- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Enduring story

“Walker Percy was fond of describing the South as Christ forgetting and Christ haunted. The much-anticipated final entry in the ‘Matrix’ trilogy, ‘Matrix Revolutions,’ a disappointing film roundly and justifiably lambasted by critics, provides evidence that the story of Christ continues to haunt the most unlikely of communities — Hollywood. … Neo — identified repeatedly as a Christ figure who must take upon himself the burdens of humanity — comes closest to speaking for all of us long-suffering viewers when he asks the oracle, ‘Where is this going? Where does it end?’ …

“The scriptural echoes — his withdrawal to be alone, his plan to go directly into the midst of his enemies on a ship named ‘The Logos,’ the presence of traitors, and the accentuation of faith in a person — multiply as the film moves toward its climax. …

“It could, the imagery of the finale suggests, have been a marvelous contemporary recasting of the myth that has woven itself most intimately into the traditions of both East and West. No, not Joseph Campbell’s gnostic and narcissistic ‘monomyth,’ but the myth that begins with the audacious proclamation of the Word made flesh. That this story should continue to haunt Hollywood is more instructive than any lesson contained in the ‘Matrix’ trilogy.”

Thomas Hibbs, writing on “Haunted Hollywood,” Monday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Campus compassion

“Responding to a study showing a gross imbalance of Democrats over Republicans on the faculty of Wells College, located in Aurora, N.Y., a Wells professor distributed a campuswide e-mail calling for Republicans to be forcibly lobotomized and labeling Republicans ‘stupid.’

“On Thursday, Nov. 6, the Wells Republicans issued a press release describing the study they had conducted of the political party registrations of the members of the social sciences and humanities faculties at the college. The study revealed that members of parties of the left (Democrats, Greens, Working Families) outnumbered members of parties of the right (Republicans and Conservatives) by a ratio of 92 percent to 8 percent.

“Responding to the press release and study, Wells professor Tom Vawter sent an e-mail to all members of the Wells community calling Republicans ‘stupid.’ He closed his e-mail with this quote: ‘Lobotomies for Republicans: It’s not just a good idea; it’s the Law! — Yellow Dog.’”

—Kristy Lee Hochenberger, writing on “Lobotomies for Republicans … It’s the Law,” Monday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

Cultural victory?

“‘Hurray,’ conservatives crow. ‘The right is winning the culture wars!’ They certainly took their sweet time noticing. … [I] would put it somewhere between 1985, when ‘Rambo: First Blood II’ re-fought the Vietnam War (‘Do we get to win this time?’) and 1992, when Rush Limbaugh’s ‘The Way Things Ought to Be’ hijacked the New York Times best-seller list, thereby certifying Limbaugh as a mainstream figure. …

“The immediate occasion for conservative jubilation is its victory over CBS in getting it to withdraw its miniseries ‘The Reagans,’ which had the temerity to suggest that Ronald Reagan was mentally checked out during much of his presidency. … CBS’s capitulation ‘marks a watershed in America’s culture wars,’ Brian C. Anderson wrote in the Nov. 6 New York Sun.

“’[T]hanks to a remarkable transformation in mass communications, such left-wing humbug isn’t getting a free pass anymore.’”

—Timothy Noah, writing on “The Right Declares Victory,” Monday in Slate at www.slate.com

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