In other news, all you Mac fans, I so don't buy it. My lemon computer has gone kaput once again, and I have really an unbelievably huge and important deadline tomorrow. Luckily all relevant pieces are accessible in gmail, and S has been a total saint trying to set it up for me to get to everything on the Mac--no Office on the Mac, so he installed OpenOffice, but the documents are not opening correctly, plus I can't find anything on the Mac, which is probably my problem, or perhaps a result of the Mac featuring S's organizational logic (i.e. no logic, though it works for him), but at any rate the whole thing is stressing me out, so I'm giving up and going to my mother's tomorrow to work on her PC, where everything makes sense.
But really I wanted to take up the challenge of Jackie's post today--not the birthday party part, I'm all about outsourcing birthday parties, M's next month will be at the rock-climbing gym, but the recent events about which she had nothing to say...I'm going to try to say something.
Austrian basement incest - I said to my friend M today, "So what do we make of this? Is this pure evil? Can we find a cause?" and he said that it was just so far out there, there was no point in analysis. Which I think is true. I mean, this really is perhaps the most outrageous thing ever, outside of Pol Pot, Hitler, Rwanda, and all that, which is to say, in the private sphere. 24 years? In the basement? Seven children? And how many women have tried to imagine going through labor alone in the basement seven times? Just beggars the imagination.
Texas polygamy - The children should not have been taken from their mothers. Period. Total insanity on the part of the law and social services.
Yale abortion artist - OK, about this, I have nothing to say except YUCK--whether she actually did it or made it up...
Miley Cyrus - First instinct: what the hell is with the power of Disney and branding that she needs to go out and abjectly (and fakely) apologize for something she obviously chose to do that is not really a big deal. Shades of Obama and Reverend Wright (if you can't make the connection, I'm sorry, I'm too stressed out by the Mac to do it for you, but take my word for it, it's there). Second instinct: who are the parents who are so dependent on the media machine that they would either 1) allow their small children to see half-naked pictures of Miley, or 2) not be able to negotiate Miley's half-naked pictures with their older children. Third non-instinct: should I be upset that a fifteen year old is taking half-naked pictures in Vanity Fair? i.e. sexualizing young girls, etc.? Maybe, but I'm just not. I'm really much more disgusted by the post-picture hypocrisy on all sides, except for Annie Leibovitz.
Really, all this--mainly the conjoined media furor over Miley and Reverend Wright, plus the wrongheaded actions of Texas judicial and social services--is making me feel a strong desire to abandon the public sphere altogether and just do my work, read novels, and hang out with my kids. Of course all three of those necessarily engage the public sphere, and clearly today's news shows that the private sphere has its own demons, but, oh, politics and media, I wish I knew how to quit you...
(Sorry about the lack of links...blame the Mac stress.)