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The new adventures of old Christine O'Donnell

As someone who was forced at one point in my life to watch "Dating in the 90's" -- which I assume was the prequel to "Sex in the 90's," an MTV production that featured GOP candidate Christine O'Donnell -- I would find it strangely exhilarating if O'Donnell won the GOP Senate nomination in today's Delaware primary. The only thing more awkward than listening to those people on the documentaries who were supposed to help you when your fancy lightly turned to thoughts of, er, you know, would be if one of them were to be elected to public office. This is just paving the way for other things we were forced to enjoy in the '90s to emerge from obscurity and start determining our lives, things such as outfits made entirely of blue jeans and Britney Spears and that stuff that makes your hair look frightening.

Somehow I always assumed that appearing on a '90s-era documentary about anything -- let alone how or whether to conduct any kind of sex life -- was a significant barrier to public office. Bill Nye the Science Guy has never, to my knowledge, been elected to anything. But maybe Christine O'Donnell the Chastity Gal will be! With her Tea Party support, she's going to encourage self-government and discourage the regular kind of government.

O'Donnell founded the Savior's Alliance for Lifting the Truth (SALT), the basis of a recent movie by Angelina Jolie -- no, I'm sorry, a group focused on advocating moral positions.Much has been made of what appear to be her statements in "Cultural Dissident" about being born again as a virgin (you can regain your purity, but any sort of transmittable diseases you've picked up along the way are not God's problem!) her MTV remarks on masturbation ("You're just gonna create somebody who is, I was gonna say, toying with his sexuality. Pardon the pun.") and urging people to live chaste lives. The "Cultural Dissident" essay that she reportedly wrote insisted that we try to take back the word chastity. I don't understand. Where did it go? Did it spend a weekend somewhere questionable? Well, actually, read the piece that TPM linked to; the only copy I could find was on this website that, after I read it, suggested ways for me to find sexy local singles, a juxtaposition that reflects poorly on the advertiser's faith that the essay will grip its readers' minds.

O'Donnell's apparent success so far seems like a victory for the chastity lobby, which sounds like the place you have to wait when your roommate has left a sock on the door. But even this temporary triumph raises some questions for women -- especially those "Hillary Democrats" O'Donnell insists she can attract. I think one of the errors of modern feminism is to assume that female liberation means doing the whole Sex and the City thing and sleeping around like a man. That's not right -- when was the last time you saw a pregnant man waddling around, whacking his head on the glass ceiling? -- but neither is this. Somehow you also never see male candidates talking about their purity and making a big deal about not having sexual relations. Except Bill Clinton, of course.

But what surprises me even more than the apparent success of a chastity ticket is the '90s side of things. Parts of the '90s were dominated by people trying really, really hard to be cool. Not just the "cool" kids. Even groups like Christine O'Donnell's came up with catchy names and went on MTV and tried to appeal to youth in "relatable" ways. People wore strange outfits and did choreography to pop songs and voted for Bill Clinton or George H. W. Bush after thinking long and hard about it. It was, simply put, an age of earnestness. You never heard people saying, "Well, I listen to Flava Flav, but only ironically." All the irony and the "hipsters" and so forth who make up today's youth are largely an entire generation recoiling in horror from ever being as serious about anything as everyone was about everything back then. Actually try? If you tried, you might wind up in a blue jean jacket and jean pants, listening to Boyz II Men and abstaining from things. So to see an earnest '90s crusader actually getting somewhere these days is a novel experience. Unless that "tidal wave coming here in Delaware" is supposed to be ironic.

By Alexandra Petri  | September 14, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

The new main hobby of Marxist Democrats and ultra liberal RINO Republicans is trying to dig up dirt on Christine O'Donnell. The truth is that O'Donnell has lived a relatively uneventful life. She has demonstrated having guts enough to stand up for herself as evidenced by the lawsuits that her enemies want to make into a big deal. She has been portrayed as "nutty" because she is an independent woman that will not be pushed around. If this makes her nutty, then we should be so lucky as to have an entire nation of nutty women. The other criticism of her is that she took twelve years to graduate from college. Many undergraduate students have taken far longer than twelve years. The thing I find most appealing about her is the fact that she has faced the same struggles as the "smelly" citizens despised by Harry Reid. As with many Obama supporters, it is not the stench of B. O. that Harry Reid suffer from, rather it is the stench of a total moral deficiency. Give me Christine any day instead of Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. Honesty and decency has a much more refreshing smell.

Posted by: jerdjon | September 15, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Christine O'Donnell, born again virgin! Let me see if I have this straight; she was once a virgin and wasn't a virgin and now is spiritually a virgin and I'm going to hell. The Republican mantra has always been less government. And to think I live in Alabama and buying sex toys is illegal and God forbid I do anything different than wear a bag over my head because she's too damn ignorant to know our minds are what makes the whole show work.

Posted by: berrywr | September 16, 2010 2:20 AM | Report abuse

The real issue I believe is not her chastity issue its her stone age ideas. If enough of these tea baggers ride the wave of anger and get elected, its going to be us who are angry. America is more than a country its an ideal. As many of us reach older age we get to know how hard it has become for even the best of us to stay ok. We need leaders with I.Q's. Not Sarah Pallins or her look alikes who just want to ride the wave.

Posted by: irv1015 | September 16, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The Tea Party exists for a simple reason: Everybody wants a group to belong to.
For decades there has been no “credible” group for racists, paranoid xenophobes and panaphobes, robber barons, senile old men pining for G. Gordon Liddy, Christian zealots, and the other nutjobs who think freedom means they are free to decide how I honor my God, who I sleep with, what I do with my body, and when someone else’s profit comes before my survival.
Oh, there’s the KKK or a militia or an Aryan youth group, sure. But you have to go to the woods or wear a sheet in public. What these mental midgets want is PUBLIC VALIDATION and right now.
And by golly, the Tea Party is just what the doctor ordered.
No more hiding in mom’s basement, banging out worthless talking points cribbed from Andrew Breitbart. Now they can come out into the sun, wearing t-shirts and fist pumping to their little black heart’s content. Right there in public, no sheet required.
Even nutjobs don’t want to be marginalized their whole lives. They want to walk around in public, and they want their point of view to be accepted by the mainstream they hate and vilify so much. Oh the irony…
Just like gays (and undoubtedly the only thing baggies and gays have in common), they don’t want to hide their numbskullery, they want to wear it proudly in two foot high neon letters across their swollen-with-pride chests. They’re here, they sneer, get used to it.
Back in the day, no self-respecting newsman would go near these kooks with a ten foot microphone pole, but…then came FOX.
The rubes of America never had an “in” with TV before, except for guys who played one, like Goober or Boss Hogg. Now they have a whole network telling them it’s OK to act like a spoiled baby if people don’t tolerate your blatant racism and ill-informed political opinion.
The good news is, they were always Republican; there are no Dems defecting to the Tea, and no Independent would be a Baggie, because hard right is not Independent, no matter what these boobs think.
The bad news is, they probably never voted at all before, and will now.
Half of America is below-average intelligence by definition. At least now they’re all concentrated in one ridiculous party. All you have to do is wave shiny things at them…they’ll run out of sugar-induced energy sooner or later. Then you can burp and change them, and put them down for a nappy.
And then we can get back to the business of running this country like responsible adults.

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | September 16, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

berrywr ~ speaking of some old fashioned stuff let's turn again to the Trial of St. Jeanne d' Arc wherein her male companions are subjected to inquiry concerning their desires to have sex with her.

No, they didn't want to do that.

She was plain as a board ~ (kind of what the two John's said)

Now, what is going on here? The smegma is pretty deep already so is it you people want to go straight and jump her bones, or you are offended that a woman might have had sex with a man?

These inquiries have been out of bounds for the last 600 years you know

Posted by: muawiyah | September 17, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

JESUS CHRIST WAS THE SON OF THE DEVIL

Posted by: ecotrin | September 17, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

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