Thursday, May 10, 2001

‘Rootless generation’
“Timothy McVeigh was 27 years old when he vented his rage against society by massacring 168 people in the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995. In April 1999 … 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold walked into a Colorado high school and vented their rage by murdering 13 people.
“These two tragic instances illustrate the longing, almost desperation, that mars the psyche of Generation X, a desperation portrayed in the remarkable film ‘Fight Club… .
“Director David Finchers film exposes a raw nerve about the fear that many of todays males have about their manhood becoming increasingly irrelevant in the face of feminism and political correctness… .
“The Xers are victims of a philosophical shift in Western culture from traditional religions concept of absolute truth to modern philosophys reliance on human reason and postmodernisms claim of unattainable truth. Thus, we are faced with a rootless generation seeking desperately for something to believe in… .
“In fact, the new revolutionaries against culture, like those in ‘Fight Club, often validate their existence with violent acts.”
—John W. Whitehead, from his new book, “Grasping for the Wind”

De-sexed America

“When exactly was the moment in American history when men stopped being men and women stopped being women? …
“Long before contemporary feminists declared war on men, American women displayed an independent streak visible to any European visiting the New World. On the 19th-century frontier, Tocqueville noted an admirable strength in American women, a selfless work ethic without which this vast country would never have been settled and civilized. The brash, outspoken American city woman, too, has always been a great fixture in English literature… .
“Lately, though, I have begun to wonder how far this all can go. Feminism, greater economic equality, and the creeping legal regulation of male-female interaction in the schools and the workplace that ostensibly helps ‘level the playing field — all these developments were perhaps inevitable in a country that so prizes the individuals right to enrich himself or herself, at the expense of family or communal values… .
“There seems to be no end to the de-sexing of America. Check out the latest TV shows aimed at ‘young America on Fox and MTV, and you will be bombarded with loud, sexually aggressive women, who invariably upstage the bland, sensitive leading men who inexplicably seem to win their affections.”
—Sean McMeekin, writing on “The De-Sexing of America,” in Boundless at

Incompatible truths

“In ‘Inherit the Wind, the famous courtroom drama about the Scopes Trial of 1925, the character named Henry Drummond, based on renowned defense attorney Clarence Darrow, loses the narrow legal case but resoundingly gains the moral victory over Matthew Harrison Brady, based on legendary populist leader William Jennings Bryan.
“Brady/Bryan is portrayed as a pious ignoramus protesting the teaching of evolution in the schools and clinging to the biblical story of creation… . Largely as a result of this enormously popular play and movie, millions of Americans have believed that Darwinian evolution can coexist with a transcendent Creator and an abiding moral order.
“But the real-life William Jennings Bryan, as opposed to his fictional caricature, was not a biblical literalist. He did, however, believe that the Bible and Darwinian evolution were in conflict, and on that point he was right… . The Darwinian theory of the evolution of species through random mutation and natural selection is an uncompromisingly materialistic view of life that precludes not just Genesis but any transcendent reality whatsoever.”
—Carol Iannone, writing on “William Jennings Bryan Was Right,” in the April 25 issue of New York Press

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