What does it take to wake a college student? They are understandably stressed out, distracted by classes, homework, jobs, and exams. Students are high energy too, knowing they need to deliver the facts on demand. There's a bit of the college student in all of us!
But you know those facts don't always do what you want them to, as the Talking Heads song "Crosseyed and Painless" reminds us.
"Facts won't do what I want them to"
In my own life, pulled along in the excitement of ideas and a hectic work life I floated in a dreamy haze of inaction for Van Winkle years. My generation's 60's style free love sold to us as a social good.... Seriously?
Now we are told that certain photos must not be shown and it seems cannot be seen. In the interest of women's "good."
Images speak. Sometimes they cry out. So, here's the image deemed too controversial (notice, the photo's accuracy was not questioned); nonetheless, you were not allowed to "see" it, to look, and to examine the truthfulness of claims regarding the status of the preborn. (The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and the LA Times refused to publish this image, part of an advertisement created by Heroic Media.):
Artist Donna Lee
"Facts are written all over your face"
Rather than undifferentiated cells, this photo shows a medically- accurate fetal model held in a hand. Science is based on observation, and it isn't just scientists who have eyes or the new eyes provided by ultrasounds-eyes that tell us a 20 week old fetus has separate arms, legs, body, and face. Science is making it possible for all of us to have eyes to see.
If the photo had shown earlier human development, not an infant able to be nestled in a human hand-- there would appear nothing morally problematic: "if you get the abortion early enough, the fetus doesn't even look like a baby." Yet, already at fertilization, there is human life, looking the way it's supposed to look at that stage of development, increasingly revealed by science, to be rapidly replicating, coordinated human development.
"Facts go out and slam the door"
The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal ran the original advertisement while stipulating that the wording make "it clear that it was a paid advertisement." The Chicago Tribune demanded a different picture of a live 20-week old baby en utero--was it the 3 dimensionality of the photo image that was so disturbing? If so, there are now 3D images of infants in utero, so we can all see the life of a developing fetus with greater clarity than ever before.
What's interesting about this is that we are told, on the one hand, that images of abortion victims are too graphic; on that grounds, this clearly sanitized photo of a fetal model should be more acceptable--the infant is not decapitated or bloody--the photo omits the gritty realism of the effects of the abortionist's scalpel. Yet, the photo does capture in an intimate and personal way, the size and form of the baby.
Yet, this image too was and apparently is too graphic for the general public: You were not allowed to see the real size and anatomy of a fetus that gives lie to the myth that abortion merely rids the woman's body of a "clump of cells." Could "clump of cells" not describe any member of the human family?
Look for yourself. The miracle of human life developing at an unbelievably rapid pace inside the uterus is nothing less than astonishing.
To be politically correct today is to have eyes wide shut. As the image of a 20 week old human embryo shows, there's a third story involved, and it's going unheard.
We've now had 40 years to gather in the windfalls the feminists promised: abortion would end poverty and child abuse. In reality, both have been perpetuated, if anything, by abortion. "Make love, not war" we declared, effectively protesting the war by the appeal of sex- as- liberation as peacemaking. Making love instead of war sounded good. Flower children, after all, handed daisies to soldiers.
The movement effectively drew on an image of flower child innocence. "Love, not war" was propped up by "love, don't judge," all played out by "good" flower children. Creepily, aggression toward the weakest and the most essentially voiceless among us sustains this ongoing "free love" ethic.
Abbie Hoffman's "Flower Brigade" was accompanied by protests in which college students demanded sexual liberation. Simultaneously with the idyllic flower power movement we were threatened with economic collapse from a population bomb--prophesied in the Malthusian overtones of Paul Erlich and increasingly articulated by feminists who in effect declared war on our offspring.
Yet we had to wait for an image as powerful as the daisy threaded into a rifle barrel to understand the impact of our Beetle's generation's particular mode of aggression. Women who took up the liberationist mantra later reported feeling "coerced" into abortion. No matter that the population explosion never went off. We all got the memo: curb our actual procreation. Make love not babies.
What was inherited from the Summer of Love was a sexuality colonized by social progressives and consistently linked both to the peace movements and the need for contraception and abortion as a means of correction for the sin of human propagation. The generation after the baby boomers recognize their parents efforts to sustain romanticisation of their youth prior to selling out.
Those who coined the "free love" edict continue to claim: no one gets hurt. It was left to the generation after the baby boomers to recognize sexual libertinage as a failed project. The wreckage of divorce, single parents, and STDs was all around them, reminders that sexual license and abortion were not unquestionable social goods. Increasingly clear is the way the current base has echoed the 60s strategy of linking sexuality to political change. And the body count from peace loving yet uncommitted sexual acts now dwarfs casualties of the Vietnam war.
"Crosseyed and Painless."
Hooking up, after all, is not the same thing as love--how could genuine love for the other include the fall out we began seeing and continue to see despite our best efforts at a black out. The facts are living turned inside out.
Some people wake up on their own; Most of us need an alarm clock. Images of the victims--an ever mounting pile-- from our 60's frolic provide a counter balance to the pretty image of the flower child with tangled hair, bared breasts, sweetly sniffing daisies with unfocused eyes.... Victims, even without clearly defined faces, call to us ever louder with the new ultrasound technologies. And that alarm is getting harder to ignore.