- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Missing moms

“The Million Mom March took place on Sunday. Roughly 999,000 moms decided to stay home. …

“Lost on the organizers, as well as the marchers, is the irony of holding a gun-control rally in Washington, D.C. More than a quarter-century after the nation’s capital banned nearly all private firearms, the city’s gun violence problem has not gotten any better. The latest statistics show that Washington is once again murder capital of the United States. …

“Like a march that promises a million moms but delivers much less, gun control is an idea that sounds better in theory than it works in practice.”

Daniel J. Flynn, writing on “Mother’s Day on the Mall,” Monday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

A weird world’

“Sex education as now taught in the schools has been an abysmal failure except insofar as it has encouraged young people to have sex. A real sex education that aims at students’ virtue and happiness cannot be taught as some isolated part of human experience. Rather … a humane understanding of sex, one that does not regard sex as a simple act of pleasure, be grounded in the study of history, philosophy, and literature. …

“Judging from the perspective of the past, we are living in a weird world. … Throughout most of human history, relations between the sexes have been governed by a system known as courtship. … At the beginning of the 20th century, if a man wanted to court a young woman, he had to call on her at her home. … The couple was never totally alone. … A girl never had to say ‘No’ because she was never asked. Any man who tried to take liberties would have been shown the door. Word would have spread, and he would thenceforth not have been ‘received’ in any respectable home. …

“When I discuss this history of courtship with young people, they immediately recognize the wisdom of this system and the silliness and dangers of our own erotic free-for-all. … When will our schools figure this out and admit the poverty of their own ‘sex education’?”

Terrence Moore, Principal of Ridgeview Classical Schools in Fort Collins, Colo., writing on “A Real Sex Education Should Be Based in the Humanities,” for the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at www.ashbrook.org

Teen TV

“‘The O.C.’ is Fox television’s new hit drama about high-school teens and their families in California’s Orange County, and it’s the most popular teen show on television right now. The series is just one contribution to a genre, or rather to a demographic niche, that has been growing for decades, and that includes movies and television series like ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ and ‘Beverly Hills, 90210.’ …

“‘The O.C.,’ like so much else on television these days, is a fantasy about life masquerading as an ‘honest’ portrayal of life. It’s a marketer’s wish-fulfillment of what they would really like the relationship between teens and adults to be.

“Once you get commercially obsessed with attracting ever younger audiences, you turn those audiences into objects of desire long before they get represented that way on the screen. … But in ‘The O.C.,’ the marketers have projected their desire for young viewers onto the show’s characters themselves. …

“[W]hen the marketers look at adolescents they see sex-obsessed sybarites where there are really sex-baffled naifs striking one worldly pose after another.”

Lee Siegel, writing on “Infantilism,” Monday in the New Republic Online at www.tnr.com

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