Thinking as a Hobby

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I saw Kinsey yesterday. Good film...not great, but good.

I think makers of biopics would do well to focus on a given period of the subject's life, rather than trying to cover the whole thing, though. A person's life is usually to wide and expansive to be encapsulated in a two-hour film, and supposedly Formative Moments end up seeming canned and contrived.

But overall I think the film did a good job of showing how a geeky entomologist ends up studying sex behavior, and how difficult it is to really scientifically approach a subject when that subject is intimately coupled with your own nature.

I actually agree with parts of this review of the film in the National Review. The moral prudes in the film are 2-dimensional buffoons, and seem very artificial (John Lithgow is essentially playing the same repressed preacher he did in Footloose).

But I don't agree with the conclusion that researching sex and publishing the results for everyone to see bleaches sex of its mystery and fun. There is very real harm that comes from ignorance, and the more we understand about our own sexual natures and those of others around us, the more information we have at our disposal to make informed choices.

Those who argue for not exploring a particular aspect of the world and ourselves, remind me of Keats, who decried Newton for destroying the beauty of the rainbow by explaining it.

Which is silly, of course.

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