Top 10 Letters
Boomers, Sponge Bob, reflections from a Muslim U.S. soldier, and more.
12:00 AM, Jul 14, 2003
THE DAILY STANDARD welcomes letters to the editor. Letters will be edited for length and clarity and must include the writer's name, city, and state.
It's worth pointing out that the only reason we Boomers were so successful in screwing up the world is because there were so darn many of us (Joel Engel, No WE'RE the Greatest Generation). We overwhelmed every body else by numbers alone--certainly it wasn't our half-baked, nonsensical ideas regarding morality or behavior. We opposed the Vietnam because it interfered with our partying; we supported abortion rights and non marital sexual relationships because we were spoiled brats who never learned to take responsibility for ourselves; we glorified drug and alcohol abuse because we couldn't tolerate any kind of restrictions on our appetites, and our parents let us get away with all this nonsense because of all the suffering and heartbreak they had experienced during the Great Depression and World War II.
Our parents wanted to make life easier for us and let us avoid the sort of unhappiness they had to endure, and we ended up little more than neurotic materialists, drugged up, unable to make commitments beyond one or two nights, and selfish beyond belief. I will mention just one more of our accomplishments: the near total destruction of the best educational system in the history of the world. Now our children not only can't read and understand anything but comic books, they don't even want to.
At a USC film school class, Dennis Hopper screened a prerelease of "Easy Rider." We were impressed. In the midst of techie film questions, someone asked what the message of the film was. Hopper said it was contained in the campfire scene at the end when Billy says to Captain America, "We blew it." Most people don't think of Hopper as prophet, but I believe he saw something then about Boomer culture that remains unchanged even today: Like Billy and Captain America, the Boomers' pointless quest for sensation is coming to end with nothing to show for it but frequent flyer miles.
Joel Engel has come to his realization of Boomer greatness rather late. Had he arrived at Berkeley a few years earlier, he would have seen the Free Speech Movement culminate in the Filthy Speech Movement, during which one aspiring Alfred Jarry stood in Sproul Plaza not speaking about voting rights or ending the war in Vietnam, but merely holding up a sign with the "F" word written on it.
At the end of Europa, Europa, Lee Bockhorn states that the French are "economically, and culturally" opposed to U.S. interests. This is not entirely correct. Does Paris have more in common with New York or Tehran?
I would think Bockhorn might see beyond the superficial nature of the conflict between France and America. But instead he tends to use "French" and "Frenchness" in the same way his predecessors a generation ago referred to "Communism."
Europe has had hundreds of years of bloody conflict and would not wish to intercede in more than a political way against American imperialism. They are simply pursuing their interests, something the U.S. has done with impunity for the past 50 years.
Enjoy your country's current dominance. Because it won't last forever.
I agree with Larry Miller that "Sponge Bob" is a great show (Would You Please Take Off That Hat). Our family's favorite, actually. It has more insight into ethics and basic human nature than anything on, say, PBS.
With all due respect to Terry Eastland, suggest that the Office of Civil Rights has an extremely bad history when it comes to constitutional protections as either driving or limiting its regulatory power (Is O'Connor's Ruling an Oncoming Train . . .).
My own experience with the drumbeat of horror stories at colleges and universities over the last quarter century tells me that the Department of Education's OCR will take those parts of O'Connor's opinion it likes, run with them, and ignore the rest.
I don't disagree with anything Lee Bockhorn says about the new Europe, but I take exception to the exclusive emphasis he places on the supposed threat such a European superstate would pose to American power.