- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 10, 2003

Hollywood’s rot

“Years ago, I heard Bill Cosby say why he never used off-color stories or innuendo. It’s easy to get laughs this way, he said, but it debases comedy. The last four decades have proven him correct. Even very funny men, such as Eddie Murphy and Robin Williams, when on stage cannot resist foul language. Murphy and Mike Myers spoiled what would have been a flawless ‘Shrek’ with needless scatology. …

“In an era that has been plagued with decades of needlessly violent scenes and unfunny, potty-mouth comics, script writers have lost the magic touch. …

“Here is the problem: the scripts are rotten. I don’t mean devoid of creativity. I mean rotten. This inherent moral rottenness mirrors a morally corrupt industry. With the deaths of the old moguls, one by one, men who were not ready to offend the viewers’ sense of moral propriety, the post-1960 era of producers, directors, and scriptwriters have been all too ready to offend.

“Hollywood went on the offensive against civility in the 1960s. This is what has undermined the movies. …

“Years ago, I read an insightful one-liner … on a particular actress’s wardrobe at a gala event. ‘It showed everything except good taste.’ That could serve as an epitaph for the last three decades of movies.”

Gary North, writing on “Finding Nemo and My Moment of Truth,” Wednesday at www.lewrockwell.com

Home-run hype

“The tape-measure home-run craze … can be traced to a single shot hit by Mickey Mantle half a century ago in Washington’s Griffith Stadium.

“Every baseball fan knows that the home run that Mantle hit on April 17, 1953, off the Senators’ Chuck Stobbs traveled 565 feet, the longest recorded home run in baseball history. The 565-foot home run … was validated by an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. …

“Mantle hit a ball over the 55-foot-high left field fence, the first home run ever to do so. Everyone there acknowledged it as one of the longest home runs they had ever seen. The excitement gave the Yankees’ publicity director, Arthur ‘Red’ Patterson, a sudden inspiration. Quickly tracking down the ball to the backyard of a house across the street from the stadium … Patterson announced to the press that the ball had traveled 563 feet.

“In the retelling, the home run gained two feet when it was pointed out that the ball also had to clear Griffith Stadium’s outer wall. Thus, in a single brilliant PR stroke, Patterson created baseball’s longest home run and began the ‘tape measure’ craze.”

Allen Barra, writing on “A Publicity Man’s Grand Slam,” Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal

Crucifixion revision

“[T]he Los Angeles Times ran an opinion piece by two people from the Simon Wiesenthal Center … [who] cautioned Mel Gibson about how he was depicting Jewish leaders in his new movie about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, ‘The Passion.’

“Apparently, these men get very upset, as we have and they should, whenever someone tries to revise Holocaust history by questioning minor historical details about Hitler’s horrible genocidal program. Then, they contradict themselves by wanting to revise the historical record by hiding the truth about the religious leaders who were involved in the trials that resulted in the death of Jesus. As these men say, it was Pontius Pilate who ordered the crucifixion, but they leave out the fact that it was religious leaders who incited the mob into demanding the crucifixion.

“Telling Christians what to think about their own faith has become the fashion in the media, but that does not make it right. …

“For these intolerant people, all speech is acceptable … except references to Jesus Christ and the Bible, which they have forbidden in their politically correct purge of all public discourse.”

Ted Baehr, writing on “Beware the bigoted kibitzers,” Wednesday in World Net Daily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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