Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Hell in a Handbasket

The recent uproar of NFL fans about the opening of Monday Night Football is the last straw for me. I am flabbergasted over the debacle a Desperate Housewife's feigned nudity has caused; I feel it bears pointing out that yes, while the Lord may condemn Nicollette Sheriden for touching a fully clothed member of the opposite sex, the bosom she pressed to his chiseled physique was pictured only in viewers' minds and never once on the screen. Between this and

-the acceptance of "moral values" as a valid phrase instead of a redundant catch-all term (a term which is rapidly becoming the excuse to exorcise anything in our culture that makes us even slightly uncomfortable),
-the recent NY Times/CBS News poll that shows more than SEVENTY PERCENT of Americans believe that music, television, and movies are "lowing the moral standards" of our culture,
and
-the fight over network airing of Saving Private Ryan on Veteran's Day,

I'm beginning to worry that I'll be tried for saying that I think the first amendment is going right down the shitter in favor of a hey-just-use-a-Glade-PlugIn-instead-of-finding-out-why-the-dog-farts-so-much social cleansing. Expressing moral outrage at every mention of human sexuality (or even human fallibility or human diversity or human complexity) will never change the fact that humans are sexual, fallible, diverse, and complex.

Just like my grandmother wasn't actually cleaning my face with her spit/tissue method, erasing sex and violence from the airwaves will not remedy what the public sees as deeply troublesome social flaws. Even if, from now on, we never even alluded to the existence of boobs on network television, I would still be able to find an old guy violating a XsxxXX BArELY LEgaL Teen!!! of either gender on the Internet. On the flipside, thirteen-year-old boys would still be able to whack-off to the yearly Miss America "scholarship competition." All this new urge to purge accomplishes is damming the flow of fruitful discussion on any topic not covered in a Sunday service.

The Bush administration's head-in-the-sand, blatant revision-of-reality attitude seems to have infiltrated the public sphere, and I'm afraid of an artistic witch hunt. Instead of playing "Where's Dildo?," I wish that just once, expounders of righteous malarchy would look backwards without such a finite and focused lens. Pop-stars have always been whores, relative to cultural mores. TV has always talked about sex, even when it was the subtle, yet infamous queen-size bed on the Dick van Dyke show. And before the Internet put a smorgasboard of filth at the fingertips of every cretin who could peck out S-E-X, there were magazines, and paintings, and dirty jokes dating back to the minute this species figured out how to fuck.

I realize I'm on a soap-box here, and I realize that I'm being just as self-righteous. I just get worried that my (theoretical) kids won't be allowed to discuss sex, or violence, or see it explored thoughtfully and yes, God help me, even humorously in the media. In an age when people are still lighting crosses, (this weekend, in fact, on the lawn of an interracial Long Island couple) why roll back any form of open dialogue?

I'm going cut myself off before I start muttering things and slamming my fists on the desk, and instead end with this:
Courtesy of the NY Times
A preview of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Central Park piece. It's called "Gates," and they're beginning construction on it this week, I believe. See, that's what I like about them; a nice, married couple who makes nice, clean art. There's absolutely nothing you can read into the name "Gates," absolutely nothing about UTERUSES or WOMBS or even, God bless it, VAGINAS.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

can we still say fundus? please dont let them take fundus away!!!

3:32 PM  
Blogger What'sHerFace said...

Shut yer goddamn mouth!

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Owwww. My virgin ears. Waaaaaaaaaaaah!

11:06 PM  
Blogger tunderfuck said...

you are brilliant girl.

11:19 PM  

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