Subject: Why I Had a "Nobel Baby"
Re: " Seed: The 'Genius Babies,' and How They Grew"
From: Anon ("for obvious reasons")
Date: Sun Feb 11 5:41 p.m. PT
As the mother of one of the so-called "Nobel" babies, I'd like to let people know that my decision to accept donated sperm from Dr. Graham's Repository was not necessarily motivated by the urge to create a "superbaby." My only hope for having children was donor sperm, or adoption. Did I do anything wrong or immoral? I don't think so. If my husband and I could have children together, certainly, we would have done so. My story may not parallel with the other recipients of "Nobel" sperm, but as far as my opinion on eugenics is concerned, I'm all for it, given what I know now. Why not? I'll never know how much the donor sperm had to do with my son's development, and frankly I don't care. What I do know is that the donor sperm I selected went through a far more thorough testing process than any sperm I may have received from an unknown donor.
Subject: Who Wants To Have a High IQ?
Re: " Seed: The 'Genius Babies,' and How They Grew"
From: Glen Tomkins
Date: Feb 7 8:49 p.m. PT
Human parents have always exhibited a very strong practical, almost anti-theoretical, certainly anti-experimental, bias when it comes to getting and raising children. Mankind has known for millenia how to successfully improve animal stocks—ruthless culling of defectives and inbreeding of desired traits. Somehow the prospects of superior offspring never tempted any society I know of to try this with their own children.
Subject: The Lure of a Swedish Burger
Re: " The Book Club: Fast Food Nation"
From: A.G. Android
Date: Mon Feb 5 9:48 a.m. PT
Persistent criticisms of fast food seem ultimately to rest on the fact that it's just so … disgustingly ... American! Somehow I feel that if McDonald's had started in Scandinavia, many of the same people who criticize it now would be talking about how it makes nutritious food available to the masses at low cost, a sort of McIkea. And there are some good sides to fast food. It's cheap. Obesity is better than starvation. Fast food is healthier than its predecessors. And for a large part of the work force, such skills as showing up on time and smiling at the customer are in short supply, and a job that can inculcate them has done something valuable.
Subject: Model Values
Re: " Culturebox: Models Are Smarter Than Actresses"
From: Al Vernon
Date: Fri Feb 9 12:26 p.m. PT
No! It can't be true! I just can't believe that Cosmo would sacrifice its journalistic integrity and alter their stories just to get Debra Messing on the cover. To think that an institution like Talk would stray from it commitment to hard-hitting journalism and be victimized in a shakedown by an unscrupulous celebrity flack. My head swims at the thought that the stories covered in Elle aren't the "real" stories, but simply the products of a Faustian bargain with Madonna's agent. How could I have been so naive?
Subject: School Smarts vs. Street Smarts
Re: "Chatterbox: Flipping His Liddy"
Date: Mon Feb 5 1:59 p.m. PT
[John] Dean is the ultimate teacher's pet, a proto-nerd in power. [G. Gordon] Liddy is the playground bully, the alley fixer, the spokesman for the legend, at least, of the stand-up guy. During Roosevelt's rise to power, the school boys of the Ivy League began to turn more and more to the street smart westerners. ... It amazes me that Nixon got drawn so far into the vernacular exercise of power, though. I understood Kennedy sharing an aperitif with the capos, because he wasn't three generations removed from the fists and cheap pistols of the Irish Ascension in Massachusetts. But Nixon still puzzles me. Somewhere between the peach fuzz bravado of Dean and the burnt-flesh aftershave of Liddy there is still an untold story of Nixon's thrall to smallness.
The Fray of the Week has to be on " Seed," because the postings are part of the story. And "Culturebox" had a bumper week for Frays, from the Goldberg Variations to The Simpsons, but also a complaint from Daniel Horne (scroll through this item to find it) that this feature now lacks gravitas and should change its name to Lowculturebox. Comments welcome.
We couldn't describe the archetypal Fray reader, but we know her when she posts and it is Kathleen, who read "Chatterbox" on " Sautéing Babies" and wanted "to express the horror I felt when I discovered that, upon clicking on the mention of Dr. Laura Schlessinger within the article, I arrived at her Web site rather than at an article lampooning her. Don't ever do that again!"
Best Complaint in The Fray: Meriadoc is worried about terminology escalation in politics. A "flip-flop" should mean a politician changed his mind abruptly and then equally abruptly back again. "But now, apparently any change of position gets to be called a 'flip-flop,' even if it's only one change, which should be just a flip."
Most Unexpected First Line: "Christian rock and reggae and rap and suchlike can be compared to Christianized sodomy, homosexuality, and prostitution." Before you get too excited, it's because "all are a contradiction in terms." Joe R's comment came at the end of this Culturebox on Christian music.
Lost: One Reader. Bmcnamara says, "I wouldn't submit a post to a board that would quote a guy like me."