May 22, 2005

Sol & Me

Back when I was young and more impressionable, I read a very influential book by Sol Gordon. This was back in the '80s when Planned Parenthood seemed a benevolent organization. I was naive and thought that experts like Dr. Gordon spoke with authority. If he said fornication was natural and normal then it might be. He seemed far more up-to-date than my fast-receding-in-memory fifth grade nun. In fact, the biggest shock, post-college, was to learn that goodness and expert opinion were so often mutually exclusive.

Gordon was very literate & wrote interesting poems & recommended novelists like Iris Murdoch, whom I hadn't hear of at the time but took a great liking to. He also had the audacity to call Margaret Sanger one of his personal heroes but I didn't know her from Adam. And it seemed his modus operandi was pleasure. The secret to life. He claimed, persuasively, that if "we want to grow up, and not old, we should be able to intensely enjoy at least the number of things equal to our age." In his view of things, survival was our first responsibility and survival was dependent on the amount of pleasure we derived.

After all these years I googled his name. Wondered if he might be preaching a different gospel. And sadly the answer is no.

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