- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 16, 2005

No boundaries

“The [Michael Jackson] case is a surpassingly sordid one, of course, and the accused bizarre beyond belief. His celebrity and wealth have allowed him to indulge his whims to such an extent that the most egotistical Roman emperors, by comparison, seem models of psychological stability. And whether innocent or guilty, Michael Jackson is certainly the Nero of kitsch. …

“[T]he case will be of considerable interest to social historians seeking, a hundred years hence, to understand the psyche of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

“Those future historians … will be struck, I suspect, by the confusion in our society concerning sexual boundaries. On one hand, almost no sexual display is forbidden, and the most casual of liaisons is perfectly normal; on the other, university professors dare not be alone in a closed room with a female student for fear of accusations of sexual misdemeanor, and in some offices the most mildly flirtatious of remarks is taken as little short of rape.

“Extreme licentiousness thus coexists with a Puritanism that out-Calvins Calvin. One minute we are told that anything goes, and the next that we must carefully censor ourselves for fear of permanently traumatizing anyone who might overhear supposedly salacious remarks.”

Theodore Dalrymple, writing on “Looking for Boundaries,” in the June 20 issue of National Review

Press vs. military

“I read that the Army and the Marines are not meeting their enlistment quotas, and I have two thoughts about this problem:

“One, pay them a lot more. Not just a little more, but a lot more. Much, much more. They are indispensable. Let’s treat them that way. If we have to raise taxes to do it, let’s do it. These guys deserve a great lifestyle if they offer up their lives for us.

“Second, why would anyone join the Army if he reads the newspapers and watches TV? The mainstream media show the military doing three things: being criminals, abusing captives, killing civilians, torturing the innocent — that’s one way. Then they show the Army being stupid, making mistakes that get people killed. That’s the second way. Then they show the military getting killed.

“Who would want to join a military that’s criminal, stupid, and a deathtrap?”

— Ben Stein, writing on “Recruitment Improvement,” Monday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Military moments

“If you want to know what your son, daughter or spouse experiences during deployment, try these tips at home: 1. Use 18 scoops of coffee per pot and allow it to sit for five or six hours before drinking. 2. Replace your garage door with a curtain. 3. Sleep on a cot in the garage.

“4. Two hours after you’ve fallen asleep, have someone rip open the curtain, shine a flashlight in your eyes and mumble, ‘Sorry, wrong cot.’ 5. Spread gravel throughout your house and yard. 6. Don’t watch TV except for movies in the middle of the night. Have your family vote on which movie to watch and then show a different one.

“7. When you take a shower, wear flipflops and keep the lights off. 8. Sandbag the floor of your car to protect from mine blasts and fragmentation. 9. Have the paperboy give you a haircut. 10. Set your alarm clock to go off at random times during the night.”

From “What’s deployment like?” in the spring issue of USAA magazine, reprinted from www.armywives.com

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