe into a mass phenomenon. Jesus became a long-haired revolutionary of love, a real Superstar, and his followers used underground newspapers and beachside baptisms to turn others on to the convulsive power of the Holy Spirit.”
— Erik Davis, writing on “I’d Like to Dedicate This Next Song to Jesus,” Tuesday at Slate.com
“In January 2003, during the buildup to the war in Iraq, the journalist and blogger Steven Sailer published an article in the American Conservative in which he warned readers about a feature of that country that had been ignored in the ongoing debate.
“As in many traditional Middle Eastern societies, Iraqis tend to marry their cousins. About half of all marriages are consanguineous (including that of Saddam Hussein, who filled many government positions with his relatives from Tikrit). The connection between Iraqis’ strong family ties and their tribalism, corruption, and lack of commitment to an overarching nation had long been noted by those familiar with the country. … Sailer presciently suggested that Iraqi family structure and its mismatch with the sensibilities of civil society would frustrate any attempt at democratic nation-building.”
— Steven Pinker, writing on “Strangled by Roots,” in the Aug. 6 issue of the New Republic