Coming up from under back-to-back conventions, politicked up and politicked off, trying to get back into The Undressing of America. It's been hard to keep my mind on that early 20th Century story with the early 21st Century being shaped around me, but coming off Sarah Palin I see how that story is this one. The backdrop to Undressing is the "purity movement" that bullied America in the late 19th Century, the golden age of moralistic censorship, when cultural watchdogs believed that vice would disappear if we were never allowed to mention it. True Story magazine, and from it the whole culture of tabloids and reality media, came out of Bernarr Macfadden's obscenity conviction for publishing a story about VD. It's a battle Americans keep having to fight, between realists who want to talk about what's there and righteously indignant control freaks who want to make us all pretend. The futility of censorship, the weird marriage of courage and cheap titillation that fights against it, the politics of sex and denial--seeing how it went once I can understand a little better how it's going now. And what I'm fired up about now can fuel the book.