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Vol. IV No. 3   ·   Week of 11 August 2000   

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In The News

This year's Republican National Convention ended with some 25,000 pumped-up Republicans cheering GOP nominee George W. Bush's promise to "seize this moment" in Philadelphia on August 3. "This many-sided drama, for all of its baloney - in a way because of its baloney - embodies something like civic piety, an important symbolic action," writes Robert Pinsky, a CAS professor of English, in the August 1 Christian Science Monitor. With his perspective as outgoing U.S. poet laureate, Pinsky covered the convention for the Monitor. "I find myself proudly hailing the Republican delegates, and their drama here," he adds, "even while I don't respond well to their ticket."

"She's thoughtful, rational, logical. She pays very careful attention to evidence and to arguments," says Chancellor John Silber, speaking of Lynne Cheney, on ABC World News Tonight on August 2. The wife of the Republican vice presidential nominee headed the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1986 to 1993 and drew fire for her lack of sympathy for political correctness. "She put a stop to the political agenda at the NEH, and that's why so many scholars are upset," Silber says in a July 26 Boston Globe story.

"The conventions were once a high point in America's quadrennial presidential politics," says Robert Dallek, a CAS professor of history. In the July 21 Australian Financial Review he warns that if public interest this year is anything to go by, "20 or 30 years from now they may have succumbed to public boredom."

"Books trigger an emotional response, and women are much more able to talk about emotional issues than men," says Shari Thurer, a SAR adjunct associate professor of rehabilitation counseling, in the July 23 Boston Globe. The story reflects on the curious fact that book clubs have proliferated but attracted a largely female membership. "A novel is like an inkblot, a Rorschach test: The way you respond will reveal something about you, and that may be threatening for men in groups because masculinity is a front they have to keep up," says Thurer, who has been a member of a women's book club for 25 years.

Referring to "Kim," by rapper Eminem, a song with references to domestic violence, Joseph Boskin, a CAS professor of history, says in the August 3 Boston Globe, "You know kids . . . are hearing this song. If not this one, then other ones just as bad. It's part of their social currency." Boskin, who studies the connection between values and violence, refers to the dangerous messages elementary schoolchildren may find in such songs and calls for discussion of them in the classroom. "In the absence of discussion," he says, "we leave them to their peers' interpretation, which accepts messages at face value."

"In The News" is compiled by Alexander Crouch in the Office of Public Relations.



15 August 2000
Boston University
Office of University Relations