- The Washington Times - Monday, September 19, 2005

Left behind

“So-called black leaders and other assorted entertainers and racial activists were quick to use Hurricane Katrina and its resulting flood as supposed proof that America’s tragic racist personality had suddenly resurfaced. ‘Genocide’ was the way the morning show hosts of New York’s No. 1 rap station, Hot 97, described it. The real racial tragedy, however, is not a lack of respect or compassion but the giant distance by which these spokesmen have been left behind by America’s steadily advancing society. …

“Kanye West, the producer-cum-rapper, was one such myth perpetuator. In a now-notorious appearance on NBC’s ‘A Concert for Hurricane Relief,’ Mr. West said: ‘I hate the way they portray us in the media. … George Bush doesn’t care about black people.’ …

“[B]lack Americans’ worst fears are being taken advantage of and a healthier American society falls by the wayside. By indulging in conspiracy theories and blame-anyone-but-yourself psychotherapy, the emphasis on personal responsibility that can make social equality possible is injuriously neglected.”

Tom Elliott, writing on “The Big Lie,” Wednesday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Ubiquitous smut

“If size really matters, pornography now ranks as one of America’s most prominent industries. Estimated to rake in as much as $14 billion a year, it is the nation’s most lucrative spectator sport. …

“The mainstreaming of porn owes much to technology. In the early 1980s, the arrival of VCRs took the stag film out of the seedy ‘art theater’ and placed it in front of the den recliner. By the middle of the decade, one in five videocassettes was ‘adult’ material. But this was nothing compared with the 1990s, when the Internet made pornography as accessible as the nearest computer. Now … pornography is routine. Young men drive to work listening to the radio show of the raunchy Howard Stern, circulate spreadsheets to coworkers accompanied by pictures of the hardcore queen Jenna Jamison, and then go off for an evening of beer and lap dancing. Today’s American male need never spend a moment apart from his dirty pictures.”

Kay S. Hymowitz, writing on “Under the Skin,” in the September issue of Commentary

Farm girl

“There was a respect for nature that I was taught at a very young age. It was just the three of us, and we were real farmers [in South Africa]. …

“And there was a certain amount of discipline that came with the way I was raised. You didn’t break things that were not yours; you didn’t wreck a room. My mom and I watch this ‘Nanny 911’ show together, and I said to her, ‘I’m so calling the authorities on you for how you raised me.’ Then I think about it and I’ve just got to say, there was a boundary that always made me feel safe. I really always knew from a very, very, early age — that’s wrong and don’t you ever do that again. And God, I was spanked. I was more than spanked — I was whipped. …

“It boiled down to respect — my mom was taking care of everything and running a business at the same time and there were never any nannies or anything like that. She was doing laundry and cooking three meals a day. …

“But let me tell you, at that age, I knew I was wrong. … Then look at the [close] relationship I have with her today. That’s a testament for my whole argument right there.”

Charlize Theron, interviewed in the October issue of Premiere

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