- The Washington Times - Monday, June 27, 2005

Amoral culture

“I have three younger sisters. … My sisters can’t watch TV anymore because of all the raunchy broadcasting. They can’t watch most movies because of the oversexualization. They can’t listen to today’s popular music — even once-safe pop tarts like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera now compete to see who can become the bigger cultural disgrace. They can’t surf the Internet, for fear that a pop-up porn ad might attack. …

“[M]y sisters live in a society where they can’t avoid having to see things they shouldn’t have to see. Because no matter how scrupulous they are, as long as their friends view this stuff, they have to hear about it. …

“I went to college at UCLA, and I’m currently studying at Harvard Law School, so I’ve seen a fair bit of the ‘live and let live’ cultural ideal in action. … The problem is that there’s a difference between personal sanctioning of immoral behavior and demanding that society sanction immoral behavior. If society sanctions immoral behavior, it’s simply defining deviancy down, as Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan put it — ignoring the fact that immorality is taking place. And that affects everyone in the society. The goal of the social left is to make pornography public and traditional morality private, and that’s exactly what has happened.”

Ben Shapiro, author of “Porn Generation,” interviewed Thursday by Jamie Glazov in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

Hard to do

“Outside our house, mine and Jen’s, we had teams [of paparazzi] there every day. You’d have one team of three cars, a secondary team of three cars. And you’d drag ‘em across town, but some days you just don’t want to play. …

“They’re really nasty out here. I mean, some of the things they’ve said during my and Jen’s split — things that are just deliberately said to get a rise out of her, just truly cruel — make me want to punch their lights out. And more toward Jen, than me, which made me even more mad, because Jen’s an easier target. Grown men saying awful, despicable things. Things that a normal husband or brother would go and kill them for. …

“We’ve kept the love we have for each other. …

“I still really believe in [marriage]. I’m sure there are some dark nights coming, but that’s the deal — that’s part of it.”

Brad Pitt, discussing his breakup with actress Jennifer Aniston, in the June issue of GQ

Soul-mate syndrome’

“[T]he idea that marriage should provide its habitues with such benefits as personal fulfillment and mutual sexual gratification is altogether a recent invention. The premise that love is a good enough reason for embarking on marriage took grip only in the late 18th century, and then only in Western Europe and North America, concomitant with other sweeping political changes during the era, from the spread of a market economy and the rise of individualism to the invention of the novel. …

“[T]he love marriage, regarded by so many as a happy development in human history, was also what undermined marital stability, causing untold trauma to marriage as a social institution and to all those tormented spouses whose affinity for each other proved not as eternal as they’d once so headily vowed. The soul-mate syndrome is also what sows the seeds of marital destruction.”

Laura Kipnis, writing on “Love or Money,” in the June issue of Harper’s

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