- - Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Kermit who?

“The story of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist who ran what a Grand Jury report referred to as ‘a baby charnel house,’ where viable babies — ‘big enough to walk around with me or walk me to the bus,’ as Gosnell joked — were delivered and then outright killed with a ‘snip’ to the spinal cord, their feet sometimes severed for souvenirs, is one the press quickly consigned to the memory hole. It is not being talked about by the ‘strong feminist’ voices on daytime TV, or on night time cable news. There are no headlines, no feature articles in leading magazines.

“The mainstream media, confronted with a house of horrors that was gestated and born of a single-minded mania for ‘protecting choice for women’ had no choice but to report on Gosnell being charged for the murder of one woman who died while under his dubious ‘care’ (another womans death had been ‘settled’ for a financial consideration), and they mush-mouthed their way through his killing of at least seven living, viable babies, but they did not like this story.

“They did not want to discuss that authorities had repeatedly received reports of Gosnells mayhem and had chosen to look the other way. They did not want to have to mention that Gosnells disgusting, ‘third-world’ abortion mill … would still be running, unimpeded, were it not for an investigation into illegal drug trafficking.”

Elizabeth Scalia, writing on “Gosnell Headlines? Gone, Baby, Gone!” Feb. 1 at the First Things blog On the Square

All privileged

“At the end of this summer, I had the fortune to attend a sexual freedom conference in D.C. … At one point, however, an extremely (and admittedly) butch Latino lesbian took a genuinely moving speech about her resulting personal struggles to a crescendo. That crescendo was ending a sentence with something about ‘fighting against the oppressive tyrannies of white men.’ She paused then, as the entire room lit up with the kind of furious applause usually saved for a game-saving Steelers touchdown. I cheered too but didn’t feel good when I was doing it.

“Four years spent in queer media have taught me a fair amount about privilege, about the ways that my gay life is easier for reasons as basic as the color of my skin and the fact that my gender matches my biology. But the more I try to reconcile these privileges with my desire to create an equal queer world, the more I am left with one question: Can a nontrans, white gay man ever truly leave the comforts of his own identity without having to make frequent and loud apologies for the crimes of his ilk?”

Zack Rosen, writing on “In Defense Of The Gay White Male,” on Jan. 27 at Jezebel

Bad casting

“When reports came that cross-dressing comedian Tyler Perry, best known for his Madea character and films, would be stepping into Morgan Freeman’s (‘Kiss the Girls,’ ‘Along Came a Spider’) shoes as author James Patterson’s badass D.C. homicide detective Alex Cross in the film ‘I, Alex Cross,’ people were left stunned. After all, it was thought to be a done-deal that Idris Elba, the hulking star of ‘The Wire,’ would be playing Cross; and Perry, for all his comedic talents, is no Idris Elba. The news got us thinking of other actors who were miscast as famous literary characters in films. …

“Chief among the laundry list of problems plaguing director Ron Howard’s adaptation of Dan Brown’s bestselling novel, ‘The Da Vinci Code’ — the long-winded speeches, sluggish direction, and that seemingly endless sequence at Ian McKellan’s mansion, for starters — is the casting of Tom Hanks in the title role of Robert Langdon. …

“In the novel, Langdon is described as looking like ‘Harrison Ford in Harris tweed.’ And Hanks, with his doughy physique and a mop of hair reminiscent of Nicolas Cage’s in ‘Bangkok Dangerous,’ is a far cry from Harrison Ford here.”

Marlow Stern, writing on “Hollywood’s Dumbest Casting Choices,” on Feb. 2 at the Daily Beast