The Daily 750

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Friday, November 04, 2005

War? Hunh! Michael Kinsley writes “The Democrats have declared war” on Alito, “without much in the way of weapons.” That’s a Democrat’s war alright, since Vietnam. For a real war you need some Republicans. Harriet Miers, that was a war.

Which model works best in a country -- the melting pot or the salad bowl? Some examples.

Melting pots: America, Britain, Canada, Australia, China.

Salad bowls: India, Switzerland, the former Soviet Union, the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, France.

I’ll have the soup, please.

Every decade gets its TV stereotype. Two that come to mind most prominently are:

1970-80s: There was a brief period of strong, political black men on TV in the ‘60s -- Bill Cosby in I Spy, Pete Dixon on Room 222 -- followed by a lengthy and embarrassing decade or so of the clown and midget or, preferably, both. JJ Walker on Good Times; Sherman Helmsley on The Jeffersons; Gary Coleman on Diff’rent Strokes; Emmanuel Lewis on Webster. (For more on this phenomenon, see Donald Bogle’s book, Primetime Blues.)

2000s: Strong, beautiful women endowed with . . . babyfied voices. Mary Louise Parker and Kristin Chenowith on The West Wing; Geena Davis on Commander in Chief. Those gals on Trump’s Apprentice. Maureen Dowd -- who, contrary to Ariel Levy, does not “purr.”

More on Maureen: My friend Pamela and I have been emailing each other about Maureen. Here’s her latest to me, with which I completely agree::::
I think it's time somebody pointed out that the reason Dowd is unmarried and childless is for the same reason that an obscure, middle-aged assistant city editor in Spokane, Wash. is unmarried and childless: Because she wants to be.

Of course, you can't make a book (or even an essay) out of that. What probably really bothers Dowd is not her unmarried status, but the fact that society still puts down unmarried women as losers, while unmarried men simply aren't judged by their marital status.