|Core: noun, the most important part of a thing, the essence; from the Latin cor, meaning heart.|
|Needless Commentary from Small-Town America|
The Weblog at The View from the Core - Saturday, December 20, 2003
10 Places to See Before You Die
My friend Sherry directs me here.
St. Linus Review
Scheduled for first publication in Autumn 2004, St. Linus Review is a new semi-annual magazine of poetry and short prose by orthodox Catholic writers, traditionally printed and mailed to our subscribers....
"The Young and the Pointless"
Interesting article by Eric Felten at OpinionJournal, yesterday, which (in part) attempts to explain why so little on TV is actually worth watching.
As America heads out to shop this last weekend before Christmas, the tube is packed with come-ons. There are pitches for plasma-screen TVs, Cat-In-The-Hat this-and-that, luxury cars and Old Navy half-zip performance fleece pullovers. Given the mark-ups on big-ticket items sold to wealthy adults, you'd think that TV shows with affluent older demographics would command the priciest ad slots. You'd think wrong.
In one crucial regard, for advertisers Christmas is no different from the rest of the year: They want to be where the boys are. Advertisers are willing to pay a steep premium to show their wares to young men (and women) in the "all-important," "coveted," "highly desirable" choose your adjective 18-to-34 age group. Imagine the consternation last month when the networks got the latest Nielsen ratings. Nielsen couldn't really say where the boys were, but where they weren't was watching network TV. NBC's youth flagship "Friends" lost nearly 30% of its young-adult viewers over the past year; Fox's "24" plunged 37% among the age group. The networks accused Nielsen of slipshod research; Nielsen replied that it knew how to count.
You can't blame network execs for their distress. Advertisers regularly pay more than twice as much to air commercials on shows that deliver the youth market. The question is: Why? You'd think they would follow Willie Sutton's motto and go where the money is. And when it comes to selling stuff especially expensive stuff the money is in the pockets of consumers over 45....
A few years ago the Chicago Symphony commissioned a survey that found the average age of its concert-goers to be 55. But the orchestra's president, Henry Fogel, didn't fall for the actuarial fallacy. Instead he checked similar research done 30 years earlier and found that the average age at that time was also 55. "There is simply a time in one's life when subscribing to a symphony orchestra becomes both desirable and possible," says Mr. Fogel, now president of the American Symphony Orchestra League. Acting on this insight, the Chicago Symphony is wooing boomers who, though they may still enjoy their old Beatles records, long for a new musical experience. The orchestra has targeted new subscribers by advertising on, of all places, a local "classic rock" station....
Do They Hate GWB Because of His Faith?
Terry Eastland writes at OpinionJournal, Dec. 17:
.... If the Founders were neither atheists nor fundamentalists, neither were they coreligionists. Thus America became the first nation to disestablish religion and to protect the free exercise of religion by law. It is this political tradition, duly informed by religion, that Mr. Bush draws upon in his own governing, for instance when he welcomes people of faiths different from his own, or of no faith at all.
Mr. Bush hasn't used the word "evangelical" to describe his religious convictions, but in some ways it fits. The origins of evangelicalism go back to the Great Awakening the revivals that began in New England in the 1740s and spread down through the Middle Colonies and the South. The preachers at these revivals (and at later ones) stressed the importance of a "new birth," i.e., a conversion or a commitment to Christ. The great New England theologian Jonathan Edwards called it a new "sense of the heart."
For almost two centuries, such Protestantism did much to shape the American character. But it lost its unified force in the 1920s, when various forms of theological liberalism captured the mainline churches. Evangelicalism re-emerged in the 1950s and has since assumed a higher profile in American society. Billy Graham, whom the president heard that day at a family gathering, has been its leading figure.
So it is that you may draw a line in American history from the Great Awakening to that day four years ago when candidate George W. Bush, asked by a reporter to name his favorite philosopher, replied, "Christ, because he changed my heart." Mr. Bush did not say that Christ was his favorite political adviser. Ye who live in Blue States, please take note.
How to Turn the News to Your Favor No Matter What It Is
A Brief Guide for the Leftist Media
Janet Daley hits one out of the park in The Telegraph, Dec. 17:
I am stunned with admiration at the mental agility of the anti-war lobby. Having spent months taunting George W Bush and Tony Blair for their failure to capture Saddam Hussein, and thus accomplish one of the most fundamental aims of the "illegal war" in Iraq, it was able to recover its composure almost instantaneously when the worst happened.
Within minutes of Paul Bremer pronouncing the words "We got him" to ecstatic cheers from Iraqi journalists, there were solemn-faced experts crowding on to my television screen to proclaim that the capture was largely irrelevant, or positively counter-productive, to the present difficulties in Iraq.
The very same interviewers who had once invited their interviewees to prophesy endless anarchy as a consequence of America's inability to locate this man were now asking more or less the same people if his arrest was not pretty useless after all. Or (better yet) if it might not "inflame" the situation even further....
So, being as resourceful as it clearly is, the anti-war (which is to say, the anti-American) party may not need any help at all. But, in the seasonal spirit of good will, I offer a guide to Guardian comment writers, BBC interviewers and Labour backbenchers on how to deal with any foreseeable circumstance that may arise from the current state of emergency.
What To Say If:
Saddam refuses to co-operate with his interrogators.
Saddam sings like a canary, identifying the perpetrators of insurgency.
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|Needless Commentary from Small-Town America|
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