- The Washington Times - Monday, March 20, 2000

Fashion backlash

"Are you a man with big hair? If so, you might be caught up in the biggest fashion backlash to hit since bell-bottoms were sent to oblivion in the 1970s.
"The cut is technically known as the mullet: Feathered and puffy, it's short on top, long in the back and hanging down on the side. Think 1980s. Think early Michael Bolton, Kenny G, Hall & Oates, Billy Ray Cyrus, Joey Buttafuoco, or even Donald Trump… .
"What was once a symbol of coolness is now the apex of tackiness… .
"Why is the mullet a cause for mockery? Because it gives an aura of phoniness and last year's conformity… .
"The anti-mullet backlash is an example of the way pop culture shoots its wounded. People who try hard to be cool take high risks, and those who fail end up being the opposite of what they intend."
Chris Stamper, writing on "The perils of fashion," in the March 18 issue of World

Learning at home

"Hooray for home schoolers! Their scholastic achievements are being trumpeted on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Last month, the paper reported that home schooled students scored 67 points above the average on the SAT college entrance exam… . Colleges and universities appreciate the high quality education received by home schooled children. Last fall, Stanford University accepted 27 percent of home schooled students who applied. That's nearly double its overall acceptance rate.
"Maybe home schoolers do so well because their parents have more education than the national norm. And, it could also be because of their parents' dedication. In most home school families one parent stays home full time, which could be why these families have a below average income. We believe parental involvement is the key to a great education for children, whether they're home schooled or attend more traditional schools. Investing your time in your children is the smartest investment you'll ever make."
Janet Parshall of the Family Research Council, in a Thursday "Washington Watch" radio commentary

Sexy man

"My top pick for Sexiest Man Alive in Love with His Wife has got to be Paul McCartney, a man whose deep grief over the death of his wife Linda from breast cancer in 1998 and obvious devotion to her during their life together is truly unusual. According to a People story about her death, '[a]s celebrities' marriages went, theirs was an anomaly this couple in the limelight couldn't bear to be apart even after three decades.' By their own account, the couple only spent a few nights apart during their entire marriage, and he wrote numerous love songs to and about her. When interviewed by the BBC after her death, McCartney was near tears in describing the impact of her death: 'We fancied each other something rotten,' he said. 'To me, she was always still my girlfriend.' …
"Paul McCartney often has expressed his appreciation for his wife's performance of traditional feminine roles, as great cook and loving, supportive mother. Such politically incorrect appreciation [by husbands] of their wives as nurturers of home and family seems counter to the postmodern sensibility that gender roles are meaningless social constructs and that 'marriage' consists of two interchangeable partners, not necessarily of the opposite sex. Rather, it suggests the continued strength and romantic potential of the husband and wife in complementary but different roles in the relationship."
Melinda Ledden Sidak, writing on "Why Paul McCartney Is the Sexiest Man Alive," in the Winter issue of Women's Quarterly

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