- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2008

Camelot myth

“James Piereson in his closely reasoned, original and stimulating new book, ‘Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism,’ [argues] that American liberals committed political suicide. They picked up Oswald’s gun and turned it upon themselves. And in the mid-1960s, they made an unmissable target. …

“No observer in 1963 would have forecast that the dominant American liberalism of that time would collapse and surrender to its own radicals almost without a fight. That it did so in reality testifies to an extraordinary loss of morale among liberals. That in turn is hard to explain except as a result of how they interpreted the Kennedy assassination as it was encapsulated above all in his wife’s invention of the Camelot myth.”

John O’Sullivan, writing on “What Jackie Did Next,” in the Jan. 14 issue of the American Conservative

Strange silence

“A Muslim girl has been murdered, and the Left, which claims to care about women and their oppression, is silent.

“Aqsa Parvez, a 16-year-old Muslim girl living in Canada, was, according to police, strangled to death by her father because she refused to wear the hijab. … A friend of Aqsa explained: ‘She wanted to live her life the way she wanted to, not the way her parents wanted her to. She just wanted to be herself, honestly she just wanted to show her beauty, and not be pushed around by her parents telling her what she has to be like, what she has to do.’ …

“One might have assumed that the Left would be leading the charge against a culture that victimizes those who want to live their lives the way they want to, but that has not been the case. Leftist publications had little to say about her death. Feminist writer Katha Pollitt, as of this writing, still hasn’t written a word about it. Nor has anyone else at the Nation. CounterPunch? Not a word. The National Organization for Women? Nothing. Even Human Rights Watch has shown no interest in the case of Aqsa Parvez.”

Robert Spencer, writing on “Islamic Misogyny,” Friday at FrontPageMag.com

Quipping killers

“I don’t watch shoot ‘em up movies. I’m not opposed to them; I’m just bored with the genre. The hip quips, the Tarantino mannerisms — is there a hitman out there today who doesn’t engage in existential contemplation while reloading? — the endless sadism, and the amount of disbelief one must suspend requires the engineering genius of Brunel. Our hero, who’s been shot 16 times and had his leg sawed off at the hip, somehow manages to stand up, aim, improvise an ironic rejoinder that calls back something said in the first 10 pages of the script, then shoots the bad guy 37 times. …

“On the other hand: here’s a movie called ‘Shoot ‘Em Up.’ … It features Clive Owen, who is so tough his breakfast cereal has marshmallows shaped like Chuck Norris. … It’s preposterously good, for this sort of movie, mostly because it’s tightly directed, has a sense of humor, keeps the quippage to a minimum, is completely over the top, and — most important — it doesn’t revel in pain and sadism.”

James Lileks, writing on “Bleat,” Tuesday at Lileks.com

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