- The Washington Times - Friday, March 29, 2002

'Shameless man'
"The revisionists would have us believe that the Independent Counsel's final report on Whitewater, etc., is the final proof that the whole fuss over Bill [Clinton] was a giant waste of time. …
"But don't get me wrong here. I find the legalistic critiques of Bill Clinton to be woefully insufficient. Robert Ray's final 'exoneration' is almost meaningless to me because I never thought the case against Bill Clinton should rest on such petty complaints. Oh sure, the charges were serious and relevant. Indeed, I can think of a half-dozen charges that should have warranted impeachment that were never even leveled against him. But the law should be considered the minimum standard for a president's conduct, not the only standard.
"Bill Clinton was a shabby and shameless man. The rest is commentary and, frankly, he's not worth the effort to provide any more of it."
Jonah Goldberg, writing on "The Clinton Record," Wednesday in National Review Online at www.national-review.com

Today's role models
"Take your most prurient, perverse, debauched sexual fantasies of puberty. These are standard fare on TV now daytime, prime time, anytime. …
"Was your role model as a youngster Matt Dillon ['Gunsmoke] or Little Joe Cartwright ['Bonanza]? Your son looks to the crude cartoon cutouts of 'South Park' and the nauseating eating contests of 'The Man Show,' courtesy of MTV's sister network, Comedy Channel. Was professional wrestling the outpost of the fringe element of society in your day? Today, it is the most popular form of entertainment among the 18-to-24 male demographic.
"Now we get to the bad stuff. While your son is merely being groomed to be a gross-out, your daughter … has Britney Spears' songs committed to memory (uplifting titles like 'Baby, One More Time,' 'I'm Not That Innocent,' and 'Oops, I Did It Again'), and is getting down 'the look.'
"'The look' is that come-on expression that overnight transforms the innocent, open-faced 10-year-old girl who cuddled Beanie Babies to the sultry, soul-dead, jaded, been-there-done-that seductress that MTV markets."
Andrew Seu, writing on "Channel slumming," in the March 23 issue of World

'Beautiful' theory
"'A Beautiful Mind' is a film about a mathematician, but it is not a film about mathematics. It concentrates on John Nash's battle with schizophrenia, and barely touches on his great mathematical achievements, which are mentioned only in bar-room scenes or hinted at via arcane equations scrawled on window panes.
"To try to complete the picture, it is important to understand Nash's passion game theory and how his contribution to that subject has had a huge influence on modern economics. In just a few short years, a man barely out of his teens laid the foundations for a discipline that had an enormous impact …
"But how does the story of his research tie in with the tragedy of his insanity, which is the subject of Ron Howard's film? It cannot be denied that Nash was unable to do research when his schizophrenia took over. However, I still remember the opening page of Sylvia Nasar's biography 'A Beautiful Mind,' the basis for the film, which recounts how a friend visiting Nash in the hospital asked how he could believe that aliens were recruiting him to save the world. Nash simply replied: 'Because the ideas I had about supernatural beings came to me the same way that my mathematical ideas did. So I took them seriously.'"
Simon Singh, writing on "The great game," Monday in the New Statesman



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