Thursday, October 02, 2003

MAGGIE, NOT A GIRL OF THE STREETS. Sometimes I wonder if my political writings are, like all my other writings, merely manifestations of a deep neurosis that might be better vitiated by therapy or antidepressant drugs. Then I read Maggie Gallagher and think, well, if they let this nutcake publish, surely there must be a place in the sun for me, too.

Gallagher is annoyed by boomers that don't act their age. You know, 50-year-olds with nose rings, grandparents who don't want to baby-sit, and the like. (That's really her point. This is how people get the impression that writing is easy!)

Well, some 50-year-olds look better with piercings than others -- I think Susan Sarandon with a nose ring would be cute, whereas some younger actresses, like Brooke Shields, would be an eyesore. But hey, no accounting for taste, and who the hell cares? Normally I might let Gallagher slide off into the bin of harmless crankage. But some of her deficiencies range beyond mere annoyance.

As previously noted here, Gallagher is a tireless agitator for social revanchism, who seeks to "defend marriage" by making divorce more difficult and gay marriage nearly impossible.

Outwardly her grumblings seem like the harmless, playful discharges of negative energy one gets from old people in folding chairs on many suburban lawns. Her whole rap on youthful behavior in unyouthful people is about decorum, not right and wrong, as even she admits ("this is not so much immoral as deeply depressing").

But you have to wonder why someone with her serious social agenda spends so much time criticizing behaviors that, however unseemly, hurt no one. One guess is, Gallagher seeks to shame her opponents into doubt, and thence to conversion. She perhaps figures that we libertine hordes are so simple-minded, having cut all our high-school and college classes in favor of weed and wild sex, that we can be easily teased into compliance -- that, shown as if by a mirror how awful nose rings look ornamenting our grizzled visages, we will retreat from all such youthful enthusiasms with such shock and revulsion that it will send us ass-over-tip into the land of beaming breeders, obscenity-free cable, and regnant heterosexuality in which Gallagher resides.

Or maybe she's just nuts. Yeah, let's go with that one.

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