I was troubled by a persistent soft-pedaling of the identification of the attackers as Muslims –as if the mere reporting of that fact would be offensive and politically incorrect.
Because seven years have passed since 9/11 without another attack on native soil, many Americans, particularly urban professionals, seem to have been lulled into a false feeling of security. But jihadism as a world movement — even if its membership is a tiny fraction of young Muslim men — will continue to pose a serious threat to every open democratic society over the next century and more…
I was so outraged when I read Cavett’s column [about Sarah Palin] that I felt like taking to the air like a Valkyrie and dropping on him at his ocean retreat in Montauk in the chichi Hamptons. How can it be that so many highly educated Americans have so little historical and cultural consciousness that they identify their own native patois as an eternal mark of intelligence, talent and political aptitude?
In sonorous real life, Cavett’s slow, measured, self-interrupting and clause-ridden syntax is 50 years out of date. Guess what: There has been a revolution in English — registered in the 1950s in the street slang, colloquial locutions and assertive rhythms of both Beat poetry and rock ‘n’ roll and now spread far and wide on the Web in the standard jazziness of blogspeak. Does Cavett really mean to offer himself as a linguistic gatekeeper for political achievers in this country?
I thought we’d gotten over the adolescent tantrum phase of gay activism, typified by ACT UP’s 1989 invasion of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where the communion host was thrown on the floor. Want to cause a nice long backlash to gay rights? That’s the way to do it.
I may be an atheist, but I respect religion and certainly find it far more philosophically expansive and culturally sustaining than the me-me-me sense of foot-stamping entitlement projected by too many gay activists in the unlamented past.
In their displeasure at the California vote, gay activists have fomented animosity among African-Americans who voted for Proposition 8 and who reject any equivalence between racism and homophobia. Do gays really want to split the Democratic coalition? (…) marriage is a very poor fit with the actual open lifestyle of so many gay men, which is far more radical. Marriage may be desirable for some gay men and women, but at what cost? Activists should have focused instead on removing all impediments to equality in civil unions — such as the unjust denial of Social Security benefits to the surviving partner in gay relationships.