- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 25, 2002

What a drag
"Few things are more self-evidently embarrassing than the last 25 years of music produced by the world's greatest and most arthritic rock band, the Rolling Stones a group whose 2002 world tour will doubtless be the first to be co-sponsored by Depends and Viagra. Indeed, who can seriously argue that the Stones, for all their past and undeniable glory, have even come close to releasing an album that matters since 1978's 'Some Girls?'
"Yet if something can be more cringe-inducing than years of sonic bombs it's surely the news that Mick Jagger will be knighted by rock's newly unmasked No. 1 groupie, Queen Elizabeth II. His receiving an official title from the queen is simply the latest sign that the once-potent countercultural force known as 'rock' has been every bit as domesticated as satanist cum sitcom-patriarch Ozzy Osbourne.
"Call it the Death of Rock. Or, more precisely, the death of rock's pretensions to Dionysian excess and subversive power, once widely understood to be its very raison d'etre. It may never have been particularly true, but since rock's emergence as a self-conscious, if always ill-defined, category in the mid-1950s, fans and foes alike could agree that the form is somehow a challenge to the status quo."
Nick Gillespie, writing on "What a Drag It Is Gettin' Old," June 14 in Reason Online at www.reason.com

Grill talk
"Signs that the end is near are so common that Weber can publish its 'Girls' Guide to Grilling' without anyone pausing to weep, or moan, or expedite construction on the backyard bunker, which could coincidentally go in right beside the Weber Genesis Silver gas grill, which is now 'handsome, with a nice build.'
"For the first time, less than half of the Weber Grill Line callers reported men to be the primary griller in their household," Weber tells us in its latest marketing materials. Anyway, the numbers are in, and the largest-selling single brand of grills in the world has recruited 'Betty, Marsha, Christina, Theresa, Edna, Jeanine, Ginger, Brooke and the other Girls of Weber' to reel in the newest demographic.
"'Weber's Girls' Guide to Grilling,' a slim volume of barbecue basics, safety guidelines and actual recipes, is a puny, insouciant, snarky, breezy, down-to-earth little primer of a P.R. mailing. 'How About a Little Grill Talk' is one section. Also 'Flirting With Flank Stank' and 'Practicing Safe Sizzle.' More cleverness has never gone into a booklet about barbecuing if Lorrie Moore wrote about outdoor cooking, this would be her 40-page opus. Likewise, if opuses could make human choices, this one would choose 'Ally McBeal' and then some 'Bridget Jones' before bed."
Chris Colin, writing on "New From Weber Girls!" in Salon's June 17 edition

Comrade Feingold
"In his inimitable Stalinist way, Sen. Russell Feingold demanded that no one at the FBI even consider whether racial profiling might have prevented [the September 11 terrorist attacks]. Liberals treat racial profiling like the Victorians treated sex. It is not a topic that may be discussed, except to recoil in horror at the practice.
"Feingold said he was 'very troubled' at seeing government officials 'quoted in the press saying that they believe concerns of being accused of racial profiling led the FBI to not act on the Phoenix memo.'
"The Phoenix memo was the one noting that a lot of Middle Eastern men were enrolled in American flight schools. Inasmuch as all of the leaders of the terrorist attack were Arabs in American flight schools, it's not crazy to think that an aggressive investigation of Arabs in American flight schools might have thwarted the attack.
"When [FBI Director Robert S.] Mueller came back with some flaccid response, saying he had heard an 'indication' of a 'possible concern' about racial profiling, Feingold imperiously informed the director: 'I was hoping for a different answer.' Not the truth just a different answer. The only thing he left out was 'Comrade.'"
Ann Coulter, writing on "Bush Pays Homage to the Fetishistic Rituals of Liberalism," June 2002 at www.anncoulter.com

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