- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 5, 2001

Geriatric rock?
"Rock is youth music. It is best played by young people, for young people, in a setting that is specifically exclusionary of their parents and anyone their parents' age. It is the music of youthful energies, youthful rebellion, youthful anxieties and anger. …
"Rock simply should not be played by 55-year-old men with triple chins wearing bad wighats, pretending still to be excited about playing songs they wrote 30 or 35 years ago and have played some thousands of times since. Its prime audience should not be middle-aged, balding, jelly-bellied dads who've brought along their wives and kids. … That is not rock 'n' roll. Rock 'n' roll is not family entertainment. The Rolling Stones are only the most obvious, and perhaps depressing, example of a once-great rock band that kept playing years and years after they'd gotten too old, had gone from the greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world to the greatest self-parody of a rock 'n' roll band."
—John Strausbaugh, writing on "Unplug the oldies — for good," in the Aug. 12 Observer of London

Hate crime bias?
"Eleven years ago, Congress passed the Hate Crimes Statistics Act (HCSA), mandating the collection of data about transgressions motivated by an offender's bias against a victim's race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. …
"The prospect of quantifying the incidence of hate crimes was enthusiastically welcomed by our nation's civil-rights establishment, which in recent years has devoted much time and energy to the task of condemning the supposedly widespread nature of white-on-black attacks. … Al Sharpton … has characterized white-on-black violence as 'a national epidemic.' In a similar vein, Jesse Jackson asserts that blacks are not only 'despised,' but are actually 'hunted for sport.' …
"Let us examine these claims under the light of what the facts actually show. …
"The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that in 1999, there were about 657,008 black-on-white crimes of violence, as compared to some 91,051 of the white-on-black variety. Yet although black-perpetrated interracial crimes outnumbered white-perpetrated interracial crimes by a ratio of about 7.2 to 1, the official hate-crime statistics showed white offenders outnumbering black offenders by a 4 to 1 margin. …
"These numbers strongly suggest that thanks in large part to the constant drumbeat of our civil-rights activists, the unfounded presumption that racially motivated crimes are a predominantly white phenomenon has been cemented into the psyche of law-enforcement agencies and has been reflected in deeply biased reporting methods."
—John Perazzo, writing on "The Truth about Hate Crime Statistics," Thursday in Front Page Magazine at www.frontpagemag.com

Embarrassing Diana
"As we arrive at the fourth anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, who was killed in a most undignified way … it is time to consider a new way of commemorating her life and death. Rather than lament her untimely demise … isn't it time to celebrate her life and death in terms of the larger political goal it served for the modern world? Diana in her life, and by default through her death, may have sounded the death knell for that most archaic and parasitic of institutions: the British monarchy.
"The glitzy, unabashedly sexual Diana … was a major embarrassment to the House of Windsor. Every public act she undertook after her divorce from Prince Charles was seen as diminishing the reputation of an institution that somefeared had begun to see its waning years. …
"But the imprimatur of royalty, coupled with the assumed inherent possession of virtue and goodness that title denotes, made them, in the eyes of sympathetic royal lovers, unlucky gentle creatures caught up in the insatiable cravings of an invasive and cruel world."
—Jason Hill, writing on "Diana's uncrowning glory," Friday in Salon at www.salon.com

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