- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Smothering image
"Last weekend, the American Movie Classics channel premiered a strange little rescue act from the debris of Hollywood history. They put together a kind of assembly from the footage that survives of a production called 'Something's Got to Give.' This was the movie from which Marilyn Monroe was fired in June of 1962, because she had been ill or late so often that the picture was two weeks behind schedule. A couple of months later — Aug. 5 — Monroe was dead.
"[I]t seems impossible these days to explore the jungle called Marilyn Monroe with any purpose. There have been so many books and documentaries that were as speculative, romantic and depressing as novels. Who can tell what she was like? Who really cares now, nearly 40 years later? Why don't we settle for the idea that Monroe had become such an image that her own 'reality' had been smothered? There was nothing there for her to hold on to, so how can we hope to grasp her?"
—David Thomson, writing on "Something had to give," Friday/ in Salon at www.salon.com

Kids online
"Adolescents thundered onto the Net over a decade ago, and the place has never been the same, for better or worse (both, really). Are brilliant 15-year-old computer geeks running the world, upending existing institutions? Does it matter that childhood sometimes ends when computers arrive? Some have argued that geeks and nerds are committing a form of social parricide, turning on their parents and almost all other elders, as clueless, hostile and incompetent.
"Time asks in its cover 'Do Kids Have Too Much Power?' The magazine, along with many so-called experts, seems to think so, and cyberspace is a big reason why.
"Kids, with sophisticated technology skills and more time on their hands than almost any other segment of the population, are fighting to get hold of traditionally proprietary (thus valuable) information. It's giving lawyers and corporations fits. Companies wonder how they can possibly survive as new media technologies make information cheaper and more available.
"Is this a revolution, and is it really upon us?
"Most 15-year-olds on the Net are not making millions or dispensing legal advice; they're gaming, coding, downloading music, talking to their friends, surfing. You will never hear most of their names on the news. It's true that younger people now have access to once-restricted enclaves like the stock market, and they are forcing institutions to change. But that isn't the same as overthrowing them.
"It's the nature of media to focus on aberrations, which makes for good stories but poor social reality. When a plane crashes, the wreckage is on TV screens 'round the clock for days. But planes rarely crash."
—Jon Katz, writing on "The Rise Of The 15-Year-Olds," Aug. 7 on Slashdot at www.slashdot.org

St. Homer?
"Next month Westminster John Knox Press will publish 'The Gospel According to the Simpsons: The Spiritual Life of the World's Most Animated Family.' The non-ironic book, by Mark I. Pinsky, a religion writer for the Orlando Sentinel, is only the latest nod to the show's spirituality. A recent California State University study found that 70 percent of the show's episodes contain religious themes. Christian Century magazine put the family on its cover, stating that 'The Simpsons' 'is exceptionally aware of the significant place religion has in the American landscape.' It appears the show is now a model of family values. Bart couldn't have manipulated things better."
—Sam Smith, writing on "Sitcom Spirituals," in Sunday's New York Times Magazine

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