- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Discredited voices
"The world has been turned upside down; with that upheaval, the voices of proportionality, accommodation, and consultation are discredited and now relegated to increasingly rare appearances on late-night television. Good and kind men like Sandy Berger, William Cohen, and Warren Christopher have been shown not prudent as they promised, but in fact reckless through their past inaction.
"The terrorists, in their eagerness for blood, have blundered terribly, both in their barbarity and timing. It is hard to arouse Americans, especially in the last two decades of their greatest wealth, leisure, and license. Yet, this radical reversal in temperament and ideology they have accomplished in mere days by killing innocents and striking both at the heart of American power and prestige and the very heartstrings of innate American kindness. There is a new administration different in character from the past that in turn now governs a changed citizenry. The terrorists and their sympathetic hosts have no idea what they have unleashed."
Victor Davis Hanson, writing on "Pseudo-Military History," Monday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Boring 'Evolution'
"PBS has undertaken a massive new 'educational' project to promote the 'understanding of evolution.'
"Apparently there's a lot of misunderstanding out there, as tech billionaire Paul Allen has ponied up some $15 million for the project. The centerpiece is an eight-hour documentary series [airing this week on public TV stations], but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Much of Allen's money is going into a national 'outreach' program aimed at our public schools. Cadres of 'special teachers' are being trained to prep school boards and biology teachers across the country on how to respond to skeptical students and parents. They will be aided by subsidized teaching materials, videos and a special interactive Web site.
"Having sat through all eight hours I suspect the biggest problem is going to be keeping the students from lapsing into unconsciousness out of the sheer boredom of it all.
"Except for a brief lesbian lovemaking scene in the segment about sexual reproduction, which no doubt the kids will be checking out for extra credit, 'Evolution' flows more turgidly than the backwaters of the Amazon basin, meandering listlessly through its subject matter before finally getting stuck in some stagnant pool of political correctness."
Josh Gilder, writing on "PBS's 'Evolution' series is propaganda, not science," Monday in World Net Daily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Not funny anymore
"Aliens blowing up the White House. Calling game-show contestants 'Survivors.' Background shots of the New York City skyline. Caring about Gary Condit's and Anne Heche's love lives. Insult comedy. Smug, detached comedy. Political comedy. These are just a few more of the casualties of Sept. 11's terrorist attacks
"Wait. Start again. 'Casualties'? An officeworker, encased in a steel-and-concrete tomb, who did not live to see the birth of his baby: that is a casualty. But an entertainment genre? That's nothing.
"This, in a way, is the problem facing American pop culture in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon: so much that we could say casually a month ago rings empty, even cruel, today. Our metaphors have expired.
"A five-hour 'Law & Order' mini-series on NBC was scuttled because it involved an anthrax-attack plot in New York City. Microsoft indefinitely put off the next version of its popular 'Flight Simulator' because it includes the Twin Towers in its simulacrum of New York City. Terror-themed movies were shelved by studios and pulled from cable."
James Poniewozik, writing on "What's Entertainment Now?" in the Oct. 1 issue of Time

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