- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Crackpot ‘Code’

“If you’ve read ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ you may remember a double-crossing Holy Grail expert named Leigh. As unlikely as it may sound, just such a character is now at the center of the current plot twist in Dan Brown’s real life. Last week, Brown was in an English court, defending his best-selling book against a copyright lawsuit brought by a self-appointed grail expert named [Richard] Leigh. Leigh and two friends are the authors of the 1982 best seller ‘Holy Blood, Holy Grail,’ a nonfiction work that lays out the same claims that make ‘The Da Vinci Code’ memorable. … Leigh and his co-authors … are suing Brown for stealing 15 ‘theme points’ from their book and for ripping off its ‘architecture.’ …

“How can dueling authors ever have a meaningful public discussion of who Mary Magdalene was, if, for example, one side claims exclusive ownership of the theory that she was a lowly prostitute? Progress in science and scholarship requires the freedom to examine and expose claims to the truth, even crazy ones.”

— Tim Wu, writing on “Holy Grail Wars,” Monday in Slate at www.slate.com

Anti-baby bias

“Watch how the announcement of a pregnancy among women is followed within minutes by the ‘What are you going to do?’ question. —

“How is it that in cultures all over the world pregnancies prompt congratulations rather than anxious questions about childcare? How is it that in a culture equipped, materially and medically, to ease child-rearing, we are so reluctant to enjoy new life?

“The answer, I would argue, is that a bias against having babies has permeated our culture. This phenomenon needs a new word — anti-natalism — and it is this that prompts a good part of that pregnancy trepidation. …

“The anti-natalist bias is implicit in many of the influences that shape our sense of self and purpose, our identity, our aspirations and our understanding of success and the good life. …

“Motherhood hits most women like a car crash: they have absolutely no idea of what is coming. Nothing in our culture recognizes, let alone encourages, the characteristics you will need once a bawling infant has been tenderly placed in your arms. So the debate about the baby gap is about far more than tweaking parental leave; it’s about what a culture values and promotes.”

— Madeline Bunting, writing on “Behind the baby gap lies a culture of contempt for parenthood,” March 7 in the Guardian

U.S. ‘atrocities’

“The unenlightened might consider Nelson Mandela an ingrate when a week after President Bush awarded him America’s highest governmental award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he bellowed: ‘If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America.’ …

“No mention by any of the networks of the following however: ‘Nelson Mandela participated in planning acts of sabotage and inciting violence, so that he could no longer fulfill the criteria for the classification of political prisoners.’ That’s from Amnesty International. …

“In addition, ‘The preparation, manufacture and use of explosives, including 210,000 hand grenades, 48,000 anti-personnel mines, 1,500 time devices, 144 tons of ammonium nitrate, 21.6 tons of aluminum powder and a ton of black powder. 193 counts of terrorism committed between 1961 and 1963,’ is what got Saint Mandela [arrested] in the first place.”

— Humberto Fontova, writing on “Black History Month — and the Black Heroes it Ignores,” Monday in Front Page at www.FrontPageMag.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide