I guess I must be a big adolescent dork. I have read Catcher in the Rye about every two years since I was 15. Now I am 50, and I grew up to be phony as hell. (I always knew I would.) But who cares? I think the book always shows me something new, every time I read it.
Every adolescent is sensitive and scared, and it doesn't hurt for those feelings to be pandered to. Catcher in the Rye doesn't "pander" to adolescents any more than Harry Potter or the Chronicles of Narnia pander to children and to their desires to be the heroes in their own epics. For that matter, all literature, all entertainment panders. You don't think that Madame Bovary panders to the bored, adolescent girl in all of us, or Anna Karenina to the dissatisfied wife? Thoreau panders to the hippie in us who wants to walk into the woods and live primitive and free. Tom Sawyer panders to the puckish sicko in us who wants to witness his own funeral. Holden Caufield will live forever. He transcends the puny little author who created him.
Jacob Weisberg provides an innocent alternative explanation for the independent Bush ad that frowns on "too much diversity." But that's the whole idea of coded messages—they can be masked by the innocent alternative explanation. Weisberg argues that only liberals think the word "diversity" means race, and that a literal reading of the commercial's text reveals a different meaning. But does it really? What's the other meaning of diversity that would be so obvious and commonsensical to me if only I weren't blinded by liberalism? Is there anyone in America who would use the word diversity to refer to "drugs and violence," as Weisberg asserts? Besides, the mother in the spot is talking about "too much" diversity—and presumably any amount of "drugs and violence" would be too much for her. In a commercial about public education, where diversity does have a particular meaning that has in part to do with race, it doesn't take a big leap to see an implied connection: that the continuum that begins with exposure to multiracial and multiethnic perspectives ends with Jason joining a street gang.
Subject: Profit-Taking on Poll Numbers
Re: " Moneybox: Did Gore Make Intel Miss Its Numbers?"
Date: Fri Sept 22 11:04 p.m. PT
The link between populist Al Gore's poll numbers and the Dow Jones Industrial Average may in fact be tenuous. On the other hand, DJIA components Philip Morris and Microsoft have gone up and down precisely in unity with George W. Bush's poll numbers, with little other reason for those stock prices to move. There's no doubt that a Bush administration would be friendlier to those two companies, and that overzealous Clinton Justice Department policies have deflated their stock prices. I made a pretty penny this year flipping tobacco stocks to coincide with the expected poll bounces from the two conventions.
James Q. Wilson makes some valid points; however, there is another side to the issue. A debt of the size we have now means that each one of us, on the average, pays something like a thousand dollars per year in taxes just to cover interest on the debt, before we can get a penny's worth of national defense, welfare benefits, or anything else. Leaving this debt to our children is morally questionable, especially considering that they did not consent to contract or pay it. Government debt differs from personal or business debt in that most of the debtors did not consent to most of the borrowing.
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