- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Boring effects

“The first time you saw starcruisers fighting in the original ‘Star Wars’ movie in 1977, it was exciting. Now when you see starcruisers fighting it’s boring. As the summer movies take over America’s screens, it’s time to point out that special effects themselves have become boring.

“Every other movie now has impossible fly-through-the-air kickboxing, faces morphing from one to another, strange distant cities, energy bolts, elaborate starcruisers, immense explosions, people falling impossible distances, and other special-effects staples. Scenes from the most recent ‘Star Wars’ flick, ‘Attack of the Clones,’ were tedious — too many spaceships or aliens or droids competing for attention. …

“Special effects used to mean stunt people doing dangerous aerobatics and intricate spaceship models photographed in dark chambers. Now special effects are entirely pixels. Audiences know there is no ingenuity or physical reality involved, just computer-drawn pixels being inserted digitally. Which is boring.”

Gregg Easterbrook, writing on “Special Defects,” June 28 in the New Republic Online at www.tnr.com

Feminists vs. Bush

“[W]hen I came home [from a 2001-02 visit to Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq], I fully expected the feminist movement to be up in arms, demanding that the U.S. government do more to defend these women, marching on the United Nations in defense of their sisters.

“Instead, I found NOW working on its annual Love Your Body Day. And if I didn’t hit a wall earlier, I hit it several weeks ago during the March for Women’s Lives. …

“The marchers insisted that George W. Bush is the world’s greatest threat to women. What I’d seen and heard during a year’s travels was that Muslim fundamentalists were the world’s greatest threat to women. …

“And a march focused on George Bush and access to abortion belittled their situations and their struggles. How can you care about women, as the feminists insist they do, and not care about the actual threats to their lives?”

Author Elinor Burkett, interviewed by Jamie Glazov, Thursday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

Cosmo girl

“I always think of poor Monica [Lewinsky] as the ultimate Cosmo girl, who read and believed the addled-brained advice that this magazine dishes out on how to get and keep a man. Month after month, Cosmopolitan is filled with how-to instructions on developing sexual skills that would make the working girl on the corner hang up her garter belt in exhaustion. …

“I have no doubts that Monica[‘s] first moves on Bill … were definitely Cosmo-inspired. …

“Nowadays, I feel kind of sorry for Monica, who I have met a couple of times. She is a size-16 beauty, not an easy thing to be in a world that demands that beauty comes only in size six packages. While the Clintons increase their bank accounts, and retain their power, she has become, at best, a C-List celebrity, who hosted last year’s most dreadful reality show ‘Mr. Personality.’ …

“Last week on TV Monica, said, ‘I have spent the past years working so hard to just move on. … I don’t accept that he has to completely desecrate my character.’ Poor Monica, still so naive about the Clintons’ standard operating procedure. It was always dangerous being a friend of Bill’s, but Monica is still learning it is truly devastating to have been more than a friend.”

Myrna Blyth, writing on “Naive Monica,” Thursday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

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