November 18, 2017

The price of liberty, or libertines

I’m sure I'm not the only one who has noticed that in an era where hard-core porn is accessible to fingertip reach on ubiquitous screens, and things appear on network TV that in earlier years would have been subject to prosecution even if displayed in private smoke-filled back rooms, there is a simultaneous call for an almost Victorian propriety in the workplace, in which an off-color joke or a misplaced hand on an unwilling shoulder might be cause for dismissal. I find the tut-tutting of commentators expressing horror and disgust at the Al Franken photo to be incongruous given the language and attitudes expressed on, say, the Celebrity Roasts on basic cable channels, where crowds applaud the most vulgur obscenities about both women and men, issued with the proviso of “no disrespect.” To say nothing of the incongruity of the incumbent in the White House joining in the tut-tutting.

Perhaps Yeats was right after all, and the center cannot hold, but we are entering the widening gyre where prudery and license spin, and the moral compass cannot find true North.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

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