Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Daily Dose

Led by governor Mark Sanford and junior senator Jim DeMint, South Carolina is now rivaling Arizona, where porkbusters Jeff Flake, John Shadegg and John McCain lay their hats, for the most limited-government politicos.

Slate's Will Saletan documents, with extensive hyperlinks, the global black market created by the ban on selling one's own organs.

The New Yorker's John Cassidy details the inevitable result of public airwaves (from the November 2001 issue; no link available): “Without the approval of the Standards [and Practices] people, nothing goes on the air. They are the ones who insist that onscreen lesbian kisses be 'romantic' but not ‘passionate’ (i.e., no tongue); that nasty words be presented in an ‘empowering’ context (‘Who you callin' a bitch?’); that guns be aimed at people's heads only in hostage or war situations; that role models do not smoke; that we never see ‘instructional activities’ like rolling a joint or cutting a line of cocaine; and that if someone does take drugs he faces ‘consequences’—if not arrest, rehab, AIDS, or death, then at least a weepy speech from a concerned friend. Standards departments limit the range of the characters we see—there are few jolly adulterers or lovable anarchists in prime time—and they try to keep stories uplifting. David Chase, the creator of the Sopranos, recalls that when he produced a made-for-television movie called Off the Minnesota Strip for ABC, in 1980, Standards wanted him to insert a soupy version of Beethoven's ‘Ode to Joy’ over his ending, in which a 15-year-old girl heads off down the Sunset Strip, evidently to become a hooker.”