Daily Archives: December 18, 2003

Writing About Human Sexuality

OK, you can get a chuckle or two out of Will Wilkinson’s savaging of Jennifer Roback Morse’s flawed National Review article :

It’s unecessary to know a damn thing about biology or anthropology to discover that Roback Morse has NO IDEA what she is talking about. Google! Yet she has the gall, the temerity, the ova to assume an air of authority as she extrapolates her ignorance into an argument for using the law to reinforce the marginalization of homsexual fidelity.

Give Will’s post a read and, if you can stand it, you can read Roback Morse’s as well.
What is really scary is that Roback Morse’s article is the first of two parts. Well, at least this will give her some time to research the second part.
Via Julian Sanchez.
Update: Kieren Healy at Crooked Timber serves up The Beast with Two Robacksand, among many other points, notes:

Morse claims that a central feature of heterosexual sex within marriage is that it is �an engine of sociability that calls us out of our self-centeredness.� If anything, the opposite seems to be the case. A long-standing idea in sociology is that as you meet someone and later marry and have children, your social network will tend to get smaller. It�s called dyadic withdrawal.

Real Suit

Sure, they are probably right:

In a complaint filed in federal court in San Jose, California, RealNetworks claimed that Microsoft “pursued a broad course of predatory conduct over a period of years by abusing its monopoly power, resulting in substantial lost revenue and business for RealNetworks.”

but I wonder what makes them think that they will have any more success then Netscape.

More Return of the King

Gregory at Planet Swank reviews his viewing of Return of the King here. It makes me more eager to see it.
Unhappily, I will probably have to wait until the interlude between xmas and new years.
But, I can tell you in advance that I will be disappointed by the apparent return to a quiet Shire. In the books I was at first shocked by the Harrowing of the Shire, though it was well foreshadowed, and then realized that this was both a necessary and the capstone event for the Hobbits. It demonstrated that our little friends had indeed learned from and grown as a result of their experiences and that there was some hope that the Shire, in some form, would survive in a world now permanently changed.
I can only hope that the extended version puts this back in.
Normally I avoid reading posts related to something I planned to read or view unless they are clearly marked as containing no spoilers. For many of us who have read the 4 books (the Trilogy stands on the shoulders of The Hobbit) the only spoilers have to do with what is changed from the original and I’d almost rather know about these in advance.
However, there is one possible spoiler that I’ll try to avoid. If for some reason Jackson left out the scene at the end depicting the sailing of the elves et al at the end and I find out about it I just might choose to wait a really long time to see this one. That scene, reinforced through many readings, carries for me the full emotional weight of the series and emphasizes by having them physically depart from the land that the times, they have changed.
Note, I won’t read any comments to this post until after I have seen the movie.
Update(later on 12/18): Scott at The Gamer’s Nook has an extensive commentary including a lot of scene by scene detail. Maybe I’ll have to figure out how to see this sooner then after Xmas.
But, damn, Scott also says that Jackson did not film the Scouring of the Shire. How could he do so magnificently on the rest and, in my opinion, fail so terribly with that. Even if it was never to make it to the big screen……
And another update (12/18):: Stumpjumper also liked the movie

I was totally engrossed for the entire three and a half hours. I could write a really long review explaining in great detail all of the reasons why this is the best movie to have been released in a very long time. I won’t bore you. Just take my word for it: this movie is everything that you could want. Every member of the cast and crew surpasses his/her previous efforts. Every second of footage is mersmerizing. Every word of dialog is perfect. Forget the other trilogies. Go see this movie. Now.

And, via Jaquandar, Greywalker has her review here. Her thoughts on the missing Scouring:

And yes, you did hear correctly: there is no Scouring of the Shire. My disappointment about this major change to the story runs very deep. I’ve heard the reasons for it. I accept that Jackson and his fellow script writers chose to interpret the story this way. I just think the interpretation is wrong. The hobbits returning and discovering that evil has reached its long arm all the way back to the Shire and must be vanquished on their home turf is an essential element of what Tolkien was trying to communicate.

Yep, will have to get to this soon….
Jacob Levy thinks ROTK is damn brilliant.