- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 17, 2002

Elvis lives
"He may be dead, but Elvis Presley and the estate that controls his multimillion-dollar legacy can still sing the blues.
"On Jan. 8, Graceland observed what would have been Presley's 67th birthday. But the celebration was hounded by the dogged economic climate: In November, following a two-year decline in tourism Graceland laid off 50 of its full-time staff of 350. And worse, Presley's fans aren't getting any younger. To survive, the estate must figure out how to make a King-size ransom from the MTV generation.
"Since it's now or never, here's the plan: This fall, RCA plans to release a single-disc collection of 30 chart-topping Elvis songs modeled on the Beatles' '1,' which has sold 8 million copies since its 2000 release. The new Elvis compilation is part of a year-long marketing campaign to lure chart-swaying youngsters."
Brian M. Raftery, writing on Rerelease Me," in the Jan. 18 issue of Entertainment Weekly

The price we pay
"I once went out for a drink with two conservative journalists, both in their late 20s, and the topic of conversation got on to the dilemma of the right-wing guy on the dating scene.
"'Liberals have a big advantage,' said one, an editor, shaking his head, while the other, a writer, nodded in mournful agreement.
"They explained that a certain type of woman would never date a neo-con: the bohemian model-actress-whatever types common in artsy neighborhoods like Toronto's Queen Street. If cool hipster women thought about politics at all it was usually in a vaguely left-wing way. Were some poor right-wing Wally to slide up to one of them at a party, she would take one look at the copy of the collected works of Friedrich Hayek under his arm and bolt across the room to where the guy in sandals doing a graduate degree in development studies was holding forth on his interesting plan to subsidize graffiti artists.
"'Beautiful Queen Street women only go out with sensitive New Age socialists,' said the editor.
"I could see how social conservatives might be at a disadvantage, I said. But what about libertarians? Bay Street types in expensive suits, martini and a cigar in one hand, barking laissez-faire economic ideas into a cell phone in the other. 'Only when they're rich,' the editor said, 'and most libertarians aren't. They're just as doomed as the rest of us. Maybe more so.'"
Andy Lamey, writing on "The Price of Freedom," in the National Post Jan. 12


Prolific ego
"Cornel West is prolific, first and foremost the author, according to his Web site (www.cornelwest.com, for the curious), of 'the best-seller "Race Matters" as well as many as 15 other published texts.' True, the 'as many as' line obliquely nods to the fact that West's curriculum vitae often lists books that he only co-wrote or contributed to or books made up of previously published materials or compilations of interviews and conversations. In fact, the last book that West published through a university press was 'The American Evasion of Philosophy' in 1989.
"But what of it? After all, Cornel West is a genius 'one of the most preeminent minds of our time,' according to cornelwest.com, with a 'deep grasp of a multitude of subject matter.' True, his writings, like those of any great man, occasionally inspire carping from West's political enemies.
"Cornel West is above such pettiness, though he is shielded by what an essay in 'The Cornel West Reader' calls his 'ego-deflating humility.' This humility is on prominent display at cornelwest.com, which introduces the professor's CD, 'Sketches of My Culture,' with the announcement that 'in all modesty, this project constitutes a watershed moment in musical history.'"
Ross G. Douthat, writes on "Let Us Now Praise Cornel West" in the Jan. 11 issue of the Harvard Crimson

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