UPDATE: Weirdly, this post got me a lot of critical email along these lines:
Are you sure it is not TALIBAN 0, AMERICA 100? This picture, perhaps more than anything else, will confirm the corruptive influence of American culture to the Islamic world. I can understand at least a passing appreciation of what this picture might represent -- a rejection of the gnostic fundamentalist view (both Christian and Muslim) of the human body. When I see the black shrouded women of the Middle East who look like "Cousin It" of the Adaams family, I feel pity for them and a resolute conviction that the Taliban and the "culture" that they represent must be opposed. But I must also ask, Mr. Reynolds, is this (the woman is the red bikini) all that the United States of America has to offer the world? Is this picture what America is all about?
I have greatly enjoyed your blog and read it daily, but at times such entries are rather telling. I am neither a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim, but sometimes your lack of any semblance of discernment about anything other than pragmatic economics or foreign policy is appalling. Mr. Reynolds, is there anything other than a particular brand of conservative politics that informs your world view? What is it that informs your understanding of what it good, true, and beautiful? Are goodness, truth, and beauty even a part of your world view? From whence comes your sense of ethics or morality? Have you ever asked yourself these questions?
Please do not consider this E-mail a condemnation or pompous, puritanical rant. I thoroughly enjoyed viewing that woman, but this is the problem: Should we, as married men who have vowed to love our wives, indulge ourselves in this way?
Last question first: the InstaWife's comment was "wow, she's hot!" 'Nuff said.
As for the rest, I'm not a "conservative." I'm strongly pro-bikini. I don't believe in "traditional family values" as a political platform. I'm more in the Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy! category. If that bothers, you, too bad. There are plenty of other blogs out there.