- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 17, 2001

'Immortal' Hendrix

"Jimi Hendrix blazed through our lives like a fireball-supernova that most likely originated in a black hole in the middle of some uncharted universe.

"This was not just some Elvis or Beatle everything about Hendrix was otherworldly. He had an understanding of sonics and how they related to music that no human had ever conceived before. He was able to express these non-verbal expressions as blasts of feedback and warfare emulations; personal, unique grace notes that were apropos for the times in which he performed.

"Before his genius reached maturity (he died at age 27), all that was left were some blinking sparks in the tail of a once-in-a-lifetime comet. A true alien in his lifetime, but now an immortal, too much wasted effort is spent by others in trying to compartmentalize him… .

"There was none other like him, and no guitarist since has approached his innovations and mental and sonic toolboxes."

Al Kooper, writing on "The Jimi Hendrix Experience," in the January/February issue of Gadfly

Low-stakes love

"Fox Television's 'Temptation Island' opened to big numbers last Wednesday night, which means the fall of civilization is progressing, as we say out here in Hollywood, 'on time and under budget.' …

"The show, in case you haven't heard, takes four couples in 'committed relationships' a phrase that curiously excludes marriage to a small island off the Belizean coast, splits them up into male and female groups, and tempts their faithfulness with a dozen or so hugely attractive single (i.e., not in 'committed relationships') tempters and temptresses. The idea, I guess, is that those in 'committed relationships' still aren't sure if they can trust their partners.

"If they get through 'Temptation Island' unscathed, marriage is the next step, turning a 'committed relationship' into a committed relationship. It seems like a lot to go through just to get rid of a few quotation marks… .

"The island couples are all clear-eyed realists. They know the score, and they're presumably aware of the possible outcome. And it's precisely because the stakes are so low that the show has a 'who-really-cares?' vibe to it… .

"The worst it gets for these couples is heartbreak. But how gooey-mushy could they really be, deep down, if they're willing to head off to Temptation Island to test drive their monogamy?"

Rob Long, writing on "Reel Reality," Monday in the Wall Street Journal

Compassionate Chavez

"For Linda Chavez, President-elect [George W.] Bush's former secretary of labor pick, the famous quote 'No good deed goes unpunished' … couldn't ring more true.

"The hypocrisy of leftist groups like the National Organization for Women is truly astounding… . NOW listed Linda Chavez among those who will propose 'the most regressive social policies on the ultraconservatives' agenda.' …

"The bogus half-truths swirling around Chavez illustrate how the ultraleft and NOW operate. When you can't go after the policies, go after the person.

"The story of Marta Mercado, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, was an attempt to torpedo Chavez's nomination… . Liberal gadfly Jesse Jackson referred to Mercado as an 'indentured servant.'

"Further investigation found that Chavez was not employing Mercado, but providing safety from her abusive boyfriend and from turmoil in her native Guatemala… .

"For Marta Mercado, Linda Chavez was a savior and her home was a haven."

Lisa De Pasquale, writing on "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished," a Saturday commentary on Cybercast News Service at www.cnsnews.com


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