- The Washington Times - Friday, May 10, 2002

Clinton TV
"On my honor, I will tell the truth: How fantastic would it be if Bill Clinton eventually did succumb to vanity and bucks and hosted a talk show? After a week of feverish speculation from the media on the subject far more sexy than the fraudulent Arab claim of a massacre in Jenin Clinton's handlers nixed the idea for a full-bore Oprah/Larry King/Aaron Brown horn-in, but didn't deny that the painfully shy ex-president might be enticed into some sort of 'town meeting' format for TV or radio.
"That's a start; because after the initial high ratings tank, when Clinton causes viewers to nod off with his patter about the vagaries of economic policy in Peru, he'd wander off the reservation and fall back on the good stuff like 'feelings,' self-empowerment and Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue. Why, he might even sign off each day or night Dan Rather-like with a motto from his personal reverend, Jesse Jackson, like the classic, 'God didn't create no junk.'"
Russ Smith, writing on "Clinton for an Emmy" in the May 8 issue of New York Press

Western triumph
The West did not become rich and powerful through colonial oppression. It makes no sense to claim that the West grew rich and strong by conquering other countries and taking their stuff. How did the West manage to do that? In the late Middle Ages, say 1500, the West was by no means the world's most affluent or most powerful civilization.
"Moreover, the West could not have reached its current stage of wealth and influence by stealing from other cultures, for the simple reason that there wasn't very much to take. [B]efore British rule, there were no rubber trees in Malaya, no cocoa trees in West Africa, no tea in India. The British brought the rubber tree to Malaya from South America. They brought tea to India from China. And they taught the Africans to grow cocoa, a crop the native people had never heard of.
"The reason the West became so affluent and dominant in the modern era is that it invented three institutions: science, democracy and capitalism. All those institutions are based on universal impulses and aspirations, but those aspirations were given a unique expression in Western civilization."
Dinesh D'Souza, writing on "Two Cheers for Colonialism," in today's issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education

Space virgins
"There is what may pass for a love affair in 'Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones,' and it seems like a state of high anxiety occupying the minds and bodies of two grim, frightened children.
"They are Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and Padm Amidala (Natalie Portman) he is an apprentice Jedi, yet a modern teen-ager, with dark, surly, intransigent urgings; she is a former queen turned into a senator in the dotty drive for democracy, with all the sensual potential of a girl whose mind, body and dreams have been fiercely directed toward tennis or Scientology. They are oddly like a teen couple from an early '50s movie, vaguely impelled by thoughts of sex.
"There are scenes in the new 'Star Wars' movie, scenes conceived, written and played with fearful awkwardness or tension (as if the filmmakers themselves had never got past that wall of adolescent fear and ignorance) in which the light plays on Ms. Portman's exposed shoulders and Mr. Christensen's pouting mouth, where any kid in today's audience knows the code and what ought to be coming. But the movie never gets it on.
"Oh, sure, these kids will marry at the close of the film (they have to we know they're destined to be parents to Luke and Leia), but omehow, in 2002, George Lucas is still a virgin, and he wants his audience in the same stricken state."
David Thomson, writing on "Turn on," yesterday in Salon at www.salon.com

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