- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Perfect parody

“Alanis Morissette’s parody of a Black Eyed Peas video is turning into her biggest hit in years, thanks to the Internet. The Ottawa-born singer-songwriter reworked the Peas’ song, ‘My Humps,’ into a piano ballad and quietly added a spoof video to her Web site. … After the video was uploaded to YouTube.com … most likely by a fan, it unleashed a frenzy of activity. …

“In the video, Morissette is shown wearing ghetto-fabulous outfits … . Morissette gyrates with a contingent of male ‘gangstas,’ who lip-synch to the lyrics. … By slowing the song and sticking to a simple piano accompaniment, Morissette makes sure you hear the lyrics.

” ‘I drive these brothers crazy, I do it on the daily; They treat me really nicely, they buy me all these ices,’ she sings, driving home the song’s disturbing message that a woman can use her physical assets to get money and gifts from men.”

— Lynn Saxberg, writing on “Alanis Morissette Shows Off … in Peas Spoof” in the Dose celebrity news site at www.dose.ca

Campus infidels

“The College Republicans at San Francisco State University recently found themselves under investigation for the offenses of flag desecration and blasphemy. …

“The alleged blasphemy was directed at Islam, and the desecrated flag contained no stars or stripes. At a small anti-terrorism rally in October 2006, several members of the College Republicans stomped on pieces of paper they had painted to look like flags of the radical Islamic organizations Hezbollah and Hamas, copying the designs from images on the Internet.

“A few days later, a Muslim student filed a complaint, on the grounds that the Arabic script on the Hezbollah and Hamas flags contained the word ‘Allah.’ The university pressed charges, accusing the blasphemers of ‘incivility’ and creating ‘a hostile environment.’ …

“It’s hard to tell whether the selective deference to Muslim sensibilities stems from a politically correct regard for a minority group or from fear of violent protests.”

— Cathy Young, writing on “Do College Republicans Hate Allah?” Monday in Reason Online at www.reason.com

‘Gotcha’ gaffes

“Historically, most politicians don’t know when they have made a fatal gaffe. … Do not underestimate the media’s ability to fixate on an isolated event, replay it endlessly, and hold up an errant moment as emblematic of a candidate’s character.

“In a YouTube world where every move is captured and every utterance preserved is it too much to expect that a candidate can get through an entire campaign without falling prey to the gotcha moment? Unfortunately candidates adopt one of two tactics, neither of which is helpful. First, they try to avoid saying anything of consequence. …

“Alternatively, candidates may adopt the tactic of railing at the press for covering this petty event rather than the big issues of the day. Telling the press their editorial choices are wrong rarely works and usually backfires. …

“But one tactic is rarely tried but perhaps the best option. That is what we do in real lives: apologize with self-deprecating humor and move on. What if George Allen had said, ‘You know my heart is in the right place, but sometimes things come out of my mouth that shouldn’t. Just ask my wife.’? He might still be senator.”

— Jennifer Rubin, writing on “Learning the Hard Way,” Monday in the American Spectator Online at www. spectator.org

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