- The Washington Times - Monday, September 13, 2004

You GOP, girls

“They just don’t get it. That’s literally true of the critics, who, almost universally and quite unfairly, have panned Jenna and Barbara Bush’s speech … at the Republican National Convention. …

“The twins ‘came off, frankly, as ditzes,’ opined Roll Call executive editor Morton Kondracke on Fox.

“He’s exactly right: Jenna and Barbara Bush (but especially the former) did come off as ditzy. … That was the whole point of their shtick, which I, for one, found quite amusing and endearing. The twins’ speech (really a comedy act) was a takeoff of the 1995 movie ‘Clueless,’ starring Alicia Silverstone. …

“‘When your dad’s a Republican and you go to Yale, you learn to stand up for yourself,’ Barbara said.

“Millions of college students — and graduates — at Yale and elsewhere, know exactly what Barbara meant. …

“Keep at it, girls. Both your dad and the Republican Party need you. The media derision you’re hearing is a testament to your success.”

John R. Guardiano, writing on “The Best Speech,” Friday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Shakespeare’s world

“In half a century — within the lifetime of Shakespeare’s father, John — England had gone through a very conservative regime of Catholicism, to an uneasy form of improvised state Catholicism under Henry VIII, through a period of radical Protestantism under King Edward VI, back to Roman Catholicism under Queen Mary, and then on to the staunchly Protestant monarchy of Elizabeth. As each sect seized power, it set about burning and disembowelling those who had been ascendant moments before. …

“The fear and brutality of this unending religious civil war was relieved by the richness of the surrounding folk culture: May Days and Robin Hood pageants, morality plays in tavern courtyards and miracle plays on holidays. … And this folk culture was, for Shakespeare, inextricably tied up … with the rituals and calendar and enveloping presence of the old faith. …

“The medieval part of his imagination … the light of fairy tale and fable that shines through all his comedies, was haunted by the old faith and its rituals.”

Adam Gopnik, writing on “Will Power,” in the Sept. 13 issue of the New Yorker

A deadly mix’

“Entertainment and politics in the modern society of America has created a deadly mix and a blow to the integrity of our national debate. In this election cycle, think of the severe case of P. Diddy and his entourage crashing a Young Republicans meeting in New York City, shouting his shallow views through a megaphone and broadcasting it over MTV. Of course, all this MTV and ‘Choose or Lose’ business is built on the history of the relationship between media and politics over the past 50 years. …

“It’s like watching a train wreck while munching on popcorn just for the fun of it. …

“We, as a people, aren’t growing up. We’re all acting childish in business, personal lives and politics. It’s a childishness that’s not characterized by innocence, but an animal-like childishness that leaves its mark in the popularity of pornography, strip clubs and all sorts of lusts, the divorce rate, business corruption, political corruption and a real failure to live up to just societal standards. It’s destroying our ability as a nation to walk through serious issues.”

Kyle Williams, writing on “America the childish,” Saturday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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