- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 3, 2000

Cultural amnesia

"The importance of collective memory you can call it history, if you want seems to be waning. All of a sudden the responsibility to remember what got us here seems less of a requirement and more of an elective. We have lapsed into in the words of social theoretician Stephen Bertman a state of cultural amnesia.

"Bertman sums it up by asking this question: 'Can a culture deprived of memory go on? And if national memory loss implies a loss of direction, what will be the consequences for our future as a people and as a civilization? Indeed, can any culture have a viable future if it has lost touch with its past?' …

"[B]y 1994, on the 50th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, fewer than half of adult Americans polled recalled that Dwight D. Eisenhower had been the commander. Twenty-two percent did not know who America's enemies had been in World War II. In a 1995 poll, 22 percent of Americans surveyed did not know where or even if an atomic bomb had ever been dropped. Sixty percent did not know the name of the president who ordered the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan."

Bob Greene, writing on "You must remember this (unless you don't)," posted Monday in Jewish World Review on line at www.jewishworldreview.com

Computer is king

"The fundamental instrument of Computer Civilization, the computer, is a creation of sheer science. Right now it is influencing life on earth more pervasively than any other invention in history. The computer can be used to locate information until recently accessible only at the largest libraries and can find it faster than any librarian anywhere unassisted by computers …

"I am a willing co-conspirator with the heralds and wizards of Computer Civilization. The high culture of this country has been dead for years, polluted by a stifling ideology that might call itself liberal but is actually simply infantile collectivist. Call it a Kultursmog …

"The radiant minds that created the personal computer and all the advances that have come with it constitute the most liberating influence to come to the culture in generations."

R. Emmett Tyrell, writing on "For Your Information," in the May issue of the American Spectator

NFL Limbaugh?

"ABC seeks the Next Howard Cosell, as if the first were not enough. The network's executives declare they are tired of the 'sameness' of the Monday Night Football broadcast. Bring us someone different, they say.

"They axed Boomer Esiason. A possible replacement is Steve Young. One left-handed, well-spoken, attractive former MVP quarterback, exchanged for another left-handed, well-spoken, attractive former MVP quarterback. Well, that's different… .

"What the network should say is: 'We want someone unique, but honestly, we don't have the guts to give someone unique a shot. So we'll hire a recently retired player. Or an ex-coach who was fiery and outspoken on the sidelines but in the booth turns into a cross between Regis Philbin and lawn furniture.'

"Rush Limbaugh says he's interested. I'd be interested in Rush Limbaugh. Personally, I find the guy grating, irritating, pompous and entirely too full of himself… .

"He'd be great on Monday Night.

"But is America ready?

" 'I'm part of the landscape of America,' Limbaugh declared recently, sounding especially Cosellian… .

"What about Limbaugh? He's erudite, he's witty. He's like-him-or-kill-him… .

"Monday night is the only time in all of sports when the announcers are as important as the game. Would I watch Limbaugh? Absolutely. Would you?"

Paul Daugherty, writing Monday in the Cincinnati Enquirer

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