- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Habit, not hate
"In the early 1970s, it was not an uncommon sight to see a bumper sticker or button that read 'Archie Bunker for President.' This, one can be sure, was not the sort of public acclaim that political activist and Hollywood producer Norman Lear had in mind. …
"Archie Bunker was supposed to be the model for the fellow on his way out the cultural door, the bumbling suburban dinosaur, one of the last pillars standing stupidly before the wrecking ball of 1960s enlightenment.
"Instead, Archie Bunker became a hero; the everyman who showed that prejudice is most often habit and not hatred. … Archie became the embodiment of how men can be wrong and not evil, kind and not correct, lovable and not always loving. And in this, the character perhaps inadvertently illustrated clearly for the first time that the youth rebellion of the 1960s had made a terrible mistake in demonizing those who would oppose it: because the opposition wasn't a demon, it was simply the lifetime habits of the otherwise decent fellow next door. …
"Archie wasn't bad, he was just wrong. … His success was a victory for conservatives, but not in the ugly way the Left would have the world believe. Archie Bunker demonstrated a victory of the fundamentally conservative idea that character is more important than ideology."
Michael Long, writing on "Archie Bunker's Place," June 23 in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Politics of love
"The structure on which romance is built has been attacked and destroyed, on the grounds that it's inequitable to women. Feminists argue that traditional romance is oppressive and antiquated. Chivalry, tenderness, and frothy romance are all frowned upon, even outlawed. In their place is another structure that's totally politicized. …
"Unfortunately, young people's introduction to this has been almost exclusively from the point-of-view of Los Angeles pornographers. Their introduction to sex has been with the raunchiest and grossest stuff. Only after they've been exposed to that are they supposed to date and go to a dance. Not only have things been coarsened, but the order has been reversed. …
"My daughters and I were recently listening to music. … I was playing them some beautiful songs from a Broadway musical, wonderful romantic stuff. And I realized that their generation is programmed to have contempt for it because it's too soft, gushy and dorky."
Mark Helprin, interviewed by John Meroney, in the July/August issue of American Enterprise

Rosie's league
"It's no coincidence that since [the Women's National Basketball Association's] 1997 inception, Rosie O'Donnell has been a WNBA spokesperson. Like O'Donnell, the WNBA deceives its target audience by posing as a normal, heterosexual, American product. New York Magazine outed O'Donnell as a lesbian, whose girlfriend, Kelli Carpenter, 'accompanies her week after week to her box at WNBA games.'
"Like O'Donnell, the WNBA knows that the lesbian lifestyle turns off mainstream consumers, and … women's professional sports cannot survive on a gay consumer audience. Duping families into believing it's a mainstream product is the ultimate rip-off.
"But even with the pro-family scam, the WNBA will never catch on. Because the only professional women's sports that succeed … are those with good-looking players. … That's why the beautiful, feminine Anna Kournikova propels women's tennis' popularity and is the Women's Tour's most highly paid player. …
"The WNBA's new slogan is 'Basketball is Beautiful.' But where's the beauty? The New York Times calls it 'Beauty and Grace.' More like 'Will and Grace.'
"And there are no stars. Ever heard of Tynesha Lewis, Astou Ndiaye-Diatta, Claudia Maria Das Neves, or Elena Tonikidou? Me neither. The league is a joke."
Debbie Schlussel, writing on "WNBA: Sports' big joke is closet deception," June 8 in World Net Daily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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