- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 23, 2001

Unpretty truth
"'Sex and the City' has always been an astute little fable about the lies otherwise intelligent women live by, the bad choices they make as they take advantage of the post-feminist freedom to pursue 'dangerous emotions.'
"This season 'Sex and the City' retained its cocktail-fizzy dialogue, its fabulous fashions, its naughty bedroom scenes and its too-true slices of upscale New York life. But the show has also toughened up and tackled the implications and consequences of the choices its characters make. 'Sex and the City' is still fizzy and funny. But it has become unsettling and, sometimes, infuriating, as it mercilessly homes in on the dirty emotional secrets of modern, post-feminist women's lives. Watching the characters obsess over finding Mr. Right or worry that they'll never have babies, you don't know whether to laugh, because it's all so embarrassingly retro, or cry, because you know women exactly like them.
"'Sex and the City' is confidently thrusting its self-styled feminist heroines into 'put up or shut up' emotional and romantic quandaries. And, sometimes, the truth isn't pretty."
—Joyce Millman, writing on "Sex, the city, and the price of freedom," Tuesday in Salon at www.salon.com

Call to repentance
"When they had the advantage , the Republicans showed a remarkable timidity. It is evident that the Democrats, far from being timid, are willing and able to mine the slightest political advantage for the greatest possible gain in programs and policies. Is it likely that the Republicans will prove more valiant when in the minority? It seems unlikely that they will be able to pass any significant parts of their agenda with which the Democrats are not in agreement. They have lost both their strategic and their tactical advantage: How are they to avoid becoming, as suggested, simply placeholders for a coming Democratic takeover?
"What is necessary is for the trumpet to begin to make clear sounds, to give specific, identifiable trumpet calls. The advantage that the Republican Party had, in the midst of a corrupt, self-serving, promiscuous culture, was the perception of moral conviction.
"The president of the United States has one great advantage, which no one can take from him for the next three and one-half years. Theodore Roosevelt called it 'the bully pulpit.' When he speaks, he will be heard. Moreover, provided his trumpet does not utter uncertain sounds, he will be able to influence his listeners."
—From "Uncertain Trumpets," an unsigned editorial in the August issue of the Religion & Society Report

'Romantic' bomber?
"To think that I was in a play with an alleged former SLA member takes some getting used to. Even after 26 years, the Symbionese Liberation Army still strikes a certain amount of terror in people's hearts. They were terrorist revolutionaries who were responsible for murder, kidnapping and armed bank robbery. Six of their members were massacred in a showdown with Los Angeles police on live television in 1974. To think that I am one degree of separation from that extremist organization is, well, kind of sexy.
"Putting aside my romantic thoughts for a moment, the reality is that on Sept. 24, 2001, Sara Jane Olson's trial begins. Did she really commit the crime? Could this responsible citizen — this warm and caring woman who is adored by her community — actually have had enough hatred in her system 26 years ago to conspire to murder? More important, even if she did, was the crime worth the expense of trying her 26 years later? …
"This trial sounds more like revenge than justice. I also wouldn't be surprised if FBI officials are kind of embarrassed that Sara Jane managed to elude them for 24 years while basking in the spotlight right under their noses."
—Vicki Cain, writing on "The actress I knew," Tuesday in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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