- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Commie Christmas

“Looking for a perfect holiday gift for that lefty on your list? Try shopping at the Communist Party USA online.

“On its [Internet site at www.cpusa.org], you can find ‘Commie Bear’ for that red diaper baby. It’s a cuddly teddy bear complete with the CPUSA logo … only $17.99.

“Or there’s the Karl Marx lunchbox, with Karl’s face and wisdom on one side and the CPUSA logo on the other, $18.99. Or for computer users, get the CPUSA or W.E.B. DuBois mousepad, a mere $15.99 to revolt your fellow proletarians at the office.

“You can also paint the town red with a People’s Weekly World messenger bag ($23.99), a Political Affairs Magazine coffee mug ($15.99). …

“That’s right, the Communist Party USA has gone capitalist. It now exploits its brand name, built by years of anti-communist attacks, and now it is turning its brand into a cash cow.”

Lowell Ponte, writing on “Commucrat Convergence,” Tuesday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

McWords

“McDonald’s wants Merriam-Webster to take its McJob and shove it. McDonald’s CEO Jim Cantalupo is steamed that the latest edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines ‘McJob’ as low-paying, requiring little skill and providing little opportunity for advancement. Three years ago The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language ran a similar definition, and The Oxford English Dictionary includes ‘unstimulating’ in the mix of descriptors branding McJobs as dead-end.

“Cantalupo calls such negative definitions ‘a slap in the face’ to American restaurant workers. … He wants everyone — including Merriam-Webster — to stop using it. …

“Like others who would clean up our dictionaries, Jim Cantalupo, anxious to protect his company from bad press, will find that his linguistic protest comes too late. Most people know exactly what McJob means without a dictionary. …

“Dictionaries don’t tell us how to use our words; they describe how we use them.”

Dennis Baron, writing on “McLanguage Meets the Dictionary,” in the Dec. 19 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education

Chick flick hit

“It may be one of life’s smaller upsets, but something remarkable happened at movie theaters this weekend. ‘Something’s Gotta Give,’ the romantic comedy … starring 57-year-old Diane Keaton as a divorced mom who gets it on with both Keanu Reeves and Jack Nicholson, made more money than Tom Cruise’s expedition into Japanese warfare, ‘The Last Samurai.’

“‘This is really good news for the much maligned upper-female quadrant,’ said Lynda Obst, the Paramount producer. … She explains that the ‘upper-female quadrant’ is a film-industry term for adult women, usually considered to be ‘the hardest audience to convert from interest to ticket buyer, so therefore the hardest to make movies for.’ This challenge is part of the reason that the ‘chick flick’ … becomes increasingly imperiled with every passing year and every successful adaptation of a video game. …

“Although its glory is destined to be brief, something else about the opening-weekend success of ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ is worth mentioning. While older [women] were certainly responsible for the film’s triumph, one-third of the audience for the movie was under 30 and apparently perfectly happy to sit through a film riddled with Viagra, menopause and heart-attack jokes.”

Rebecca Traister, writing “Middle-aged woman wallops Tom Cruise,” Tuesday in Salon at www.salon.com


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