- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 17, 2000

How to hate her

"It would be so easy to hate her. There's that perfect posture, for starters… . That high-held head of hers. A few years of modeling will do that for you. So will growing up in a Gothic mansion in Rhode Island, some $1.8 million dive called Hilltop. It helps to attend private academies, and to win equestrian trophies… . All of this can conspire to make a girl seem aloof. Detestable, even.
"Or you could overlook all that and hate Mena Suvari simply because she's only 21, and while other actresses her age spent the past year praying for a pilot on the WB, she starred in one of the biggest hits of the summer, 'American Pie,' and in the year's Best Picture, 'American Beauty' (as the American beauty). You could, but where's the sport in that?"
Sean M. Smith, writing on "Presumed Innocent," in the June issue of Premiere

Women only

" 'The most socially significant medical advance of the century,' is how Gloria Felt, the president of Planned Parenthood, describes the Pill, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. 'By giving them control over childbearing,' she adds, 'the Pill has enabled women to take charge of their education, their careers, and ultimately their lives.' …
"Only women can take the Pill, and so, as the Pill reshaped American culture, family planning became the concern of women only… . The sexual revolution thereby freed men of the obligation to raise the children they fathered, and an obliging welfare state gladly stepped in to fill the void… .
"Far from rescuing single women from the depredations of men, as feminists predicted, the Pill has helped to make them more vulnerable."
Chris Weinkopf, writing on "A Bitter Pill," May 15 in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

Mob rule

"Over the decades, marches on Washington degenerated, it seemed, into merely coercive shows of force, of political plumage display… .
"What exactly is the moral meaning of a crowd? Does a crowd have claims to legitimacy? Does it have more political significance than, say, a Zogby poll? If one person expresses a strong opinion on a subject, does the opinion become 200,000 times more valid if 200,000 people gather in the same place to proclaim it? …
"Because of the '60s, I suspect (Woodstock, the moratorium marches, rock concerts), Americans have come to lose their fear of people assembled in mobs… . But during most of civilized history, crowds have been considered mindless, dangerous animals, easily manipulated by demagogues… .
"Even when a crowd calls itself a Million Moms, mad as heck for the sake of the kids, I'm afraid it gives me a sense of moral claustrophobia."
Lance Morrow, writing on "Why Mass Marches Have Lost Their Meaning," Monday in the on-line edition of Time at www.time.com

El Dorado, U.S.A.

"After the Second World War … the United States quickly became the most powerful, prosperous, and popular nation of all time. Militarily we developed the power to blow the entire planet to smithereens, but we also accomplished history's most amazing engineering feat, breaking the bond of Earth's gravity and flying to the moon. And there was something still more amazing. The country turned into what the Utopian socialists of the 19th century … had dreamed about: an El Dorado where the average working man would have the political freedom, the personal freedom, the money, and the free time to fulfill his potential in any way he saw fit. It got to the point where if you couldn't reach your electrician or your air-conditioning mechanic, it was because he was off on a Royal Caribbean cruise with his third wife."
Tom Wolfe, writing on "In the Land of the Rococo Marxists," in the June issue of Harper's

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