Saturday, November 20, 2004


Puritans with Small Minds

So our great legislative leaders in Washington, D.C,. can't get their act together. The budget was too embarrassing for an election year, so they waited until everything was safe after the election. Now that the election is over, they're trying to get the pork-loaded budget through but can't seem to figure it out. Revamping the intelligence services runs into obstructionists (you'd think Dashcle was still there). Meanwhile, hearings on Capitol Hill inquire into possible remedies to rid that great evil of society, the invasive, destructive, and filthy subject of pornography. Yes, sex addicts are testifying that they can't stop beating off because of the nude female body.

Rick Steves writes an enlightening article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Europe's light and easygoing approach to sex and nudity leaves many U.S. travelers culture-shocked.

In Munich's Central Park, office workers spend their summer lunch breaks sunbathing nude, Mediterranean beaches are topless, Germany's steamy mineral spas are co-ed and from Norway to Naples, modern billboards with lathered-up breasts advertise soap.

But can this (as many fear) breed a land of perverts and sex predators and erode all respect for the beautiful physical union of a man and woman in love? Mingling with ordinary Europeans as I do for a third of my year, it's clear to me it hasn't. In fact, Europeans point out that the United States has more domestic violence, rape, child porn, venereal disease, criminal activity around prostitution, sexual dysfunction ... and frustrated people.

Meanwhile, in the USA, we're getting more sensitive and conservative about sex. In the wake of Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction," Bono's Irish passion for the F-word and Howard Stern's determination to offend, the Federal Communications Commission has upped the fine for "indecency infractions" tenfold -- now charging TV stations $275,000 per offense.

Attorney General John Ashcroft covers the Statue of Justice so that her bare breasts won't offend his tender eyes. Christian conservatives picket theaters showing Kinsey. Many other absurd examples abound.

Once, a long time ago in another blog, I quoted a letter to the editor of the (Australia) Sydney Morning Herald. The writer was commenting on the stupidity of the impeachment of President Clinton. She said, in closing, "Thank God we got the convicts and America got the Puritans."

It bears repeating.

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