- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 29, 2005

A writer’s life

“Writing is agony. I hate it. …

“Let’s put it this way. When I’m writing, I spend a lot of time thinking, ‘My, doesn’t the top of the fridge look dirty.’ It takes forever. People think writing is easy, but just ask them to sit down and write a thank you note to their aunt, or something, and they turn purple. I like thinking about writing. I like having written. But actually sitting down and doing it. …

“Sure, I can look at some of my old pieces and see lapses of taste or clumsinesses of construction and think, ‘wouldn’t do it that way now,’ but that doesn’t mean the process has become plainer to me. The thing is, when you get right down to it, and it’s painful to say this, but, well, few writers get better as they get older. In fact, it’s hard to think of one. … On the other hand, maybe it’s just laziness. I mean, I only read English in college because I already spoke the language.”

— P.J. O’Rourke, interviewed by Christopher Bray, Dec. 20 in the London Telegraph

‘Extraordinary men’

“[Pope John Paul II] helped change the map of the world by standing firm for Christianity, by embodying the Christian spirit within the Warsaw Pact countries. He ventured into the world as the pope as a paradox: He was the Great Opposer of the ugly isms (fascism, communism, materialism) and the Great Asserter of God, Faith, Religion. He was a giant. …

“JPII was an intellectual in the 20th-century European tradition — he knew of what philosophers were saying, took their thought seriously, pondered it, and came up with counter-arguments and observations and assertions. Reagan was not up at night pondering Kirkegaard. … But they had much in common. They both meant it. They were both actors as young men, they both believed in things that were higher than themselves, they both rose from obscurity and modest origins, and they were both tough guys who seemed, and were, sweet. And they both knew they didn’t rise for no reason. … John Paul thought the hand of the Blessed Mother deflected the bullet that was to kill him away from arteries and nerve clusters. Reagan felt God and his angels saved his life when he was shot. What extraordinary men.”

— Peggy Noonan, interviewed by Kathryn Jean Lopez, Dec. 21 in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Poisoned well

“‘Everybody is sort of saying they wish I would be silent,’ so claims an embattled Steven Spielberg, director of the controversial new film, ‘Munich.’

“Spielberg, however, willfully misinterprets what his critics are telling him. What they are really saying is that they wish he would be truthful. Although not as flagrantly dishonest as ‘Syriana’ — ‘Munich’ fully betrays its audience.

“And although Spielberg, an activist Democrat, would never admit as much, this betrayal has everything to do with the fact that Al Gore was not elected president in 2000. This lingering bitterness has poisoned the Hollywood well and turned the sheepish film community against the American-Israel alliance. …

“For reasons known only to him, Spielberg turned the script over to Tony Kushner, a hard-core leftist, homosexual activist, self-hating Jew, and avowed enemy of Israel. … In ‘Munich,’ although [Mr. Kushner] takes a few cheap shots at America, his obvious target is Israel — ‘a historical, moral, political calamity,’ as he has claimed elsewhere.”

— Jack Cashill, writing on “Brokeback Munich,” Tuesday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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