Leon Kass served three years as President Bush’s top bioethics advisor, during which time he adroitly counseled the commander in chief on the nuances of reproductive ethics and the philosophical underpinnings of modern theories of morality and dignity — while the president, who nicknamed him “Gassy Kassy,” played Boggle against himself under his Oval Office desk.
But Kass is no mere toothless pontificator. Not content to wage war on the immoral forces of Godless liberalism that seek to force all of us into gay marriage and even gayer public schools, Kass is one of the very few brave enough to take on the anti-American frozen dairy treat cabal and its associated network of hand-held low-temperature snack pushers.
From his 1994 book, The Hungry Soul:
Worst of all from this point of view are those more uncivilized forms of eating, like licking an ice cream cone –a catlike activity that has been made acceptable in informal America but that still offends those who know eating in public is offensive. I fear I may by this remark lose the sympathy of many readers, people who will condescendingly regard as quaint or even priggish the view that eating in the street is for dogs… This doglike feeding, if one must engage in it, ought to be kept from public view, where, even if WE feel no shame, others are compelled to witness our shameful behavior.
In fact it’s not just ice cream, and the vulgar “cones” in which it is so often served, that should be shunned. All forms of outside ingestion — from hot dogs to falafel — should be frowned upon by dignified society.
We should be embarrassed even to sneeze, as it demonstrates a lack of bodily self-control that will inevitably lead to hard drugs, white slavery, and more ice cream eating:
Not just the uneducated rustic but children of the cultural elite are now regularly seen yawning openly in public (not so much brazenly or forgetfully as indifferently and “naturally”), unaware that it is an embarrassment to human self-command to be caught in the grip of involuntary bodily movements (like sneezing, belching, and hiccuping and even the involuntary bodily display of embarrassment itself, blushing).
I would like to take this one step further and ban yawning altogether, along with farting and pooping. And blinking. I mean, honestly, who are you trying to attract with all that sexually reckless eyelid batting, young man? I am a happily married man uncomfortable with the sight of children licking ice cream cones, what makes you think I want to take you on a weekend retreat to Vermont, where we can get all hot and sweaty protesting outside of Ben and Jerry’s? It might be warm up there, so bring a tank top.
Leon Kass [Wikipedia]