- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Enduring hero

John Wayne reigned as one of Hollywood’s kings for nearly 40 years, and his support of his country’s war efforts — from American settlement of the West to stopping Communism both here and abroad — got him into trouble as the nation’s ideas about patriotism took a sharp turn to the left. …

“[W]hy then is there no John Wayne today? Anyone who surveys the current scene and is old enough to remember the days of the Duke surely knows the answer. The sublime Katharine Hepburn summed it up more eloquently than anyone:

“ ’John Wayne is the hero of the ‘30s and ‘40s and most of the ‘50s. Before the creeps came creeping in. Before — in the ‘60s — the hero slid right down into the valley of the weak and the misunderstood. Before the women began dropping any pretense to virginity into the gutter. With a disregard for truth, which is indeed pathetic. And unisex was born. The hair grew long and the pride grew short. And we were off to the anti-hero. John Wayne survived all this.’ ”

Lisa Fabrizio, writing on “The Duke of America,” June 27 in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Youth revolution

“I recently attended a conference featuring pastors in the ‘emerging’ church in the United States. …

“One of the emerging church leaders featured in Emerging Churches is Mark Driscoll, pastor of the three-campus Mars Hill Church. Mars Hill is a 6,000 member conservative mega-church in — get this — the city of Seattle.

“To grow from a house church to a 6,000 member mega-church in 10 years is an entrepreneurial achievement. …

“Driscoll is a 30-something leading a church of conservative 20-somethings. What is his secret?

“He understands that to attract young people you can’t just bring them in and sit them down. You have to put them to work and you have to give them power. The pot-smoking hippie Bon Jovi fan who walked into his church a few years ago is now the executive pastor keeping the church buses running on time.

“But when you give young people power, they are going to change things.

“That is the reason for young people. Not knowing any better they rashly enter upon careers and marriages, start churches, magazines, think tanks, and foment revolution.”

Christopher Chantrill, writing on “Conservative NextGen,” Thursday in AmericanThinker.com

‘Rainbow’ forever

“[M]illions of songs have festooned the parade of American pop culture, but none is more beloved than ‘Over the Rainbow.’

“All the ‘[Wizard of] Oz’ score was lacking … was the song that would establish their main character, a spunky but discontented 12-year-old girl from Kansas named Dorothy. Narrative shows of the … Golden Age of American musicals usually had a song up front in which the main character told the audience what he or she was yearning for. …

“ ’Over the Rainbow’ went on to win the Academy Award for Best Song. …

“[Judy] Garland always retained reverence for the song that made her a star. In a newspaper interview from 1969, the year she died, she said, ‘ ”Rainbow” has always been my song. I get emotional — one way or the other — about every song I sing. But maybe I get more emotional about “Rainbow.” I never shed any phony tears about it. Everybody has songs that make them cry. That’s my sad song.’ ”

Laurence Maslon, writing on “The Wizards of Oz,” in the July-August issue of the American Interest

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