The Thinking 
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Sheet-Metal Poetry

July 1, 2010



IN AN article in The Brussels Journal about the interesting genre of aviation movies, Thomas F. Bertonneau writes:

The real interest in aviation cinema lies, however, not in the perfunctory drama, but in the forms and movements of the aircraft themselves and – if one were to place such films in their historical sequence – in the urgent perfection of those forms towards the increasingly abstract. Read More »


Should I Be Covering the Oil Spill?

July 1, 2010


ANGELA writes:

It seems pretty ironic, but telling, in many ways that a “thinking housewife” seems to be totally sheltered and oblivious to the genocide and slow poisoning that is taking place of women and children on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Have you, the “thinking housewife” even thought about it? The dead zones, the illness? Any of it? Really, you should be writing about nothing else, if you were actually “thinking.”

Laura writes:


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The Problem with Mr. Darcy

July 1, 2010


A COUPLE of readers in the Twilight discussion have expressed the opinion that the male vampire hero in the movies and books is no more harmful or unreal than Mr. Darcy, the famous hero of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Leaving aside the obvious problem with comparing the clunky Twilight to the clever characterizations of Austen, I do not think any similarities with Mr. Darcy justify the romantic excesses of Twilight. That’s because Mr. Darcy is a very problematic hero for women.

Darcy is pure fairy tale and yet he is made to seem real. There are no Mr. Darcys in real life and female fascination with this character is unfortunate if it is not conscious of this fact.

I’m not saying that there are no men as intriguingly aloof and strong and interesting as Mr. Darcy. There are. But I think it is fair to say that there are almost no men who are as fantastically wealthy as Mr. Darcy and who yet combine in perfect proportion his arrogance and sensitivity, his haughtiness and emotional delicacy. Mr. Darcy is sublime, but he is one of the most unreal men ever to grace the pages of a minor literary masterpiece.

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Porn Flicks for Girls

July 1, 2010


BRENDAN writes:

I have to say that Vanessa’s comment [that Twilight represents a wholesome longing for strong heroes] strikes me as wide of the mark.

Men do not have sexual fantasies about being Spiderman so that they can “get the girl.” It doesn’t register in the sexual attraction and arousal areas of our brains in the least. If anything, it is the appearance and demeanor of the “girl” herself which can be alluring — which is probably why Hollywood is so selective when it comes to the appearance of its star actresses. But there is no “male equivalent” in Spiderman or any other action film, of the kind of hysteria we see among women relating to Twilight. It just doesn’t register with us the same way.

This is why the most appropriate comparison is pornography, because pornography is something that does register in the attraction and arousal areas of the male brain. I’m no advocate of pornography — it’s immoral and also profoundly unhelpful for maintaining a normal sex life. Read More »

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