In the Washington Post Magazine yesterday, there was an article about "Red" (Republican) America. In addition to the fact that I don't believe in the notion of Red States versus Blue States (see my thoughts on this subject here
- relevant info at the end of the post), the article was pretty much a letdown...the author included himself in the story, but didn't share his reactions to what the people he interviewed said -- and some of what they said, about George Bush seeming more moral and honest than John Kerry, required a little follow-up (um, what about Iraq? I'd personally bring up at least a dozen other examples, but Iraq is certainly the most obvious one). Either include yourself in the story or don't - don't go halfway. Don't just tell us you live in D.C., but grew up in the midwest - that actually tells us nothing about the extent to which you understand "Red State" versus "Blue State" mentality. And don't just tell us what Democrats and Republicans you know think about the election - tell us what you think, what prompted you
to take this journey. That's much more interesting than your impressions of the midwestern landscape. Put your cards on the table.
But I digress.
What I wanted to say, is there was this photograph featured in the article that just really caught my attention. It was taken in Abilene, Kansas - in the foreground looms a huge roadside billboard that says,
Then, in the background, a second billboard, which reads,
I looked at that picture and I said, "That's America, right there." A predominantly Christian country in which you can't show a breast on television, yet porn is a multibillion-dollar business. (According to Frontline
, some analysts say major hotel chains like Marriott, Westin and Hilton generate more revenue from in-room sex movies than from the hotels' mini-bars. I don't know about Westin and Hilton, but isn't Marriott run by Mormons?)
If you want to read the full Post article, it's here