Subject: Childbirth Recollected in Tranquility
Re: "The Book Club: Body Image"
From: Natalie Angier
Date: Tue Feb 13 12:00 p.m. PT
Chris Caldwell says: "The poem about … a baby being born … is all about the vagina—a really demented perspective, for anyone who has ever watched a delivery."
Demented perspective?!? Demented perspective??!! For the nearly two hours of delivering my kid, the only goddamn thing I thought about was my vagina, and my anus, too, because they felt like one and the same conduit throughout the ordeal. As Shulamith Firestone put it, childbirth is "like shitting a pumpkin," and for the average heaving vagina in labor, the baby counts for nothing until it has been expelled, ejected, dumped! Which takes forever! And then you still have to push out the placenta! Eve Ensler has it exactly right: Childbirth is really about vaginas. Except when it's about assholes.
Chris Caldwell must have been watching a C-section.
[Find this post here. The resulting thread was tempestuous.]
Subject: Immigration Beats Insemination
Re: "Seed: The Entrepreneur Speaks"
Date: Wed Feb 14 7:59 a.m. PT
There are so many ways in which humankind's intelligence-related gene pool is vastly underutilized that it is hard to imagine why we would elect to produce a few more babies that may or may not grow up to be highly intelligent. We in the U.S. could simply make it even easier for outstanding scientists, engineers, physicians, and others with high-powered intellectual potential to come here. Do we need to fret whether The Entrepreneur's sperm will go to waste when there may be ten thousand entrepreneurs, physicists and others whose careers would blossom if only they could gain legal admittance to the U.S.?
[Find this post here.]
Subject: A Vision in Brown
Re: "Shopping: Sacred Cacaos"
Date: Tue Feb 13 5:58 a.m. PT
The editors missed a bet with this one. This is the first Slate article I have read that would have made a better streaming video than an article. The comments of the testers indicate they were of a near-pundit level of sapience: combine that with the vicarious prurience of watching people eat more chocolate than they really wanted and you have the makings of a Slate Newsreal first.
[Find this post here.]
The "Seed" Fray continues to draw high-quality posts. A fascinating discussion on genetic influence on IQ starts here. Even more riveting was two "Nobel baby" mothers' discussion of their sperm donors' code names and the chances/desirability of finding their children's half-siblings. Click here and here and follow the thread.
Who could resist a post with the title "A wiccan says yes to faith-based funding"? Especially one made by a poster called Aragorn Icewolf. Click here to read more. We are fighting very hard the temptation to speculate on exactly what the "charitable arm … [of a] benevolent Satanist church" might do.
The Fray's newest star is Josh Pollack, who made a great contribution at the end of this " Chatterbox" on Wen Ho Lee; was incisive on the Rich pardon here ("It certainly isn't difficult to imagine how the argument … that Rich and Green had been subjected to criminal proceedings in what was essentially a civil case might have appealed to Clinton personally"); and back in July of last year produced a stunningly well-researched post about Korean missiles (click here and scroll to the end).
The stars and checkmarks continue to fascinate some posters (see here for an answer to one). And Bluto does not like our idea of a Two-Tier Fray (described in this " Best of the Fray"): After calling it "deceptive … condensed …" he finished his post with these ringing words: "If you had the chance to watch a Tyrannosaur attacking its prey, would you prefer to look at its bones instead?" We're still thinking about this theory, which would make Best of the Fray the fossilized remains …