- The Washington Times - Friday, May 4, 2001

Pro-choice panic
"In TVs 'The X-Files, shes pregnant, but in real life, actress Gillian Anderson is anything but. Shes currently lending a hand to the Feminist Majority, which plans to dump nothing less than 5,000 metal hangers on the White House, '1 for each of the US women who will die in the first year from botched illegal abortions if Roe is overturned.
"According to the Feminist Majority Foundation, which has just christened a new Web site, million4roe.com, 'Legal abortion hangs by a razor-thin 5-4 margin in the U.S. Supreme Court. The possible retirement of two justices this summer could allow anti-abortion President Bush to pack the Court with anti-abortion justices who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, relegating women to back alley abortions. And so, 'Tell Washington We Wont Go Back! is the Web campaigns motto… .
Pro-choice feminists have turned into ideological venture capitalists; their cartoon of President Bush is just a PR stunt to boost their sagging stock."
—Kathryn Jean Lopez, writing on "AngryFeminists.com," Wednesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Kindergarten elite

"For members of New Yorks elite, kindergarten is an intensely serious business, given the status anxiety that besets even — perhaps especially — the elites, in a dizzying meritocratic society. Between a baby boom and an economic boom that have sharpened competition, getting your child into one of the citys select private schools has become a grueling, multi-year competition, with its own rules, code language and intrigue. Its a mean competition, too — one that can turn sensible, mannerly, child-loving parents and educators into hard, calculating, and paranoid operators… .
"So keen is the kindergarten competition that it has trickled down to the nursery schools. Manhattan parents have always banked on the assumption that getting their 3-year-old into a "feeder" nursery that has traditionally sent its children onto top-tier elementary schools would assure of one of those coveted spots. Last year, however, for the first time in anyones memory, some of the citys most elite private nursery schools saw families … rejected from all their choices.
"This has only spread the 'Survivor frenzy to the elite nursery schools. Manhattan parents are now applying to six or seven nursery schools. Several years ago, the 92nd Street YMHA, a school whose director, according to the parents grapevine, has a way with Baby Ivy admissions people, held eight meetings for prospective parents, some of them packed with 50 families. The school had only 25 openings and applications from so many sisters of current students that they told the desperate masses, 'If you are a girl, dont apply."
—Kay Hymowitz in "Survivor: The Manhattan Kindergarten" in the spring issue of the City Journal

Grossing down

"After years of outrageous comedy, it turns out Hollywood had somebody left to shock: itself.
"Nine months ago, 'gross-out equaled huge grosses at the box office, with films from 'Scary Movie to 'American Pie turning bodily fluids into movie-ticket gold.
"Today, offerings from MTV shock auteur Tom Green and those masters of cinematic crudity, the Farrelly Brothers, have fallen flatter than a sewer cover. In fact, audiences have ignored five such comedies in the past two months… .
"While audiences may not be clamoring for the latest Oscar Wilde remake, some observers — and teens themselves — say the empty theaters signal that moviegoers may be ready for a comedy thats not splattered across the screen.
"True, part of the reason could be that the films simply arent very good. But it may also be that 'people are just sick of that puerile type of humor, as Noah Robischon, senior writer at Entertainment Weekly magazine, puts it."
—Yvonne Zipp, writing on "'Gross out movies now even gross out teens," Wednesday in the Christian Science Monitor


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