February 10, 2009

A Cultural Contradiction of Libertarianism

My instincts with respect to pornography and drugs are (ah, hard-core) libertarian.

Nevertheless, my gut feeling is that a society which flaunts genital flirting on the cover of a mass-circulation publication has gone signficantly awry.

Just because the government shouldn't control it doesn't mean it's healthy.

Just because it's suitable for discreet private use doesn't mean it should be splashed all over every public forum.
The cover of the 2009 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue shows Israeli model Bar Refaeli toying with the microscopic bikini bottom that she has taken partway off. Refaeli:
"This is the one I felt the most comfortable with...You have the beach, blue water and a body. That's it. I liked that the top of the suit was on."
Well, of course. She may act naughty, but she's really a nice Jewish girl. Gotta stay eligible to snag that tycoon hubbie, y'know...

SI speaks:
It's the cover that matters most, says SI group editor Terry McDonell...Refaeli wears a string bikini by Missoni — and the strings on the bikini bottom are being tugged south.

"The cover has to reflect the athleticism and sexiness of the culture. This photo is modern, her hair and swimsuit look natural. You see her freckles. Her body is amazing and she looks intelligent," McDonell said.
I'm all for athleticism and sexiness, but I wonder how much of the exercising is performed to enable people to spend more time f***ing. Not healthy.

Meanwhile, the libertines' counterparts in the culture wars, the cornfed religious right whose focus is on exorcising, are also obsessed about sex, but in a repressive way.

Both have me uneasy about the future.

Addendum. I had mixed feelings about whether Refaeli's ethnicity and citizenship were germane to this post. It turns out that they are:
In 2007, Refaeli became a source of controversy when it became known that she had evaded military service, mandatory for Israeli citizens over 18-years-old, by marrying a family acquaintance and divorcing him soon after. Refaeli stated in an interview with Yedioth Ahronoth, "I really wanted to serve in the IDF, but I don't regret not enlisting, because it paid off big-time," further adding, "Why is it good to die for our country? What, isn't it better to live in New York City?" Refaeli has since said the interview didn't accurately reflect her statements and threatened to file a lawsuit for libel. Consequently, the Israeli Forum for the Promotion of Equal Share in the Burden threatened to boycott the fashion chain Fox if they hired Refaeli, but the two sides reached a compromise in which the model agreed to visit injured IDF soldiers on visits to Israel and encourage enlistment in the army.
Societal acquiescence to her prominence is not a positive indicator for the futures of America and of Israel.

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