- The Washington Times - Monday, May 14, 2007

Sonic style

” ‘Girlfriend,’ the lead single from Avril Lavigne’s new album, is a song that speaks entirely in the imperative, with a lyric sheet full of exclamation points and music to match: shout-along vocals, power chords, hand claps amplified to sound like an army on the march. …

“Lavigne’s latest success is a reminder that she’s one of the most influential pop singers of the decade. We first met her in 2002, when she rolled into view atop a battered skateboard in the video for her debut single, ‘Complicated.’ She was the female answer to all those mall-rat punk-pop bands — proof that a 17-year-old girl could whine and snarl just like the boys and look just as silly in a pair of pants five sizes too big. But her main innovation was sonic, forsaking traditional girly teenpop (syrupy ballads, dance beats) for huge choruses that crested over loud guitars. Almost immediately, the style became de rigueur, with everyone from Ashlee Simpson to Hilary Duff to Kelly Clarkson deploying distortion pedals and black mascara.”

— Jody Rosen, writing on “Mean Grrrl,” Wednesday in Slate at www.slate.com

Pushing back

“At first, pro-life Evangelicism avoided the issue of contraception. However, over time, it has become ever more difficult for many to draw an absolute line between contraception and abortion, because … the ‘contraceptive mentality’ embraces both, and some forms of ‘contraception’ are in practice abortifacients.

” ‘It is clear that there is a major rethinking going on among Evangelicals on this issue, especially among young people,’ R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, recently told the Chicago Tribune. ‘There is a real push back against the contraceptive culture now.’ ”

— Allan Carlson, writing on “Children of the Reformation,” in the May issue of

Touchstone

Highway hypocrisy

“In the wake of New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine’s recent car accident, much has been made of the governor’s decision not to wear a seat belt.

“One of the governor’s own aides suggested the governor be issued a citation, even as he lay in a hospital bed in critical condition. And a resident of New Jersey filed a formal complaint against Corzine.

“While I’m not personally fond of mandatory seat-belt laws (I don’t think it’s the government’s responsibility to protect us from ourselves), there is certainly some hypocrisy involved in his presiding over a state that requires the use of seat belts while the governor himself refuses to wear one. …

“Gov. Corzine apologized for his ‘poor example’ in failing to buckle up, but didn’t apologize for the actual cause of the accident — conveying the idea that he, the governor, is too important to obey traffic laws.

“We now know that Corzine and his driver were barreling down a busy highway at more than 90 miles per hour, flashing their lights, shunting commoner motorists to the side of the road. … It’s fortunate Corzine’s driver didn’t kill someone.

“And what exactly was so important that Corzine had to put the lives and safety of his fellow citizens at risk? He was on his way to a reconciliation meeting between shock jock Don Imus and the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Essentially a photo-op.

“It’s telling that Corzine is contrite for putting his own life at risk, but not for jeopardizing the lives of everyone else on the road.”

— Radley Balko, writing on “Politicians’ Hubris Takes to the Open Road,” Thursday in Reason Online at www.reason.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide