Subject: Bestiality Is Bad
Re: " Frame Game: Shag the Dog"
From: Moral Me
Date: Wed Apr 4 2001 6:18 p.m. PT
Saletan is mistakenly taking the standard we often use in deciding what to legislate (i.e., "anything consensual is OK") and is applying it to the question of our personal moral code. If "what's legal" is the standard we use to set our personal and societal code of ethics, we are doomed. A society depends on voluntary conformity to a set of unenforceable but agreed-upon ... behavioral standards, which are mostly arbitrary.
Some things are good and bad simply because they are. Music is a good. Killing things for fun and self-disembowelment in public are bad. Creating is generally good; tearing down is generally bad. And I find it difficult to believe that "we both gotta be OK with it" is the best we can do when deciding questions of sexual morality.
Subject: Killing Time With King
Re: "The Book Club: Stephen King's Dreamcatcher"
Date: Thu Apr 5 7:28 a.m. PT
Several people I know have mentioned that they would never read King under ordinary circumstances, but resorted to him when they had to kill time. What a strange admission. Why are our lives so out of our control that we must resort to the likes of King as an antidote to the toxins in our routines? Let's imagine we shaped our lives according to meaningful values and worthwhile ideals. Then what would we read?
Subject: Fray Mission Statement
Re: "The Breakfast Table: Whitney Matheson and Aaron Schatz"
From: Neill Hamilton
Date: Tue Apr 3 7:49 a.m. PT
The whole point of things is to argue about them. What other purpose does Bobby Valentine exist for, except to second guess him on sport radio talk shows? Just because our debate and argument has no effect on the outcome doesn't change our God given right and duty to complain. Hence [any] argument that we should simply accept things is a very denial of why we were placed on earth. Only Republicans and atheists would attempt to deny God's plan by telling us to shut-up.
Subject: We Are the Real Patients
Re: "TV Club: The Sopranos"
Date: Mon Apr 9 12:14 p.m. PT
Why did the writers [put Carmela Soprano in therapy]? Simple: because it wasn't her they were trying to shock to her senses, but us. Tony is a genuinely bad person, [the therapist] tells her. … So why does Carmela stay with him? So why do we? We're as guilty of making excuses for Tony as Carmela is. But we enjoy the lifestyle, the sense of adventure, the vicarious adrenaline rush, a little bit too much to not make apologies for him. The lesson ... here is that it's tantalizingly easy to make excuses for horrible acts if you like the person who's committing them. You can make those excuses or not; I certainly will. But you can't say that you weren't told.
Inspired by this week's "The Breakfast Table" participant Aaron Schatz, who writes the Lycos 50, we will tell you what the top three Fray subjects (by number of postings) were this week:
1. Florida recount "Ballot Box." It was just like having the election back, and no, that is not a good thing.
2. China. Postings all over the place, whether the article was relevant or not.
3. Bestiality. Several places. Don't really want to discuss it. We bet you're glad to know that.
Coming up a strong fourth: tee-ball as a substitute for another activity. See the Fray Notes at the end of this " Sports Nut" for a discussion of what presidents get up to at the White House.
Neill Hamilton, excerpted above, was answering an excellent message that said that it was bad manners for the audience to argue with a TV program. Etiquette advice on The Fray came from Kharnellius, who notes here that saying you like or dislike an article " 'cause it rocks/sucks' just makes you look like a blithering imbecile with nothing meaningful to say." Well, we didn't say it ...
What makes a great post? It doesn't have to be a world-shattering subject. We thought Michael Lee's splendid comments on the Longaberger baskets "Explainer" had everything: One of the best Fray phrases of the week—he said it was "an Explainer for the Coasts," because everyone in the Midwest already knows what Longaberger baskets are—plus the personal details we love, and some random cheap shots. Well done, Michael, and thank you!