The New Republic magazine celebrates its 100th anniversary with a special section called “100 Years, 100 Thinkers.”
Unfortunately, the categories into which these “minds who’ve defined our century” are helpfully slotted are almost parodically First World, elite-uptown-liberal:
“Architecture.” “Environmentalism.” “Songwriting.” “Diplomacy.”
And of course, “American Civil Rights.” (Zzzzzzzz….)
Unless you count “Medicine,” no hard sciences were deemed worthy of consideration.
An alien browsing this section would be forgiven for assuming that man never set foot on the moon.
But who cares when someone named Alice Waters “made (local) lettuce sexy!”
(And besides, The New Republic assures us that “Martians need only watch one of [Richard Pryor’s] concert films to best understand the human species in the shortest amount of time.”)
Naturally, there’s a “Sex” section, and Alfred Kinsey comes out on top (as it were.)
A New Republic staff writer tells us that:
After studying biology at Harvard and establishing himself as an expert on Gall wasps, Alfred Kinsey turned his attention to the science of sex. He was one of the first scholars to systematically study human sexuality, interviewing thousands of people for his best-selling books, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and—even more controversially—Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. His “Kinsey scale”—which places sexual response on a spectrum from exclusively heterosexual to exclusively homosexual—introduced the modern idea that sexual orientation is not a simple dichotomy.
No room in that little blurb for any party-pooping, after-market facts:
Kinsey’s socially-distorting contention that “10% of the population is homosexual” — a figure “adopted for political reasons” — was based on a survey sample heavily weighted by ex-cons and street hustlers.
He “sometimes interviewed sex criminals and failed to report their behavior to the police, risking public safety for the sake of scientific data.”
He claimed that “‘parasitical mother-love’ made men gay.”
In fact, Kinsey wasn’t running a science project but a cult, with himself as its L Ron Hubbard. He wasn’t a happy Hubbard. Tormented by sexual guilt, he routinely inserted a toothbrush (bristle-end) deep into his urethra and scrubbed vigorously to excruciating climax. His genitals were an area of never-ending fascination and mutilation. On one occasion he performed a self-circumcision in the bathtub, without anaesthetic.
On another, as Jones records, “he tied a strong, tight knot around his scrotum with one end of the rope dangling from the pipe overhead. The other end he wrapped around his hand. Then, he climbed up on a chair, and jumped off, suspending himself in mid-air.” He survived this unusual bungee jump, thanks to the wonderful elasticity of the human testicle. (…)
Kinsey was probably homosexual and possibly a pederast. For him there was only one sexual abnormality: abstinence. (…)
A eugenicist, he advocated mass sterilisation of the “unfit”. Fellow scientists have queried and discredited his methods. Despite his manic “orgasm counting” Kinsey was statistically illiterate and skewed his results outrageously.
Apparently, The New Republic was too busy writing fawning blurbs for such world-historical giants as Julia Child and Coco Chanel to look up all this readily available information.