- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 1, 2002

The lonely one

"In the end credits [of 'Help!', as the Beatles chatter over a snatch of classical music, you can hear George repeating '"I Need You" by George Harrison!' over and over, louder each time. At first it's just George's little self-deprecating joke, but by the end, it's more like a mantra.

"George sounded like he really did need you. He was the Beatle who wrote and sang the loneliest songs: 'Don't Bother Me,' 'I Want to Tell You,' 'Long, Long, Long,' 'If I Needed Someone.' He was the one shy boys could relate to. As we know from the biographical details of his life he sounded lonely because he was lonely.

"He was the one Beatle who, in a true sense, had originally been a Beatle fan. He was the young kid tagging along behind the older, cooler guys, John and Paul, trying to get in on their bond. George wanted to act cool for them but had to settle for impressing them with his guitar chops instead."

Rob Sheffield, writing on "George Harrison: Original Beatle Fan," in the Jan. 17 issue of Rolling Stone.


Craving rules

"The 'noble savage' is well and good but no one wants his child to be one, especially when the grandparents are watching. And unless children have lessons in touch-typing, manners, phonics and religion, they do emerge as savages, and not particularly noble ones.

"In short, parenthood is not a series of voluntary and mutable contracts between two parties but an unending obligation to ourselves, our children and society.

"Consider John Walker Lindh, the American who ended up on the wrong side in Afghanistan. His parents, 1960s freewheelers, jettisoned the family tradition of Catholicism, divorced and sent their son to a high school that willfully deprived its students of authority figures.

"'Teachers at Tamiscal are not like classroom teachers,' reads the school website. 'The Tamiscal teacher's role is to evaluate what the student is independently learning.' After years of this easy-going regimen, Mr Lindh eventually sought authority in the form of the Taliban.

"Not everyone goes so far. But children crave rules in a quantity that adults find suffocating. They find comfort, and even a sense of freedom, in navigating those rules."

Amity Schlaes, writing on "Home is where the liberal heart has no place," Sunday in the Financial Times


European hate

"The recent war is revealing how far America and Europe have drifted apart just in the past decade. In the last few days, we have been lectured by the Spanish whose record of freedom and the protection of individual rights in the last few centuries is hardly stellar that we cannot expect extradition of those enemy warriors implicated in the conspiracy to kill our thousands. Instead, we must assure Franco's children that these alien soldiers of war who tried and will try to kill us will be processed solely through our civil courts.

"Even some British leaders have announced that should their men catch bin Laden first (hardly likely), they will not ship such an odious mass murderer to America to answer for his killing of our innocents. You see, we still have the death penalty.

"The French recently made a convicted cop-killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal, an honorary citizen of Paris. Even Jane Fonda and Noam Chomsky never warranted that honor.

"European papers, in the first few weeks after September 11, sounded themes of the 'chickens coming home to roost' in their efforts to suggest either that American 'imperialism' had prompted such attacks, or that our distrust of the international accords fashioned at Kyoto and Durban had made our appeals to create coalitions against terror hypocritical and vain. Antiwar demonstrations in London and Paris were large, and overtly anti-American."

Victor Davis Hanson, writing on "It Really Is Your Father's Europe," Friday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com


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