- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 14, 2007

Decadent ‘24’

“Four hours, two nights, one-dimensional — the season debut of ‘24’ … is a curiously effective system for delivering high suspense and low thrills. The producers of the counterterrorism action hit make a virtue of the show’s preposterous narrative, setting up plotlines more byzantine than Rube Goldberg contraptions and then rigging things such that the very contrivance becomes an object of wonder and an essential part of the fun. …

“There’s depth to ‘24,’ but it’s all in the violence. …

“How many other cultures have shows on the order of ‘24’ and ‘Sleeper Cell’ — programs that convert blasts of terror into pops of corn? Does it happen in places where things blow up with some regularity? Do they unwind with such stuff in Tel Aviv or Thailand? … Or can an everyman like Jack [Bauer] exist only in this decadent superpower?”

— Troy Patterson, writing on “One Nation, Under ‘24,’ “ on Friday in Slate at www.slate.com

Kirk’s culture

“[Philosopher Russell] Kirk considered himself a traditionalist conservative — not a movement conservative, a neoconservative, a libertarian, or a fusionist. He was an advocate of small-town and agrarian culture, rather than urban culture. …

“In international matters, Kirk clung to the old vision of America as a national republic, not a wide-ranging presence for Making Things Right all over the world. … With regard for American influence abroad, Kirk had little faith in the success of culture ‘poured in from the top,’ in John Crowe Ransom’s memorable phrase. …

“Reading ‘The Essential Russell Kirk,’ one is struck by how quotable Kirk can be. On revolution: ‘Revolution slices through the arteries of a culture, a cure that kills.’ The 100 million people who died under Hitler, Stalin, and Mao during the past century would agree, as would their grieving survivors.”

— James E. Person Jr., writing on “Keeping the Faith,” in the Jan. 29 issue of National Review

Hating Christianity

“During the 1930s, Winston Churchill desperately tried to persuade the English people and their government to see that Hitler meant to end their way of life. The British ignored Churchill, which gave Hitler nearly 10 years to build up his military forces. It wasn’t until Hitler actually drew blood that the British realized they had a war on their hands. It turned out to be a far longer and more destructive war than it needed to be had Churchill’s early warning been heeded. …

“Consider the long list of anti-Christian books that have been published in recent months. …

“What is truly alarming is that there are more of these books for sale at your local large book store warning against the perils of fervent Christianity than those warning against the perils of fervent Islam. Does anyone seriously think America is more seriously jeopardized by Christian conservatives than by Islamic zealots? I fear that many Americans believe just that in the same way that many pre-World War II Westerners considered Churchill a bigger threat than Hitler. …

“I fear for an America influenced to detest Christianity by this hate-filled catalog.”

— Rabbi Daniel Lapin, writing on “A Rabbi’s Warning to U.S. Christians,” on Saturday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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