- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 16, 2005

‘Best of dreams’

“[T]he time has come for every theatergoer in America to stand up and admit that we are living in a golden age of movie visuals. … Movies so commonly attain visual perfection these days that we’re in danger of taking it for granted. And ever since the advent of computer graphics, animated films are so richly colored and textured that they feel like the best of dreams.

“All this is undeniably true in the case of ‘Robots,’ where the look is the nostalgic one of the tin windup toys made in the 1930s. It’s interesting that that’s the kind of look we now long for; in a world where stores are filled with plastic items inside plastic packages, where everything looks exactly like its brother, something that’s made of dented, scuffed metal has a powerful appeal.

“Something that looks humble and one-of-a-kind now exudes a charm that our grandparents would never understand.”

Frederica Mathewes-Green, writing on “What a See,” Monday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Cultivating distraction

“The funny thing about television is that it does distract you as you watch it. It doesn’t hold your attention, it eases it. The phrase ‘glued to the tube’ is profoundly inaccurate, unless you envision it meaning, somewhat macabrely, that your body is stuck to the screen while you move your head and look around the room.

“Television stills your mind and lets it roam, as if the mind were a crying infant that the television took in its glowing arms and soothed so that it could sleep and dream.

“That quality of holding without engaging is why we have gotten used to doing other things while enjoying television; that’s why, as a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study reported, kids are now doing several ‘new media’ things at once while watching the tube: instant-messaging, talking on the phone, listening to music, etc.

“The dismaying news is not only that kids’ minds are now almost entirely absorbed by various kinds of screens and disembodied experiences. What’s really discouraging is the extent to which television cultivates distraction into a new kind of discipline.”

Lee Siegel, writing on “Soak It Up Like a Sponge,” Monday in the New Republic Online at www.tnr.com

PC spree

“In Atlanta, Brian Nichols, 6 feet tall and a couple hundred pounds, was being escorted by a female officer, without cuffs, into court for his rape trial. …

“Why wasn’t he wearing handcuffs? Because ‘studies’ have shown that jurors are ‘unfairly influenced’ when a person on trial is wearing handcuffs. …

“Quite often, the level of stupidity in political correctness is so high that it’s comical. This time, it’s anything but. When PC strikes the college campus, young minds are poisoned. When PC strikes the public sector, including the courtroom, people can get killed. …

“Leave it to the bearers of political correctness to remove the cuffs from criminals, and tie the hands of everybody else. …

“Brian Nichols wasn’t handcuffed, and he’s killed people as a result. … Brian Nichols now faces the death penalty, instead of 20 or so years for the original crime, and four people are dead. Would making him wear handcuffs to, in, and from court have been better for him, or worse for him?

“PC do-gooders assisted Brian Nichols in ruining what was left of his life, and gave him the means to destroy many others — all in the name of ‘fairness.’ I’m sure the families of the victims will thank them for caring.”

Doug Powers, writing on “Political correctness: From bad joke to tragic tale,” Monday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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