McCartnc’ would call “dire consequences.”rnAll of them indicate that sexualrnimnioralih—especially in women —isrna threat to the social order. All of diemrnindicate that sex diseonneeted fromrnmorals leads to horror. Taken together,rnthese fictions enibod’ the sexual moralrnpatrimon- of the West. A culture superiorrnto our own might ha’e learned thesernlessons the eas’ wa’, by reading theserntexts w ith respect. Our culture, however,rndecided to learn these lessons in whatrnBen Franklin called the “expensi’crnschool of experience.” What horror fictionsrnmake clear is that that lesson will bernlearned willy-nillv. The monsters thatrnour dissolute behavior creates will ensurernthat.rn— K. Michael janesrnSouth Bend, INrnDr. McCartney Replies:rnFirst, let me sa’—as I did in my review—rnthat I agree with Dr. Jones’ central thesis:rnThe modern attempt to regard sex as arnform of alue-free recreahon disconnectedrnfrom its procreahxe potenhal has beenrnwidcK’ destructive.rnIf anthropolog) is at all correct in its assumptions,rnwhat we call “civilization” rcceirned one of its most formative revelationsrnwhen our species began to realizerntliat there was a causal connection betweenrna woman’s birth pangs and thernpleasurable frenzv that preceded them b’rnnine months. At that moment, sex becamernat once sacred and fatefid, an activiK-rntliat required special handling. Thatrnpeople have in recent times been so desperaternto break this proereative linkage is,rnas Dr. Jones argues, horrifieally ironic. Inrnhll possession of the facts of life, manyrnhave chosen to abandon them in hopesrnof enjoying unfettered pleasure. The resultsrn—broken homes, abandoned children,rnabused women, enercal diseasesrn—have been catastrophic.rnSo far, so agreed. I must, howeer,rntake issue with Dr. Jones’ proposed remedv.rnAlthough sex is liable to be misused,rnlimiting its expression to a purely proereativernfunetionalism won’t work. As a RomanrnCatholic, I am, of course, familiarrnwith this prescription. But I’ve alwaysrnthought it a cure worse than the disease,rnand so have many within the Church.rnDo we eat only to nourish ourselves?rnDrink onl- to quench thirst? Clothe ourselvesrnonl) to keep warm? Our basicrnneeds and appetites have given rise to anrninfinite panoply of aesthetic expressiveness.rnThat’s what we call “culture.” If wernwere to follow Dr. Jones’ declared regimenrnregarding sex, then we would havernto dump the Odyssey, Dante, the sonnet,rnand Cole Porter—to say nothing of handholding,rnwhich, 1 believe, can be quiternstinudating without being necessarilyrnadulterous or even fornieafive. Dr. Jonesrnsometimes seems to want to corral us intornSwift’s Honvhuhnm herd, rationallyrnproscribing our appetites to their purelyrnutilitarian applications.rnFollowing Dr. Jones’ readiness to dismissrnauthorial intentions, I could willful-rn1- interpret his own writing. Does he notrnshow signs of siding with tiie pod peoplernin Invasion of the Body Snatchers, especiallyrnthe one who righteously justifiesrntheir eollectivist mission to convert humanih’rnto their cause? As this well-meaningrnalien explains to the film’s humanrnprincipals, Becky and Miles, tiicy shouldrnbe glad to join a world withovit emotion,rnlove, and indixiduality because it is infinitelyrnmore reasonable than the onernthey know. Unquestionably; but it woiddrnbe inhumanly dull, also. I’m sure Dr.rnJones doesn’t deliberately intend to adoptrnthe pod position, so I won’t say tiiat herndoes on some subconscious le’el.rnOn i^ndrea Dworkin, I reread Dr. Jones’rnremarks in Monsters From the Id, and therernis notiiing there to suggest he recognizesrnher obsessive lunaev for what it is.rnFinalK’, I must thank Dr. Jones for correctingrnm’ mistake regarding die foundationrnthat supported Alfred Kinsey, a podrnperson of a different—but just as alien —rnstripe. Discredit must be gi’en whererndiscredit is due. Dr. Jones may bernamused to learn of the circumstancesrnthat extenuate mv otherwise unpardonablernaustake. I was writing mv reviewrnwhile isiting mv daughter and son-inlawrnin Seattle. Ensconced in theirrncramped back bedroom, I found myselfrnoccasionally distracted bv the joful consequencesrnof libido in the person of mrnclamorous month-old granddaughter,rnFlannery.rnCULTURAL REVOLUTIONSrnAL G O R E ‘ S exit to political oblivionrnhas no doubt delighted man conservatirnes. But there is nothing for conservativesrnto cheer about in the U.S. SupremernCourt’s decision in Bush v. Gore, the instrumentrnof Gore’s demise.rnThe unsigned majorih’ opinion concludedrnthat Florida’s recount proceduresrnviolated die Equal Protection Clause ofrnthe I4th Amendment, because no uniformrnstandard w as used in the recount orderedrnbv die Florida Supreme Court torndetermine what constituted a valid vote.rnIbis conclusion was somewhat surprisingrnbecause Florida’s election statutes,rnlike those of most other states, merelyrncharge diosc counting die votes to determinernthe “intent of Hie voter.” In otherrnwords, the U.S. Supreme Court foundrnfault witli Florida’s Supreme Court notrnbecause it had vitiated Horida’s statutoiyrnelection scheme, but because the Floridarncourt had not made up a new standardrnfor counting votes to go along with its odierrnmisreadings of the legislature’s intent.rnThe U.S. Supreme Court’s attempt tornensure the “ecinalit)'” of all votes is sure torninvite further federal intenention in staternelections. One can easily envision, forrnexample, a black candidate challengingrnhis defeat in federal court on the groundsrnthat poorer minority districts often usernolder voting machines that producernmore spoiled ballots. The niajoritv insertedrnsome language to try to guardrnagainst such challenges, but the logic ofrnBush V. Cjore surely favors diem. In seekingrnto justify its decision, the majorityrnplaced almost total reliance on Reynoldsrnv. Sims and other examples of what itrnnow terms the Warren Court’s “one person,rnone vote jurisprudence.” Those decisionsrnignored the text, history, andrnstructure of the Constitution and dealt arngrievous blow to conservative politics inrnAmerica; thev are hardly building blocksrnfor a truly conservative jurisprudence.rnNor was the opinion of Chief JusticernRehnqiust, joined bv Justices Scalia andrnThomas, particularly heartening. ThernCourt’s conservative bloc also relied onrnWarren Court jurisprudence to justifyrntheir w illingness to overturn die FloridarnSupreme Court’s interpretation of Floridarnlaw.rnHaving invoked the shade of Earl Warren,rnthe conservative trio also claimed tornbe V indicating die Florida legislature andrnfederalism. But surelv the cause of federalismrnwould have been better served ifrnFEBRUARY 2001/5rnrnrn