Thursday, May 01, 2008

SI-IGNED, NOISE-MAKER. As I mentioned earlier, our culture warriors are a little off their game lately. I blame the Reverend Wright imbroglio, an all-hands-on-deck affair that exhausted the usual squawkers and left them listless in the face of everyday pornification. Even the usually reliable Kathryn J. Lopez is reduced to pretending to notice eight-month-old pro-choice billboards.

So thank Satan that Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Washington Times is keeping hilarity alive:
Dear Abby's pen is double-edged: One side dispenses her solid, homespun advice; the other, according to critics, promotes a faddish, post-traditional, anything-goes approach to sexual morality.

The Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center in Alexandria, analyzed the 365 Dear Abby columns written in 2007 by Jeanne Phillips — daughter of the original writer, Pauline Phillips, who dispensed advice under the pen name Abigail Van Buren from 1956 until her retirement in 2002. They found that 30 percent of the columns dealt with sex and that of those, more than 50 percent rejected traditional morality, the view that sex should be limited to marriage between one man and one woman.
I hear the Institute is working on another study that will blame the Lockhorns comic strip for a decline in marriage rates.

The Times reports that "The institute wants [Dear Abby] columns to carry a disclaimer stating that they should be considered entertainment only." Here is nannyism that I can get behind, if we can carry it to its natural conclusion and apply it to other parts of the papers as well. Horoscopes, sudoku, Billy Kristol columns -- all should have labels which not only warn, but also provide contact information for logic tutors. And let the Federal Government subsidize their instruction. I invite our Presidential candidates to propose such a plan -- call it No Chump Left Behind -- as a remedy for the failures of our education system.

Alternatively we could have the Feds raid the Institute and pull out any minors -- on the evidence of this study, I'm sure they have more than a few on staff -- or (the longest shot by far) have someone with great patience and a soothing voice explain the free market to them.

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