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Posts Tagged ‘Roe vs. Wade

In praise of obsession… er, enthusiasm…


from Coppola’s The Conversation

Plumbing is a way of expressing or confronting humanity’s “anatomical bottom-line.”
– Peter Greenaway

I found by staging scenes (in A Nightmare on Elm Street) in the bathroom, that it took on a whole other meaning, because that’s so much, for a child, the private room — the room where you explore your body and all the mysteries of the body. It’s also the only room in the house that has a lock. And a lot of tremendous things happen in there — bathing, the sort of baptism, all those things…
– Wes Craven

“Plumbing. Can’t beat it. Helps any movie”
– Ethan Coen

Jim Emerson, the founding editor-in-chief of RogerEbert.com, is a man of deep enthusiasms…  He’s written elegant and enlightening criticism and film history (along with screenplays, dramas, and essays on a panoply of topics) for a couple of decades.  But he soars when he’s addressing his passions: film noir, Frank Sinatra, Buster Keaton, Barbara Stanwyck, Twin Peaks— and the history of plumbing in cinema.

from the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple


As we ruminate on the real “intertubes,” we might recall that it was on this date in 1973 that the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Roe vs. Wade decision, decriminalizing abortion in the U.S.

Abortion had not been illegal (nor widely considered immoral) for the nation’s first hundred years; terminating pregnancies before “quickening” (the time when the fetus first began to make noticeable movements) was common practice.

Abortion became a serious criminal offense in many states in the 1860s.  The new laws were fueled not by moral concern, but by a new trade association, the American Medical Association– the emerging “union” of doctors– for whom abortion practitioners were unwanted competition.  The doctors were able to recruit the Catholic Church, which had until then accepted abortion before quickening; and by the turn of the century, most states had anti-abortion laws.  Even then, it wasn’t until the 30s that they were at all aggressively enforced.

Since then, of course, the issue has grown in valence and become, at once, a polarizing element in civic discourse and a vector along which religion and government have co-mingled.



Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 22, 2012 at 1:01 am

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