- The Washington Times - Friday, January 17, 2003

Band of brothers
"The Bee Gees were literally a band of brothers, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, who broke onto the global music scene after coming up in Australia. They commanded three Rolling Stone covers in their heyday, and all three covers have one thing in common: The picture is of the band, not one superstar.
"Time was that most bands operated that way.
"The bands of the '70s took their music more seriously and themselves less so. It was groups like Sweetwater; the Band; Blood, Sweat and Tears and the Who that made up the play list at concerts like Woodstock and made them memorable for a generation. The solo acts that did perform at the time were also a different breed. The Bee Gees era had Janis Joplin, Arlo Guthrie and Joe Cocker. Far from the bottled celebrities of today, none of them were ever quite ready for a close-up.
"Sex and rock 'n' roll have always gone together. But somehow, the brooding, withdrawn musicians who considered themselves part of a band gave way to the age of teenybopper narcissists. If even half of today's stars spent as much time in the recording studio as they do in the gym, we'd all be in better shape."
Collin Levey, writing on "The Last Days of Disco," Wednesday in Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com

Continental drift
"Polls [in Europe] unanimously point to a substantial leap in anti-Americanism. A massive Pew Global Attitudes opinion survey released last month, for instance, found increasingly negative views of the United States in over two-thirds of the 27 countries it surveyed. It's become tediously commonplace to hear how Americans 'deserved what they got' on [September 11].
"In Europe, the signs of antipathy are sometimes startling: A book claiming that Osama bin Laden attacked the World Trade Center as part of a U.S. government conspiracy shot to the top of the best-seller lists in France.
"In Florence, Italy, writes Benny Irdi Nirenstein in National Review, '300,000 Europeans many waving Palestinian flags and sporting T-shirt images of Che Guevara, Stalin and Mao Zedong marched to denounce the possibility that the United States will liberate the Iraqi people.'
"Palestinian flags and images of Stalin? What gives?
"[R]ecent Euro-American tensions over such issues as irradiated food, the death penalty, the International Criminal Court, Iraq and the Arab-Israeli conflict are signs of a significant division, not just transient squabbles.
"The 1990s should be seen as but a temporary interlude between eras of cosmic competition. And America's allies in the last round (against the Soviet Union) are shaping up as opponents in the new one."
Daniel Pipes, writing on "Europe vs. America?" in the Tuesday issue of New York Post

Anti-virtues view
"Until recently, most Americans would have agreed that the cardinal virtues are obviously good things to apply to our lives.
"The religion of the Left, the Church of Malignant Narcissism, however, requires the application of the antithesis of these values. The cardinal virtues require an effort made beyond ourselves, with consideration of others. They require personal responsibility, a healthy frame of mind (which takes work and, for some of us, psychotherapy), honesty, and an end to blaming others for everything that goes wrong. By their simple existence, they threaten the very mentality that drives today's left-wing establishment.
"The question we all face is what sort of culture we will live in for the rest of our lives and then pass on to the next generation one that embraces these most basic of lives, or one that thrives because of their absence. [T]his is exactly the point of the cultural war being fought right now, as the Left Elite works to transform our culture into a reflection of its disfigured worldview."
Tammy Bruce, from her forthcoming book, "The Death of Right and Wrong"


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