“In 1976, Sylvester Stallone created, and acted in, his all-time classic ‘Rocky,’ which won the Academy Award for best picture. There would be four sequels. Rocky just kept coming back. And he still lives on — in our imagination.
“Rocky Balboa symbolized something far more than a simple-minded pugilist. Indeed, his character transcended the dynamics of the boxing ring and came to represent the values upon which America itself thrived. It was especially ‘Rocky I’ that touched the heart and soul of the American character, precisely because it celebrated the theme of the triumph of the human spirit, and of individual initiative — against all odds. In other words, it told us the story of the American Dream. …
“As a youngster, I lived and breathed Rocky. I jumped up and down watching his first two sequels. … And that is why I was always in complete and utter dismay when I came around Leftists and the topic of Rocky Balboa surfaced. Among no one else had I ever witnessed such angry and unquenchable rage directed at the movie, and the character, that had so moved my heart and inspired my youth. It was a mystery to me why these people could hardly contain themselves when expressing their disdain for my favorite character, as they foamed at the mouth, castigating the film with every obscenity that was available in their vocabulary. …
“It is impossible to meet a Leftist that likes ‘Rocky.’ Ideologues who build their life on hating the United States, and on seeing it as an economically and politically unjust social order, simply cannot humanize themselves long enough to enjoy the human dimensions of such a film. This would be a treasonous betrayal of their political faith.”
—Jamie Glazov, writing on “25 Years of Rocky Balboa,” July 3 in Front Page Magazine at www.frontpagemag.com
“The San Jose Mercury News recently offered a ‘note to dot-coms and failing businesses: Even charities don’t want your stuff.’ There are now so many dot-bombs in the Bay Area trying to fob off their surplus office furniture and equipment on local charities that some non-profits have literally run out of space.
“According to the Mercury News, one dot-com liquidator ‘spent the last two weeks trying to give away 10 desks, 10 filing cabinets and about 40 chairs. Someone laughed at his 8-year-old copier. A guy came out from the Salvation Army and shook his head. Nothing personal, you understand. He told me, ‘I go to three failed dot-coms a day and tell them I don’t want their stuff.’ …
“And this most popular charity phenomenon appears to have spread to the Pacific Northwest as well. According to one Seattle furniture reseller, while desks, chairs and tables have been unloaded into the secondary market in abundance, for some reason Foosball tables — those icons of the dot-com workplace — haven’t found their way to charities. He told the Seattle Times that, ‘there really isn’t a flood on the Foosball market.’”
—from “Too much of a good thing,” no author listed, in the May/June issue of Philanthropy magazine
First in their hearts?
“The House debate on faith-based initiatives opened a window into how irreconcilably divided American culture can be, and how irreconcilably outside of it certain citizens can feel. Patrick Kennedy put forward a resolution honoring a letter George Washington wrote to a synagogue in 1790, in which he urged religious tolerance. The resolution passed the House Judiciary Committee 24-1. That one was North Carolina Democrat Melvin Watt, who attacked not the content of Washington’s letter, but Washington himself.
“‘I want to be very, very careful how I say this,’ Watt began. ‘For us to be applauding the statements discussing bigotry that were written by a person who owned slaves is a little bit more than I can, without a churning stomach, be able to tolerate.’”
—Christopher Caldwell, writing on “Melvin’s Blue Note,” in the July 3 issue of the New York Press