I haven't had much time in the past week to think about the culture wars, but I did listen to NPR excerpts on the Michael Medved show on the way driving to Monterey from San Jose. One of these had something to do with a visibly Christian TV family of some degree of physical attractiveness and intellectual vapidity. I forget their names, but there is some hay being made over their imminent separation. The reasons they give are inevitably selfish and shallow, especially considering that they have eight children under the age of 10. If I remember correctly, there are twins and sextuplets, all products of fertility drugs - just perfect for circus entertainment. I hear that something is being made of the fact that some social conservatives have adopted these freaks as pets and that their itch-scratching proves us all to be idiots. Yeah. The second was some highly intelligent woman that Medved could not believe was going to get artificially inseminated. So there you see the theme, sexual experimentation at theexpense of the traditional humdrum of marriage.
I am no fan of soap operas. Can't stand 'em. Never liked anything about them and think poorly of people who watch them. Except for my wife. Mostly. So far, I've managed to ignore 99% of their content. But I do recognize two of the actors. Anyway, one scene in the Young and the Restless managed to interrupt my breakfast the other morning as a dramatic revelation of passion played out on the screen, man to man. As is customary, it all led up to a 'Oh no you didn't!' moment and then cut to a commercial. So I asked the Spousal Unit what's up with that. If Hollywood had decided once and for all that America needs a perfect gay couple, just like it once needed a black TV news anchor, then which soap opera would be used to introduce it? She figured it would be the Young and the Restless, and as of 2009 it hasn't yet been done. So the denouement to the scene will be that the propositioned man will reject the proposing man despite having allowed him to thumb his cheeks and lips for the dramatic moment. You see there is no gay relationship on the soap operas. There's a reason for that.
In disposing of my need for political currency (and to be honest, Dennis Miller is the primary reason) I am discovering the Hype Ratio of conservative politics. The gravest mistake it makes is that it drapes its legitimate moral concerns in the billowing cape of millenarian paranoia, rather than a simple recognition of sin. The righteously lived life is truly its own reward, but many on the Right suffer as if the presence of decadence makes their lives impossible.So they are bound to a siege mentality and always holding out for a hero.
It's much easier to be appropriately flip. The eight kid divorcees are simply brazenly selfish fools selling out their babies on the same train that brought them fame. The intelligent woman is simply incapable of living with a real man, but she has money and Hollywood friends instead. Homoeroticismsimply isn't mainstreamable. It's not the end of the world - the world is full of fools and sinners and so what? Nothing.
There may come a time when our entertainment geniuses decide that
brainy, heroic women do artificial insemination and deserve their own
sitcom. And they will cheer among their crowd reflecting upon the reign
of repression attending Murphy Brown. There might be a day when the
obviously gay actors can play obviously gay men instead of supposedly
persnickety men trying to meet the right girl. The in joke will be out
and everything will be obvious. We may find ourselves in the long tail
of entertainment that sends social conservatives into the streets
screaming with their hair on fire. At that moment I will simply raise
an eyebrow and direct your attention to one of seven deadly sins.That's all.
This world is bounded by extraordinarily great forces few of which
turn on the sorts of trivialities we have come to judge ourselves and
our neighbors. And just as there was a class of Americans who cared
only about Elvis Presley during the Korean War, there will always be a
class of Americans foolishly distracted from weighty matters. The Culture War rages on, but the stakes are not as high as I think the warriors believe. Beware the Hype Ratio.