- The Washington Times - Monday, August 27, 2001

Obsolete '60s

"The values of the '60s, such as leftist political revolution, unfettered sexual behavior, rejection of traditional religion, and drugs as a doorway to enlightenment, now seem downright naive. While the Hollywood machine, still controlled largely by baby boomers, may continue to preach humanistic excess, the real cultural barometers are pointing the other way. The current generation looks at the blatant sex-drugs-rock-and-roll pitch, now mostly the province of Madison Avenue, and gives an ironic smirk. Yeah, sure. Sounds like fun.

"Nothing could be farther from the cultural zeitgeist right now than the idea of morals-free hedonism. The current 18-to-35 generation, the children of the baby boomers, are sick to death of hearing about that brief, shining moment when the rules seemed suspended. They know instinctively that it is a myth. After all, they are the fruits of the love-in, the children, some quite literally, of Woodstock. … The Sixties are now to the young like the Depression was to the baby boomers. An irrelevant past kept alive only in the whiny memories of the old folks."

Spencer Phillips, writing on "Why the '60s Are Out of Style," Thursday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com


Gay Inc.

"Gay magazines circulate information to businesses about the spending power of their putatively childless, middle-class readership with slogans like, 'Gay Money Big Market, Gay Market Big Money.' The 1990s brought TV commercials showing two men furnishing their apartment together at Ikea, and Toyota's male car-buying couple, whilst Hyundai began appointing gay-friendly staff to dealerships, IBM targeted gay-run small businesses, Subaru advertisements on buses and billboards showed gay-advocacy bumper stickers and registration plates coded to appeal to queers, and Volkswagen commercials featured two men driving around in search of home furnishings.

"These campaigns are known as 'encrypted ads' or 'gay vague.' They are designed to make queers feel special for being 'in the know' while not offending straights who are unable to read the codes. Polygram's classical music division has a special gay promotional budget, Miller Beer supported the 1994 Gay Games, Miller Beer and Miller Lite are sponsoring the 2001 San Francisco Folsom Street event, the 'world's largest leather event,' and Coors introduced domestic-partner employee benefits."

Toby Miller in "Out at the Ball Game: the New Look of Sports" in the Aug. 17 Chronicle of Higher Education


'Kill your parents'?

"The astonishing luck of Bill Ayers, unrepentant former Weather Underground revolutionary, continues unabated. [On Wednesday,] the state of New York refused to grant parole to Kathy Boudin, another Weather Underground radical, convicted 20 years ago of second degree murder for participating in a Brink's truck robbery in which two policemen and a security guard were killed. That's bad news for Boudin, who by all accounts has been a model prisoner. But it's great news for Ayers who, with his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, jointly raised Boudin's son because it's bound to help Ayers sell his new memoir, "Fugitive Days."

"Ayers periodically expresses mild regret for his crimes, in tones reminiscent of a middle-aged insurance executive who wishes he hadn't gotten drunk quite so often at his college fraternity. …

"Much of what Ayers self-interestedly leaves out of his book is more personally embarrassing than illegal. Ayers takes care not to dwell on his own Establishment credentials. (His father was chairman of the energy company Commonwealth Edison, a fact Ayers conveys only by writing, 'My dad worked for Edison.') Ayers omits any discussion of his famous 1970 statement, 'Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that's where it's really at.'"

Timothy Noah, writing on "Radical Chic Resurgent," Wednesday in Slate at www.slate.com


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