- The Washington Times - Friday, August 17, 2001

Crossbones culture
"Wise movie fans must read between the lines of reviews in order to discern whether a new film is worth their time and money. Given the perverse, not to say perverted, state of much of our present culture, a film praised as a 'gritty, unflinching look at the dark pockets of corruption beneath the shining surface of society' is liable to be a tub of nihilistic drivel that any mentally healthy person should eschew.
"The moment I learned a radical mistrust of movies and movie critics occurred when I saw the disgusting 'Pulp Fiction'. Dazzled by the acclaim, I suggested 'Pulp Fiction' for an afternoon outing to a close friend and his mother.
"Well, I was soon frozen in embarrassment as a hideous effusion of filth spewed from the screen. I forget which scene drove my friend's normally liberal-minded mother from her seat, perhaps the one in which a large black man is aggressively sodomized, an act that I doubt she had so much as conceived of in her almost 80 years of happy family life.
"How awful that our once vibrant Hollywood film industry, which had helped keep America's spirits afloat through depression and war, through recessions, riots and cultural revolutions, has now turned so poisonous that many of its products should be made to bear a warning label with a skull-and-crossbones."
—Carol Iannone, writing on "Caveat Film Fans," in the Aug. 8 issue of New York Press

Wrong tree?
"[CNN president] Walter Isaacson has been huddling with Republican leaders in the House and Senate, seeking advice on how to attract more right-leaning viewers to CNN.
"While it's good to see CNN squirming, I have to tell you that Isaacson is barking up the wrong tree if he thinks the Republicans have any answers for him.
"[T]he central role of a free press in a free society is to serve as a watchdog on government. CNN fails to meet this test as a news organization. CNN is a good example of a news organization that seems to believe its central role is to disseminate information on behalf of government — not just the U.S. government, but governments of all stripes worldwide.
"It's not an issue of party labels. It's not even strictly an ideological matter. It's a question of who's going to keep an eye on government.
"CNN isn't doing that. The New York Times isn't doing it. And no one else in the establishment Old Media world is, either."
—Joseph Farah, writing on "Some free advice for CNN," Wednesday on World Net Daily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Working vacation
"George W. Bush had to find all sorts of activities to distract from the notion that he's actually taking a break from work for a month on his ranch in Texas. It's a 'working vacation,' we're told, which is as quintessentially an American oxymoron as you are likely to find.
"Juliet Schor, author of the now-classic tome, 'The Over-Worked American,' calculated 10 years ago that American manufacturing workers work 320 more hours a year than their counterparts in France and Germany.
"Between 1970 and 1990, Schor calculated, the average American added 163 work hours to their lives — about an extra month. ''
—Andrew Sullivan, writing on "Chill-Free Zone," in the Sunday Times of London


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