- The Washington Times - Monday, October 15, 2001

New 'Trek'
"By now, anyone who cares has seen or heard that the new '[Star] Trek' series, 'Enterprise,' has a Vulcan sexpot named T'Pol. Providing eye candy isn't so much something new as a sign that the producers of 'Trek' really are getting back to basics.
"And this is good news. I made the case here a few months ago that Trek had lost its way over the last few years. As anyone who's tuned in knows, much of 'Next Generation' and all of 'Voyager' were suffused with touchy-feely environmental and sexual themes; an emphasis on diplomacy over self-confident unilateralism; too much character development and too little exploration; and various potshots at American culture, particularly capitalism.
"The hope and it is still a hope is that Enterprise will bring back a little explicitly pro-human and implicitly pro-American attitude. The first episode was a good start, introducing us to Scott Bakula as Captain Archer. He's not perfect, because Bakula has a tendency to be a little goofy. But he's not bad at all. Bakula's Archer has a mix of Midwestern morality and American can-do-ness that's obviously inspired by Captain Kirk."
Jonah Goldberg, writing on "A Pre-Kirkian Try," Oct. 6 in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Holy war
"Perhaps the most admirable part of the response to the conflict that began on Sept. 11 has been a general reluctance to call it a religious war
"The only problem with this otherwise laudable effort is that it doesn't hold up under inspection. The religious dimension of this conflict is central to its meaning. The words of Osama bin Laden are saturated with religious argument and theological language. Whatever else the Taliban regime is in Afghanistan, it is fanatically religious. The terrorists' strain of Islam is clearly not shared by most Muslims and is deeply unrepresentative of Islam's glorious, civilized and peaceful past. But it surely represents a part of Islam a radical, fundamentalist part that simply cannot be ignored or denied.
"Osama bin Laden himself couldn't be clearer about the religious underpinnings of his campaign of terror. In 1998, he told his followers, 'The call to wage war against America was made because America has spearheaded the crusade against the Islamic nation, sending tens of thousands of its troops to the land of the two holy mosques over and above its meddling in its affairs and its politics and its support of the oppressive, corrupt and tyrannical regime that is in control.' Notice the use of the word 'crusade,' an explicitly religious term.
"This is a religious war against 'unbelief and unbelievers,' in bin Laden's words."
Andrew Sullivan, writing on "This Is a Religious War," in the Oct. 7 New York Times Magazine

Subversive size
"[M]y stand-up [comedy routine], and the movie that I unfortunately seem to be most associated with, 'The Truth About Cats & Dogs,' has to do with body image and women's issues, that kind of thing. And in my stand-up, just one segment has to do with some of those things. It's certainly not the whole of my stand-up, but that tends to get focused on. And because I am considered, quote-unquote, less attractive than the average actress.
"I am considered, in Hollywood terms, overweight and not particularly attractive. So somehow, in our culture, it is actually subversive that I'm a size 101/2. That's subversive in Hollywood, because the average actress who works a lot, anyway, is between a zero and a five.
"There's always been the person who's never going to play the wife of Tom Cruise, ever. I'm the friend. 'Cats & Dogs' I can't stand that film. Maybe it appeals to some women because they are comfortable seeing a female lead that they don't have to feel bad about themselves to look at."
Janeane Garofalo, interviewed Oct. 10 in the Onion AV Club at www.theonion.com

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