- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2003

Hollywood USA
"It's a place where the Clinton presidency lives on in the personage of Martin Sheen, and where JFK is always a hero. It's where problems really can be fixed by throwing money at them, and where the rest of the world wants peace, too. … It's where raising taxes improves an economy and where unlimited social programs still leave the budget balanced. In short, it's where liberal policies work, because what sounds good on paper and works in theory also works in the movies.
"The West Coast's America is Hollywood's most elaborate set, a design which has no physical boundaries and which insinuates itself into almost every production.
"This insinuation, crafty to a point, hit rock bottom of blatancy earlier this month in an episode of Ted Danson's new CBS sitcom 'Becker.' Danson's title character, a doctor, reprimands a sexually active teenager who refuses to wear condoms. … Upon hearing the teen's reasoning, Becker answers, 'You just stooped to the level of stupidity reserved for Republicans and other lower primates.'"
Julia Gorin, writing on "Hollywood, D.C.," Tuesday in FrontPage at www.frontpagemag.com
American band
"Robert Hunter, lyricist for the Grateful Dead, was interviewed in the 1990s by someone who wanted to know where that quintessential '60s countercultural band had stood on the key issue of those times-that-were-a-changin'. What was the Dead's relationship, the interviewer wondered, to the activist political movement that had been dedicated to bringing down a fascist, warmongering Amerika?
"Hunter replied that he found distasteful the fealty to Moscow and Peking … widespread among prominent '60s revolutionaries. That fealty, he thought, was why that aspect of the '60s faded away while the Dead kept on truckin'. 'We honor American culture, and what we find good in it,' Hunter said of the Dead. …
"More than any other band, the Grateful Dead was always more than just a band. To tens of thousands of camp followers the notorious Deadheads they were a way of life. … But when it came to leading the multitudes, [guitarist Jerry] Garcia was unambiguous:
"'Our trip was never to go out and change the world. I mean, what would we change it to? Whatever we did would probably be worse than the way it is now.'"
Brian Doherty, writing on "Come Hear Uncle Sam's Band," in the March issue of Reason
When digicams attack
"The coming thing in alternative Web media is multimedia. Some of it's comparatively modest the addition of photos, made much easier by digital cameras, for the coverage of things like antiwar protests.
"These reports would have been possible without digital photography, but there's no question that the pictures add something. I've noticed that people respond more favorably to reports with pictures, and they offer an immediacy that mere text doesn't bring to the table. …
"But it's gone beyond that. The striking new development is the growth of guerrilla Web video. For example, [there] is a pro-war music video called 'Bomb Saddam' that's very slick and professional. … Heck, it's better than a lot of what you see on MTV, and it's much better than anything that ran on MTV in its early years though it's not the sort of thing you're likely to see on MTV. Which is, of course, the point."
Glenn Harlan Reynolds, writing yesterday on "Guerrilla Media" on www.techcentralstation.com


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