- The Washington Times - Monday, September 1, 2003

TV agenda

“This season the CBS reality show ‘The Amazing Race’ featured a homosexual couple referred to throughout as ‘married.’

“That couple, Reighen Lehmkuhl and Chip Arndt, won the million-dollar prize. Now, Lehmkuhl, an Air Force Academy graduate and former Air Force officer, is becoming the public face for an effort to end the ban on ‘gays’ in the military.

“Lehmkuhl is taking part in a ‘documentary’ on the 10-year history of the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. …

“The saturation of pro-homosexual images on TV will not fade away with summer’s heat. The fall programming line-up includes ABC’s ‘It’s All Relative,’ a sitcom centering on the life of a young couple and their quirky relatives. One set of parents is Irish Catholic; the other set is homosexual.

“Ellen DeGeneres will also return, with a syndicated talk show. Unlike her previous sitcoms where DeGeneres’ own lesbianism became entwined in the shows’ plotline, DeGeneres is ‘backing away’ from her on-screen activism.

“‘People know I’m gay,’ she told Hollywood television critics in July. ‘There’s [nothing] left to talk about.’”

Martha Kleder, writing on “‘Gay’ TV Steps Up ‘Reality’ Programming,” last Tuesday in the Culture and Family Report

Problematic pill

“When it was launched five years ago, Viagra was hailed as a wonder drug that would revolutionize the sex lives of millions of men and women. …

“Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, a urologist at Harvard Medical School … says it is causing more problems for some couples than it solves. … According to Dr. Morgentaler, Viagra is triggering a male sexual revolution in a similar way the Pill did for women during the ‘60s.

“But far from liberating men from impotence, it is forcing them to confront previously hidden emotional problems in relationships — and many are opting to return to the physical frustration of the bedroom rather than face other issues.

“Dr. Morgentaler … says he has seen male patients who have decided to stop taking Viagra because it has increased their partner’s expectations of them between the sheets. Others are taking Viagra — then leaving their partners after realizing that while they may now be able to have sex, they are simply not attracted to their wives or girlfriends.”

Maxine Frith, writing on “How was it for you? Viagra can leave a trail of ruined lives and shattered hopes, says expert,” Aug. 26 in the Independent

Sontag-ism

“Susan Sontag — critic, novelist, playwright, director of stage and screen, political gadfly — has provoked raves and ravings and jingling aphorisms from admirers and detractors for the past four decades. …

“Brilliant, beautiful and ablaze with ambition, Sontag by her early 30s had intellectual New York at her feet. …

“Following the moral trajectory of Jane Fonda, she went to Hanoi in 1968 and prated formulaically in Esquire about the virtues of her communist hosts and the evils of the imperialist power prosecuting an unjust war against so nice-looking a people. …

“A 1969 article in Ramparts offered instruction in how best to love the Cuban Revolution, which — despite ‘one bad moment’ when the island’s population of known homosexuals was consigned to penal re-education — had freed the Cuban people to be their true joyous selves. …

“When not busy cruising the garden spots of the Unfree World, Sontag was empowering the sisterhood back home with accounts of her abortion; urging lesbians to stand tall; promoting boycotts of sexist toymakers … and, with her inimitable coruscating wit, delivering such bon mots as, ‘The white race is the cancer of human history.’”

Algis Valiunas, writing on “Sister Sontag,” in the August-September issue of the American Spectator

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