- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 7, 2001

Buffy zone
"For five years, 'Buffy [the Vampire Slayer]' has been the least-watched great show on television, the most ridiculed by ignorati who think they're literati. Like its peers ('The West Wing,' 'The Sopranos,' 'ER'), 'Buffy' is better than movies because its writer is the most important guy on the set.
"A lack of sameness is why 'Buffy' is confined to tiny networks and snubbed by Emmys. Television demands comforting rituals.
"You can't know what to expect on 'Buffy.' At first, it was an Archie archetype: four friends and an avuncular teacher whose high school is the mouth of hell, beset by a different monster each week each monster cleverly illustrating actual teen experience.
"It ruthlessly mocks its own conventions and catch phrases (and pop culture in general).
"'Buffy' is a blur, a hell-bound train, and if you're a newcomer not up to speed, the story is not going to wait for you."
Tim Appelo, writing on "'Buffy' Slays. Now What?" Monday in Slate at www.slate.com

'Self-imposed exile'
"The worldwide spread of market forces has created both winners and losers not just within countries, but among them as well. The Muslim world is home to many of the losers. And, adding insult to injury, world-shrinking communications technology ensures that those on the bottom are constantly bombarded with images of those on top. No wonder they hate us.
"It's true, of course, that many countries in the Muslim world are economic disasters.
"But where the argument falls apart is in blaming globalization for Muslim countries' economic woes. For the sad fact is that, while newly liberated market forces have indeed fomented dramatic changes around the planet (mostly for the better), one place they haven't fomented change is in the Islamic world. [M]ost Muslim countries have kept international economic integration at bay. Highly restrictive barriers to trade and investment choke off the international flows of goods, services, and capital. Pervasive economic controls stifle competition, while the institutional infrastructure on which markets depend remains pathetically underdeveloped. Most Muslim countries live in self-imposed exile from the new global economy. In other words, it is not globalization that fuels Al Qaeda but its opposite. For if the challenges of adapting to global economic integration are daunting, they pale in comparison to the frustrations of living in the defunct and discredited collectivist past."
Brink Lindsey, writing on "Poor Choice," in the Nov. 12 issue of the New Republic

Walk this way?
"Patriotism isn't just the last refuge of scoundrels. It's also the last refuge of aging or fading rock stars struggling to stay relevant.
"Take Steven Tyler, lead singer of and brains behind rock group Aerosmith.
"'We need to go back to the way it was 30 years ago, when everybody had Grandma and Grandpa, and we were willing to pass moral judgments about right and wrong,' Tyler told Detroit Free Press rock critic Brian McCollum. In other words, we need to go back to a good time before there was Aerosmith, which blurred the morality of right and wrong. It's the last thing you'd expect from counterculture hero Tyler.
"Tyler was a leader in the casual sex, drugs, and disease culture, which spawned out of wedlock kids including his own in single-mother households.
"Tyler led by example. His own daughter, Liv born out of wedlock to Playboy model Bebe Buell didn't know the identity of her real father, Tyler, until she was already growing up. Abandoned by Tyler, Buell raised Liv with rocker Todd Rundgren."
Debbie Schlussel, writing on "Rock Stars' Patriotic Rip-Off," Saturday in Town Hall at www.townhall.com


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