Thursday, June 9, 2011

On Throwing Stones

Well, here we are, Puritan America.  It's not as though we are actually pure, though.  We are always happy to dwell on a bit of dirt, pursing our lips as though it is ever-so-distasteful the whole time we are hearing about it.

Many of us watch dirty movies, listen to dirty song lyrics, tell dirty jokes.

Those of us who do not engage in the above are perfectly willing to obsess about those of us who do.  And while they are spending all that time thinking about us, they feel free to judge us as they assume God meant us to be judged.

I once spoke with a library patron who was looking for murder mysteries that didn't have dirty words in them.  You are reading for pleasure about murder, but you are offended by bad words???

In my younger days I hung around with people of foul-mouth, laughed at dirty jokes, was, you might say, indiscreet, myself.  As I grew older my life became more conservative (in the Webster dictionary sense of the word).  Sometimes, I might add, to the point where it is surreal in its pretense of purity.

I now live in a world in which people believe only bad people have affairs, curse and drink to excess.  I have of late had to learn to keep my salty words to myself.  An old acquaintance was appalled that I actually used the word "cuss" rather than "curse", and I am ashamed to say that that is the world in which I live.

The Daily Show thankfully wakes me back to reality, although the reality I am watching has censors that will not allow me to hear bad words, even after 11 p.m.  Sponsors of the NBC Nightly News at 6:30 p.m. might sell medication to allow you men to have erections, but it would be dirty to call it fucking.  And if Brian Williams said the word, pressure from the sponsors would require that it be censored.  Ironically, if we could call it fucking, we might not need the meds.

In this land of bullshit, in which Rachel Maddow has to call it "bullpuckey" or some such horseshit, I believe many of her viewers would be shocked if they were to learn that she curses.  (Don't faint, I'm not saying she does, just that someone might learn that she does.)

The thing is, we have allowed ourselves to become so led by our own conflicting prurience and prudery, that we are spending weeks learning the "sordid" details of Anthony Weiner's dirty pics, and ignoring the fact that Clarence Thomas, whose wife lobbies for the health insurance industry, is about to hear cases involving ObamaCare.

A few short summers ago we were so in thrall with stories of our own South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's  adventures down his mistress's Appalachian Trail that the fact that no one in the state knew how to reach him in an emergency for a week was pretty much an afterthought.

And then there are the blowhards who are forcing their religious dogma down our Constitution, only to end up with their own personal scandal.  They are the ones who are using our tax dollars to ban abortion, even birth control, because of their reverence for life, and then in the same pious breath vote down funding for health care for all.

I don't think Anthony Weiner's dirty pictures are as immoral as a media that spends its time focused on his private life rather than on his legislation.  The impeachment of Bill Clinton was far more shameful than his sexual antics.

And when we talk about all those tight-assed religious fanatics on C Street, including our own former Governor Sanford, we should be looking at the threats that they pose to our individual freedoms by virtue of their own presumed virtue, and not who they are boinking.

Finally, finally, I am sick of hearing about whether or not dirty emails were sent on government computers.  To paraphrase:

Let him who has not sent a personal email from work cast the first stone.

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