- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 18, 2003

Dark ditties

“When Warren Zevon disclosed a year ago that he was dying of lung cancer, the title track on his latest album — ‘My Ride’s Here,’ in which he awaits the arrival of a hearse — seemed like a spooky coincidence. Or it would have, anyway, were it not for the fact that Zevon had spent his whole career writing about death and dying. His preceding album, after all, had been called ‘Life’ll Kill Ya’; his first solo one was ‘Wanted Dead or Alive.’ In between had come jaunty ditties with titles like ‘I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead’ and ‘Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead.’ …

” ‘He had this dark view of the world, but what drew people close to him was that all of this darkness and morbidity came from an intense vulnerability,’ says Merle Ginsberg, Zevon’s girlfriend in the mid-‘80s. Indeed, the other topic that obsessed him — the only one he wrote about as often as death — was heartbreak, his approach to which is best summarized by the song title, ‘If You Won’t Leave Me I’ll Find Somebody Who Will.’ ”

Tim Carvell, writing on “A Wry Song of Love and Death,” in today’s issue of Entertainment Weekly

No apologies

“Traditionally, sodomy was viewed as an act, and was condemned as unnatural and deviant. … Today, ‘gay’ signifies not so much an act or condition as the identity of people who say that they most essentially are what they do and want to do sexually. … They are not asking for tolerance of their private sexual practices. … They are demanding, rather, public acceptance and approval. …

“Many oppose same-sex unions and the consequent revolution in marriage and family law because they believe homosexuality is a disorder and homosexual acts are morally wrong. That is not a private prejudice. It is not, as the Supreme Court claimed, an ‘irrational animus.’ It is a considered and very public moral judgment grounded in clear reason and historical experience, and supported by the authority of the biblical tradition.

“Nobody should apologize for publicly advocating a position informed by the foundational truths of western civilization.

“Homophobia is a term of recent coinage intended to serve as a conversation stopper. Its power to intimidate is rapidly diminishing. Support for the civilizational tradition … is not a phobia; it is not an irrational fear.

From “The Marriage Amendment,” an editorial in the October issue of First Things

Fashion front-runner

“My wardrobe has stayed the same since the campaign began, mostly dark conservative colors — all blues, blacks and grays. Solid dark colors communicate stability. You want to be classy and stylish without being a distraction. …

“Woody Wilson, in Beverly Hills, does most of my campaign clothes. … The suits range from $800 to $1,400. … I’ll tell him I want a navy blue three-piece but put a lapel on my vest. I love that lapel vest. … Woody matches ties, shirts, accessories. How much of the pocket handkerchief shows, how much of the tie shows, we talk about all that. Cuff links — if you have flashy cuff links, you might as well be wearing an orange suit.

“I think I probably bring more style to the field than the other candidates. John Kerry always appears like he thought about what he was going to wear that morning. But I wouldn’t say he’s got style like I do.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton, Democratic presidential candidate, explaining his campaign wardrobe in the September issue of GQ

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