- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 8, 2002

New sex symbol?
"Who's the 'star' of this war so far? … There is, undeniably, an answer: Don Rumsfeld. Yes, Rumsfeld, the defense secretary, TV personality, sex symbol (no kidding), role model, inspiration. As one Washington arbiter puts it, 'Rummy' is the man now. The man to whom the nation turns, the man to whom it listens. Nearly everyone Republican or Democrat sees him as the right guy at the right time in the right job….
"He's a reminder of the Greatest Generation although he's about a half-generation younger than that at a time when the Greatest Generation grit and clarity of purpose are called for. He's not fighting on the battlefield, risking life and limb; but he is representing reflecting those who do, as civilian leaders often must.
"You can get too sociological about this, but Rumsfeld is the anti-[Alan] Alda. In a feminized society whose idea of a male sex symbol has been the Brad Pitt-style pretty boy he is a relief, or a rediscovery. He has walked out of 'Father Knows Best' or some WWII flick.
"And he's … the ultimate anti-Clinton. Whereas Clinton was a pain-feeler, Rumsfeld is more a pain-inflicter, at least where the country's enemies are concerned. And he is the most uneuphemistic person alive. He is totally immune, and allergic to 'spin.' Says an old Rumsfeld hand, 'He doesn't like to be spun. He sees it in a second, and you're dead if you try to do it. And he doesn't spin other people.'"
Jay Nordlinger, writing on "Rumsfeld Rules," in the Dec. 31 issue of National Review

To boldly go
"In the shows from the '60s, globalization takes the form of the Americanization of the world. 'Gilligan's Island,' for instance, suggests that you can take a representative group of Americans, drop them anywhere on the planet, and they'll end up recreating an image of the United States. You see all the elements of specifically American self-confidence in 'Star Trek,' too. …
"In the more recent shows, you see the reverse process at work. Now, it's America being globalized. In 'Gilligan' and 'Star Trek,' you see American power being projected outward. In 'The Simpsons' and 'The X-Files,' you see outside forces transforming America. …
"The striking thing about 'The Simpsons' is how an American small town has been changed. The show obviously hearkens back to situation comedies like 'Father Knows Best,' which was also set in a town called Springfield. But you never would have had Apu Nahasapeemapetilon running the grocery store in that Springfield."
author Paul Cantor, interviewed by Nick Gillespie in the February issue of Reason

No phony bones
"The first time I met Joey Ramone was in the early '80s, right after the Ramones covered the Ronettes' 'Baby, I Love You' on [their album] 'End of the Century.' They asked me to come down to the studio where they were shooting a video. The first thing I saw was Joey. He was so tall with that hair and the glasses handsome and adorable. I was really impressed. … I saw a lot of punk bands, but the Ramones really stood out, so meeting Joey was very exciting. He said, 'I can't believe I'm meeting Ronnie Spector!' I remember saying 'I can't believe I'm meeting Joey Ramone!' We liked each other instantly. …
"Everything was 'wow' with Joey. He was so easygoing and nice and warm. He never came on like he was a big shot. He was just a real guy. No ego, no phoniness. That's why we were friends as long as we were. There was not a phony bone in him."
Ronnie Spector, writing on "Joey Ramone," in the Jan. 4 issue of Entertainment Weekly


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