- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Reality nadir

“With VH1’s new series ‘Breaking Bonaduce’ … reality television approaches the nadir foretold by the 1976 film ‘Network’: It attempts to garner an audience with the dangled promise of an on-air suicide. … During the filming of the show, which focuses on Danny Bonaduce’s disintegrating marriage with his wife Gretchen, the former child star slit his wrists (off-camera) and ended up in a psychiatric ward. …

“If there’s a more dramatically compelling show than ‘Breaking Bonaduce’ currently on television, I don’t want to know about it. No, seriously, I don’t. Watching this one — much less liking it as much as I do — feels morally compromising enough.

“In addition to being a recovering alcoholic and former crack addict who once lived in his car behind Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, he admits to being addicted to sex, exercise, and steroids. … His impulse control is near nil, and his judgment is terrible. …

“Yet Bonaduce never comes across as the villain of the show … or the object of ridicule. …

“Are the show’s producers sleazy ambulance-chasers or earnest, groundbreaking documentarians? And — perhaps the most troubling question of all for the audience — are those of us who faithfully TiVo ‘Breaking Bonaduce’ each week legitimate fans of one of the best reality shows on TV, or ghoulish rubberneckers?”

— Dana Stevens, writing on “Broken Bonaduce,” Friday in Slate at www.slate.com

Price of divorce

“Among the children affected by it, divorce has long been linked to significantly higher rates of school dropout, teenage pregnancy, illegal drug use, poor health, suicide attempts and depression. Child abuse also thrives on divorce; research shows that having a step-parent in a child’s home is ‘the most powerful predictor of severe child abuse.’ …

“Married parents build a morally coherent and stable home through thousands of little negotiations and compromises between themselves, which smooth the way for their offspring and allow them to have and enjoy a childhood. In the divorced family, however, parents abandon this work.”

— Allan Carlson, writing on “Broken Homes, and Broken Hearts,” in the Nov. 7 issue of

National Review

Ultimate authority

“Adding ‘under God’ to ‘one nation, indivisible’ in the Pledge of Allegiance was an idea whose time had come (I remember it seemed like just correcting an oversight) in 1954. … It passed with the support of an easy majority in Congress, an overwhelming majority of the American people and the president, who happened to be Eisenhower at the time. …

“The Pledge of Allegiance serves simply as an occasional moment of common homage for Americans to share ceremonially in public life. It’s a moment that says, ‘We may not agree on much of anything else, but we agree on this core principle of allegiance to our beloved country.’ …

“Distilled into our foundational documents is the Founding Fathers’ recognition that there is no ultimate governing authority but God, who created all men equal and endowed all with ‘certain unalienable rights.’ …

“Thus, ‘one nation, indivisible’ is less likely than is ‘one nation under God, indivisible’ to bother very much with ‘liberty and justice for all.’”

— Pat Boone, writing on “Our rights are imperiled when God is kept hidden,” Saturday in WorldNetDaily at www.world netdaily.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide