- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Hollywood magic
"This summer, movies have the life cycle of a flare. They open spectacularly, setting all sorts of arcane records. … The next week, they fizzle just as dramatically, as audiences line up for next 'big event.'
"This trend is not so much the result of fickle audiences as a marketing strategy that floods a film onto more than 3,000 screens the first weekend, so that a studio can make lots of money before poor word of mouth and bad reviews scare moviegoers away. …
"More important, it's set up an unusual cultural dichotomy: More people say there's nothing they want to see, but Hollywood is making more money than ever. In fact, this weekend it expects to break the summer box-office record of $3 billion. …
"Nearly all the major releases have debuted on more than 3,000 screens this summer, up from just one movie, 'Mission: Impossible,' in 1996. No fewer than nine, including 'Pearl Harbor,' 'Planet of the Apes,' and 'Rush Hour 2,' have opened with hauls above $40 million only to be ousted by another massively marketed movie the following weekend. Case in point: 'Jurassic Park III,' which opened on 5,000 screens and grossed $50 million its first week. The dinosaurs may have proved a little long in the tooth for audiences, 56 percent fewer of whom showed up the next week, but that still left the movie with a tally above $20 million. The result: After five weeks, it has raked in $168 million making it a bona fide blockbuster."
Stephen Humphries, writing on "Summer movies melt faster than ice cream," in Friday's Christian Science Monitor

'Liberated' students?
"In August 1998, California State Universityfl Northridge's Center for Sex Research, teamed up with the Free Speech Coalition, the trade association and lobbying arm of the porn industry, to sponsor a four-day 'World Pornography Conference: Eroticism and the First Amendment.' Porn stars and other members of the porn industry mingled … with professors and First Amendment lawyers at the conference.
"Being academics, the scholars of smut aren't satisfied with convincing and congratulating themselves on the gravitas of their perversity. They bring it with them to the classroom. … The aim in such classes, as in all classes geared toward building 'awareness,' is not just to educate, but to proselytize.
"Colleges have been quite receptive to their overtures, in part because they speak in the language colleges love: the language of multiculturalism. A proposal to teach college students about sex would probably strike department heads as absurd as proposals to teach college students about pizza, beer or sports. But not a proposal to educate college students about sex because they need to be liberated from the overarching societal view of sex, which is shackled by the oppressive, patriarchal, Judeo-Christian, heterosexual tradition."
Jon Sanders, writing on "The Smutty Professors," in the July/August issue of Clarion

Raised on hate
"[The 1993 Oslo peace treaty] assumed that [Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat would prepare his people for peace. Instead, he has trained them for 'popular war,' down to the children who are indoctrinated with the glories of 'martyrdom' and bloodlust from their very earliest days. Arafat's war has secured the future: a new generation, raised on hate, mobilized and ready to carry the fight long after Arafat and his generation are gone.
"Why should he stop? Every day is a victory. Every Palestinian death creates a martyr and a rallying cry. Every Israeli death sows more fear and despair in the enemy. … Given what he has achieved in the last 11 months, why would he stop?"
—Charles Krauthammer, writing on "Arafat's War," in the Sept. 3 issue of the Weekly Standard


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