- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 13, 2004

Sci-fi reality

“It sounds like a sci-fi movie conceived in the mind of Betty Friedan: Misogynist Muslim males in an Iraqi prison under the control of a female general are leashed like dogs for the amusement of female guards during a game of carnal hijinks — ‘2004: A Sexual Space Odyssey.’

“What once was a men-are-dogs satirical cartoon in feminist magazines is now a photo on the front page of newspapers. Will Hillary Clinton, who sits on the Senate Committee on Armed Services … , apologize for the photo of the female guard leashing a Muslim male? Where did the female GI ever get such an idea — at the March for Women’s Lives? Hillary Clinton spoke at that vile event and wasn’t shocked by the crude behavior there. Why is she so shocked now?’ …

“Can’t the feminists who cried at Charlize Theron’s ‘Monster’ understand the rage this GI must feel? Liberal Hollywood was so shocked at Charlize Theron’s performance as a truck-stop prostitute killing her clients it gave her an Oscar. Shouldn’t Michael Moore and company who cheered at ‘Thelma and Louise,’ who applauded Demi Moore in ‘GI Jane,’ who park their daughters in front of ‘Xena: The Princess Warrior,’ cut this GI a little slack? …

“Life under liberalism is a Sci-Fi movie Stanley Kubrick couldn’t have dreamed up.”

George Neumayr, writing on “2004: A Sexual Space Odyssey,” May 7 in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Future now

“Margaret Atwood’s [novel] ‘Oryx and Crake’ … is a fascinating exploration of a world in which pornography has taken over from sexual intimacy. She writes of a dystopian future in which the needs of the body rule, and in which the mind and the soul are entirely discredited, a culture in which ‘Executions were its tragedies, pornography was its romance.’ …

“Her dystopia is founded on condemnation of fast food and fast sex, and that works very well for a polemic. … ‘The proliferation of pornography is rather like the rise and rise of the potato crisp. Crisps are a very good example of food that fattens and does not feed; virtual sex, like virtual food, is designed to leave the consumer unsatisfied.’ But it can feel too schematic as the basis of a novel.”

Natasha Walter, writing on “Porn and the novel,” April 29 in the Manchester Guardian

American dream

“This city [Las Vegas] is often described as one of dreams and fantasy, of tinselish make-believe. But this is getting it backward. Vegas is instead the American market ethic stripped bare, a mini-world totally free of the pretenses and protocols of modern consumer capitalism. As one local gambling researcher says gleefully: ‘What other city in America puts up giant roadside billboards promoting 97 percent guaranteed payback on slot play? In other words, you give us a buck and we’ll give you back 97 cents. That’s why I love my hometown.’ …

“For all of America’s manifold unfulfilled promises of upward mobility, Vegas is the only place guaranteed to come through — even if it’s for a fleeting weekend. You may never, in fact, surpass the Joneses, but with the two-night, three-day special at the Sahara … you can certainly live like them for 72 hours — while never having to as much as change out of your flip-flops, tank top or NASCAR cap.”

Marc Cooper, writing on “America’s Last Honest Place,” in the May 24 issue of the Nation

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