Fun fact: in Latin, "cloaca" (or some close version of this derivative) means "sewer." Everything runs through it!
I will be curious to read your memoir about being raised evangelical, because my first thought about this piece (ripe with references to bible study, girls in skirts, the 16-person baby-carrying van, etc.) was that its focus on an extreme good/evil binary and themes of sin and absolution is pretty biblical! Not sure the answer to allowing women to experience the 'full range of their emotions' is to equate female violence w/male violence, or that downplaying the influence of domestic violence/trauma is the same thing as recognizing female autonomy. Also disagree that society 'refuses to let women have a dark side'; see Eve, the Salem Witch Trials, Fatal Attraction, etc., etc.
@wee_ramekin It's not the fact that he's promiscuous or gay or a taxpayer that matters, per se, it's the fact that he had unprotected sex, on purpose, multiple times, with people he knew were HIV-positive. That's an incredibly selfish choice that has broad public health implications. I am really sympathetic to the unfair fatalism the interviewee described feeling as a young, gay man -- but this doesn't excuse his consistent pursuit of unsafe sex. Sex is highly personal, sure, but it's also social. Having risky sex is a public health hazard. It's not unlike parents refusing to vaccinate their children for preventable diseases. No, the interviewee is not a terrible person undeserving of health care because he contracted a preventable disease. But that doesn't mean we can't judge his choices as irresponsible; ultimately, even if he never again had unsafe sex after contracting HIV (which doesn't seem clear from this interview) he's culpable (or at least was) for contributing to a culture of indifference around sex safe that puts much more than just his own health at risk.
@saveallison Just think of how rich Alaska would be, and how few budget problems it would contend with, if the state kept oil royalties instead of doling them out to citizens to spend! (Think Norway.) But of course that kind of policy choice requires a belief in the important function of government...
@Li'l Sebastian It's Texas! The whole state runs on oil. I'd be shocked if she weren't pro-industry. There are few liberals in resource rich states that aren't. Harry Reid sides with mining companies. Gov. Landrieu is bought by oil. Virginia democrats want to open up federal offshore lands to drilling so that the state can get a cut of the $$.
On the Pinterest, this is really interesting. Can this only fly for a woman politician in the south? Hard to see a New York politico being taken seriously for having this kind of profile, but maybe Kristen Gillibrand and Christine Quinn have their own 'favorite muffin of the month!' tweets or something...
@meetapossum Thanks for this comment; wanting to get into the "self-referential" question was really all that was behind my frustration above, and I would love to see what other people think too. And good point re: 'what's the difference?' with music, literature, etc. I guess maybe I would find the self-referential stuff less annoying in film if it were about the process, ethics, art etc. of making movies instead of the commerical side of Hollywood or celebrity worship. Maybe it's the difference between "The Artist" (or some esoteric/classic film that references movie-making much more obliquely) and "In a World..." Although maybe this movie is great; I haven't seen it. I just groaned at the trailer, but some people are saying it's a feminist commentary on Hollwood, so maybe it's doing precisely what I seem to be demanding it should.
@meetapossum Well, I for one don't think attacking people for their opinions is a categorically bad thing. What if someone's opinion is misogynist, or based on an understanding that dinosaurs and humans once co-existed on earth? Sure, everyone is entitled to their opinions. But this doesn't mean the rest of us aren't equally entitled to think their opinions are crap, and say so. This is criticism, and there are lots of healthy kinds of it; film criticism, for instance! (Not that this is what I was attempting above.)