Re: Waaah, I hate all movies about pregnancy

1

"Clever stoner dialogue" ?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:43 AM
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You know, the scenes of the stoners sitting around the house saying ostensibly humorous things to one another. So lame. And this is from someone who thinks that "You know how I know you're gay? You crocheted a pair of denim shorts" is the highest moment in the Western Canon.

I agree with a lot of what Stras said in the old thread, basically.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:47 AM
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They came close to demonstrating how a group of guys who live together can act. (Much like jackass.)

So I laughed some, but I was mostly disappointed in Knocked Up. I just didnt buy it.

The exchange with Eva Mendez in the bonus material was good though as was the job stuff with the woman from SNL. "We want you just like that, only 15 pds lighter."


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:49 AM
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I agree that it was lame, but that is the point. When a bunch of guys live together, they get into this pattern of saying really lame stuff to each other.

Maybe it is just my friends.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:50 AM
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Dude, you grew a capital letter again. I didn't recognize you until I moused over your email address.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:51 AM
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When a bunch of guys people live together, they get into this pattern of saying really lame stuff to each other.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:52 AM
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FL hates pregnancy movies because he hates his empty womb.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 8:53 AM
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FL was hoping that instead of waking of Katherine Heigl's character waking up after sex with Seth Rogan's character and eventually discovering that she's pregnant, she'd wake up and find out that she had had her circulatory system connected to his, in order to avoid fatal complications with his kidney disease caused by bad weed, without either of their knowing participation in the plan, and the movie dealt with the issues that brought up.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:00 AM
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I hated Knocked Up for all the same reasons. The female characters were completely unbelievable for me. And I also liked 40-Year-Old Virgin. Did Catherine Keener's character in that movie work better because she was less of the focus of the movie, or because of Keener herself?

I wasn't fond of Superbad, either. But I cut it a bit more slack because, as a girl, the movie wasn't really aimed at me, anyway.


Posted by: pasdquoi | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:03 AM
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And yet, this
looks freaking hilarious to me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:09 AM
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8: But tragically, it turns out Rogan's skills as a violinist are poor-to-middling, and Heigl disconnects him with a shrug.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:11 AM
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Dude, you grew a capital letter again. I didn't recognize you until I moused over your email address.

I don't believe you.


I think LB just screws with me and changes it randomly.

I have it saved to a lower case will, but it randomly gets changed. Probably LB.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:11 AM
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Busted.


Posted by: lIZARDbREATH | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:12 AM
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I love Tina Fey. (UVa grad!)

I am shocked that heebie is drawn to low-brow humor.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:12 AM
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I don't see the appeal of Seth Rogan's character, who is unattractive and annoying.

Reminds me of Marlon Brando saying something like "People think I'm like my characters, but the truth is I hate those guys."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:12 AM
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You must at least concede that the scene with the chairs in the hotel is perhaps the most accurate portrayal of hallucinatory insight yet seen on the silver screen?


Posted by: dob | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:17 AM
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Gawd, I agree with you about Knocked Up. The difference between my response and what seemed like everyone else's was big enough that I assumed it only showed some minor failing of mine.

Also...Wedding Crashers? Not that great.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:26 AM
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"Knocked Up" was a good idea with bad execution. It didn't have the right tone for a romantic comedy -- everything was overwrought, clunky, telegraphed ahead, and obvious.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:33 AM
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You must at least concede that the scene with the chairs in the hotel is perhaps the most accurate portrayal of hallucinatory insight yet seen on the silver screen?

Are you kidding? Have you ever taken shrooms? You don't get weepy overwrought emotional bonding so much, that scene was like a couple of drunks.


Posted by: Perfectly G.D. | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:35 AM
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I wasn't a very big fan of Juno. So there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:38 AM
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Man, you people are harsh. I'm never going to the movies with any of you.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:39 AM
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Even Junior?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:40 AM
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You know a great movie that people have overlooked this year? Rescue Dawn . Really wonderful. A bit of a guy movie, but it had a lot of depth, grace, and sophistication.

No pregnancies were involved.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:43 AM
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Eh, I thought Knocked Up had some pretty damn funny moments, but I agree with the overall criticisms. My complete lack of critical faculties enables me to simply enjoy the occasional bad movie.

On the other hand, Juno was great.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:44 AM
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Juno gradually won me over. I was put off by the dialogue, at first.


Posted by: pasdquoi | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:48 AM
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You know how I know you're gay?

Because you're gay and so you can tell who all the other gay people are?

All other considerations aside, Knocked Up only made me laugh once, when Craig Robinson (the bouncer) said, "We can't have old, pregnant bitches runnin' around in here!"

Movies get drugs wrong all the time. Like the dope-induced back handsprings through the library in Breakfast Club, just to name the first thing that pops into my head. But the maudlin shroom bonding was pretty bad, too.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 9:48 AM
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Because you're gay and so you can tell who all the other gay people are?

Completely off-topic, as I have seen neither of the films in question: there's a guy at my work who is off the scale on my personal gaydar. It's like a fire alarm goes off every time I'm in the room with him. That's fine, whatever, but he also fits the TV cliche of the fat guy with the doting super-hot wife who comes by the office all the time to dote in person and somehow the friction between these two detectable personas he presents leaves me stuck in some kind of cognitive dissonance-derived fugue state whenever he's around. It really, seriously fucks with my faculties when he's around and I don't know why. I have confirmed recently that I am not the only person in my office who suffers this effect.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:03 AM
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27: don't look directly into the sun like that, Robust, you'll damage yourself.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:08 AM
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I worked with a guy this summer that we all thought was gay. Turns out he just had good manners.


Posted by: ed bowlinger | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:10 AM
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28: But mama, that's where the fun is.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:11 AM
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I thought the scene with the two couples at the table was pretty spot-on, though. Where the guys are bonding about the loss of freedom (What if I wanted to go to India?) and the women get all pissed about it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:32 AM
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Knocked Up only made me laugh once, when Craig Robinson (the bouncer) said, "We can't have old, pregnant bitches runnin' around in here!"

I laughed, then cried. You never realize how old you look to the young and beautiful.

I walk around thinking that I look young and normal, and then some young thirty year old reminds me that I am old.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:40 AM
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I admit some of my irritation at the movie comes from having irritation in my life stemming from someone who, though old enough to know better, is just not understanding that getting high with friends while unemployed is not a sustainable lifestyle choice.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:46 AM
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I walk around thinking that I look young and normal, and then some young thirty year old reminds me that I am old.

Hey! I'm not 30 yet, gramps!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:49 AM
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is just not understanding that getting high with friends while unemployed is not a sustainable lifestyle choice.

It's surprisingly sustainable. I'm not saying desirable, but sustainable? I've known people who managed it for 30 years. Can't say much for their retirement plans, mind.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:50 AM
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31: yeah. There were a couple of scenes that rang true.

32: that was the best scene in the movie.

getting high with friends while unemployed is not a sustainable lifestyle choice.

why less sustainable than having a few beers with friends after a day of job searching? So long as he's looking to get employed.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:52 AM
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35: wait, how do they afford the pot and the rent?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:52 AM
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36 was me.

35 was interesting too. How did they keep the occasional money coming in? One of them should write a guide to the lifestyle.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:54 AM
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Yeah, seriously, if I could make that work I'd be all over that. Just kidding, boss!


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:55 AM
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The couple of people I'm thinking of did live pretty bizarre lifestyles by most standards. The common trick seems to be a) move around a lot b) have an amazing network of friends and acquaintances c) take lots of odd jobs d) know people who grow pot

so the answer to 37 is little to no rent, and free or nearly free pot


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 10:59 AM
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Both of them (living different parts of the continent) were fairly nomadic, and had patches of work here and there of course (rarely planned). I know other people who've done this for a long time, but only those two made a life of it. One of them has been pretty much adopted by a small community in his old(er) age.

Oh, I knew another guy who traveled around and busked for 25 years. He always seemed to get free drugs too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:01 AM
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Damn you guys are making me want to smoke some weed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:07 AM
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I wonder if it would be a good idea to teach high.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:08 AM
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I wonder if it would be a good idea to teach high.

Let the spirit of scientific inquiry lead you where it may, Labs.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:09 AM
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The combination of 33 and 39 reveals FL as a typically resentful member of the petit bourgeoise who only disapproves of alternative lifestyles because he secretly wishes he was bold enough to engage in them.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:13 AM
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21 gets it right. Becks's post about how everyone she knows hated "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" made me decide to ignore that particular variety of advice from this site. Dude, that got like a 95% from the tomatometer, and it's not because they have any particular reverence for Sidney Lumet, given the widespread scorn and ignorement given to "Find Me Guilty" just a year ago.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:13 AM
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43: that would be an interesting experiment. If you really knew your material absolutely cold, and had taught the class for years, it could be interesting. But if there were any holes or uncertainties it could be a paranoia nightmare. It's not just your imagination...they really are all looking at you.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:15 AM
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The combination of 33 and 39 Everything he's said on the blog ever reveals FL as


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:16 AM
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47: but then you'd always be wondering "wait, did I say that already, or did I just think about saying it? have I covered this just now? Fuck."


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:17 AM
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You don't know your lectures well enough yet. Revisit idea in five years.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:20 AM
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Some people are pro-choice but have personal issues about having an abortion. Assume the protagonist one of them. Why is that so hard? I sort of hate our circles' attitudes towards having kids sometimes: obviously the thing to do with an unplanned pregnancy is to end it, & if you don't want to you're weird if not irresponsible. Discomfort with abortion is parodied as finding it "icky." I'm not a real fan of Saletan's particular approach politically, but someone who personally doesn't want an abortion because it's "icky" is well within her rights & no one has any business deriding it.

Um. This is probably more a reaction to a general feature of progressive conversations about abortion than this post, which I'm almost certainly over-reading. I liked the movie in general. The main thing that annoyed me was the sister's character. I can't believe Apatow cast his wife in that role.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:21 AM
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I can't believe Apatow cast his wife in that role.

I think the attractive shrew is a pretty standard role for her, which (I believe) pre-dates Apatow in her life. I seem to recall that she played a similar character in one of the Adam Sandler movies.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:24 AM
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Assume the protagonist one of them.

Look, my point is about how to make a decent film. If the character had some moral qualm, or she knew she wanted kids, or just fell in love with the idea of mothering, and expressed this through some not-entirely-hamhanded dialogue, hey, problem at least addressed. Maybe I missed this part of the movie, but I saw about twenty reasons to have an abortion, and zero *actually explained, developed, or noted* reasons not to, so it's lousy storytelling.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:27 AM
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It's avant-garde storytelling.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:30 AM
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My complaint is that every aspect of the character, including her milieu, makes her demographically one of the most likely people on earth to have an abortion. And yet she's written to not even consider it to be an option, let alone consider it seriously and then decide to be the exception to the rule. It's unrealistic and it further norms the idea that the only people who could consider an abortion are utter fuckups who are in constant risk of ruining their lives.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:32 AM
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Of course Labs demands some sort of explanation for a woman's choice that is comprehensible to a man. We just cannot escape teh patriarchy.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:33 AM
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I'm willing to just suspend disbelief on the non-abortion as necessary to the plot. I just thought the movie wasn't very good. The characters were grating and overdone, the tone wasn't light or graceful (it switched randomly from gross-out humor to overwrought emotionalism), the progress of the plot was obvious and predictable, the characters didn't grow in interesting ways.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:37 AM
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57: Yeah, that's about right. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I really didn't like the movie. No romcom should leave you with the sense that murder-suicide would have been a happier ending.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:43 AM
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I have nothing substantive to add, but I'll say that I didn't like the movie at all, in case anyone's keeping a tally.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:46 AM
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55: I haven't seen the movie yet, but a lot of my unmarried female friends are at the point where they'll say if they got pregnant, they'd seriously consider keeping it. Not for any strong pro-life reasons, but that the sort of rationale they'd always heard (it'll ruin your life, you're too young and irresponsible, no one will respect you), in the words of one, "are a lot harder to justify when you already have a master's degree and a good job."

So what strikes me as implausible about the plot is not that she decides to keep the baby, but that she decides to keep the loser around.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:47 AM
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57: It wasn't supposed to be a subtle, insightful, graceful movie. Knocked Up was a recognition movie. Movies like that are supposed to reflect and exagerrate life, which is ungraceful, typically fairly predictable, and people are still the same jackasses you knew from high school when you see them at the 10-year reunion.

Growth is overrated. I like it when a movie captures an emotion or moment perfectly. The scene where the sisters trail the husband to a suburban house, sneak in to catch him, and end up finding all the husbands doing a fantasy baseball draft was hilarious. Even though none of those particulars fit my interests or relationship history, it seemed to fit exactly with the stupid small things that get hidden from significant others, and how they can blow up in ways beyond all proportions.

I dunno, I really liked Knocked Up. But I also really liked Juno. Superbad and 40-Year Old Virgin were funny at times, but didn't do as much for me.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:49 AM
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Discomfort with abortion is parodied as finding it "icky."

Katherine, I find your comment interesting because it doesn't much fit with my experience. In fact, I'd say almost the opposite. Far from deriding those who think it's "icky," a lot of pro-choicers (me included, sometimes) fall all over themselves to say of course it's icky, lest anyone think we're pro-abortion.

The general take in my circles (which I infer are similar to yours) is, "well, of course abortion is an option, but the real problem is day care/welfare/absent or abusive fathers/etc." because, obviously, women choose abortion only as a last resort.

Very, very few of the women I know who've had or even seriously considered abortions are open about it outside of a couple of close friends -- especially if they were of an age and income to reasonably support a child. Even in liberal circles, it's more acceptable to "admit" to an abortion pre-Roe, or in high school, or when meeting ends was tough.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:55 AM
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I agree completely with Kraab.

I know lots of people who have had abortions because of my circumstances. But, rarely do any of them approach it publicly as anything other than icky.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 11:59 AM
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That was a really poorly constructed sentence.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:00 PM
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I was wondering if you were unusually fertile, or just careless and unwilling to care for your spawn.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:01 PM
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What I'd really like to see in a mainstream movie is a woman who has had an abortion (maybe even before the movie begins, so it's just part of her bio) and isn't a tragic figure, haunted by regret or having been forced into it by overwhelming circumstances -- and yet she's still eligible to be the lead in a comedy or romance.

(The fact that "abortion" can't even be uttered in a mainstream movie is beyond ridiculous.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:04 PM
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Being careless, and being unwilling to care for things, are qualities frequently found together.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:07 PM
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66.1: In that case, it's not clear to me why her having had an abortion would be at all relevant to the romance/comedy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:09 PM
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Very, very few of the women I know who've had or even seriously considered abortions are open about it outside of a couple of close friends

Me, because I

isn't a tragic figure, haunted by regret or having been forced into it by overwhelming circumstances

Much like LB's post a while back, I was not traumatized or upset one iota, which makes me more tightlipped than anything else about who I share with.

I also would love to see a happy, likeable aborter portrayed once in a while.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:10 PM
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Yeah, Kraab's experience is like mine: I know about several abortions, but each bit of knowledge is "in confidence" "just between us" and so on. No one's been casual about it.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:10 PM
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You don't know anyone who goes around trying to shock people with their sexual history and includes an abortion as part of it?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:11 PM
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69: This is one way in which the fundamentalists terrorists have won. The terms of debate have shifted that far.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:12 PM
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71: Do people try and shock others with their sexual history?
Why? That seems odd.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:13 PM
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71: no, surprisingly. There's one case where I'd expect the person to be basically wearing a button that says "ask me about my abortion" but there too it was kind of quietly relayed rather than trumpeted.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:14 PM
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trying to shock people with their sexual history and includes an abortion as part of it?

But then they're using it as part of the war-I've-been-through narrative, not the easy-decision-happy-conscience narrative.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:15 PM
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68: Because in movies that aren't completely stupid, there are things about characters that aren't critical to the plot -- at least for characters that have even the slightest dimension to them. They grew up in a small town or the city, their best friend is gay (or else a really wise African-American), they loved going to the carnival when they were a kid, whatever.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:16 PM
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76: Yeah, but abortion is a hot button issue. No studio is going to slip that in as an afterthought, I think. The reaction to Knocked Up gives us a sense of that: there's a strong desire to read it as saying something about abortion, whether or not it does.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:19 PM
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I isn't a tragic figure

Is you is, or is you isn't?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:20 PM
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I always felt like apart from my Catholic relatives, if I got pregnant people would think I ought to have an abortion. As far as the secrecy, I think some of that is that it CAN be kept secret. It's possible that women are afraid that strangers will judge them for having one AND for not having one--it's possible for both fears to be accurate.

But yes, the Hollywood thing is to have the baby, no question.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:20 PM
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77: Agreed. I'm just saying I'd like to live in a world where that wasn't so.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:20 PM
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Fast Times at Ridgemont High is the only mainstream movie I can think of with a basically positive portrayal of abortion.

Six Feet Under, with Lily snuggling Claire's baby in the hereafter and promising to take care of it, not to mention Nate's aborted baby minions, sort of cheesed me off.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:21 PM
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69: Or with kids, too. A lot of the response to LB's post, over on Drum's comments admittedly, was along the lines of 'of course she's happy, she probably never saw that guy again and is some careerist feminist who hates children and has no soul.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:21 PM
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I am also making a comment about a very specific set of people & not American society at large.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:23 PM
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73: Sure, it's odd and immature. I'm not saying everyone does it (far from it), but that there are people who do and that Labs might know one.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:23 PM
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I'm just saying I'd like to live in a worldcountry where that wasn't so.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:24 PM
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76: So it would just come out casually that the character had had an abortion? (I'm not trying to be dense here: it's just that for a number of women I've known who've had an abortion, it's not mentioned because it's rarely relevant, and as Heebie describes, was an easy, straight-forward decision.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:24 PM
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Well, obviously, keeping it a secret doesn't really help the pro-choice cause. But if people keep it a secret it remains one of those issues like gay couples where nobody thinks they know one.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:25 PM
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Abortions for some! Tiny american flags for others!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:25 PM
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Miniature American flags.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:29 PM
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I want to congratulate heebie for stepping up to the plate with her admission, but it isnt really a big deal so I won't.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:29 PM
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88: Right, she'd use it as small talk at job interviews and cocktail parties.

No, it would come up because things about our lives do come up when we start or deepen friendships or romantic relationships, or the character walks by a clinic protest and says "I hate those fuckers," or I don't know. I haven't written the screenplay.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:30 PM
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89: Maybe I was making a different joke.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:31 PM
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it remains one of those issues like gay couples where nobody thinks they know one

We should start a line of "No one knows I've had an abortion" t-shirts and coffee mugs.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:32 PM
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93:

excellent idea.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:34 PM
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Oops. 91==>86


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:34 PM
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The coffee mugs could have one of those heat-sensitive decals, so that the baby disappears as you drink your drink down.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:35 PM
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That's a nice idea, Sir Kraab.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:35 PM
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But people would be unclear whether no know it because you haven't mentioned it or because it's not true.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:35 PM
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Heh. That would be funny.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:35 PM
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100

Well, obviously, keeping it a secret doesn't really help the pro-choice cause.

Wasn't there a campaign recently where well-known women "came out" and publicized the fact that they had had abortions? That struck me as a pretty promising avenue. I could even imagine it going the way of the pink triangles of yesteryear, where it became cool to wear one whether or not you were gay, just as a sign of solidarity.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:35 PM
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The coffee mugs could have one of those heat-sensitive decals, so that the baby disappears as you drink your drink down.

I love it.

Could the woman's face have a frown, then a smile?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:36 PM
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How's this for a t-shirt:
Front: no one knows about my abortion...
back:...because truth is necessary for knowledge, and I have not had an abortion.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:36 PM
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100: I think that's when LB posted her relevant post.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:37 PM
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I was trying to get an "All Cretans are liars" on the front, "Nobody knows I've had an abortion" on the back, t-shirt worked out for the all-self-refuting-statements look, but couldn't really make it work.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:38 PM
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103: Actually, I think it was exactly a year ago -- there was some Blog-for-choice-day thing, and that was when I posted on it. And the same thing was yesterday, the anniversary of Roe, so presumably last year's was the same day.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:39 PM
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"My girlfriend got an abortion, and all I got was this lousy tee-shirt."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:39 PM
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"My girlfriend got an abortion, and all I got was this lousy tee-shirt."

"I'm not anti-life, I'm pro-t-shirt."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:41 PM
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I want a t-shirt that says "nobody believes I've had an abortion".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:41 PM
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"Someone you know has gotten rid of a fertilized egg and it does not bother them."

it might be a tad long.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:42 PM
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"Abortion: it's not just for sluts anymore"


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:43 PM
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109, I think your second sentence would be a more popular t-shirt. Some people need a replacement for their favorite.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:44 PM
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"A woman without a fetus is like a fish without a bicycle"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:44 PM
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or the character walks by a clinic protest and says "I hate those fuckers,"

Ah, okay, sure. I was suffering from a failure of imagination. I'm at work, that's my excuse.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:45 PM
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"If abortion is outlawed, only outlaws will have abortions."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:47 PM
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also, if y'all don't think that commenters at Drum & Ygleisas are contemptuous of women for having children sometimes...it's possible for it to be a problem in both directions.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:47 PM
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Katherine, I didn't mean that those kind of people aren't out there. They are, and they suck. What surprised me was that it sounded like they predominate among "liberals like us" in your experience.

I haven't seen those threads in particular, but almost every time I wander my way into Ygleisas's comment threads, I regret it.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 12:56 PM
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"I'll give up my fetus when, with my consent, it is pulled from my uterus with cold, dead mechanical fingers."


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:01 PM
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"Liberals like us" are more careful not to be obnoxious in the anti-abortion direction.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:10 PM
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a lot of pro-choicers (me included, sometimes) fall all over themselves to say of course it's icky,

I always wonder about this. Taking some kind of public societal position on the ickiness of abortion seems judgemental to me. A first trimester fetus is biologically very far from being human yet. If a mother bonds to it deeply that is her private business, perhaps it makes her feel horrible to lose it, but you can be sympathetic to her personally without generally saying all abortion is icky or whatever.

It seems like the rhetoric acknowledging that abortion is somehow objectively distasteful, as opposed to a morally neutral choice, is a political move to assuage the sensitivities of anti-abortion types. But they are not really capable of being assuaged.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:12 PM
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The "icky" stuff bothers the crap out of me, for instance.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:16 PM
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(The reason "icky" bugs the crap out of me: because it's obnoxious and trivializing to portray moral qualms as aesthetic qualms.)


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:18 PM
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(Also obnoxious, for the exact same reason: referring to opposition to the death penalty as "squeamishness".)


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:20 PM
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The reason "icky" bugs the crap out of me: because it's obnoxious and trivializing to portray moral qualms as aesthetic qualms.

But that's the root of the disagreement, isn't it? And people who want to present the strongest possible front towards the anti-abortion side take that posture for that reason. FWIW, I think a lot of the language, and maybe even the policy, will change as more women move up the chain of political power.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:24 PM
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I think "Icky" has a real use to describe people whose stated postion on abortion is that it's not wrong, and they are pro-choice, but who nonetheless won't stop hand-wringing about it. The William Saletans of the world. As applied to someone with sincere moral concerns, it is, as you say, obnoxious.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:25 PM
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if y'all don't think that commenters at Drum & Ygleisas are contemptuous of women for having children sometimes.

Hey, I have a great idea. Let's go to a right wing blog and talk about welfare moms! They love women having babies.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:26 PM
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they are pro-choice, but who nonetheless won't stop hand-wringing about it. The William Saletans of the world.

Ha! I almost included a sentence saying that I thought the language, in the end, would be a modified Saletan pitch.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:30 PM
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The closest I've seen to a casual-ish mention of a character's abortion was on Sex and the City. Carrie said that she'd had one when she was in her earlyish twenties when she got pregnant from a one night stand. Samantha admitted to having more than one. Then again, this was in an episode where Miranda decides to have an abortion, goes to the clinic, and then changes her mind, as always happens (if there isn't a conveniently-timed miscarriage).


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:34 PM
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You never realize how old you look to the young and beautiful.

I just got a really short haircut and shaved off my beard for the first time in about five years. Such an odd sensation. I think I look younger since the beard was mostly grey, but the hair on my head has very little. However, I seem to be developing a wattle, which sorta cancels the effect and disturbs me very much indeed. Are there exercises I can do for that?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:37 PM
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To enhance it? I think holding your breath in an attempt to inflate your neck like a bullfrog is a good first shot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:38 PM
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sleep without pillow


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:40 PM
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As applied to someone with sincere moral concerns, it is, as you say, obnoxious.

Unfortunately, I don't see people making the distinction. I've always read the "abortion is icky" formulation as an attempt to dismiss moral concerns in the most contemptuous manner possible.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:45 PM
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really short haircut and shaved off my beard for the first time in about five years

Pictures!


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:45 PM
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A first trimester fetus is biologically very far from being human yet.

Without involving myself too deeply in this and of course yes I know what you meant, but this is framed as a simple factual statement, when of course it's nothing of the sort. As a purely factual statement it's either meaningless or wrong.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:46 PM
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Saletan probably thinks it is wrong & won't come out & say so, which leads to a lot of annoying & not very coherent arguments where he makes simply false claims about the pro-choice claims....But, say, Atrios, would probably put me in the 'icky' camp & it's not because I'm in favor of shaming women who've had abortions. I think it's their call; I'm not sure what call I'd make or how it would've affected me; but I was always unhappy enough about the prospect of getting an abortion that I think it says something pretty crappy about our country that so many women every year are in a position where it's their best option.

My route to reducing the # would be better access to birth control & emergency contraception & it being less economically & professionally harmful to have a kid, not guilt tripping women who have abortions. All of which are perfectly acceptable & common pro-choice positions. But I get antsy saying things like "the abortion rate being as high as it is says something kind of crappy about this country", because I think a lot of people will respond: "so you're saying abortion is icky?"


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:48 PM
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Is it OK to think that abortion is icky from a purely aesthetic point of view without having any moral qualms about it? I mean, icky in the way that menstrual blood and placenta are icky?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:50 PM
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menstrual blood and placenta are icky

Misogynist.

Moon-blood is a gift of the Goddess, and calling it icky smacks of blasphemy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:52 PM
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134: what, exactly, makes this crappy?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:53 PM
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Icky? Placentas are delicious!


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:53 PM
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LB: "All Cretans are liars" is not a self-refuting statement, even when uttered by a Cretan, since its truth is compatible with the truth of "some Cretans are liars and some are not".

Also, placentas are delicious.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:54 PM
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See? Landers agrees.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:54 PM
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But I get antsy saying things like "the abortion rate being as high as it is says something kind of crappy about this country", because I think a lot of people will respond: "so you're saying abortion is icky?"

Maybe I misread Saletan the one time I skimmed an abortion article of his. I take his position to be something like "Safe, legal, and rare," which I take to be something like yours. (Here, I'm not speaking to any arguments he makes.) I don't know that he thinks it's wrong so much as unfortunate.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:56 PM
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placentas are delicious

You Latinists amuse yourselves, don't you?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 1:58 PM
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Or, to expand on 137, when you refer to the occurrence of abortion as sad and unfortunate, this suggests a kind of nonmoral condemning judgment that's not so far from "icky."


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:00 PM
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I was worried that "placentas" was the incorrect plural until Ben posted 139. Now I feel warm and secure.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:01 PM
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I'm not sure 'Knocked Up' is so much of a pregnancy movie as a stoner-comes-of-age movie.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:02 PM
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I believe I've mentioned this before, but once on a gardening job I planted a cherry tree atop a placenta which the client had been saving in her freezer. Half-thawed placenta: objectively icky.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:02 PM
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It seems like the rhetoric acknowledging that abortion is somehow objectively distasteful, as opposed to a morally neutral choice, is a political move to assuage the sensitivities of anti-abortion types.

That's the point I was trying to make. I have heard pro-choicers who say that "of course abortion is terrible, if necessary" even if they don't believe it, in order not to be portrayed as raving baby-killers. (No doubt some honestly feel that way.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:02 PM
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However, I seem to be developing a wattle, which sorta cancels the effect and disturbs me very much indeed.

God this made me laugh, in a despairing "this guy is also in his thirties, I'm so fucked" kind of way.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:03 PM
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this suggests a kind of nonmoral condemning judgment that's not so far from "icky."

What does "nonmoral condemning judgment" mean? Like "You added that wrong"?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:03 PM
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137: I would have found it a really crappy position to be in. I assume a lot of other people feel similarly. Why? Because I had moral qualms, I guess; I've taken the morning after pill twice without any ill effects or trauma & was glad of the option, because I think: "oh come on, that's not a baby, don't be ridiculous."

I realize some people feel the same way about first trimester abortion: "Come on, no nervous system, no brain waves, that's not a baby, don't be ridicilous." Between the fact that I don't have a rational basis for telling them they're wrong, and the fact that it's much more their business than mine, I'm not going to guilt trip people for having abortions & I'm certainly not going to suggest it ought to be illegal. Who the fuck knows, my qualms could be brainwashing by my Catholic grandmother & lapsed-Catholic-but-still-have-the-guilt-down parents. But while a lot of people don't have those qualms, a lot DO, & it's fucking obnoxious to either trivialize them or to try to twist them around into an attempt to shame people who feel differently.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:04 PM
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150 was me.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:07 PM
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To be clear, I don't fall into the "of course it's terrible" camp. Terrible is in the eye of the beholder.

And I find it "icky" only in the way that getting my blood drawn is "icky" and makes me woozy. Like what Knecht said, but without the Goddess-hating.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:09 PM
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But while a lot of people don't have those qualms, a lot DO, & it's fucking obnoxious to either trivialize them or to try to twist them around into an attempt to shame people who feel differently.

I think the problem is that moral judgments seem like the sort of things that should be universal. So if one does (or doesn't) have moral qualms, it seems like it should be a claim about whether or not everyone should (or shouldn't) have such qualms. I'm sure that position's not true, but Labs hates us too much to explain why.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:13 PM
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Like what Knecht said, but without the Goddess-hating.

I detect a contradiction with this, Sir Kraab.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:18 PM
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"Terrible is in the eye of the beholder."

Right. And I think it's quite likely that a nontrivial # of women are getting abortions even though it's a terrible experience for them, because they: (1) did not have proper access to birth control, and/or (2) think having a kid would be even more terrible, even though that would needn't be true if we had more of a safety net & were less crappy about parents having careers.

I am pro-choice, but when I had pregnancy scares in college, the idea of getting an abortion freaked the crap out of me, for a variety of personal reasons I don't care to fully discuss. It's socially acceptable not to treat that seriously or respectfully in liberal circles. In fact, people are doing it on this very thread.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:20 PM
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153: Yeah, that's about it. I think the answer to that from Katherine's perspective is doubt as to the correctness of her moral judgment; not that abortion could be wrong for her, yet right for someone else, but that while she thinks it's wrong for everyone, she's unsure enough that she believes it would be wrong of her to impose that judgment on other people at all. Which (if I've got Katherine right) is a perfectly respectable place to be.

It's just visually kind of close to the annoying Saletan position, which seems to be "I really don't think it's wrong, but I do think it's important that everyone recognize it as tragic and awful in some not-wrong kind of way."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:20 PM
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You Latinists amuse yourselves, don't you?

Hahaha! Placentae placent mihi! Applause for the bondsman.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:20 PM
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156 crossed with 155. If I've got your position wrong, which I now think I may have, I apologize.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:21 PM
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I really, really hate the argument that pro-choice people need to go around acknowledging at all times that abortion is icky and a necessarily horrible choice for a woman to have to make. For some women, who may be struggling with the problem of wanting a baby but not right now, or wanting a baby but not with this partner, the horribleness seems to me to be the way that a pregnancy makes them confront that their life isn't what they wish it to be yet. This is a sadness I imagine a lot of women might experience about abortion, and then gets read by pro-lifers as SHE'S SAD ABOUT MURDERING HER BABY. No, she's sad about having to have a surgical procedure that symbolizes a lot of totally normal life-dissatisfaction. Of course, then there are plenty of stories like LB's about feeling pretty okay about it because they're fine with waiting to have kids or not wanting kids.

The ickiness thing is just rank misogyny. All surgery is objectively pretty gross, and I don't imagine there's an invasive procedure out there that doesn't involve blood loss and tissue removal. Putting abortion into a special "this is disgusting but maybe necessary" category is as absurd as saying that a tumor removal is so disgusting that one might consider not having it done.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:25 PM
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159 also crossed with 155, not meant as a response to it. I don't know what your personal reasons or feelings are about abortion, Katherine, and I didn't mean to sound like I was belittling them. I just meant that I don't think Saletan is right that abortion should be considered a universally horrific thing for everyone in order to save it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:28 PM
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It's just visually kind of close to the annoying Saletan position, which seems to be "I really don't think it's wrong, but I do think it's important that everyone recognize it as tragic and awful in some not-wrong kind of way."

I take Saletan's position to be roughly what you describe (perhaps wrongly, as you say) as Katherine's, but universalized: "I think it might be wrong, but I don't know, and there are other interests at play, so we should allow the choice to reside with the individual woman. But I think by 'I think might be wrong, but I don't know, and there are interests at play' sentiment is the appropriate one, and I'm more sure of that, so people (most people, all people) should respond with same sort of equivocation." I don't think LB-Katherine's making that same last move, but I don't know how big a jump it is. Noted that real Katherine is defending rather than attacking, and responding to people going the other way in universalizing rather than universalizing herself.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:30 PM
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I just meant that I don't think Saletan is right that abortion should be considered a universally horrific thing for everyone in order to save it.

Does Saletan even believe that? I know he says it, but I always thought he was just making the typical Slate "counter-intuitive" noises.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:32 PM
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There's an episode of the incredibly excellent British show Ultraviolet that revolves around a woman impregnated with a little vampire baby trying to decide what to do about it. When she goes for the abortion she winds up in a "clinic" that's actually a pro-life counseling office in sheep's clothing. I was stunned and pleased by the novelty of a filmed, marketed entertainment that puts any non-crazy audience in the position of wanting to shout at the TV, "Out of the way, church people! She's got to have this abortion for the sake of all humanity!"


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:32 PM
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162: It's not unlike his stupid racist argument, where he assumes the racists are right about black intellectual inferiority and demands that liberals acknowledge this in order to save our social institutions. Saletan is like a cheap dumb Freakonomics guy without even anecdotal evidence for his conservative view of the world.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:34 PM
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Look, as a liberal I've come to grips with the fact that all my opinions and instincts are wildly out of step with what honest, hard-working people believe. If other liberals just admit that their opponents are by definition more right than they are wrong, maybe we can reach some common ground and achieve bipartisan solutions by compromising on the various issues that don't affect me personally.


Posted by: William Saletan | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:38 PM
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163: There's an episode of The L Word where Kit goes to have an abortion and winds up at one of those fakey-church-people places. She tears the joint up. The episode ended about there, and I was at first convinced that her quick-and-violent retreat from the "crisis pregnancy center" would be a way of maintaining pro-choice feminist cred, while offering her a chance to change her mind. But no. By the next ep. everything was taken care of.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:40 PM
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"honest, hard-working people"

Groan.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:41 PM
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oudemia, any news on the New-ort dude? I think that the redaction method of google proofing looks sort of dumb. Is Ne-port any better?

I think that I might get lonely and be at a loss when there's nobody around to ask questions, but I'm still curious what the dope on him is.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:45 PM
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168: I left a message with my peeps. I haven't heard back yet, but can remedy that easily!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:48 PM
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165 is pretty funny, and reminds me exactly of why I hate NPR and the NYT's political coverage. It all rests on the notion that all liberals are, in fact, insane urban isolates with graduate degrees and six-figure salaries, and must therefore we study the masses as hyper-intelligent but simple life forms who must be discussed as a uniform body of lock-step people, who are not complex or interesting or conflicted in any way. Have they really never met anyone from a modest non-coastal family, or someone who goes to an evangelical church, or someone who works in a factory, or is illiterate? Their political opinions are fed to them wholesale, too, but, just like real human beings, they have incredibly complex personal feelings and interactions with racism, social justice, women's rights, etc.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:48 PM
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153 and 156 make it unnecessary to say the long and convoluted thing I was typing up, which is good, because I have to get out of here.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:50 PM
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LB--No. I really, honestly don't actually think it's wrong for everyone. I think what you have is a certainty that pregnancy is a huge disruption & burden in another person's life, & that control over your reproductive system is a fundamental right. And I have quite a bit of uncertainty about the moral status of the fetus, because I don't conceive of there being a moment when a switch flips & "voila: it's a person".

Despite the lack of a flipping switch, though, I am still quite willing to say: "oh come on, that's not a person" at the emergency contraception/stem cell/pre-implantation stage, & I understand that a lot of people I respect quite a lot have the same reaction when they look at the biology of the first trimester, & I can't really gainsay them. But for personal reasons, heavily entangled with my family history & my own neuroses, I'm not there myself.

I'm not so far off either--there are circumstances where I would have probably had an abortion & I can imagine circumstances where I still would. But I think I would have found it a pretty crappy experience, & I think that's if, by no means universal, common enough to make it worth trying to reduce the abortion rate.

Of course there's a certain rate of abortion that's the sole result of things like: health problems, contraceptive failure, etc.--that's not realistically avoidable. But I don't think we're at that level.

If a rape victim has to have an abortion because she can't get the morning after the pill that says something crappy about society. If a 16 year old has to have an abortion because she didn't know a damn thing about contraceptive use that says something crappy about society. If a law student who's emotionally ready to have a kid & doesn't want to have an abortion but does so anyway because to do otherwise would kill her career, that says something crappy about U.S. society. If a married couple feels that they have no choice but to abort a disabled fetus because they couldn't handle the medical bills & support their other two children, that says something crappy about U.S. society.

That's what I'm trying to get at. I think it's distinct from Saletan's position--and I certainly don't claim that this sort of wishy-washiness is sound pro-choice strategy.

From my point of view, the women's movement ought to make more liberal use "but I thought you wanted to reduce the # of abortions!!!!!!!!!!!!" as a rhetorical club to support other good policies. But that's different from "talk a lot about how agonizing abortion is to shore up Roe v. Wade itself", which seems to be Saletan's position & makes no damn sense.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:51 PM
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Have they really never met anyone from a modest non-coastal family, or someone who goes to an evangelical church, or someone who works in a factory, or is illiterate?

As the writer of 165, I don't like this argument. So what if they haven't? It's not their fault.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:52 PM
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Pictures!

Not until I figure out the camera angle that hides my wattle.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:55 PM
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165 is great.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:55 PM
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173: I'm just saying they might not be experts on how to "negotiate" with the people whose views and experiences they so grossly and ignorantly mischaracterize.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:56 PM
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yes, the "we liberal coastal elites are out of step with hardworking, regular Americans" attitude somehow manages to insult everyone at once.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 2:59 PM
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172: Agreed. Abortion should be considered an often-unnecessary and needlessly traumatic medical procedure that must be preserved for when less emotionally and financially burdensome prophylactics fail, and pregnancy itself must be less stigmatized as a choice.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 3:02 PM
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178: hey, thanks. That's a lot shorter, I should remember that.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 3:04 PM
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the idea of getting an abortion freaked the crap out of me, for a variety of personal reasons I don't care to fully discuss. It's socially acceptable not to treat that seriously or respectfully in liberal circles. In fact, people are doing it on this very thread.

For the record, I believe that being pro-choice means that you get to decide whether it freaks you out or not. Either one is acceptable to me. I do not get to decide whether you should be freaked out or not.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 3:08 PM
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What if part of Saletan's moralism is about a feeling that the only way abortion can be preserved legally is by treating it as the necessary punishment for female sexuality, and that women saying that abortion was not traumatic for them is taking away the delicious moral-punishment factor, which now must be enacted by forced pregnancy. Is that what he's getting at with his "teen sexuality must be treated as a moral failure somehow" schtick?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 3:10 PM
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174: scotch tape, judiciously applied. You'll thank me. Or anyhow amuse me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 3:11 PM
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Pregnancy and poverty is the necessary punishment for teen sex.

If those things are taken away, children will be having sex like wild animals!!!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 3:11 PM
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If you talk with the abortion providers who started back in the 70's, many of them believed that they wouldnt be providing abortions for very long. Medical advances would make an abortion with a doctor unnecessary.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 3:13 PM
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My grandmother would Scotch tape her forehead every night to try to smooth out the wrinkles.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 3:15 PM
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What if part of Saletan's moralism is about a feeling that the only way abortion can be preserved legally is by treating it as the necessary punishment for female sexuality,

I didn't read him that way. I think he's counting noses, and guessing that there are more Katherines (and people a few clicks to the right) out there than LBs, and offering language not so dissimilar from that you offer--instead of "often-unnecessary," etc., he would use language that reflects moral concerns, but come down on the same side--in order to pick up the near-Katherines who might vote the other way now. It's a way of acknowledging those moral sentiments to those near-Katherines so that they might entrust him and other pro-choicers with a different political decision about who should be making that choice.

I think his real problem is that it's not really his place to speak to this issue, given his position.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 3:36 PM
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Seems like near-comity was reached (huzzah!) while I was away, but I really don't think the "this very thread" portion of this is right:

It's socially acceptable not to treat that seriously or respectfully in liberal circles. In fact, people are doing it on this very thread.

I didn't see that happening. If I somehow came across that way, it was lack of articulateness, not of respect.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-23-08 6:58 PM
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A few thoughts re: "it would come up because things about our lives do come up when we start or deepen friendships or romantic relationships" - Do you think this is something a woman should tell her boyfriend/fiance? Do you think women should share about other past surgical procedures, whether medically prudent or cosmetic? If not, why is abortion unique?

Re: "She's sad about having to have a surgical procedure that symbolizes a lot of totally normal life-dissatisfaction" I think this hits the nail right on the head for a number of women. Like a woman that had no qualms about having an abortion - it was absolutely the right, and (to her) a morally ok choice. But who was bummed she had been irresponsible enough to accidentally get pregnant (if you can call having unprotected sex an accident).

And finally, re:"Abortion should be considered an often-unnecessary and needlessly traumatic medical procedure" The necessity of abortion should not be part of the discussion. The woman should have the choice as to whether it is necessary or not - whether that be for the physical AND/OR emotional well being of her, the unborn kid, and her family (boyfriend? husband? existing kids? etc.). Even if we had wonderful healthcare, daycare, welfare so a woman could have her cake and eat it to, so to speak, she should be able to choose not to have a child simply because -- even with those community safeguards to 'help' her raise it -- she simply does not want it. Society doesn't get to tell her that she should want to, simply because she can. That's choice.

And abortion already isn't a "needlessly traumatic" procedure. As far as medical procedures go, it's a pretty straightforward one. Getting one's wisdom teeth is typically more troubling, from a physical-trauma standpoint. Perhaps there is technology out there to make it an even smoother medical procedure, but it's already not much of a traumatic one. On the other hand, we can never stop abortion from being (or not being) traumatic from an emotional standpoint -- that's for the individual to determine based upon their own beliefs.


Posted by: al | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 11:43 AM
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al, look at the context of those comments you're responding to:

AWB is not referring to abortion as "often-unnecessary" because the woman in question could just bring her child to term then put it up for adoption. She's referring to it as an unnecessarily dramatic forced move in the surprisingly common instances where a woman does not want a child, but is unable to obtain usable contraceptives or more mild prophylatics such as Plan B due to poor public health services.

Same with "needlessly traumatic". Sure, it may better than getting wisdom teeth removed, but any invasive surgery will be worse than the alternatives of readily available prophylatics like condoms and the pill, and emergency contraception. That is the relevant comparison when someone is lamenting the poor public health services that leave so many women, especially younger women in poor neighborhoods, with few ways to prevent pregnancy and stuck with the rearguard action of abortion.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 11:56 AM
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189: I think al is making a (fair) reading of Katherine's approval of AWB's language.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:07 PM
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Really, you think his reading is a fair interpretation of this:

Abortion should be considered an often-unnecessary and needlessly traumatic medical procedure that must be preserved for when less emotionally and financially burdensome prophylactics fail

It specifically sets up the contrast of necessity and trauma between abortion and non-invasive prophylactics like condoms and birth control. It does not compare abortion with bringing a fetus to term; the statement fully assumes the right to choose an abortion only judges those who need them in the most oblique possible way (in that it acknowledges you could possibly end up needing an abortion anyway because you made a dumb mistake [which I most certainly have in the past, so I don't think this is an overly harsh judgement], instead of having prophylactics that failed or just deciding against having a child at too late of a stage for other methods).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:18 PM
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As said above, I think al might be responding to Katherine's approval of the language (see #179), given Katherine's broader concerns (see #172). Whether I'm misreading Katherine, or I'm misreading al, or Katherine's misreading the narrowness of AWB's point, or something else is going on, I don't know.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:33 PM
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You're wrong & 189 is correct. It's less medically traumatic/invasive/whatever than birth; more so than contraception/emergency contraception; it's also emotionally very difficult for a sig. # of people though I would not care to guess what proportion.


Posted by: Katherine` | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:41 PM
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Fair enough.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:44 PM
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I understand your point, 189, but I still think AWB's comment is still needlessly charged. AWB did not say "Abortion should be an option preserved for when other prophylactics (presumably including Plan B) fail."

The problem is that too many people, like AWB in that comment, continue to keep their terms so charged. One side should not need to lessen their convictions in order to find common ground.

To say "If people had better access to birth control methods, there would be less abortions" (the underlying point of AWB's comment, I think) and "Better access to birth control does not encourage greater levels of sexual activity" are debatable points, and points that can be scientifically/statistically proven. Assuming the statements are both true, even someone who wants everyone to remain a virgin until their (heterosexual) marriage and thinks abortion is completely reprehensible should be able to agree that a step towards eliminating abortion would be better access to birth control. That should not be such a charged debate. Whether people think birth control, in of itself, is somehow morally questionable of course muddles that a bit - in which case I could see them wanting to exclusively promote abstinence (ie, birth control is not okay, sex outside of marriage is not okay, abortion is not okay).

I think phrasing the point as AWB did to somehow say "I understand your moral perspective" is less effective than simply saying "I understand your moral perspective" and moving on to a point of agreement.

In my opinion, much of the trouble stems from the fact that anti-choice movements have chosen to focus so squarely on legally prohibiting abortions they have failed to focus on the task of practically preventing them. The "religious right" has encouraged this tremendously because it ties into other completely unrelated political motivations, and with much success. Pro-choice movements have, post-Roe, become so embattled with protecting Roe that they have limited their ability to protect women's health/women's rights more generally -- one of their initial motivators. Both sides are losing.


Posted by: al | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 12:59 PM
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193: Agreed as to the degree of medical trauma. Disagreed as to the point re: emotional difficulty. Has anyone tried to rank the relative emotional difficulty of birth control vs. EC vs. abortion vs. pregnancy (and the resulting parenting or adoption)? How much of the emotional difficulty is from social/cultural expectations vs. what an individual independently thinks? Or is that last question even worth asking, given that we can't make those decisions in a bubble. Or, is that last question exactly the question that needs to be addressed -- in whatever bubble can be created -- to understand the innate emotional burdens associated with those options. Again, I believe the emotional burdens of those varying options are all individual; thus so must be the choice between them all.


Posted by: al | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 1:06 PM
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Al, most people here, including AWB, agree with you substantively. To the extent you're seeing sharp disagreement about anything you've said, I think you need to read more carefully.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 1:12 PM
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I definitely don't get the impression there's any sharp disagreement. I'm just ... sensitive? ... to the way language is used in abortion discussions, even friendly ones.

Back to the initial post for a sec, I totally agree with whomever it was that mentioned that no reason was given for her choice to have the kid at all, making it strange. I also agree that the film was way more about Rogan's character growing up than anything else. But that's Apatow - focusing on the guys (and well). Agreeing isn't that interesting though most of the time.


Posted by: al | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 2:28 PM
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That's why we call it "comity". At least it's an interesting word.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-24-08 2:41 PM
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side note, from ESPN today... "I believe in pro-choice. I respect that women need to make the decisions that are right for them, and I think it's wrong for people to speculate what they would do in a gut-wrenching, agonizing situation." -SLU basketball coach Majerus

I'm going to assume he's pro-choice when it's not gut-wrenching or agonizing, too. Great story.


Posted by: al | Link to this comment | 01-25-08 9:28 AM
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