Imagine That!

Although the article that prompts this post is a bit dated now, I've been meaning to comment on it since I first saw it, and so I'd better do so before it becomes ancient history.

The cover story of the April 9 issue of The New York Times Magazine was about abortion in El Salvador. The headline asked, "Ever imagine what it might be like to live in a place that voted to thoroughly criminalize abortion? A place that sent abortion providers to jail? That policed hospitals? That investigated a woman's uterus?" It continued, "Welcome to 21st-Century El Salvador."

I found this really bizzare, in a way that has nothing to do with the issue of whether abortion should be legal. I mean, yes, if some activity is outlawed somewhere, the people who engage in it will be treated like criminals, pursued by the police, and so forth. That's supposed to be news? Of course, if you believe that activity ought to be permitted, you will deplore this state of affairs. But it's hardly a surprise, is it?

By way of contrast, can anyone envision the Times featuring a headline such as, "Ever imagine what it might be like to live in a place that voted to thoroughly criminalize marijuana? A place that sent marijuana providers to jail? That policed citizens' private gardens? That investigated a teenager's urine?"


  1. There are people out there who refer to "High Times" as the "Times." I call the "New York Times" the "New York Times."

    If New York city liberals would find marijuana as fashionable as abortion, then I could envision such an article in the "New York Times."

  2. I hate when people shorten titles, names, etc. One time when I worked at the record store in Gainesville, some idiot came in wanting "fish" tickets. He was a bit pompous about it too. So I sold him a couple Phish tickets. He comes back in an hour all angry because he had really wanted "Dingo Fish" tickets. Hey Buddy, don't try to be so cool next time and check your tickets. Around the same we were selling Widespread Panic tickets as well. The kids would come in wanting tickets for "Widespread". It always gave me unsavory visions.

  3. Marg, I completely agree with you.

  4. Woody7:58 PM

    I’m not an expert on popular culture, but there are some pretty obvious trends:

    We have a President who goes by the name “W.”

    Dweezil and Ahmet, the offspring of the great critic of all that is popular, Frank Zappa, have named their band, “Z.”

    Armani Exchange bills itself as “AX.”

    We have pop stars with dumbed down diminutives: J Lo and Jay Z

    It seems that if you get it down to single letters, you have a good chance at commercial success.

    Would Jeb, to have a "shot," need to share a name with a whiskey, “J&B?”

  5. To continue on this off original topic tangent, when the Grateful Dead were touring we would often attend "Dead" shows. Now with Jerry gone the Grateful Dead Leftovers as I affectionaltely refer to them moniker themselves as the Dead. Very confusing when someone says they were at say 20 or such Dead shows begining around five years after Jerry (that's short for Jerry Garcia) died. Can U C the confusion they R causing?

  6. A few years back some worker somewhere asked for my "soash". I asked her what it meant. It was short for social security number. Aggravated me to no end.

  7. Woody9:09 PM

    The nerve of the workers these days! A "Soash?" It's unbelievable the liberties these workers take under a system of benign neglect, such as ours.


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