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Week of November 25, 2004
It's not about freedom of speech - it's about who we are.
Sex sells. It always has, and Hollywood's never missed it. In the 'old days' they got sex in under the radar in biblical extravaganzas where the fabulous fornicators got their comeuppance at the end.
Shameless sex has never made it big outside Scandinavia, certain parts of Europe, and the Far East. It's not made it big there either because it's - well, shameless. It's no big deal. In the UK and the Land of the Free it's still hot. You can't show orgasms on screen, so you show pyrotechnical displays instead. People getting blown to bits, buildings collapsing.
In a better world Mike Myers would still be doing Wayne's World - Austin Powers wouldn't have worked.
Americans go out and get drunk like anyone on Friday nights - but a significant portion of them do not go out to get laid - they go out and buy guns instead. Of course they don't say to themselves (knock on wood) 'woo-hoo, it's Friday, I wanna go out and shoot someone', but in the final analysis it doesn't matter, because that's what they do anyway.
Something is sick, very sick.
CBS is being fined half a million dollars because Janet Jackson's dress blew open and one of her tits showed up on the Super Bowl broadcast. Republicans chased Bill Clinton for eight years to the tune of forty five million dollars only to end up with only a cum stain on a blue dress and actually begin proceedings to impeach a president.
Something is very sick all right.
Sex doesn't kill people. It doesn't hurt them either. Cutting edge research instead shows that it makes them. It also shows that it makes people feel good. In fact, scientists are becoming more and more convinced that sex and violence are opposites.
The Vietnam war cost three million lives, most of them Vietnamese. The US blew into Indo-China, bungled around a while, got their butts kicked out and good, somehow ended up with a Nobel Peace Prize, withdrew from the area - and gee whiz, but was it only three million people they killed? Three million. Say it again and again until it sinks in: three million, three million, three million.
And all to preserve a way of life that puts violence highest and denigrates sex and fines people for showing mammary glands - glands the little babies you're trying to protect used to suck on. As if they didn't know what they looked like or if it was a danger they'd remember. Perish the thought.
Women breast feed their babies on buses in Europe. The babies are hungry, of course they're fed. Try that in the US or the UK and the mother ends up in jail. America the beautiful; rule Britannia. Americans come to St Tropez and turn up their noses at the locals for bathing naked. Uncivilised Kubrick extras who dare take the body naturally and don't have a bad bone in their bodies. Let's go out and kill.
The gore of the Roman Colosseum is generally cited as the nadir of modern civilisation. People got off on blood and the miseries of others. Must have been nice. The truth is we're back there again, but in a more refined way, with damage that's at least as debilitating as of old, except the powers that be have kept it all disguised so we don't sound the alarm in time.
A new video game hit the stands recently. Become a mercenary in Vietnam. 'Napalm never smelt so good' goes the blurb. People actually reacted. It might be pulled.
At the same time another game exploiting an assassination was released. Become Lee Harvey Oswald. Put a bullet in the skull of JFK.
Texans recently started an Internet service where you can by remote control point a gun and kill real animals on their preserves. They're beautiful animals, as the site owners admit, and such beauty - of course you want to kill it, right?
There are safari trips to Africa where every possible convenience is laid out for you. You get mounted guns in your hotel rooms so you don't have to even leave the air conditioned comfort of your hotel and can still kill kill kill!
The deeply thoughtful Courage Under Fire premiered a few years back. Fans of Denzel and Meg (and even Serge) filled the theatres and a lot of them were teary old ladies with kerchiefs at the ready. It was a thoughtful film with a good performance by Denzel. Yet at the scene where Lou Diamond crashes into the train one extremely obese teen was heard to yelp out 'k3wl - the first good scene in the movie!'
It's not about freedom of speech - it's about who we are. Stop worrying about nakedness - here we have the collective human spirit exposed, naked, like nothing ever before.
And it's not a pretty sight.