- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 29, 2001

Hollywood infamy
"'Pearl Harbor offers up an entertaining, yet annoyingly nationalistic and nostalgic look at the battle of Pearl Harbor… .
"It is little more than a tale of three stunningly attractive young people in a love triangle who are stationed at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese show up to bomb. The movie is filled with excellent special effects showing the bombing and destruction of the Pacific fleet followed by glamorous shots of Jon Voight as Franklin Roosevelt before the whole movie is topped off by Americas city-bombing of Tokyo in 1942… .
"President Roosevelt is treated as such a saint in the film that even Newsweek magazine commented on the excessive hero worship.
"I suppose that I may be overreacting to the movie, and that people will appreciate the manufactured Hollywood nature of the film. Nevertheless, we do live in a society that relies heavily on popular culture for its formulation of public ideology and historical knowledge."
—Ryan McMaken, writing on "Pearl Harbor: Lets Hope It Bombs," May 22 at www.lewrockwell.com

Feminist prophets

"The intent of the course was to examine the nature of 'second-wave feminism through the lens of race. The syllabus divided the semester into three units: Chicana feminism, black feminism, and white feminism… .
"Our readings proved to be chock-a-block with militant palaver and rebarbative nonsense. Chicana lesbian feminist Gloria Anzaldua, for instance, opined that '[Catholicism] and other institutionalized religions impoverish all life, beauty, pleasure. Her colleague Cherre Moraga, in one of her more subtle poetic efforts, noted: 'I hate white people … and related her dreams of killing white men.
"Kathleen Cleaver … offered a disquisition on the history of civilization, in which she charged Europe with culpability for all the worlds problems… . In short, we were treated to a treasure trove of cant.
"This would have been less of a problem if the books and articles we were reading had been treated as historical texts. This was not the case, however. On the contrary, each week our professor treated these feminists as infallible prophets."
—Eric Adler, writing on "A Guy Marooned in Womens Studies," in the spring issue of the Womens Quarterly

Creative myth

"You can be a creative genius in mathematics only if you have acquired the discipline of mathematical proof. When it comes to the hard sciences, therefore, even educationists seem prepared to admit that discipline comes first, creativity later… .
"Why do we think that things are so different in the case of language, literature, history and the arts? The answer is to be found in the long tradition of woolly thinking that began with Rousseau. On the one hand, educationists believe, there is the objective world of facts, and this we must explore through disciplined learning and the building of theories. On the other hand there is the subjective world of opinions, feelings and artistic urges, to be explored through self-expression… .
"Grammar, style, art, even history are all alleged to be matters of opinion. Hence the purpose of education is to give children the confidence to express their subjective attitudes to these things — subjective attitudes being all that we have… .
"The emphasis on the creative act produces teen-agers specializing in acts of destruction… .
"Mozart did not become a creative genius merely by letting it all hang out, even though he had more to hang out than anyone. He was rigorously and relentlessly schooled by his father, subjected to the ordeal of public performances, trained in the art of memory and in the grammar of the classical style."
—Roger Scruton, writing on "What Mozart had and Tracey hasnt," in the May 20 Times of London


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