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Sunday, April 29, 2007

"We're a show about a family, a screwed-up family, and that's where most people come from."

It seems we have some bad news to temper the encouragement we received from the Florida House earlier today.

Word has just hit the buzzwaves (Flashes his little part to the entire world) that Bart Simpson of TV fame will be shown full-frontal—yes, nakedin his movie due to be released this summer.

Moves like this don't just happen; every movie, and especially one with as much cultural relevance The Simpsons has, is planned, analyzed, focus-grouped, critiqued, and otherwise scrutinized to the highest degree. The producers of this film chose to expose Bart because they believe it will benefit the movie at the box office.

While I'm sure organizations like the AFA, for which I have a great deal of respect, will send out press releases concerning this film's deleterious impact on our nation's morals, what I believe is most significant about this development is not what the effect will be, but what it indicates. As a culture, we have come to the point where it not only acceptable but beneficial to display crudely drawn private parts on the big-screen of a cinema largely filled, you can be sure, with children and their irresponsible parents.

No doubt, many of you are thinking, "Come on Daniel, what's the big deal? It's just a naked cartoon. It's not like it really means anything." That is the big deal—the destructive march of liberalism has advanced so far that nudity itself has been stripped of the connotation of the meaning— it ought to have. Our culture has become desexualized.

At first, this seems a bizarre thing to say. Indeed, it may seem that the opposite is, in fact, a truer description of our age. However, to say that the people of today are desexualized is not to imply that they are less sexually active than at other times, only that the scope of their sexuality is much smaller. The material, actions, or situations that, at one time, would have been implicit with meaning are treated today as non-sexual. Once there was sexual connotation in a man and woman being alone together in the same room (read the courtship letters of John and Abigail Adams); now, in the college towns you can often find a man and woman housing together without any sexual connotation (this is true of some of my high school friends). Once a woman’s bare knee was provocative; now there are many men who do not even bat an eye to see a woman in a bikini. This is not to say that there isn’t a proper balance. But I believe it is clear that we today have thrown away the scale.

Of course, like all generalizations, life has its exceptions. There will always be those for whom society reserves the term ‘over-sexed.’ Among males, such an appellation may apply to a man who cannot concentrate on beach volleyball because the woman playing opposite is dressed in the equivalent of underwear, or the man who avoids being alone with a girl in potentially compromising situations. This is the kind of person who is typically seen to have a problem with his sexuality, not the person who can detach himself in such things.

However, such a judgment serves only as an indictment of the condition of sexuality today since it reflects the pervasive assumption unconscious as it often is that a healthy sexuality means a detached sexuality, something we can keep safely stored in our back pocket. Lurking behind this mentality is surely the very monster that all libertine movements have sought to eradicate: a shame of sexuality. Although we are supposed to have been ‘liberated’ sexually, we are everywhere encouraged to feel ashamed of our sexuality-- not of having sex, mind you, but being sexual. (By sexual, I do not mean being tempted, but attaching to sexuality the proper meaning and recognizing the significance of it). Let’s face it, it can be embarrassing to admit to the kind of ever present sexuality that cannot watch your average commercial without feeling visually assaulted, let alone walk down a European beach in the middle of summer.

This is also true in terms of the sexes themselves. Feminism, in every possible way, seeks to force women to act like men and eradicate femininity. Men are told not to make women feel “weak” or “inferior” by offering to help with heavy items, and are given strange looks if they go out of their way to hold open a door for a woman. Strong men who, considerately, take the initiative in their relationships with the opposite sex are seen as “patriarchal.” Those who are aware of the differences between the sexes are condemned by society.

It is as if everywhere there is an unconscious pressure to become desensitized to sex just as there is a pressure to become gender-neutral. Consider, for example, the justification so often proffered for watching sex scenes in movies, namely, "it doesn't affect me." The contrast is implicit between those who are "unaffected" and the "sensitive"-- or worse, ‘over-sexed’-- individuals who are affected or offended by such content. However, we see again that, in reality, the shoe is on the other foot. If someone can truthfully say that a sex scene does not affect them, that is the surest proof that it has already had a very marked effect upon them: it shows that they have been affected to the point of becoming able to view such content non-sexually. When we reach the point where nothing fazes us, where we can watch sex scenes in films or grind with some random person at the club or run around near-naked on the beach and not have any consideration of the sexual element cross our minds, then it is we who are the losers. What have we lost? We have lost the ability to be fully male—fully female—as God designed us. Those things which ought to be signifiers of sexuality and therefore kept private, have been emptied of their meaning and flashed thoughtlessly before our thoughtless faces.

And I mourn that loss.


Anonymous Christine said...

Dear Daniel,

Once again, you have taken a stand for what is good and right. Our culture continues to push obscenity and make sex cheap. Among all of the mixed messages coming from feminists and "progressive" critics of society, it is no wonder that our generation is failing. I am proud that you are unafraid to proclaim the truth.

Standing with you,

April 29, 2007 4:01 PM  
Blogger Daniel Christianson said...

Thanks, Christine. I do appreciate it. We faithful few need to stand up and stand together.

April 29, 2007 4:15 PM  

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