- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The food zone

“The war on fat has just crossed a major red line. The Los Angeles City Council has passed an ordinance prohibiting construction of new fast-food restaurants in a 32-square-mile area inhabited by 500,000 low-income people.

“We’re not talking anymore about preaching diet and exercise, disclosing calorie counts, or restricting sodas in schools. We’re talking about banning the sale of food to adults. Treating french fries like cigarettes or liquor. I didn’t think this would happen in the United States anytime soon. I was wrong. …

“What we’re looking at, essentially, is the beginning of food zoning. … I assumed this idea would go nowhere because we Americans don’t like government restrictions on what we eat. You can nag us. You can regulate what our kids eat in school. But you’ll get our burgers when you pry them from our cold, dead hands.”

- William Saletan, writing on “Food Apartheid,” on July 31 at Slate.com

Bridezilla! Bridezilla!

“‘This caricature of the Bridezilla is easy to understand,’ says Rebecca Mead, author of the best-selling wedding industry expose ‘One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding.’ She argues that it’s not the demanding brides who warrant scrutiny, but the culture in which they are created.

“‘We all know women who’ve gone crazy about their wedding day. I think it’s easy to criticize individual brides for excess - and certainly they commit excess - but we live in a Bridezilla culture, where the whole wedding system is set up to make a bride think it’s her right and her privilege and probably even her duty to have this day, which is all about her. And if it’s all about you, then there’s no limit to what you can expect of your supporters and attendants and the great circus of people around you.’

“To hear Mead explain it - and to read her book - is to understand the origins of and even appreciate the unreasonable bride request, leaving me with a daunting question that plagues many former bridesmaids who’ve gone into debt or delirium, often more than once and against their better judgment, so that a betrothed friend could experience ‘her perfect day.’ Namely, if a request was so unreasonable, why didn’t any of the bridesmaids - and there are an average of five bridesmaids in each American wedding - put the kibosh on it?”

- Tobin Levy, writing on “Bridesmaid Revisited,” on Aug. 2 at Salon.com

Hollywood confidential

“[David] Zucker’s latest movie, ‘An American Carol,’ is unlike anything that has ever come out of Hollywood. It is a frontal attack on the excesses of the American left from several prominent members of a growing class of Hollywood conservatives. Until now, conservatives in Hollywood have always been too few and too worried about a backlash to do anything serious to challenge the left-wing status quo.

David Zucker believes we are in a ‘new McCarthy era.’ Time magazine film writer Richard Corliss recently joked that conservative films are ‘almost illegal in Hollywood.’ …

“But Zucker’s film, together with a spike in attendance at events put on by ‘The Friends of Abe’ (Lincoln, not Vigoda) - a group of right-leaning Hollywood types that has been meeting regularly for the past four years - is once again reviving hope that conservatives will have a battalion in this exceedingly influential battleground of the broader culture war.”

- Stephen Hayes, writing on “Hollywood Takes on the Left” in the Aug. 11 issue of the Weekly Standard

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