- The Washington Times - Monday, January 23, 2006

Liberal torpedos

“Back in late December, when we put together our annual New Year’s prognostications, National Review’s John J. Miller predicted ‘a student group called the Womyn’s Liberation Front will sponsor a ceremonial burning of our friend and colleague Kate O’Beirne’s best-selling book “Women Who Make the World Worse: and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports.”’

“John was kidding (sort of). …

“Her critics have every right to hate a book they haven’t read. It’s a free country. … But … in cyberspace, the angry campaign to discourage others from reading ‘WWMTWW’ often doesn’t even pretend to make an effort to respond to the quotes, facts, and arguments Kate effectively marshals. …

“‘I’ve never seen such a cynical attempt by liberals to torpedo a book’s Amazon ratings,’ Kate’s editor [said]. …Unfortunately, it may be a trend in the making.”

— Kathryn Jean Lopez, writing on “The ‘Sacking’ of O’Beirne,” Jan. 20 in National Review Online

Mom vs. village

“At the time of my adolescence my mother was too distracted to give me everything I needed to turn out well. But 20 percent of her attention was enough, because the whole culture was supporting her. The notion that a girl should not give her sexuality too freely was so solidly built into the national consciousness that my mother didn’t have to snap out of her depression and give me a comprehensive lecture on boys for me to understand what she meant. …

“As a parent, I am horrified by the changes that have taken place in the common culture over the last 30 years. I believe we are raising children in a kind of post-apocalyptic landscape. … The ‘it takes a village’ philosophy is a joke, because the village is now so polluted and so desolate of commonly held, child appropriate moral values that my job as a mother is not to rely on the village but to protect my children from it.”

— Caitlin Flanagan, writing on “Are You There God? It’s Me, Monica,” in the January/February issue of the Atlantic Monthly

Her men, her movie

“For a movie with such rapturous reviews … ‘Brokeback Mountain’ turns out to be a disappointingly small movie. …

“Based on a prize-winning story by Annie Proulx, one of the problems with the movie is that the screen writers are too respectful of Proulx’s story. …

“Her grievances with men, or at least men who live by ‘white masculine values,’ as she calls them, profoundly influence ‘Brokeback Mountain.’ … She was married three times, the last ‘… ended in amiable divorce 20 years later after a long separation, and we remain friends. It gradually dawned on me that I am not well-suited for marriage.’ …

“Because of the heavy message burden the film has to deliver, there is much that is bogus and inauthentic. …

“The nature scenes, the bars, the grubby plastic furniture, all contribute to a sense of pseudo-authenticity that masks the phoniness of the extraordinarily attractive and charming movie stars trying to play impoverished, ignorant, inarticulate, rural boobs.”

— Yale Kramer, writing on “‘Brokeback Mountain’ and the Romance of Gayness,” Jan. 18 in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

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