Subject: Go With the Legend
Re: "Idea of the Day: This Boy Is Not Saluting His Father"
Date: Wed Jul 25 4:38 a.m. PT
In a time when we as a nation desperately needed a symbol of "good and innocent," this picture provided it. That the story behind the picture is a myth that has not been dispelled is not the fault of the nation or the writer of that Playboy article … but of those who controlled the truth that could have dispelled the myth. Jackie, John, the photographer, and probably a number of others could have at any time set the record straight. Would that necessarily have been wise? Or kind? Or necessary? The photograph is, and always will be, a part of our cultural heritage, whether or not it is accurate history.
Subject: Reasons To Stay Married
Re: "Culturebox: I Don't"
Date: Thu Jul 26 12:48 p.m. PT
Just as a child feels secure when they know that the parents are always there, waiting to catch them when they fall, partners in a good marriage have a peace of mind unknown to the single people. A commitment has been made … that [is] intended to outlast sickness, financial troubles, emotional upheavals, births, deaths, and home renovations—which are worse than most of the aforementioned. … The real tragedy is that so many people have bought into the modern notion that divorce is not so bad. If marriage was not viewed as a temporary institution, maybe people would make better decisions about who to marry.
[Find this post in full here. More than 250 people have already replied to Texwiz.]
Subject: Who Pays the Price?
Re: "Politics: G-Girl Confidential"
Date: Thu Jul 26 1:07 a.m. PT
Women have always shouldered a disproportionate share of sexual responsibility whether the fallout was a fixable broken heart, a pregnancy, a reputation (as my mother would put it), or violence at the hands of the beloved. Even liberated, sexually powerful women find themselves victimized from time to time in ways that are not trivial, and in ways not often suffered by men. I'm all for women of any age recognizing the import of their actions—just as I hold the same view when it comes to our male counterparts.
Subject: If You Remember the Internet, You Weren't There
Re: "Best of the Fray"
Date: Wed Jul 25 9:49 p.m. PT
Whimsy … is what makes [The Fray] work. Those of us who grew up in the Sixties found an unexpected homecoming in the Internet—emotional spontaneity, intellectual syncretism, stylistic anarchy. Unless, perhaps, you are one of us, you cannot imagine how missing that was in the '70s and '80s, when we resigned ourselves to careers, raised our families, and dumbly accepted the inevitability of Reagan. Now most of us are into second careers, our families are grown, and it's Dharma Bums time again!
Ender's contest for the best word to enter into the Fray search engine kept posters busy all week, despite (or because of) the vagueness about rules: Should contestants go for quantity or quality? We were a little disappointed that no one suggested Ayn Rand. (And we have a tip: Don't read Keith M. Ellis' entry in Ayn's list if you're easily shocked, or a big Rand fan.) Here, in no particular order, are the best reader suggestions: Satan, chocolate, hogwash, outlandish, outrageous, Moira, inquisition, idiot, obscure, pretentious, pundit. Nice work, Ender—his other achievement this week was to decide star posters are infallible: See here. Now, who has the next contest?
Richard Walrath is in big trouble. Last week we gave him credit for suggesting "Fraysters." Now he is mutinying: He wrote to us demanding that we use his other idea, "confrayers." Meanwhile, Thomas D. is claiming an earlier citation of Fraysters—he didn't actually enter the name in our contest, but it would serve Richard right if we gave Thomas D. the huge Fray prize. We're still thinking about it.
This "Culturebox" on J.R.R. Tolkien incurred the wrath of Middle Earthers everywhere: They marched to the Fray chanting poetry and mouthing curses. Scroll to the end of the article for a polite sample.