- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 22, 2003

Titanic Ted

“[Ted] Turner, who calls himself an agnostic, still has missionary zeal if not faith. But he’s finding it harder to win people to his side in the current climate. … Even though he romanticizes war (displaying antique guns and swords in his Atlanta boardroom), he frets about the Bush administration’s foreign policy: ‘If we keep using force, with weapons of mass destruction in the picture, one of these wars will go nuclear,’ he warns.

“He reserves his vitriol, however, for his No. 1 rival: ‘Rupert Murdoch is the most dangerous man in the world.’ This classic competition is no longer just about business — or even just about the fact that Murdoch, 72, still controls his expanding media empire, News Corp., while Turner has been shunted to the sidelines. Today’s rivalry is also about values. Murdoch’s Fox News, blatantly pro-Bush and pro-war in Iraq, is walloping CNN in the TV ratings. … At the suggestion that Murdoch is smart, Turner says, ‘Yeah, well, people thought Hitler was pretty smart when he invaded Poland.’”

Patricia Sellers, writing on “Ted Turner: Gone With the Wind,” in the May 26 issue of Fortune

Post-secular culture

“Like the liberal arts, the sciences are increasingly engaged with a technical rather than a philosophical approach to their subjects. They no longer capture the imagination of the young, and it is increasingly international students who keep the graduate programs going. Apologists for science have become alarmed at the fact that science is questioned within the academy itself, by historians of science and feminists. Edward O. Wilson, the late Stephen Jay Gould, and others have shown increasing resentment when science is treated merely as a servant, rather than as a metaphysic and an ideology, and accorded society’s highest respect. …

“[R]eligious voices … are closer to the heart of academic debate than they have been for several generations. The problem, however, is that the university is no longer characterized by debate. The metaphor of a ‘marketplace of ideas’ seems more appropriate. Insofar as this as an apt description, it spells trouble for secularism. It was expected to argue religion down and to establish naturalistic or materialistic worldviews. But arguments depend on intellectual constraints, which now seem lacking. Our post-secular situation is governed by fashion rather than argument, responding to boredom and restlessness.”

C. John Sommerville, writing on “Secularism at Bay,” in the June/July issue of First Things

Country legend

“June Carter was not just Johnny Cash’s wife and sometime singing partner. She was also the daughter of Maybelle Carter of the Carter Family, the first major recording stars and foremost progenitors of Southeastern country/folk music. She was the sister of Helen and Anita Carter, with whom she continued the family act long after the first generation was gone. She was the mother of Carlene Carter, her greatest gift to country rock, and the stepmother, mother-in-law, and/or den mother of Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Nick Lowe, Marty Stuart, Kris Kristofferson, and many other seminal musicians of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. She was a stellar songwriter (‘Ring of Fire’, 5); an author of unsurprising skill and heart; an actress of sometimes uncanny accuracy (‘The Apostle’, 5); and a comedienne both instinctive and studied. …

“She hit the road as a newborn in the Great Depression, bouncing along in the back of A.P. Carter’s Ford, and that road went on for 73 years. Presidents, preachers, pushers, prophets, the country, the city: singing in Vietnam, filming in Jerusalem, gardening in Jamaica, hoofing in Budapest, pressing on and on. She was tough — she played places Madonna couldn’t even imagine. … Elvis thought she hung the moon, and she was romanced by James Dean. Johnny Cash recognized her as the love of his life the day he met her, and he hasn’t said anything different since.”

Patrick Carr, writing on “The den mother of country music,” Tuesday in Slate at www.slate.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide