- The Washington Times - Monday, October 24, 2005

$65-million Marxist

“[Phoenix Suns guard] Steve Nash is not technically a communist. Or at least he’s not a good one since he gets paid $65 million for throwing bounce passes to guys who barely graduated high school. In practice, he is a … successful capitalist. … But in theory, Nash is the greatest socialist in contemporary athletics. …

“‘I suppose there are a lot of connections between socialism and basketball,’ Nash says. … ‘But none of them are conscious when I’m on the court.’ …

“During a mid-season interview [in January], Nash casually mentioned that he had been reading ‘The Communist Manifesto’ (as well as the autobiography of Che Guevara) on a road trip. One gets the sense that this is the kind of statement he regrets, simply because a) it ended up being the only thing anyone remembers from the story, and b) it was immediately … connected to antiwar statements he had made at the 2003 [NBA] All-Star game.”

Chuck Klosterman, writing on “The Karl Marx of the Hardwood,” in the November issue of Esquire

Their own petard

“Intelligent design (ID), the hot new rebranding of Christian creationism, is extremely clever, profoundly disingenuous, and, I think, dangerous. It must be beaten back and kept out of the public schools. …

“In fact, the brilliance of the IDers (and of the new New Right generally) has been to recast all sorts of old liberal paradigms and habits for their own ends. …

“For several decades the philosophical ground has been softened up by the relativism and political correctness of the secular left, which succeeded in undermining the very idea of objective reality and of calling a spade a spade — so now, in the resulting marsh, fantasies like intelligent design (or Scientology or feng shui or 9/11 as a CIA plot) take root and spread like weeds. Liberals pioneered squishy-minded indulgence of their key constituencies’ unfortunate new ideas, like reparations and criminalized hate speech; now it’s the right’s turn.”

Kurt Andersen, writing on “Backward, Christian Soldiers,” in the Oct. 17 issue of New York

Dramatic fodder

“Geena Davis has been president for about three days now in TV time, and she’s already rearranged the Sixth Fleet and ordered U.S. troops into action twice. ABC’s new hit drama ‘Commander in Chief’ … focuses on the personal and political challenges faced by our fictional first female chief executive, Davis’ Mackenzie Allen. But what’s interesting about the show isn’t the idea of a woman president, and it certainly isn’t the hackneyed dialogue. If ‘C in C’ is worth watching at all, it’s for what it tells us about modern, popular views of the presidency. Judging by the first three episodes, and the show’s popularity, the romance of presidential power transcends left and right. …

“Perhaps it’s a mistake to try to glean political messages from prime-time television, but Geena Davis’s turn as a distaff Richard Nixon suggests that if there’s anything the left and the right can agree on, it’s the glory of the Imperial Presidency. …

“Geena Davis looks terrific, but we might do better with an awkward fat man. And perhaps the Republic will have regained its health when the presidency is no longer fodder for TV drama, but has instead been relegated to its proper place: the [sitcom].”

Gene Healy, writing on “Geena Davis Is Not My President,” Oct. 18 in Reason Online at www.reason.com

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