- The Washington Times - Monday, April 5, 2004

Barbarian party

“When two ex-presidents, a former vice president and a presidential candidate — all of the Democratic Party — got together [March 25] for a unity pow-wow and fund-raiser, the entertainment included a gun-toting representative of the gangsta culture.

“Though the Democratic Party is known for its aversion to firearms — especially handguns … there in the midst of this high-level, supposedly distinguished affair was the rap group OutKast, which promotes itself with an image of one member of the duo brandishing a gat.

“OutKast won the Album of the Year Grammy last month for its latest project. …

“The award-winning album contains profanity-laced songs. …

“If indeed America is engulfed in a Culture War, the Democrats have declared themselves openly to be on the side of the enemy, the barbarians.”

Joseph Farah, writing on “Dems embrace gangsta culture,” March 29 in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Like a virgin

“A reported drop in teen pregnancies is real and dramatic. And it’s not because of abortion. More and more teenagers — and particularly boys — are changing their attitudes about premarital sex.

“From 1990 to 2000 … teenage pregnancy dropped by 28 percent. The drop among black teenagers was even higher, 31.5 percent. …

“The conventional wisdom had been that boys will be boys and nothing can restrain their sexual appetites, but half of all male high-school students now say they are virgins, up from 39 percent in 1990. Sexual activity among teenage boys is down even in poor minority neighborhoods, where the problem of teen pregnancy has always been the worst.

“It has now become socially acceptable to be a virgin. … Researchers credit ‘a conservative religious movement’ among teenagers.”

Gene Edward Veith, writing on “Boys will be men,” Saturday in World

Suicidal hate

“I was very struck recently by seeing Tom Cruise’s appalling movie ‘The Last Samurai,’ where an American adventurer takes the side of feudal and tribal chivalry in Japan, presumably because of its self-annihilating authenticity, but realizes during the course of several destructive massacres that the samurai ethos will not survive in the face of modernity.

“What is needed, he concludes, is a fusion or synthesis between new weapons and old ideas. It’s bad enough that an American … could actually desire to see what Japan eventually got — in the combination of an imperial god-king with a large air force and navy, an evil empire and an absolutely calamitous war. Even more alarming was the cultural myopia that prevented critics and audiences from seeing that precisely this combination of medieval and atavistic ideas with borrowed technology is what threatens Eastern societies no less than our own. …

“[T]he belief that death should be loved more than life … is not a pathology unique to al Qaeda, and even less is it unique to Islam. … The so-called Kamikaze warriors of Imperial Japan were also very frightening until they were defeated. …

“Those who are eager to die are expressing a hatred for the everyday, banal achievements of human society.”

Christopher Hitchens, writing on “The West and the worst,” March 27 in the Toronto Globe and Mail

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