Xtreme Goes Mainstream
Does extreme mean anything anymore? Take the X Games. When the competitions began in 1995, the idea of defying gravity with skate- and snowboards was fringey and far out. Now the X games seem to come around every month or so. Snowboarder Shaun White has chewing gum named for him. Extreme weather happens nearly every day. Political extremists get elected all the time. Religious extremism "is alive and well —in Christian, Muslim, Jewish manifestations in the US," says Harvard Divinity School theologian Diana Eck. "I think religious extremism does mean something and is a far better locution than 'fundamentalism,' which distorts."