Saturday, December 04, 2004

Kinsey

Saw Kinsey last night. My wife and I agreed that it was oddly short of eros for a flick about a sex researcher. (Not that I'd want our nine-year-old to see it.) Maybe we're just jaded by the past half-century of on-screen prurience.

One tangential aspect that struck me was the faith of Liam Neeson's title character in the power of Science to change attitudes and drive social reform. I suppose scientists in his day really did enjoy a level of prestige and influence that they've mostly lost in our "post-modern" age. Science seems to have taken the blame, not altogether undeservedly, for the atomic bomb, environmental devastation, and a host of other 20th century ills. Meanwhile the real masters, Politics and Business, march on with influence intact.

And now that Science no longer commands allegiance, that old-time Religion has re-emerged from the wings to drive Darwin out of the classroom and the sex out of sex education. A couple more generations and we may need a new Alfred Kinsey to start the cycle all over again.

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