- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Old flame

“It was the formal announcement of the engagement. …

“So, if they’re so happy about tying the knot and making it public, what took them so long? Approaching 35 years.

“Life and royal politics got in the way. That’s what happens when the future groom in question is Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, and the future bride, Camilla Parker-Bowles, is his old (age 57 and long-time) friend, flame, confidant and mistress.

“Of course, given the details of those 35 years, there are other words that could describe each of them, but they aren’t words one would hear in Buckingham Palace or in polite society, at least not where anyone could be quoted. Think adulterer, two-timer, home-wrecker, pushy broad. …

“Public reaction in Britain varies, but there was one comment that got to the heart of things.

“Listening to TV news coverage of the engagement announcement, I heard one woman … summing it up perfectly: ‘She’s a horse-faced 58-year-old and she’s about to marry the heir to the British throne. It gives hope to old people!’ ”

Barbara Simpson, writing on “Cupid is a lousy shot,” WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Enduring legacy

“In many ways, the American theater has returned to what it was before Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams and [Arthur] Miller arrived ” light entertainment. Even today’s dramas, more often than not, tend to confirm fashionable points of view while pretending to be shocking or politically daring. …

“When [‘Death of a Salesman’] appeared in 1949, it was widely viewed as a critique of American notions of success, and that is still the widely preferred interpretation. But I wonder how much longer such a view can endure. …

” ‘Death of a Salesman’ endures because of its portrayal of the destruction wrought by self-delusion and dishonesty, and the way these forces weave their way through a family. ‘We never told the truth in this house, not for 10 minutes!’ Biff exclaims near the end.

“We all know something about that, don’t we? Therein lies the play’s real legacy, and Miller’s.”

Paul Beston, writing on “Life of a Salesman,” Monday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

J-Lo: Not the worst

“I sat through all three-and-a-half hours of the 47th Annual Grammy Awards telecast [Sunday] night and I don’t have a single song running through my head, which tells you something about the music that is popular enough to win accolades from the financially lagging mainstream recording industry. …

“The honor for worst performance of the night was a hard one to decide, with both clunkers furnishing evidence of Harris’s Second Law of Music: The physical attractiveness of the performer is usually inversely proportional to that performer’s ability to sing well.

“Watching Jennifer Lopez struggle and strain her way through a ballad duet with her husband-for-now Marc Anthony and hearing country hunk Tim McGraw apply his nearly nonexistent range to the schlocky ‘Live Like You Were Dying’ both had me wishing I could click away for a bit (but I had an assignment ” duty called). I guess I’ll give the worst-moment nod to McGraw since the fact that J-Lo was singing in Spanish saved me from understanding what she was attempting to sing.”

Aaron Keith Harris, writing on “A Night to Forget,” at www.nationalreview.com

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