Thursday, March 16, 2006



Blight (2001)

I was born in South Dakota and have great affection for the state, but I think some kind of industrial agent has contaminated the corn there recently. The poison has leeched into residents and mutated their empathy gene.

Something's definitely stunted. I don't think the compassionate conservatives ever get more than knee-high on the prairie.

Yes, you probably know that South Dakota recently passed a law outlawing abortion that provides no exclusions for rape, incest, or a woman's health. Only a direct threat to a woman's life evokes the one exception clause.

Bill Napoli, state senator and strong supporter of the bill, was interviewed last week on PBS and said that rape and incest might count as exceptions under the bill's provision of protecting the mother's life. When asked to provide an actual scenario to illustrate how such exceptions could be invoked, Napoli clarified by saying:

A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

Such a big-hearted guy. Let me see if I understand the criteria. In order to qualify for life-endangered status, the rape victim must:

* be brutally (a word Napoli likes since he uses it twice) and savagely raped -- as opposed to being warmly and affectionately raped by a St. Fabio of Assisi gentleman, a sort of Rape Whisperer type who is primarily concerned with the victim's wants, needs, and pleasure. Next on Fox News: Rape -- Could It Be a Good Thing?

*be a virgin and planning to stay one until she says I do -- no doubt necessitating a discovery process to obtain abstinence oaths signed in blood and ordering gynecological strip searches to insure veracity. No volcanoes in South Dakota, so the virgin angle is likely to get heavy rotation. However, there could be a down side. This provision appears to have a built-in Catch-22 factor, since it's an odds-on guess that the rape victim will no longer be a virgin after the violation.

*be religious -- leaving out victims who are atheists and I'd wager wiccans and scientologists, too. And what rubric should the State Board of Theology use here? A forehead squeeze divination from the wacked out Rev. Robertson? The amplified voice of God booming from the Jefferson head on Mount Rushmore? Perhaps the South Dakota ledge can concoct a test modeled after the dunking stools once used to ferret out witches. If the victim drowns, she was religious, and an exception will be granted. Oh. Wait...

*be sodomized in addition to being brutalized and raped -- and not just any run-of-the mill sodomy -- no, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it -- Xtreme Sodomy -- Max X Sodomy -- It's the End of Sodomy as We Know It.

So, to qualify for Napoli's exception, you gotta prove you pray and hit the Survivor Trifecta: Outwit (Brutality), Outplay (Rape), Outlast (Sodomy).

But not every legislator in South Dakota is counting the number of times he can say brutalize in a paragraph. Democratic state senator Elaine Roberts worries about chipping away at slippery sloped cornfields and worries over what new crop of ideas will sprout next session season in South Dakota:

We already have a law that says that pharmacists by conscience could refuse to fill my prescription for contraceptives. There is already a move from some groups who have worked on this to say that there should be no contraceptives, that sexual intercourse is for the purpose of reproduction.

Onward, Christian Soldiers. Conscience obviously trumps law. No after morning pill. No condoms. No vasectomies. Life begins at masturbation, you serial killer you. Fertility drugs that boost sperm count and egg production must be force-fed and ovulation charts stringently followed. And don't be so quaint as to worry about hormonal side effects. It not like you're going to suffer organ failure.

Yes, they've sure been growing some tiny ears in South Dakota lately -- and I'm not talking about the corn, if you know what I mean...

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