- The Washington Times - Monday, September 8, 2003

‘Oprahfied’

“Most contemporary Hollywood films are high on action and low on dialogue. ‘Open Range’ — the latest entry in the western genre — shifts the balance in the opposite direction, at least until its culmination, a lengthy and ferocious shootout that does for the western what the opening of ‘Saving Private Ryan’ did for the war movie. The problem with Open Range’ is that there [is] far too much talk, not enough silence. It is the most garrulous western since ‘Blazing Saddles,’ yet it lacks the humor of that film or even of ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.’

“Critics are proclaiming that this is Costner’s best performance. Personally, I prefer him in his baseball movies — ‘Bull Durham’ and ‘Field of Dreams’ — but that may just be because those are much better films than ‘Open Range,’ a film that models the western, not on the Duke or Clint, but on the loquacity of an Oprah talk show.’

Thomas Hibbs, writing on “Oprahfied cowboy,” Friday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Forced acceptance

“According to a recent report by the Eugene Register-Guard, ‘A lesbian couple has complained to the Eugene Human Rights Commission and the Oregon Child Care Division, alleging that O’Hara Catholic School refused admission to their 4-year old daughter because of their sexual orientation.’ …

“One of the women that adopted the girl as an infant said that the school’s principal ‘told her in mid-August that having a family with two mothers at the school would confuse other children, and that gay unions are in conflict with Vatican teachings.’

“I want to emphasize that O’Hara Catholic School is a private school founded with a religious intent. As such, it has every right to set moral standards for students and parents. …

“Don’t be fooled by the current entertaining and seemingly innocent face of the homosexual movement. The activists driving the gay crusade have a singular goal — to force decent Americans to accept their deviant lifestyle. … Why else would an avowed lesbian couple seek to enroll their child in a Catholic school whose beliefs and teachings are opposed to homosexuality?”

Kelly Boggs, writing on “Hidden agendas in the ‘I’m a victim’ claim,” Friday in Baptist Press News at www.bpnews.net

Hate and hypocrisy

“The frenzy with which radical Islamists battle against deportation orders from U.S. soil — dreading the prospect of returning to Amman and Beirut and Cairo — reveals the lie of anti-Americanism that blows through Muslim lands.

“The world rails against the United States, yet embraces its protection, its gossip, and its hipness. …

“The pollsters have flaunted spreadsheets to legitimize a popular legend: It is not Americans that people abroad hate, but the United States! Yet it was Americans who fell to terrorism on September 11, 2001, and it is of Americans and their deeds, and the kind of social and political order they maintain, that sordid tales are told in Karachi and Athens and Cairo and Paris. You can’t profess kindness toward Americans while attributing the darkest of motives to their homeland.”

Fouad Ajami, writing on “The Falseness of Anti-Americanism,” in the September-October issue of Foreign Affairs

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