From the Archives: June 2021
Excerpts from Reason's vaults
20 years ago
"That's a glib dismissal of a complex issue. In one couple I know, the father had to drop out of a graduate program in music when he learned that a baby was on the way; he finds his current corporate job boring and exhausting and hates the long hours away from his son. The mother, who quit an office job she never much liked, seems to be enjoying her time at home. Who's making the sacrifice?"
"The Mommy Tax"
"But in the interest of brevity (and sanity), let's pause over only one reason to be dismayed by this 21st-century Beatlemania. The return of the Beatles serves a darker purpose than simply filling the sable-lined pockets of George, Paul, Ringo, and Yoko with a few more shekels (though it certainly does that): It allows leading-edge baby boomers to once again assert their supposed generational exceptionalism."
"Long and Whining Road"
25 years ago
"Children, like hard cases, can make bad law. The child at risk is a stark, powerful image that strikes deep, even if we have no children ourselves. Government endeavors in pursuit of security and prosperity for children have a decided P.R. advantage."
"The aggressive protectionism advocated by some candidates resonates with a worrisome number of voters. Trade measures would be met by retaliation, and full-scale trade wars with Japan and the European Union, thus far mercifully avoided, might erupt. The economic damage to future generations would be enormous."
"Despite the chipper tone of its ads, the Postal Service is facing a hostile world. That's not just due to the Postal Service's uneven delivery performance, legendarily bad customer relations, or reputation for breeding trigger-happy employees—though those don't help, either."
35 years ago
"The Republicans are on the side of the angels on economic issues, and the Democrats know it. Laments Christopher Matthews, an aide to House Speaker Tip O'Neill, 'We Democrats will never win the baby-boomers if we are seen as the party of tax increases.'"
"Making Republicanism Cool"
"Some may find good sport in the prospect of hoisting the left with its own petard. Yet this would only compound the damage the judicial process has already suffered from rulings giving precedence to political ideology (and political prejudice) over the law. The cure for this damage is not a succession of new Sacco and Vanzetti cases but a restoration of the primacy of the rule of law. Politics should be banished from the courtroom."
"Bias on the Bench"
"The Equalizer is clearly not intended for channel-flipping twelve-year-olds with eight-second attention spans, although even they may be able to appreciate the subtle beauty of the show, perhaps without quite knowing why. Regardless of what may happen when the fall season begins, it is remarkable that a new television show in the detective/spy genre, which together with all other shows must struggle in the life-threatening ratings competition, has not (excessively) resorted to the cheap but effective tricks of the trade: bikini-clad bimbos, machine gun-bullet hailstorms, and tire-squealing car chases. Can that be right? No car chases? Somebody must have been snoozing at the network."
"The Spy Who Found Honor"
50 years ago
"Let's stop this prattling about the Great Significance of Rock and take rock for what it is. Rock is a sociological, not a musical, phenomenon. It is the background noise for the various love-ins, group-ins, festivals, etc. where one goes to blow one's mind, not to use it or to expand its capabilities. At its best, rock provides elementary rhythmic accompaniment to poetry. Serious music is in enough trouble without people being sidetracked by the trivial escapades of nonentities. Let's start getting serious about music."
"Fed Up With Rock"