Friday, November 17, 2006

File Under: Calculus, Moral and Mathematical

It's been a fun two weeks over at the National Review's Corner, but none of its contributors hold a candle to the meltdown of a very repressed and very depressed Kathryn Lopez sulking over the landslide loss of her electoral idol Rick Santorum. (James Wolcott: "Her political crushes--for Santorum and especially for Mitt Romney--have passed the cute Sandra Dee stage into a nattering form of erotomania.")

Kathryn's unrequited itch has brought on a new social prescription: if K-Lo can't get any from Rick, nobody else is going to get any either. Her latest crusade is a defense of Eric Keroack, the Bush administration's appointment to head family-planning programs at HHS, who "is getting grief for his involvement with a pregnancy center that believes: 'that the crass commercialization and distribution of birth control is demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness.' "

Saint Kathryn asks rhetorically "Does Anyone Really Disagree with This?"--only to find out just about everyone does (including a few of her fellow writers and readers). Not to be cowed by a horde of nihilistic heathens, Kathryn ups the ante, arguing that "A contraceptive mentality is demeaning to women and men." You know where this is going: given the chance, as Andrew Sullivan points out, contraception would be banned in Keroack and K-Lo's Amerikka.

I might eventually regret writing publicly what many of you are thinking privately, but, my goodness, somebody over there clearly needs to get laid.

Meanwhile, another Cornered contributor John Derbyshire has (temporarily) cast off the Corner's visionary gloom and Kathryn's virginal doom to promote his intriguing new book, ambitiously called Unknown Quantity: A Real And Imaginary History of Algebra.

Derbyshire has a "well-earned reputation as the most astute and outspoken Darwinian gadfly to emerge from the slum of modern intellectual conservatism" (so says Hoover Hog), but I still have a very difficult time getting past the gross-out caused by his pedantically pedophiliac remarks on Lolita a few months back.

Nevertheless, my inner geek is telling me to ignore the ickiness caused by Derbyshire's faux-Darwinian view of impressionable young boys and girls (not to mention his slaughter of American literature). I would love to see this book sell well, if only to prevent those same impressionable young boys and girls from becoming intellectually stunted journalists for the Washington Post.