- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 13, 2000

Down-home star

"I was visiting Ashley Judd at her house, south of Nashville or, to put it properly, Ashley and I were visiting, since she is nothing if not a Southern woman, and it is a Southern habit to use visit as an intransitive verb.

"It is her remittent Southernness, indeed, that aroused my interest in the first place, for she is one of the very few celebrities who are very clearly from someplace, and one of even fewer who are very clearly from the South… .

"In her blood is incorporated the entire ascent not only of American celebrity but of American beauty in general, and now here she was making biscuits from scratch, as generations of Southern women had before her, uncelebrated, crushed by the heel of ceaseless toil into the dust of history… .

"She put the biscuits in the oven. She made coffee. She cut up a cantaloupe she bought at a market that brings in local produce. She scrambled some brown eggs. She opened the refrigerator and found whipped butter and four kinds of homemade jam. She put the jam and the butter on the table, along with a jar of honey, the eggs, and the biscuits, tucked in a basket and covered with a checked cloth… .

"Was I hungry? You bet I was."

Tom Junod, writing on "Women We Love: Ashley Judd," in the October issue of Esquire

Where the heart is

"Something new does seem to be happening among today's immigrants. Today's fax machines and cheap airfares make it possible for immigrants to remain active in more than a single society at the same time and never commit fully to one or the other.

"For them, the borders of the nation-state seem little more than an inconvenience.

"New York's immigrant neighborhoods are jammed with businesses selling low-cost phone calls and instant money transfers to some of the most remote parts of the globe. Video and audio tapes allow people in Brooklyn or Queens to experience weddings and village festivals in the Andes, Iran or West Africa only a few days after they take place. The Internet increasingly makes it possible to do so in real time …

"Until a few years ago, the governments of the sending countries tended to ignore their communities abroad; now many grant dual citizenship rights to people in the United States.

"Candidates for office in the Dominican Republic campaign on upper Broadway and no Colombian presidential aspirant would neglect to put in an appearance on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens. Taiwan even subsidizes tours for single young adults to visit and get in touch with Taiwan's version of their Chinese heritage."

Philip Kasinitz, writing on "Children of America: The second generation comes of age," in the fall issue of CommonQuest

Critical drumbeat

"Young Americans love the movies. R-rated movies, violent movies, horror movies, sexy movies they like them all, and consequently pour billions of dollars into the pockets of Hollywood stars and producers.

"Now, the marketing of violent movies to America's kids by Hollywood could become one of the hottest issues in the 2000 campaign for the White House.

"The Federal Trade Commission, following a one-year million-dollar study, found that motion-picture companies intentionally direct their marketing plans for violent, R-rated movies to children under 17… .

"The drumbeat of criticism … is growing louder. David Grossman, author of 'Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill,' says: 'Ultimately we're going to see change on this in one of three ways: education, legislation or litigation.'

"He adds: 'The First Amendment does not include the right to sell pornography to children. Inevitably, where we are headed is to treat these violent images the same way we treat pornographic images.' "

John Dillin, writing on "Assault on pop-culture violence," in yesterday's Christian Science Monitor

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