- The Washington Times - Friday, April 21, 2000

Socialism is dead

“On the second day of the demonstration against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the clouds over Washington cracked. The city was deluged with rain, and 9,000 of the 10,000 people who had arrived to protest stayed in bed… .

“So Round Two of the great mobilization against globalization ended in a squelch rather than in the photogenic violence of Seattle… .

“Once upon a time, the left possessed a clear and coherent vision of a better world… . This ideal was called socialism, and until the mid-1970s it commanded the assent of a very considerable number of intelligent people.

“Today, of course, socialism is as dead as King Tut deader, maybe, since people are after all still pretty interested in King Tut. And the death of socialism has simply cut the intellectual guts out of the kind of radicalism espoused by the people who tried to shut the World Bank down.”

David Frum, writing on “Protesting, but Why?” in Wednesday’s New York Times

Hollywood hero

” ‘The 13th Warrior’ presents its audience with a rare opportunity: to identify a Muslim not as evil a Hollywood stereotype often bemoaned by contemporary Muslims but rather as a servant in the struggle against evil. In this unfortunately violent medieval epic, ‘The 13th Warrior’ is literally an ambassador from the world of traditional Islam, called upon to complete a circle of Viking heroes in their struggle to defend a besieged European kingdom against barbarism and sorcery …

“In ‘The 13th Warrior,’ when the Viking leader learns the shahada, the proclamation of Islamic faith, at the opening of his struggle against evil, he is thereby connecting to these champions of Islam. Needless to say, this ‘conversion’ is an unprecedented moment in film. Furthermore, the absence of Christianity in a retelling of the Christian-authored ‘Beowulf’ may seem strange, for Viking culture has long been guided by Christendom… . Yet, its absence in ‘The 13th Warrior’ reflects the failure of the Christian world to defend against devils …

“In this film, at least, Islam has replaced Christianity as the religion ready to guide a European people into a new era.”

Mahmoud Shelton, writing on “The 13th Warrior: Swords Against Devils,” in the winter/ spring issue of the Muslim Magazine

‘Taking charge’

“Today’s single black women are taking independence to a new level. Long gone are the days of waiting for their male counterparts to jumpstart their lives. As a result, many women are acquiring homes and cars, and they are building successful careers and financial portfolios all by the time they are 30 years of age. And many of these women, for a variety of reasons, have made the decision to have children without being in committed relationships. The dynamic female of this era is deciding to have her baby even if it means rearing her child alone …

“The element of being patient and waiting for the right man seems to be a thing of the past for many women. In today’s society, more and more women are taking charge of their futures and shaping their social lives and families. Make no mistake: Traditionally, most women hope to meet the man of their dreams, get married and have children, all in that order. In fact, that is exactly the story line that most women today would like to see their lives follow. But if the right knight in the appropriate shining armor doesn’t arrive in a timely manner, many women are making some adjustments to fit the needs of their hearts and lifestyles …

“The two-parent home continues to be the ideal environment to rear a child, but it is no secret that commitment and marriage appear to be revered less and less in today’s changing society.”

Bryna L. Bates, writing on “Why so many women are choosing to have children without a mate,” in the March issue of Ebony

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