- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 30, 2002

No limits?
"The Supreme Court is not testing the limits of free 'speech' so much as it is obliterating them. The latest example is Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, a decision holding that Congress may not prohibit child pornography created by using adults who look like minors or by using computer imaging.
"It would seem merely common sense to think that graphic depictions of children in sexual acts would likely result in some action by pedophiles.
"In justifying its decision here, the court actually said, 'The right to think is the beginning of freedom, and speech must be protected from the government because speech is the beginning of thought.' One wonders what valuable thoughts are triggered by child pornography or by nude dancing and profanity.
"There is no constitutional justification for a ratchet effect that progressively liberates the worst in our natures. By destroying limits to speech, the court severely handicaps the community's efforts to retain a morally and aesthetically satisfying environment."
Robert H. Bork, writing on "The Sanctity of Smut," Saturday in Opinion Journal at www.opinion-journal.com

From sublime to
"Another artistic movement that has spanned the 20th century to our own time is minimalism. Artists began wondering about what is the least line or gesture that can constitute a work of art? Before long, they gave us the black canvas. Then, the empty frame. More recently, artists have come up with 'conceptual art.' This means there is no actual art, just the idea for a work of art. The typed description is put up on the wall of the gallery.
"This year, minimalism may have scored its greatest triumph. The Turner Prize is England's most prestigious award for contemporary art, carrying a prize of close to $30,000 and exhibition at the posh Tate Gallery. The winner: Martin Creed's 'The Lights Going On and Off.' It consists of an empty room. Viewers go in and after a while, the lights come on. Then the lights go out. That's all there is to it.
"But there are signs that the culture is finally waking up to the irrelevance of its art world. The Turner Prize is inspiring not admiration, but ridicule. A genuine artist, Jacqueline Crofton, threw eggs into that empty room, whereupon the Tate Gallery prissily banned her from the premises for life."
Gene Veith, in "Lights out in an empty room," in the April 13 issue of World magazine

Heartless 'Bachelor'
"Just before a commercial break on 'The Bachelor,' the audience is told that 23 of the 25 women on the show have college degrees. So their participation can't be blamed on a lack of education. It could be that they didn't go to the right schools. The bachelor himself went to Harvard. Then again, maybe it is a question of going to the right schools. The most refreshing moment of the two-hour extravaganza comes when the host does some final debriefing with one of the young ladies who didn't make the cut. Have you changed anything since getting knocked from the show, the host asks. 'I colored my hair a little and I enhanced myself in the chest region.'
"'The Bachelor' rejects the myth that for every one heart there is only one true love. The show's replacement myth is that for any one heart there are multiple possibilities and it's really a question of finding the right set-up.
"If only the heart refused to accommodate more than one person at any given time, maybe we wouldn't have shows like 'The Bachelor.'"
David Skinnner, writing on "ABC's Assault on Marriage," Friday in the Weekly Standard Online at www.weeklystandard.com

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