- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 12, 2005

‘No political motive’

“I don’t know how you can be realistic without describing the foibles of mankind. If that’s all it takes for a novel to be labeled satire, I guess it is satire but I never sat down and said, ‘Now I am going to write a really biting satire.’ For example, in [the new novel ‘I Am Charlotte Simmons’] a lot of my conservative friends will probably comment on the political correctness. And there is some in there, but in fact the students pretty much ignore and discount it. … There is always a faction of activists. When I was visiting Stanford, students were protesting that the catering staff — they weren’t even university employees — were underpaid. If that’s as big an issue as you can come up with, then political correctness is not having a big effect on the students. …

“I think I have been called conservative because of what I have said about cultural matters. [W]hat I wrote about the Black Panthers at Leonard Bernstein’s [in the 1970 essay ‘Radical Chic’] was taken as a reactionary gesture, but I had no political motive. I just thought it was a scream, because it was so illogical by all ordinary thinking. To think that somebody living in an absolutely stunning duplex on Park Avenue could be having in all these guys who were saying, ‘We will take everything away from you if we get the chance,’ which is what their program spelled out, was the funniest thing I had ever witnessed.”

Novelist Tom Wolfe, interviewed by George Neumayr in the December/January issue of the American Spectator

‘Prisons for children’

“We homeschooling parents have to de-program … children from the warping of attitudes, perceptions and loyalties that passes for education in state schooling. When our homeschooled children are academically delayed, it’s because little to no true scholastic and foundational instruction was ever given in the public schools prior to decisions by wise parents to bring their children home where they can receive a real and complete education.

“Our public schools … should be considered for a reclamation project. I take that back. Better yet, let us close them all. Let us sell these prisons for children to the highest bidders — with every buyer forced to sign a contract, binding on self and any future owners, that the buildings will never again be used to house children in any capacity. …

“Schooling is a family decision, not a federally mandated one. How did we ever allow it all to go so wrong?”

Linda Schrock Taylor, writing on “Questions for Saxon/Harcourt Achieve,” Monday at www.lewrockwell.com

Log cabin closet

“Just about everyone has claimed Lincoln at one time or another — Republicans, Democrats, Christians, freethinkers, integrationists, segregationists. … But gay? Abraham Lincoln? …

“The late C.A. Tripp, a clinical therapist and popular writer on homosexuality, became fascinated with the question in the early 1990s and embarked on a long, obsessive quest through the minutiae of the massive biographical record on Lincoln to prove his theory. … Tripp was determined to rescue a hidden gay hero. …

“Tripp sets himself [in the new book ‘The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln’] up as the daring historian-detective who defies orthodox procedure. And what Tripp finds is a man living in a closet. The biographers, he insists, knew it all along, or could have known it, and covered it up.”

Christine Stansell, writing on “What Stuff,” in the upcoming Monday issue of the New Republic

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