A hot-button issue

Life is complicated.

In the hot-button world of public discourse, where multifaceted concepts can be reduced to simple, binary memes, it is easy for the nuances that shade ideas in various gradations of gray to be lost. Something is black or white, wrong or right, with no subtlety in between.

One of the hottest of those hot-button issues in our society centers around abortion. For some, having the freedom to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy is paramount. For others, abortion is simply equivalent to murder. It is a battle that has raged for decades, and ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling 31 years ago, in Roe v. Wade, opponents have been seeking to have that ruling overturned.

But many things in life are never simple enough to sketch in a two-dimensional, black-and-white line drawing. In “Inside the abortion clinic,” SN&R writer Chrisanne Beckner takes a look at what those gray areas look like, in real-world terms. Living, breathing human beings grapple with difficult choices every day—and either way, the result generally does not make for a happy outcome. Beckner’s story captures that struggle.

Of course, the word “abortion,” despite all its negative political connotations, does not always refer to a medical procedure. Abortion also can signify something inanimate that is malformed or incompletely developed, or a monstrosity of some kind. For example, American Idol, the so-called talent show on the Fox TV network that just entered into its third season, might fall into this category.

In Arts&culture, this writer takes issue with this horrible excuse for a television program, along with the underlying aesthetic agenda the show seeks to foist on a gullible public: out-of-control karaoke singers, dramatically belting a repertoire of badly written songs, with the hope that global stardom awaits. Now, perhaps abortion is too strong a word for this charade; perhaps such pedestrian words as garbage or crap should suffice. Still, there is nothing subtle about American Idol. In black and white, it’s rubbish.