- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 14, 2000

Stonewall as pop myth

"Did you know that June is 'Gay and Lesbian Pride Month'? It's official. Bill Clinton has declared it so, just as he did last year… . Police raided the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village [in June 1969] because of reports the establishment was selling liquor without a license … .

The Stonewall riots of 1969 are now being mythologized as something comparable to the Boston Massacre. Hel-looooo. This was a riot outside a bar, folks. Get real.

"If I were a homosexual political activist which, thank God, I'm not I would be embarrassed that the seminal event of my 'resistance' movement was a skirmish outside a gay bar. I'd be mortified that the way my colleagues define freedom is the ability to drink alcohol in an unlicensed club.

"Hey, I'm as much of an anarchist as the next guy, but this is, well, pathetic … .

"Your tax dollars are being used to enshrine the Stonewall Inn bar in Greenwich Village and surrounding streets and parks as a historical monument to the pointless mayhem that took place there four nights in 1969."

Joseph Farah in "Clinton's homosexual proclamation," posted on www.worldnetdaily.com on June 8

No fooling Nexis

"In addition to making life a lot easier for researchers, the Internet tool known as Nexis which enables the user to isolate key words has made the claim of objectivity at places like the New York Times far harder to defend… . Having … spotted a remarkable clip on ESPN, I decided to run a Nexis search of my own.

"The clip showed Ted Kennedy making a speech at the height of the 1998 home run frenzy, lauding the heroics of Mike McGwire and Sammy Shoosher. Maybe it wasn't the biggest story in the world, but it was damn revealing.

"Talk about being out of touch: It was like a pol in 1927 going on about the exploits of Babe Roth.

"The object: seeing how many papers reported that blunder versus the number that covered Dan Quayle's equally innocuous but now-legendary misspelling of 'potato' back in 1992 … .

The results: 1,716 references to Quayle and 37 references to Kennedy, most of those discreetly tucked away in People round-ups. The Kennedy gaffe did not appear at all in either the New York Times or The Washington Post."

Harry Stein, in his new book "How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy"

Dreadful disco

"Whit Stillman's film … 'Last Days of Disco' is about the odd and amusing mixture of class-consciousness and self-consciousness of socially, but not extraordinarily naturally, gifted young people in a decadent, democratic time … .

"Stillman's achievement is to portray the bourgeoisie of our time as human beings. And he does so within the context of a disco club modeled on Studio 54!

"If there is anything our contemporary culture and critics hold more in contempt than the 'ultra haute bourgeoisie,' it is the age of disco and almost all it represents.

"Disco tunes are often portrayed as soulless and mindless, interchangeable versions of the techno-generated rhythm fit for a particularly silly and narcissistic form of dancing in polyester outfits and platform shoes.

"Disco is denounced because its emergence signified the failure of message-driven rock music in the late '60s to transform America into an idealistic, ideological direction … .

"If the '60s rock aimed to change the world, '70s disco music aimed instead to divert dancers from the hellish reality that remains capitalist America. The John Travolta character in 'Saturday Night Fever' … wastes his talent and love of excellence on disco. For [his friends], disco is only opium dulling them to the empty misery of their lives."

Peter Lawler in "Nature, Grace and the Last Days of Disco" in the spring Intercollegiate Review

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