Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Spectacular Decline of All that Is Holy

So I just saw a piece on the terrible excuse for a talk-show, The View, about how any old average Joe can create porn in their homes and make a killing. I guess the segment is a teaser for another show on some network called Own, by some chick named Lucy Ling or the like. I usually never watch The View, partly because I don't relish morning talk shows, or afternoon talk shows to be fair (unless it's Ellen, but then, I always forget to tune in, don't I), and I especially loathe The View.

Frankly, as far as I've seen, there are never any views expressed on The View save complacency for the decadent ride into hell our country is taking (unless Whoopi's going on some rant wherein she displays her total lack of understanding for any serious issue, and it's never about the most pertinent points, like how the country's on a steady course for moral destruction). Honestly. To borrow a favorite phrase from the motherland across the pond, the country's going to the dogs.

The ONLY way the subject of Ms. Ling's segment is newsworthy is in fact to exhibit the total and utter lack of morals which our society possesses. Generally on this blog, I prefer to be somewhat tame in the expression of my values. You may laugh, because, well, because I'm probably always transparent and obvious. But let me just say, I usually hold back. Unfortunately, I'm a powder keg waiting for a spark and . . . . well, these days it seems there's a spark every day.  

Anyway, is it surprising that a bunch of morally loose idiots are MAKING money by selling their sexuality on a camera in their bedroom? No. This has been going on for centuries. That's why it's not newsworthy. And hello? Does anyone out there have ANY standards these days? And by standards, I don't mean that you like to save the whales, though that is good to do, it's not going to save the humans from self-destruction. Well, it is, possibly, through preserving a salvageable eco-system. But there's more going on that's rotten in the state of Denmark than just animals being targets of poachers and the like.

The problem is selfishness and the reason the moral fabric of my society matters to me is because of, as Reverend Lovejoy's wife would say, "the children."

I love the Simpsons and it's for clever satire such as Reverend Lovejoy's wife obsessing about the children that I profess such admiration. She's always there to cry out at any mob gathering, like when a bear is in Springfield and the town is trying to decide what to do, "Who will think of the children!" It's the trump card. How can you be so heartless as to not care about the children?!? They're helpless!

I know, this all boils down to parents and how involved parents are in their children's lives. Parents should monitor what their kids are doing. Parents should be alert 24/7, they should ask questions, they should do thorough research, and essentially run a police-state in their home so their kids don't bump into porn on the computer, the laptop, the PS3, the Wii, the Xbox, the Kindle Fire, the Ipad, mom or dad's smart phone, the neighbors house, or in the ditch out back*, at school, on the street, in the mall, in the grocery store, at the restaurant, at the Starbucks, or any one of the other apparently millions of places porn prevails in our world.

We definitely need to be better parents.

And we can try our best to overcome or undo any harm that might be inflicted upon our kid by him or her bumping into it at a very innocent, tender age.

But what a world we live in, where the individual always eclipses the group. And by group, I mean family. Because I certainly believe in individual rights, and I believe that censorship shouldn't be enforced by the government or any other form of big brother.

Call it a wish, or a longing, that the individual wasn't such a jerk and that they could see that they are part of a larger fabric that consists of more than just a bunch of separate units acting independently of each other. It is exactly the inability to see that all things are connected that our society has ended up here. For a society to work well and to flourish, individuals must realize that there is a social obligation for each person to behave in a way that benefits society in the long run.

Which brings me to another reason there's so much crap being created and sold online and elsewhere: society is too big. How can one person make a difference in a huge world teeming with scores and scores of people? Exactly. That's why it's so easy to fool ourselves into believing that what we do, these tiny infractions against a moral code (such as the Ten Commandments, because, come on, what other code is out there?), even make a difference to any one but us. We think, "Oh, no one else is being harmed by this decision to video myself doing this and then broadcasting it live to those willing to pay to see it, right?"

When the things you're doing in public or even in secret are not being subjected to the scrutiny of your village or family, then there IS less of a reason to behave in a way often dubbed decent by those around you. And since there are fewer families, and cities are so large, and well, the ways to do things in secret (while somehow simultaneously being public) are abounding, then we have a problem.

So, I think everything I've said can be expressed in the following equation:

No Censorship + Individual With No Concern for Society as a Whole + Internet - Small Villages - Family = A Problem

Let me end with an illustration of how all that once delineated the boundaries of decency has frayed and unraveled to a frightening degree. Part of the segment by Lucy Ling and the fabulous porn-made-at-home story featured a 50-year-old woman who makes interactive videos with her clients. Her husband produces the live-web-cam events and Ms. Ling described how a large portion of this woman's "clientele" is "men" between the ages of 19 and 25. And what is their most common request?

That they can call the 50-year-old woman "mommy."

*Truly. If you're going to dump your porn collection, please don't throw it in a ditch. Or the gutter. You think it just "goes away" when you do that? No. It inevitably falls into the hands of children**. Yes, children. You're not the center of the universe and that ditch is most likely frequented by children pretending they're the Swiss Family Robinson or something like that.

**This is based on anecdotal evidence. While I never stumbled across porn in the ditch myself, as a child, I've heard several accounts from others who did.


Carrie said...

Amen, sister! Truly frightening "news". And they really didn't have any opinion about how wrong it all is? I prefer to avoid all such media so I can pretend the world is not as insane as it is. But I was a tad alarmed when my kindergartener told me with such excitement that she'd learned her password for getting on the Internet at school. What!? She'll be on the Internet without my supervision? (okay, I already knew this and they have blockers and policies, etc. but I still slightly panicked) Home school is looking more and more attractive.
Glad it got you blogging again, though!

Anonymous said...

Short of moving to my own private island (I wish!), I have given up on the idea that I will be able to prevent my children from seeing or knowing about certain unfortunate aspects of "the world," including porn. (Nevertheless, I'll do my best to minimize the exposure/damage.) The problem then is teaching kids how to constructively and morally react to the surely-inevitable exposure. How best to do this? I'm open to all ideas.

You might enjoy an article related to this topic, from the WSJ. (I shortened the URL for convenience.)

The author's hopeful solution is inspiring.

Nicole Grotepas said...

Thanks for the comment, Carrie. I sometimes think home school might be the way to go. But I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. I can't believe kindergarteners need to use the Internet. What a joke! Seriously, what's it for? Homework? Anyway, I agree, it's in some ways better to ignore the media, that way you can pretend the world's not a piece of crap. :) Like I said, it was kind of a fluke that I watched it.

Nicole Grotepas said...

Thanks for the link, Anonymous. It was a well-written, interesting article.

I think that a lot of the work parents do is undoing how negative influences affect their children. My husband and I have been discussing our future gameplan for our 7-month-old, however, we know that the world will look completely different by the time he's old enough to interact with the dangerous aspects of our society.

All in all, I DO think parents can prevent their kids from seeing much of the sludge that's bubbling up all over our civilization. It simply requires a lot of proactive parenting. And though I know that my own mother couldn't stop me from doing stupid things, hopefully we can push back the age at which our kids will be exposed to this societal cancer so that they at least have the emotional fortitude to deal with it.