Erica Jong on the Boredom of Modern Sexuality. "People always ask me what happened to sex since 'Fear of Flying,'" writes Erica Jong, author of the iconic novel of the sexual revolution in the 20th century. "I was fascinated to see, among younger women, a nostalgia for ’50s-era attitudes toward sexuality. The older writers in my anthology are raunchier than the younger writers. The younger writers are obsessed with motherhood and monogamy." Jong thinks this shift in attitudes towards sex and freedom since the days of "Fear of Flying" makes sense: "Daughters always want to be different from their mothers. If their mothers discovered free sex, then they want to rediscover monogamy." But everywhere she looks, "there are signs that sex has lost its frisson of freedom. Is sex less piquant when it is not forbidden? Sex itself may not be dead, but it seems sexual passion is on life support." But what is the result? "Not only did we fail to corrupt our daughters, but we gave them a sterile way to have sex, electronically." Moreover, she notes "our current orgy of multiple maternity does indeed leave little room for sexuality." According to Jong, there is something to be said, certainly, for this shift in sexuality: "Different though we are, men and women were designed to be allies, to fill out each other’s limitations, to raise children together and give them different models of adulthood. We have often botched attempts to do this, but there is valor in trying to get it right." Nonetheless, "when sex becomes boring, something deeper is usually the problem — resentment or envy or lack of honesty."
Frank Bruni on the Sordid Cast of the Casey Anthony Trial. "As a mirror of people’s opportunism, avarice, hypocrisy and hysterics," writes Frank Bruni, the Casey Anthony case was "galling." Leaving aside the justice of the outcome, the cast of characters was "almost too bad to be believed." Defense Lawyer gave the reporters and spectators the finger and lashed out at lawyers for going on television when he had done the same. Jose Baez, defense team leader, couldn't practice law for eight years because "the Florida bar deemed him unfit." Nancy Grace, with her "devil is dancing" wrath, "doesn’t serve the cause of victims with such histrionics. She serves the cause of Nancy Grace. And she succeeds only in trivializing everything." One juror "accepted, as a thanks from the network, a trip to Disney World." And "enough has been said about the sordid dynamics of the Anthonys. They’re pathetic. No verdict changes that or alters the probability that Casey Anthony will have a wretched future."