- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 26, 2000

Children and choice

"Elinor Burkett wanders the halls, gossiping with the graduating seniors. Burkett, 53, is the author of 'The Baby Boon: How Family-Friendly America Cheats the Childless,' a book that accuses parents of wanting 'their child and their Lexus, too' and describes having children as 'squirting out spawn.' …

" 'This isn't about hurt feelings,' Burkett says. 'This is about a political and economic structure which relegates the childless to second-class citizens.' …

"Sylvia Ann Hewlett, a Harvard-educated economist who founded the National Parenting Association, said at a recent meeting of the organization: 'There are 63 million parents' of children under 18 'in the United States, and if they were to vote as a bloc they could swing the election.' …

"Nothing represents [the anti-child] backlash better than what Hewlett calls that 'contemptible' book. 'Baby Boon' (which mentions Hewlett numerous of times, none of them complimentary) 'is making my blood boil,' she says in an interview in the association's offices in Manhattan… .

"The dismissal of parenting as a 'choice' is 'outrageous,' Hewlett says.

" 'This assumes that having a child is the moral equivalent of buying a boat or getting a manicure,' she says. 'True, not having children is an option for each individual. In some cases it is an honorable choice. But childlessness is not a choice for society.' "

Lisa Belkin, writing on "Your Kids Are Their Problem," in Sunday's New York Times Magazine

Techie jargon

"Tech jargon gets upgraded more often than Microsoft software. Who has the time to keep up? We've scoured the streets from Silicon Alley to Silicon Valley for the latest buzzwords:

Sudden Wealth Syndrome: After the IPO comes anxiety, confusion, paranoia, even ennui. Fortunately, though, you can afford the psychotherapy.

Clicks and bricks: Look out, Amazon.com! With "bricks and mortar" megastores like Kmart and Wal-Mart going on-line, the Web's not just for start-ups anymore.

Person-to-person: The kinder, gentler alternative to C2C (consumer-to-consumer).

Convergence: Synergy is out, convergence is in. Don't worry they mean the same thing.

Jurassic technology: Expired and outdated technological advancements like your 486 processor.

M-commerce (mobile commerce): Shop on-line anytime, anywhere if you can still afford to after shelling out big bucks for the latest wireless handheld device.

Generation i: Formerly known as Generation Y, these 12-to-20-year-olds are as remarkable for their Web savvy as for their love of shopping."

Jean Shreve in "Geekspeak," in the August issue of Working Woman

Moses who?

"The swirl of interest surrounding Mount Sinai reminds me of the hubbub attending the release of the movie 'The Prince of Egypt,' the top-grossing animated feature based on the life of Moses. The media fanfare and public response to this movie help explain the mystery and intrigue of Mount Sinai, for, as any rookie media consultant will agree, what Hollywood produces these days carefully mirrors the cultural zeitgeist: the spirit of the age, what a society is interested in, thinking about, consuming.

"Response to 'The Prince of Egypt' shocked social critics who questioned why, in 1998, a major studio would spend $70 million on a feature based on the Old Testament… . For many, it bordered on scandalous that Moses still enjoyed star quality in Tinsel Town. The media hummed with cranky anecdotes about the film's religious and historic overtones; everyone from Time to the local tabloid questioned whether Moses was an actual person or merely overblown legend… . One article in the Denver Rocky Mountain News framed itself around a single question: Did Moses really exist?

Robert Cornuke and David Halbrook in their new book, "The Mountain of God"

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