- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 2, 2002

But is it art?

"On one level, it is practically impossible to ignore Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis's impeccable taste. And really, what woman hasn't tried to mimic her classic look?

"Resisting the luxuriousness of a Givenchy dress and jacket in deep-pink wool boucle or an Oleg Cassini evening dress in shell-pink, silk-georgette chiffon is hard to do. I'd take one of each, and in every color, if I could. And why stop there? To get the full 'Jackie O. look,' there are the black cigarette pants, the hobo bag a la Gucci and the oversized sunglasses, too.

"Mrs. Kennedy knew a good ensemble from a bad one, but do art museums like the Corcoran Gallery really need to mount huge exhibitions in order to give this fashion icon her due?

"By staging such an exhibition, the Corcoran is just one of many museums succumbing to postmodern trendiness and mass appeal. Similar costume exhibitions have been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum and just last year New York's Guggenheim threw a 25th-anniversary party in the form of a much-ballyhooed exhibition for distinguished designer Giorgio Armani.

"These shows sacrifice tradition by favoring the latest fad or blockbuster name over the timelessness that has traditionally defined artistic greatness but because of their popularity, they will no doubt continue."

Melissa Seckora, writing on the "Corcoran Catwalk" in National Review Online, April 30

False alarm

"To listen to the Democrats particularly those running for president is to learn that the environment is in bad shape today and, with the smallest push, could be in disastrous shape tomorrow. In his much-noted Earth Day speech, for example, Al Gore warned, 'There's a movement afoot by polluters to dismantle America's capacity to limit the releases of dangerous waste products and poisonous emissions, threatening to take us back to the days when America's rivers and lakes were dying .'

"Fortunately, this alarm is a false one. All forms of pollution in the United States air, water and toxic materials have been declining for decades. Boston Harbor and the Hudson River, along with many other long-polluted bodies of water, show steadily improved quality. Nor is there any serious proposal before Congress or the White House that would substantially undermine the laws responsible for this decline in pollution.

"Even if industry gets its way on laxer standards for old Midwest power plants (the most important current controversy), the effect would only be a slower reduction of pollution, not an increase. This doesn't mean there's no cause for environmental vigilance; but it does mean there's no cause for hysteria."

The New Republic Online editors, writing on the "Green Blues," in the magazine's May 6 edition

Revolutionary racist

"Mike Tyson's mighty rib cage boasts a sizeable tattoo of the late Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, a testament to Guevara's status as the marker of subversive cool.

"It's a safe bet that Tyson hasn't read 'The African Dream,' Guevara's recently released 'diaries of the revolutionary war in the Congo.' Indeed, Che's comments on his African brothers might just send Iron Mike to the nearest laser specialist.

"Guevara casts serious doubts on the possibility of anything like world revolution. Everything went wrong [in the Congo], and the racial politics were hardly progressive.

"As for igniting revolutionary fervor among people he believed would lie and lie preposterously at the least provocation, Guevara found it just impossible. The beloved revolutionary icon sounds pretty much like an old-fashioned racist when it comes to evaluating his black brothers.'"

Cynthia Grenier, writing on "Che's Secret Diary," in the June issue of Reason

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