Sunday, May 24, 2009

Odds n' Ends

I observed two entries ago the rising number of young adults who are comfortable with gays and lesbians AND call themselves pro-life. This is surprising only to us old people who are obsessed with red state/blue state categories.

Young viewers of contemporary TV have been fed a steady high-sugar diet of friendly lesbians and celebrity teen bumps, all shot with gorgeous production values. And certainly -- given that both homosexuals and unmarried mothers have been portrayed for decades as selfish, sinful, deviant and/or mentally ill -- allowing a few other folks on the set of "Leave it to Beaver" is only fair.

For example, Matt Bai, in today's Times [HERE], notes that acceptance of gay marriage is growing so quickly that political figures' positions are lagging behind the grassroots; most leading Democrats, for example, are on record as in favor of gay unions but opposed to having the state affirm gay marriage.  Expect some revisionism as November 2010 approaches. 

And yes, "pro-life" is increasingly a socially acceptable default position, which does not mean that one rejects all abortion on principle, as observed in a piece featured in this blog's Today's Reading section two days ago (you do check out Today's Reading everyday, yes?). One could argue that this is problematic:  as the label goes mainstream, it loses its tight focus and becomes a bigger tent -- not all self-proclaimed "pro-lifers" are opposed to all abortion; some want to overturn Roe, some don't; some think there's a difference between early and late-term cases, etc.  But this lack of precision is an issue only if you're a pollster. For the rest, the fact that many are casually claiming to be pro-life makes it more likely (I hope) that they will be open to a consideration of the genuine claim that the unborn have on us. It's not a rigorous position, but it's a start.


It may not surprise you to hear that shopping at the local mall sends my soul into free-fall. Margaret Faith, age 8, and I, walking through the local mall a few weeks ago, decided that Victoria sure can't keep a secret. And last night's eye-roller, dress shopping with a teen, was a store devoted to young women's fashion with a distinctly "come hither" tone. The store is called "Maybee" but should really be known as "Quite Likely," if not "A Sure Thing."

All of which is lite chuckle material. But then I find that the tween aspirational fashion store Limited Too is now called ... wait for it ... "Justice." A pink-and-purple bottoms n' tops store called Justice, that sells "looks you luv for less."

So, yes, it's possible to "mainstream" a term into George Orwell territory.

ALSO, on the SCOTUS pick: With regard to the President's widely-assumed preference for a second female justice and his stated claim that the next justice needs "empathy," Rodger Citron and Dahlia Lithwick argue HERE that "Conflating judicial empathy with gender is bad for both women and the law." Let's hope Obama's not channeling John Paul II on this one. In his more direct remarks today, Obama chooses instead to use language of "a common touch" and "a practical sense of how the world works."  Better.