TC3: It wasn't easy for Bush to screw up the overwhelming post-9/11 international support for eradicating terrorism, but he seems to be accomplishing it.
Ackerman: It is no secret that the Bush administration is chock-a-block with advisors and decision-makers who see international political action as fundamentally an exercise in state power.
The Bell: To the extent that we ever really had them, we are on the brink of losing both our moral AND our strategic advantage in the fight to contain terrorism by losing focus and widening our "war" into its traditional and ugly form of conflict among nations.
Authors, Notes: Does anyone know the title of the Damon Runyon story Ackerman is remembering? Or who wrote the manifesto Saletan analyzes? Finally, although he doesn't say so, The Bell's analysis of the change in our anti-terrorism strategy parallels John Lewis Gaddis' analysis of the shift in containment policy between Kennan's "X" article and Nitze's NSC-68 in Strategies of Containment … 11:35 a.m.
Why We Spite: Forgot to mention it, but Zathras' response to Michael Kinsley's attack on William Bennett and the discourse of evil was the best of neocon reasoning. (Apologies to him if he disagrees with that characterization.) 10:10 a.m.
Live at Budokan: David Edelstein's review of Secretary and The Banger Sisters was bound to occasion some debate: is having the kind of sex you want to have (whichever kind it is) a sign of autonomy or a symptom of a culture that wants you to want bad things? Although they are not in the same thread, Eddie (here) and Thomas Jefferson (here) have forcefully taken opposing sides in a debate about the contours of sexual freedom in the Movies Fray.
Dirty Dancing: Following up Rob Walker's discussion of how commercials may be replacing radio as the place to discover new music, Ex-Singer Songwriter and Anonymous debated whether selling out is worse that selling nothing at all (starting here), but Dave Rygalski posed a question herethat goes to the heart of kitsch:
What's worse: A hooky, cheesy song getting in your head because you heard it on a commercial or because it was a TV theme song? Bought any cutout Rembrandts lately?
The Thief Lord of the Rings: Moira Redmond carved out a new niche for The Thief Lord beyond "the next Harry Potter." In the Culturebox Fray, &kathleen started a nice discussion of children's fantasy literature here while twiffer lamented the sorry state of book marketing (and reviewing) here.
Beck and Call: Not much doing in the Music Box Fray, even though Beck spent all weekend on the cover. Are there no Harry Nilsson fans? … 9:50 a.m.
Friday, Sept. 20, 2002
Candyman II: Farewell to the Cash: The Moneybox Fray discussion of Daniel Gross' piece on the meltdown of the Hershey sale started slowly but has picked up since it was featured. Food-industry consultant-types pondered the fate of family-owned companies here while Baltimore Aureole ridiculed the idea of diversification behind the sale here:
good thing the hershey trustees didn't sell the company in 2000 ... to satisfy Gross' diversification mandate, they might have invested the proceeds in Enron, WorldCom, AOL Time Warner, Tyco, Lucent. were there any winners over the past 2 years?