- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 19, 2004

Wedding bell blues

“[J]ust when marriage in America’s heating up as a political hot-button — with legions of gays reportedly ready to storm the barricades of this sacred institution — fairytale sweethearts Ken and Barbie break up right before Valentine’s Day, after 43 years together. What a shame. Or could this just be a marketing ploy for Single Barbie? …

“Ah, yes, she finally dumped her commitment-phobic swain. About time. …

“Sometimes these ‘permanent’ relationships seem so endless, don’t they, and not in a good way. Didn’t Clark Kent and Lois Lane date for 50 years? …

“While I understand perfectly well why gay couples would seek legal standing for their unions, I say, better them than me. I’m not rushing down the aisle anytime soon, I can assure you that. For me, the sanctity of marriage was breached by Britney’s drive-by Vegas nuptials, if not before.”

Maralyn Lois Polak, writing on “The marriage chronicles: Post-marital Barbie, end of an era,” Wednesday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Killer culture

“Hollywood has become to the right what big corporations are to the left. When it comes to criticizing popular entertainment, the two targets coincide, and the differences between left and right dissolve. I vividly remember the ghastly sight of Jesse Jackson and Bill Bennett appearing together on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ a decade ago, united in their eagerness to protect vulnerable youth from cultural pollution. …

“Syracuse University historian Elizabeth Lasch-Quinn sees America awash in a culture of moral obscenity. Popular culture routinely strips people of their humanity, she argues, tediously detailing content analyses showing, for example, that ‘children who watch an average amount of TV see 8,000 murders and more than 100,000 other acts of violence during their elementary school years.’ She adds, ‘By renting just four videos — “Total Recall,” “Robocop 2,” “Rambo III,” and “Die Hard III” — a child would witness 525 deaths.’ ”

Carl F. Horowitz, writing on “Teenage Wasteland,” in Reason this month

‘So much misery’

“These days, it’s hard to open a magazine without reading about some novel development in infertility medicine. …

“Yet as one of the millions of women who are now, by choice or circumstance, postponing pregnancy, I became curious: If you’re a woman who’s not yet trying to conceive, but may someday want to, is there any way to know your future fertility? …

“By the time a woman reaches her late 20s, it may take a little longer for her to conceive; by her mid- to late 30s, it can become dramatically more difficult. And by her early 40s, harder still. …

“For women, the general decline in fertility that comes with age seems to stem in good part from the decline in what’s called ‘ovarian reserve’ — the quality and quantity of a woman’s eggs. A woman is born with a finite number of eggs; over time, her supply dwindles. …

“One infertility doctor recommended to me that everybody who’s 30 should spend a day in an [in vitro fertilization] clinic, just to observe the experience. ‘You’re going to see so much misery,’ he told me, ‘that you’ll go home and throw your [birth control] pills out the window.’ ”

Eliza McCarthy, writing on “Fertile Ground,” Tuesday in Slate at www.slate.com

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