Been catching up over at Dawn Eden's blog, and wanted to make a couple points.
First, on her prostitution post. I love this: "It's an important question because, taken from the ultra-liberal or libertarian side, it could be taken as an argument in favor of legalizing prostitution. After all, if casual sex is transactional in every aspect save for actual money changing hands, why penalize those who do it for money?" I hear that argument a lot - 'well, what's the big difference between buying dinner and a movie or just giving the money up front?' or something like that. In other words, I've heard legalizers say, as Dawn anticipates, that if women are screwing strangers anyway, it's crazy to punish the ones who are the most honest about it. I always find that argument funny. I don't know, maybe instead of legalizing prostitution because it's no different from the norm, we should, you know, try to change the norm and perhaps even, if we want to get really crazy about it, actually encourage men not to treat women like whores. [UPDATE: and women not to see themselves in that light, either] Hey, just a suggestion.
Another post, on depression, is really gonna get me in trouble. Basically, I don't think that depression exists. At least, not as an illness - I think it's just a natural state. Life, if you look at it a certain way, is incredibly depressing, empty, devoid of meaning, etc. To borrow the old saying, if you're not depressed at some point in life, you're not paying attention. No amount of medication is going to change that. The trick is in not looking at it in that way, at least not for dangerously long periods of time - yes, your life is devoid of greater meaning, it's nothing but dust to dust, ashes to ashes, but so what? Doesn't mean you can't create your own meaning, or at least enjoy yourself trying. So you can stay in bed all day moaning, or you can go out and choose to have a good time or help someone or something. As Dawn tells it, for her the cure was in God. That's not the case for me, but there are lots of other places to find reasons to live: in duty, in loved ones, and, of course, in a right bit of silliness. As my idol, Woody Allen, so eloquently put it, "Why is life worth living? It's a very good question. Um... Well, There are certain things I guess that make it worthwhile. uh... Like what... okay... um... For me, uh... ooh... I would say... what, Groucho Marx, to name one thing... uh... um... and Willie Mays... and um... the 2nd movement of the Jupiter Symphony... and um... Louis Armstrong's recording of Potato Head Blues... um... Swedish movies, naturally... Sentimental Education by Flaubert... uh... Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra... um... those incredible apples and pears by Cezanne... uh... the crabs at Sam Wo's... uh... Tracy's face... "
Obviously, I am not talking about legitimately insane people (of which I have, in truth, known a few). But as for all the 'depressed' people these days on Valium or whatever, I don't buy it for a second [UPDATE: And you thought all I had in common with Tom Cruise was my stunning good looks]. Get off the meds, don't take yourself and your problems too seriously, have some fun, try and do something worthwhile, and things will be all right!
UPDATE: Speaking of Dawn, her blog leads me to this great article, I love it!