Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cigarette-smoking quotations
  • Prim power. As a typical man in this instance I don’t like the frumpy frocks being praised but this line from Helen is good (related to YFhood): Prim is rare; prim has standards; prim is the opposite of mousy. What’s going on between postmodern conservatism and vintage fashion?
  • One on a book I’ve not read (but from a writer I know of: The Quiet American and The Power and the Glory) but like Waugh in Brideshead Revisited this seems to point out that Catholicism’s view of good and evil isn’t the cartoon its enemies and even some of its well-intentioned friends think.
  • Soft eugenics and autonomy. What the PC really think. By eliminating less perfect humans, deformity and disability become more pronounced and less acceptable. Those who escape the net of screening are often viewed as mistakes or burdens. A tragic choice becomes a presumption — “Didn’t you get an amnio?” [think ‘Well, I never!’ but in a Valley Girl accent] — and then a prejudice. And this feeds a social Darwinism in which the stronger are regarded as better, the dependent are viewed as less valuable, and the weak must occasionally be culled. The decision to carry a mentally retarded child to term means something different in a world where ninety percent of women in that position choose not to. In such a world, the assumption will be that the mother is either a well-to-do woman who can comfortably afford to have an extraordinary child—call it “Variations on a Theme of Angelina Jolie” — or a pro-lifer whose (self-imposed) absolutist beliefs are responsible for her situation.

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