- The Washington Times - Monday, November 11, 2002

'A sick culture'
"Only a sick culture would sexualize young girls. It's disgusting. It's not just pop music, it's fashion, it's TV, it's advertising, it's every element of our culture. Young women are not being respected, children aren't being respected.
"Why are we creating a nation of child molesters? Could it be that we're dressing up 9-year-old women to look sexy? I really don't put it past these advertising people to say, 'Well, look, we made a lot of money when we brought the 9-year-old out and made her look like a hooker. Let's do it again.'
"I think television's become a downright dangerous thing. It has no moral barometer whatsoever. If you want to talk about something that is all about money, just watch the television. TV does not care about you or what happens to you. It's downright bad for your health now, and that's not a far-out concept.
"I think watching the TV news is bad for you. It is bad for your physical health and your mental health. The music business looks like, you know, innocent schoolboys compared to the TV business. They care about nothing but profit. They will make a movie about murdering their kids, you know? And they'll put the guy who killed them on TV. And before long, he might even have his own show."
Rock singer Tom Petty, interviewed in the Nov. 14 issue of Rolling Stone

"'Ideas,' the political philosopher Richard Weaver observed in his signature phrase, 'have consequences,' even bad ideas, even silly ideas, even ideas that could only come from the mind of a privileged Western intellectual too infatuated with his own importance to notice fundamental political realities.
"Orwell noted that pacifism was 'objectively pro-Nazi' because it inculcated an attitude that aided England's enemies. Just so, anti-Americanism is objectively pro-terrorist. It was not surprising that the Nazis did all they could to encourage pacifism among the English. Similarly, anti-Americanism helps to create a climate where terrorism is excused, rationalized, explained explained away. We deserved it; we had it coming; arrogance; poverty; the environment; root causes.
"Pacifism was built around phrases that sounded pleasant (peace, love, non-violence) but that were essentially deceptive because they were unrealistic that is, untrue to the nature of reality, to the way the world actually works (as distinct from the way we might wish that it did). 'To abjure violence,' Orwell noted, 'it is necessary to have no experience of it.'"
Roger Kimball, "Failures of Nerve," in the November issue of the New Criterion

Stolen hearts
"I could hardly even recognize the Winona Ryder who arrived at the Beverly Hills courtroom [Nov. 4], two days before a jury of not-quite-her-peers found her guilty of grand theft and vandalism. That wasn't the Winona I fell in love with, the ghost-befriending clad-in-black proto-goth of 'Beetlejuice'; the loner outcast high school girl and mass murderer of 'Heathers.'
"These are sad days for a Winona boy. Not that there haven't been a lot of sad days for us already. Some might even argue that the trail of tears started as far back as 1994's 'Reality Bites,' and that the sorry sight of Winona shoplifting at Saks is just the last mote of tragedy confirming, once and for all, that those halcyon days of the late '80s, when we were all slackers searching for our Winona, are gone forever.
"Remember slackers? Today, we call them unemployed dot-commers and sneer at them, but back in the late '80s and early '90s, slackers were cool. OK, OK. Maybe they weren't cool. Maybe they were pathetic. But they could dream they were cool, couldn't they? And part of that dream included Winona. Because who needed a job, or a life, if you had a cute girlfriend with style?"
Andrew Leonard, writing on "My Winona," Thursday in Salon at www.salon.com

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