Bad company | 5 years ago | August 10, 2001 | Dan Kennedy considered the Boy Scouts one year after the group's ban on gays was affirmed.
“The streets of Washington, DC, were crawling with Boy Scouts during a trip I took a few weeks ago. Their national jamboree at nearby Fort A.P. Hill was about to begin, and hundreds of uniformed, sweating Scouts could be seen taking in the sights — checking out the FDR Memorial, poring over a map on the Mall, posing for photos on the steps of the Capitol.
“On several occasions I said hello, and was mildly surprised at the response: quiet, polite — and wary. The Boy Scouts of America is an embattled organization these days, and for good reason. But somehow I didn’t expect that defensiveness to be directed my way.
“Perhaps I appeared to be a typical liberal, full of sanctimony and ready to start berating them for their primitive homophobic policies. And, well, yeah. There is that side of me. But I’m also one of them: an Eagle Scout, the assistant leader of my son’s Webelos patrol, and someone who’s deeply concerned about whether Scouting can survive the troglodytism of its leaders.”
Dealbreaker | 10 years ago | August 9, 1996 | Brett Milano made a deal with the devil.
“I admit it: I’m responsible. I’m the ’70s teenager who made that deal with the Devil 20 years ago — the deal that made the ’70s go on forever, the one that froze pop culture dead in its tracks just so some of us could relive our wild youth at everybody else’s expense.
“Being a reasonable sort, he tried to talk me out of it. ‘Now, you’re sure you want to keep music from going any further than it has in 1976. Even if it means, say, that the two biggest concerts 20 years from now will be the Sex Pistols and Kiss?’
‘Sure, why not?’ , I responded. …
“ ‘Even if it means there’ll be a Frampton Comes Alive II?’
“I grit my teeth and nodded yes. …
“ ‘Even if it means that the Who will be on their third comeback by then, and they’ll be letting Billy Idol sing part of Quadrophenia?’
“ ‘Who’s Billy Idol?’ , I responded. ‘Never mind, let’s get on with it.’ …
“ ‘Even if it means that Styx will get back together that year?’
“ ‘Maybe we should think twice about this,’ I said. But I was talked back into it when he assured me I wouldn’t have to see the Styx reunion myself. There are some things even the Devil won’t make you do.”
Film buffs | 15 years ago | August 9, 1991 | Peter Keough described how young African-American filmmakers were revitalizing the film industry.
“ ‘Hollywood has really run out of stories,’ Spike Lee said a few weeks ago in reference to what Boyz N the Hood director John Singleton has labeled the Afrocentric new wave in movie-making. ‘They take the same old shit again and again. The stories we have, none of them have really been told.’
“African-American filmmakers aren’t the only benefactors of Hollywood’s current creative famine. The stories of other oppressed groups — gays, women, and other minorities — long denied expression in mainstream movies have leapt into the storytelling void, rousing the film industry out of its well-fed inertia.