- The Washington Times - Friday, April 5, 2002

The dark side
"Until recently, I thought 'The Rosie O'Donnell Show' was hokey and monotonous.
"But now, as Rosie gears up to leave her syndicated program at the end of May, her show has developed its own freak potency. Rosie has come to embody the dark side of morning. Rushed, angry, and cynical, she marches through her daily routine, stealing glances at a clock off-camera. She can't wait for the charade to be over.
"What happened? When 'The Rosie O'Donnell Show' premiered in 1996, it was billed as 'a good old-fashioned talk/variety show' in the Merv Griffin mode.
"But lately Rosie's anger has interfered with the show's soft-focus love. Her moods show.
"She crackles with self-hatred, portraying herself as a glutton whose I'll-eat-anything appetite for cultural products sitcoms, snack foods, male actors is simply proof of how interchangeable and disgusting they all are.
"In her new incarnation, Rosie can be riveting. But no talk show can go on like this."
Virginia Heffernan, writing on "Rosie O'Donnell's Dark Period," Tuesday in Slate at www.slate.com

No time to think
"Time is our all-important commodity that you can sell for as much as you can get. With every minute so fully crammed, there is little room left for thinking, let alone maintaining a cultured existence. Creating the right environment to work in will effectively bring out creativity.
"In 'The Art of Innovation,' his groundbreaking book on how things are built, Tom Kelley of the design firm IDEO says, 'We all have a creative side, and it can flourish if you spawn a culture to encourage it, one that embraces risks and wild ideas and tolerates the occasional failure.' It is not always up to the employer, though.
"Rob Saffer is a marketing consultant who agrees that people do not give themselves time anymore to think. 'You get on the train and instead of having a thought or contemplating something, you get on your cell phone. Cell phones allow conversations to pass the time, instead of passing the time in thought. That's what I see when I see society.' It's almost like people are actually trying to avoid thinking."
Richard Laermer, in his new book, "Trendspotting"

Left-wing prejudice
"[Michael Moores] new book, 'Stupid White Men,' has soared to the top of the New York Times Bestseller list. [A] general belief in the inherent and unreformable iniquity of American capitalism, the evil of all corporations, and the elite conspiracies to defraud and defund ordinary Americans are all classic tropes of the paranoid American left and Moore endorses every single one of them. In fact, there's almost a beauty in the way in which he backs up every single left-wing prejudice from hatred of successful white people to hostility to car-owners, from the ability to drop Sweden into every argument about the welfare state to the notion that capitalism is always a zero-sum game in which every gain for the rich is always and everywhere a loss for the poor. Alongside this theological zeal goes a general belief in the idiocy and indolence of most Americans, and the stupidity and malevolence of their leaders
"Moore's argument, like that of most purist class-war leftists, is therefore oddly disempowering. He's always calling for some sort of mass revolution, but there is no institution capable of delivering it which isn't already corrupted by Moore's exacting standards. He supported a purist left-wing candidate in 2000, Ralph Nader, who took enough votes from Al Gore to hand George Bush the Oval Office."
Andrew Sullivan, writing on "What's Left" March 31 in the Times of London

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