- The Washington Times - Monday, July 7, 2003

Flick chicks

“In the wake of films like ‘Bring It On’ (which grossed $68 million), ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’ ($106 million), ‘Charlie’s Angels’ ($125 million), ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ ($72 million), and ‘The Princess Diaries’ ($108 million), Hollywood appears to have finally fully embraced the so-called chick flick.

” ‘All stigma goes away when movies are very, very successful,’ says Chris McGurk, vice chairman … of MGM, the studio behind the $97 million-and-counting ‘Legally Blonde’ franchise. ‘The studios have found that there is a very strong market for movies that feature young women in roles that are empowering.’ …

” ‘These [teenage] girls have grown up with girl power — it’s something they take for granted. So it only makes sense to them to see women in film who are strong and reflect the kind of image they have of themselves,’ says Catherine Stellin, research and marketing director for Youth Intelligence, which tracks pop-culture trends.’ ”

Clarissa Cruz, writing on “Girl Power,” in the July 11 issue of Entertainment Weekly

Supreme surprise

“Supreme Court decisions increasingly read like transcripts from the Oprah Winfrey show. Justice Antonin Scalia notes the court’s ‘famed sweet-mystery-of-life’ howler: ‘At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe and the mystery of human life.’

“[The June 26] Supreme Court decision announcing a recently discovered inalienable right to sodomy contained a few more: ‘When sexuality finds overt expression in intimate conduct with another person, the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring.’ … Such is its preciousness that states can’t be trusted to regulate it.

“That sodomy is an inalienable right would no doubt come as a big surprise to the Constitution’s framers. They are, of course, the last constitutional experts the Supreme Court would ever consult. The Supreme Court, judging from the majority opinion’s slavish attention to Europe’s regard for sodomy, is much more interested in the thoughts of modern Danes than dead Americans. …

“The majority on the Supreme Court declares that anti-sodomy laws compromise the ‘dignity’ of homosexuals. The framers would reverse the judgment: it is sodomy that compromises their dignity, and it is the rule of law which points to and protects that dignity. The framers belonged to communities that passed such laws so as to safeguard a moral culture in which human dignity is possible.”

George Neumayr, writing on “Sodomy in the Age of Oprah,” June 27 in the American Spectator on the Web at www.spectator.org

Random irony

“For most of us, airport security checks are the only first-hand experience we have with counter-measures to terrorism, and their intrusiveness and often seeming pointlessness have, not surprisingly, led many people to question such measures in general. But minor vexations are not the same as an assault on fundamental liberties. As for ethnic profiling, that is another matter, and a serious one. It is serious, however, not because it is rampant but because it does not exist. …

“Ironically, it is the very randomness of the new security checks that has generated so much skepticism about their efficacy. Old ladies, children, Catholic priests — all have been subject to searches of San Quentin-like thoroughness despite being beyond rational suspicion. According to the authorities, this randomness is itself a virtue, preventing would-be terrorists from easily predicting who or what will draw attention. But it has nothing to do with security and everything to do with political correctness. Frightening as the prospect of terrorism may be, it pales, in the minds of many officials, in comparison with the prospect of being charged with racism.”

Robert H. Bork, writing on “Civil Liberties After 9/11,” in the July-August issue of Commentary

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