Well here in Disney World we have one of those ubiquitous weeklies that purport to show the "alternative" side of life in whatever communities they infest. The Orlando Weekly is like all the other (Insert City) Weeklies: ads for liposuction, breast implants, and tattooes, lists of local garage band appearances, reviews of foreign and independent films, a general air of earnest superiority. I think a chain puts them out.
These things were useful back in the days when I still used to go to concerts and clubs and was still interested in the music scene, but now they just seem like another sort of boring filler. I happened to pick one up at the Thai restaurant I went to tonight, because I had forgotten my book and I can't sit there and eat without something to read. I ended up only being able to make it through a review of a local 24-hour Mexican place (not far from me, I think I'll check it out some 3am). The feature story was this woman's tale of woe thinly disguised as yet-another-tired-complaint that you can't find a good abortionist when you need one. It actually digs up the now-ancient fight in this state over the "Choose Life" car tag movement. Now, I don't know anyone who didn't know that this tag and the people behind it were against abortion and thus trying to promote alternatives -- and whether the writer likes it or not, things like not getting an abortion are alternatives to getting an abortion -- but she professes to be shocked, yes shocked, that
The Choose Life Inc. website even promotes the tag as a way to "speak up for the unborn."
The entire article reads like it was written several years ago. And the writer's own story of her travails as an abused woman only makes me want to write an entire side essay on how the feminist movement has abandoned women in favor of power and pleasure. (Stay tuned for that one.)
So then I turned to this little essay: "Get What You Give." The on-site synopsis is: "the touchy business of supporting our troops without being driven by guilt." Sounds more like "the touchy business of supporting our troops without having to give up one's feelings of moral superiorty. The writer does not seem to have many sources of news. For instance, she writes:
But is anyone else wondering how the women and children are faring in a country where men and money do the talking? There's been a suspicious absence of everyday women in the war coverage; the same for the word "rape." There is so much more unthinkable suffering yet to be uncovered.
I am not sure what she is trying to say here, because like too many writers found in periodicals of all sorts these days she is irritatingly vague in the way she expresses things. For example, in the paragraph where she describes a neighbor who is trying to put the charitable squeeze on her it is not clear who is being referred to in this sentence, the writer or the neighbor: "I served as a military wife and have firefighters in the family." This vagueness resulting in incoherence is yet another effect of the Politically Correct school of writing, where you can't refer to anything definitely because that might insult somebody, somewhere, someday.
In any case, what does the passage quoted above, about "everyday" women and children, have to do with the problems in supporting the troops? Not a thing, it was just dropped in there like a lug nut into a bowl of jello. As for there not being any, or many, stories or interviews of women and children, I supposed it has not occurred to her that the old-fashioned Muslims which populate most of rural Iraq probably keep the women in the background and let the men do all the public speaking, especially to strange Western invaders. But to say so might get the writer accused of ethnic prejudice, so instead she leaves the passage seeming to infer that the coalition troops are raping the native women.
I'll end here, because I am just bored with this paper and its website. I can only read so much of this stuff before getting a headache. But one more complaint: she quotes someone as saying that "economic time are 'uncertain.'" Sometimes I think that some people never got over having to move out of their parents' homes and no longer being able to depend on their weekly allowance. The economy is always uncertain, life is uncertain. Whether or not I will get any sleep tonight is uncertain. What isn't uncertain, though, is that this essay sucks.Posted by Andrea Harris at April 19, 2003 01:04 AM