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It's as good as the best episodes of "House".
"This a mockery is. Mr. Purcell is one of our most distinguished members... Are we supposed to believe that a man involved in the maintenance of society's ethical standards is, himself, morally defective? What does this say about our society in general? This a paradox is. It is just such high-minded men, devoted to public service, who set by their own examples our standards of conduct...
"Some of us seem to imagine the more respectable a person is the more reason to attack him. When we attack Mr. Purcell we attack our better selves. And there's no percentage in that.
"These meetings... operate on the idea that a man is morally responsible to his community. That's a good idea. But his community is also morally responsible to him... It should realize that having a citizen like Mr. Purcell up there is a privilege."
She believes the trussed-up image will help drive the point home, reasoning, "People respond to things that are shocking."
"I think it is important for young people to be aware of the need we have in this country to get them more active politically," says Jessica (via People), who recently hit the Democratic National Convention in Denver. "If you don't register and vote and make a difference, and hopefully change the bad things that are happening in our country, you are essentially just binding and muzzling yourself."
”Over the past three decades, the VCR, on-demand cable service, and the Internet have completely overhauled the ways in which people interact with porn. Innovation has piled on innovation, making modern pornography a more immediate, visceral, and personalized experience. Nothing in the long history of erotica compares with the way millions of Americans experience porn today, and our moral intuitions are struggling to catch up.”
“The suburbanite with the hard-core porn hookup is masturbating to real sex, albeit at a DSL-enabled remove. He’s experiencing it in an intimate setting, rather than in a grind house alongside other huddled masturbators in raincoats, and in a form that’s customized to his tastes in a way that mass-market porn like Deep Throat and Debbie Does Dallas never was.”
“This seems like a potentially reasonable distinction to draw. But the fantasy-versus-reality, pixels-versus-flesh binary feels more appropriate to the pre-Internet landscape than to one where people spend hours every day in entirely virtual worlds, whether they’re accumulating friends on Facebook, acting out Tolkienesque fantasies in World of Warcraft, or flirting with a sexy avatar in Second Life. And it feels much more appropriate to the tamer sorts of pornography, from the increasingly archaic (dirty playing cards and pinups, smutty books and the Penthouse letters section) to the of-the-moment (the topless photos and sex-scene stills in the more restrained precincts of the online pornosphere), than it does to the harder-core material at the heart of the porn economy.”
“The most stringent take on this matter comes, of course, from Jesus of Nazareth: I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
“But even among Christians, this teaching tends to be grouped with the Gospel injunctions about turning the other cheek and giving would-be robbers your possessions as a guideline for saintliness, useful to Francis of Assisi and the Desert Fathers but less helpful to ordinary sinners trying to figure out what counts as a breach of marital trust.”
“if you approach infidelity as a continuum of betrayal rather than an either/or proposition, then the Internet era has ratcheted the experience of pornography much closer to adultery than I suspect most porn users would like to admit.”
“Start with the near-universal assumption that what Spitzer did in his hotel room constituted adultery, and then ponder whether Silda Spitzer would have had cause to feel betrayed if the FBI probe had revealed that her husband had paid merely to watch a prostitute perform sexual acts while he folded himself into a hotel armchair to masturbate. My suspicion is that an awful lot of people would say yes not because there isn’t some distinction between the two acts, but because the distinction isn’t morally significant enough to prevent both from belonging to the zone, broadly defined, of cheating on your wife."
“it’s about what sort of people we aspire to be: how we define our ideals, how we draw the lines in our relationships, and how we feel about ourselves if we cross them.”