- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 24, 2005

No offense

“College-sports nicknames and mascots were a natural target for the purveyors of a politics of racial resentment, and indeed many colleges gave up the fight long ago. …

“So when the NCAA formed a commission four years ago to ‘study’ the matter, the conclusion was pretty much foreordained. … Sure enough, when NCAA’s ‘Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion,’ Charlotte Westerhaus, described the policy, she said the organization was acting against names that are ‘hostile and abusive.’

“[National Public Radio] quickly chimed in with commentary by TV producer John Ridley, who mocked Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for supporting [Florida State University’s] use of the Seminole name. The university has the permission and support of the Florida Seminole tribe, but other Seminoles in Oklahoma dislike it. …

“[T]he use of Indian tribal names and imagery to evoke a sense of intrepid courage in the face of a foe and fierceness in battle is not all Hollywood hokum and American mythologizing. A great many tribes, including the Seminoles, cast themselves in this light. — Adopting the names of such groups may be pretty low rent as a form of tribute by outsiders, but it is also pretty low rent as a form of exploitation.”

—Peter Wood, writing on “The Diversity Bowl,” Tuesday in National Review Online

Rotten crop

“This summer it’s been my lot to see a few of the newest pickings of the cinematic crop. By all accounts, most of these movies are awful, and if they’re not awful, they’re something worse, and anybody who knows the first thing about cinema knows it. … [T]he former feeling of cinematic magic is gone, smothered by this onslaught of mediocrity.

“Some of the half-baked films currently drawing an ever-thinner crowd of exhausted moviegoers are ‘The 40-year-old Virgin,’ ‘The Dukes of Hazzard,’ ‘The Wedding Crashers,’ ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ and ‘The Aristocrats.’ …

“[U]ntil this point in history, filmmakers have always been at least clever enough to keep up the illusion that they are very, very clever and mysterious people; and until now we’ve been perfectly content to allow them that pleasant fiction.

“But with the current rotten pickings from the Hollywood tree, things have gotten so thoroughly out of hand that it begs the question, how stupid is Hollywood, really?”

—John Jalsevac, writing on “How Stupid is Hollywood Really?” Monday at www.lifesite.net

Feminist freedom

“The idea that working people are voting against their interests seems to me … to be one of the most condescending, twisted things that has now taken root. …

“The people are voting against their interests? Who knows that? Tom Frank [author of ‘What’s the Matter With Kansas’] knows that? Tom Frank knows what is in the people’s best interest? It’s an outrage. …

“In my view, comparing the evidence of the 20th century … socialism in a nation ultimately does lead to economic stagnation. … And … capitalism, despite all its failures … has indeed produced a high standard of living. And, here’s the big one for me, as a feminist: It is capitalism that has enabled the emergence of the modern independent woman, for the first time free from fathers and brothers and husbands — a woman who can be self-sustaining.”

—Camille Paglia, interviewed by Robert Birnbaum Aug. 3 in the Morning News at www.themorningnews.org

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