- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 1, 2003

Out of print

“I don’t blame Adam Sandler for not talking to me. … Print publicity hurts his career. Sandler stopped talking to newspapers and magazines in earnest back in 1996, after he did lots of interviews for his first big movie, ‘Billy Madison,’ and met a lot of reporters who were really nice to him. The profiles they wrote called him a moron. This made Sandler mad. …

“The genius of his embargo is that the public hasn’t noticed. Sandler does all the talk shows. … Why should Sandler allow himself to be picked apart by a print journalist? Especially when a decent chunk of his fan base can’t read anyway. …

“Sandler … only has to worry about making movies his fans will like. So even though it’s bad for me and this magazine, I think Sandler is doing the right thing. I just hope that if he finally does break his print vow of silence, he does it with me. That’s why I’ve spent all this space kissing up to the baby-talking moron.”

Joel Stein, writing on “Hush Puppy,” in the May 2 issue of Entertainment Weekly

Woman’s work

“As Margaret Carlson remarked in Time, ‘Nearly every female lucky enough to have both a child and a byline’ has written about the harried life of the working mother. …

“This pro-feminist assessment sometimes sounds oddly, and depressingly, like a vindication of conservatives who’ve inveighed for decades against an androgynous ideal of parenthood, warning that fathers can’t, and shouldn’t, be reshaped in mom’s soft and solicitous image. We hadn’t ‘bargained for how deeply the gender roles of “nurturer” and “provider” are ingrained in us all.’ … [Author] Kate Reddy comes right out and concludes ‘it’s biology’ and offers nuggets that the most retrograde dad would never dare utter. For example, men think about ‘child care with their wallets,’ where women ‘feel it in their wombs.’ And how’s this for progress? Thirty years ago, in the Ms. magazine classic ‘Click! The Housewife’s Moment of Truth,’ mom told dad he could pick up the toys ‘You have two hands,’ she boldly snapped and turned on her heel. Now ‘the horror-at-home,’ as one working mother calls herself, is more likely to stride in from the office and, without saying a word or even kicking off her heels, stomp around doing the straightening herself, angrily (and guiltily) daring anyone to accuse her of letting the household slide. …

“Amid fervent discussions of the dangers and virtues of the touchy-feely ‘new’ father, left and right both failed to factor in the hard-driving mother, who has proved less than graceful or entirely grateful about sharing household power. … The turn-of-the-millennium mother flaunts an organizational competence and competitive drive that are enough to make a man cringe.”

Ann Hulbert, writing on “Father Time,” in the May 5 issue of the New Republic

‘Buffy’ buffs

“Granted, as with all cultists, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ fans were often forced to defend themselves to the uninitiated. But honestly, defending the show has never been particularly hard, or even momentarily embarrassing.

“Simply put, for seven seasons, ‘Buffy’ has been one of the smartest, scariest, sexiest and wittiest shows on television. …

“You can get the basic idea of the show from that title that so many adults seemed to find off-putting: Buffy slays vampires. But if you look at the title again, you’ll see the show isn’t about what she does, it’s about who she is. She was called to this role, which allowed Buffy to explore issues of responsibility most other series ignore.

“At heart, the vampires Buffy and her friends fought were metaphors for the monsters we all face particularly in high school, where every decision seems like life and death, and every problem seems like the end of the world.”

Robert Bianco, writing on “The end of ‘Buffy’ feels like a dagger to the heart,” Tuesday in USA Today

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