- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Honored as ‘worst’

“[MSNBC’s Keith] Olbermann named me ‘The Worst Person in the World.’ …

“What act of mine, you might wonder, qualified me for such a distinction? Had I provided a prestigious platform for the president of Iran, the Persian Hitler whose agents are presently killing American troops in the Middle East and who has openly called for the elimination of the Jewish state? Had I perhaps produced a full page ad in the New York Times, which declared the leader of our troops in Iraq a traitor? Did I perhaps coin the name ‘General Betray Us’ as a not-so-clever way to tarnish an American hero? No, as a matter of fact, Keith Olbermann did that.

“What I did to deserve this distinction was organize a nationwide campus effort called ‘Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week,’ which will be held on over 100 campuses on Oct. 22-26. … This is shaping up as the largest conservative student protest ever and has the anti-American left in a frenzy.”

David Horowitz, writing on “The Worst Person in the World,” Monday at FrontPage Mag.com

Green gospel

“Sometime back in the 1980s, Western societies gave up on the project of rescuing ‘traditional values’ and morality. From time to time, conservative politicians and moral entrepreneurs have attempted to launch back-to-basics crusades promoting ‘family values.’ However, their lack of popular appeal has only exposed society’s estrangement from these traditions. …

“Forced onto the defensive and sensitive to the charge of being out of touch with public concerns, Western religions have looked for new ways of rebuilding their authority. …

“In recent years, some in the church have sought to gain the public’s ear through the greening of traditional doctrines, and Christ the Savior is fast becoming Christ the environmental activist. Western society is continually in search of rituals and symbols through which moral probity can be affirmed. It appears that, for many church leaders, the project of saving the planet offers more opportunities for reconstituting rituals and symbols than the saving of souls.”

— Frank Furedi, writing on “In search of eco-salvation,” Thursday in Spiked at www.spiked-online.com

Gang dancing

“ ’West Side Story’ opened 50 years ago … at the Winter Garden on Broadway, and half-a-century on, when the Jets take off, in blue jeans and sneakers, thrusting up from the stage, arms stretching out to make their huge signature Ts in the air, audiences still thrill. … ‘West Side Story’ is the trick so many musicals since have never quite pulled off: great storytelling in American dance. …

“ ’West Side’ symbolized the possibilities of the future: New stories told in new ways. ‘West Side’ doesn’t have an opening number as such, just a wordless musical ‘Prologue’ to accompany the Sharks and Jets as they dance out — or mime — their increasing hostility until, finally, the Shark leader cuts off the ear of a Jet. … On its very opening night it risked sniggers: the gentlemen of the chorus nancying about pretending to be tough guys. But the audience bought it: Jerome Robbins, Broadway’s master stager, proved you could tell a story about gang warfare through show dancing.”

Mark Steyn, writing on “West Side Story at 50,” at SteynOnline.com

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