Category Archives: cultural

Robert Redford gets into the Porn Business

Robert Redford, the legendary environmentalist and filmmaker, now brings you “GREEN PORNO,” along with Isabella Rossellini. You have to see it to believe it.

A little un-classy for Hollywood A-listers don’t you think? And SO wrong on SO many levels. They use the word “porno” as a marketing gag, really. It’s another example of how porn, as a word or a concept, has become less taboo than it once was. We are all meant to laugh at it now.

For one thing, I’ll never be able to look at Isabella Rossellini again without the image of that horrible phalic appendage invading my mind. Uhhggckk!! But, worst of all, portraying porn as a big joke disguises the ugliness and brutality of the actual porn business. The truth is no laughing matter.


Parents subject 12 year old to sex change procedure

Word from the U.K. that two parents are sending their child to undergo a sex change operation.

A BOY aged 12 turned up at school as a GIRL – after changing sex during the summer holidays.

Teachers called an emergency assembly to order fellow pupils to treat him as female.

The lad, whose parents have changed his name to a girl’s by deed poll, arrived in a dress with long hair in ribboned pigtails. He is preparing for sex-swap surgery…

Transgender counsellor David Hawley last night paid tribute to the pupil’s “strength of character”.

He said: “It is very unusual for a child of that age to be that clear about what they want to do. She has had a lot of support from her parents. So I imagine she was comfortable with herself before going to school and now she is discovering it can be a nasty world, which is hard at that age.”

Psychotherapist James Caspian said the child would not be allowed hormone treatment in the UK until passing puberty. Meanwhile he and the other kids would have to cope with the shockwaves caused by the switch.

Mr Caspian said: “These children are old enough to have picked up a lot of taboos from society.”

Yes, and in this case the children have more sense than the adults. How can a 12 year-old have enough maturity to make such a drastic decision for himself? And how could sane parents send their kid off for hormone therapy and to have his weaner chopped off and who knows what else when he hasn’t even hit puberty yet? Why isn’t this against the law in Britain? These sorts of procedures cannot be undone should the boy regret it later in life.

Are we so blinded by our obsession with tolerance that we have lost our ability to protect children from parents such as these?

“Porn in the Morn” at Yale no Longer

The enormously popular Yale course “Biology of Gender and Human Sexuality” (commonly referred to by students as “Porn in the Morn” has been stripped of its status as a science course by the Yale College Science Council. It will no longer meet the undergraduate science distributional requirement.

Yale professor of radiology, William Summers

Yale professor of radiology, William Summers

As a result, professor William Summers has decided to stop teaching the course. From the Yale Daily News:

Last spring, 357 students took the iconic course — mainly freshman and sophomores. Enrollment peaked in 2005 when 546 took “Porn in the Morn.”

That year, Summers had to split the class in two because space wasn’t available for the full 546-student lecture. Summers would lecture the same material twice a day, two days a week.

The next semester, Summers taught “Porn in the Morn” from the auditorium in the Yale Law School, one of the largest lecture spaces on central campus. It was a setting where some students first learned the concept of the G-spot, or first saw an image of a crowning baby (the projection of which on the auditorium screen caused several students to walk out). Summers was known to invoke aliens on his exams, a trope “to suggest that one look at the issue [of sexual dimorphism] without any preconceived assumptions,” he wrote in an e-mail to the News.

Click here for full story.

There are two angles to this story. On one hand, it shows how ridiculously low academic standards have gotten at some of our nation’s top universities. What ever happened to – you know – actual biology, chemistry, and physics? On the other hand, what is a professor of radiology doing teaching a class on human sexuality anyway? What is his motivation? Is this a personal hobby? It’s a bit odd and creepy to me.

I had an acrimonious exchange once with Summers on an unrelated issue while I was at Yale. But never took a class from him. He is known to be quite close to Yale’s president, Richard Levin. And while he may be a fine professor, his notion that examining gender as a social construct and looking at vaginas on PowerPoint makes for a good science education is emblematic of the damage extreme liberalism has done to our higher education system, where academic excellence and morality seem to be in a tandem decline.

Suspect Charged in Yale Med Student Slaying

The New York Times reports that a co-worker has been charged with 24-year-old med student’s murder.

Meanwhile, the Yale Daily News runs a “he was a typical nice guy” story on the alleged killer’s years as a high school athlete. Creepy photos included.

Annie Le was strangled to death, according to the medical examiner’s report. No word on whether she was sexually assaulted. But Le’s body was found on what was to be her wedding day. More details on the killer’s motive will undoubtedly emerge.

Isn’t it chilling how love, lust and violence are so often linked together?

Changed by a near death experience

This from Tim Kreider of the NY Times:

Fourteen years ago I was stabbed in the throat. This is kind of a long story and it’s not the point of this essay. The point is that after my unsuccessful murder I wasn’t unhappy for an entire year….

It’s easy now to dismiss that year as nothing more than the same sort of shaky, hysterical high you’d experience after being clipped by a taxi. But you could also try to think of it as a glimpse of grace. It’s like the revelation I had when I was a kid the first time I ever flew in an airplane: when you break through the cloud cover you realize that above the passing squalls and doldrums there is a realm of eternal sunlight, so keen and brilliant you have to squint against it, a vision to hold onto and take back with you when you descend once more beneath the clouds, under the oppressive, petty jurisdiction of the local weather.

Flying above the clouds has often left me with a similar impression. Although, I’ve never articulated so well as Kreider does here. You can read his full post here.

Mental Discipline

David Brooks wrote a great article about how to elevate mental and physical prowess through physical routine. He cites a book by a sports physiologist, H.A. Dorfman.

Great Quote:

“Self-discipline is a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy, freedom from expectations and demands of others, freedom from weakness and fear — and doubt.”

Structure and repitition shape human thought. Structured practice is the key to mastery in any skill, whether pitching a baseball or giving a speech. We often think that our mind shapes our actions; but our actions also shape our mind.

The whole article is well worth reading. Here’s the link.

Teens and STDs


A telling statistic about teenage sexuality in America.

At least one in four teenage girls nationwide has a sexually transmitted disease, or more than 3 million teens, according to the first study of its kind in this age group.

A virus that causes cervical cancer is by far the most common sexually transmitted infection in teen girls aged 14 to 19, while the highest overall prevalence is among black girls — nearly half the blacks studied had at least one STD. That rate compared with 20 percent among both whites and Mexican-American teens, the study from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

About half of the girls acknowledged ever having sex; among them, the rate was 40 percent.

Fact is, “safe sex,” (i.e. using condoms) fails to prevent many types of STDs, even when used properly, which isn’t always the case among teens. Most sex education underemphasizes the risk of infection any sexual activity (safe or otherwise) carries with it.

Many educators and health professionals are extra eager to avoid any fundamentalist-sounding talk. Teen abstinence is something many of them consider unrealistic. But the fact is, sex is never completely safe. We do teens a dangerous diservice if we tell them otherwise.