- The Washington Times - Monday, March 17, 2003

'Peace' poseurs
"[T]he Screen Actors' Guild is now worrying about a new 'blacklist' against anti-war celebrities. No such blacklist exists. Many of these guys (Ed Asner, Mike Farrell) haven't got a career to blacklist anyway. But it seems a mite inconsistent to use your celebrity status to advance your politics and then complain that your politics is impacting your celebrity status. Here, for example, is elderly rocker Chrissie Hynde on stage the other day:
"'Have we gone to war yet?' she asked sarcastically, early on. 'We … deserve to get bombed. Bring it on.' Later she yelled, 'Let's get rid of all the economic [rubbish] this country represents! Bring it on, I hope the Muslims win!'
"Fair enough. Each to their own. But, if this sort of thing makes some of us less enthusiastic about buying Miss Hynde's albums or watching Martin Sheen's TV show, it's hard to see why their corporate executives shouldn't take it into account. As Miss Hynde would say, that's the economic [rubbish] this country's all about.
"So the more anti-war types are on TV, the loopier they look. The longer this non-war goes on, the more exhausted the pathetic narcissism of the 'peace' poseurs looks."
Mark Steyn, writing on "The naked truth: Protesters have run out of excuses," Sunday in the Chicago Sun-Times
Apocalypse, redux
"If there were any doubts left about where Pope John Paul II stands on war with Iraq, they ought to have been answered by his characterization of any military effort against Saddam as a 'crime against humanity.' That message has been effectively communicated to the world. Alas, the pope has not enjoyed similar success in providing the context that would put this conclusion in proper moral perspective. …
"We have been here before. In his otherwise positive biography of the pope, George Weigel notes that the pontiff struck an 'almost apocalyptic' note in the run-up to the war provoked by Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Today the Vatican argues that no war against Iraq can be just without the imprimatur of the Security Council and an overt act of aggression on Baghdad's part. But back in 1991 we had both and the Vatican's opposition was equally impassioned. …
"Over the course of a pontificate that helped bring down the Berlin Wall, Pope John Paul II has made his greatest impact with the blazing focus he has brought to moral truths and teachings. As long-time admirers of his, we are thus saddened to watch these principles, advertently or not, being clouded rather than clarified."
From "The Pope's Legions," Friday in the Wall Street Journal
Graphic gospel
"Perhaps nothing [Mel] Gibson has done will serve as a more public announcement of his faith and worldview than the project he's now completing in Rome. 'The Passion' is a graphic depiction of the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus Christ, based on biblical accounts and the writings of two mystic nuns. … There will not … be any big stars. Nor will there be subtitles, which might prove a challenge for many moviegoers, since the actors will speak only Aramaic and Latin. Gibson has said that he hopes to depict Christ's ordeal using 'filmic storytelling' techniques that will make the understanding of dialogue unnecessary. …
"In Hollywood, the astonishment many felt upon hearing about the project has been heightened by reports that his production company is paying the film's estimated $25 million cost itself. …
"Many traditionalists … hope the graphic approach Gibson is taking production stills show the star, James Caviezel, beaten to a pulp and drenched in blood, fresh from a flagellation will serve as a big-budget dramatization of traditionalist theology."
Christopher Noxon, writing on "Is the Pope Catholic Enough?" March 9 in the New York Times Magazine

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