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Abortion in film

At NRO, Thomas Hibbs looks at the approach to abortion in 2 recent films

Much is made of fidelity — to God, spouse, and children. In this context, a botched abortion is less an occasion for the promotion of abortion, safe and legal, than a reflection on abortion as symptom and cause of infidelity.

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David Kubiak

posted January 9, 2004 at 2:23 pm

I was very surprised to see in one of the new TV crime shows — the one with David Caruso — a plot that hinged on a man who had his mistress killed because she was pregnant. The baby was treated as precisely that through the whole show, and as I recall, the last scene was Caruso in a church putting a picture of the sonogram at the foot of a statue of Mary.
Who knows how much of this is conviction on the part of the writers and how much playing to cultural realities, but I do think that sympathetic theatrical treatments of abortion are not to be found today the way they were, for example, in the 70’s on that dreadful show ‘Maude’.

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posted January 9, 2004 at 2:55 pm

Hibbs misunderstands both films so thoroughly it’s hard to believe he saw the same ones I did. A perfect illustration of why you shouldn’t look to political journals for arts criticism.

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Franklin Jennings

posted January 9, 2004 at 3:47 pm

Thomas Hibbs is author of “Shows About Nothing” and a philosophy prof. (a Thomist, no less) at Boston College. He’s made a career of critiquing popular culture, especially as portrayed on the shimmering screens, both large and small. His observations are nearly always insightful, and usefully so. That his perspective disagrees thoroughly with yours is no reason to dismiss it as a “misunderstanding”.

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posted January 9, 2004 at 7:23 pm

That preposterous crapola about “Seinfeld”: Say the episode where Kramer decides to go on the AIDS Walk for example, doing good, and yet he’s beaten by the AIDS walkers because he fails to wear the AIDS ribbon, so that in this world it doesn’t seem to matter whether you do good or whether you do bad, in the end your desires are always frustrated, so it seems to me that – it might be justice in the sense that not even the bad get away with anything but the good is never rewarded on the show either. That’s insightful? Say no more.

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Andrea Harris

posted January 9, 2004 at 10:55 pm

Seinfeld? Wasn’t that the show about “nothing”? I don’t know, I never watched it. I believe I tried to watch an episode once, but turned it off after about five minutes.

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Franklin Jennings

posted January 10, 2004 at 8:41 am

I don’t suppose Nance would be kind enough to provide me with an identity so I can go cherry-pick from everything she’s ever written in the feild of criticism, would she?
Or whatever feild she has a voluminous body of work in? I daresay I could make her look like a chump, or a genius, or a saint, or satan himself. That’s the nature of cherry-picking, don-cha-know?

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posted January 10, 2004 at 10:23 am

Let’s welcome any signs of life that sprout up in the popular culture. I stumbled into the David Caruso show too, and good not believe the reverent treatment of the murdered unborn child and the Holy Mother. And anytime Hollywood portrays abortion as less than a rite of passage and more like a tragic consequence of selfishness means hearts are softening. The road to conversion is not a straight line. Let’s make the exodus easier for those seeking higher things. Barbed criticism may only delay their journey.

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posted January 10, 2004 at 10:58 am

Cannot comment on the other film since I have not seen it, but I did see “In America” and I thought it was a great film: beautiful and powerful and very human. Even though Hibbs liked the movie, the narrow focus of his review undeservedly diminished it. I hope all of you get to see “In America.”

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posted January 10, 2004 at 12:23 pm

How is it possible that Nance jumps to the conclusion that a writer “thoroughly misunderstands” two films when he states clearly that he is commenting on a portion (that is, the treatment of abortion) in each film?
Hello? He wasn’t “reviewing” the films.
Could it be that Nance’s view of the morality of abortion and Hibbs don’t exactly match up? Talk about kneejerk reactions…

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