14 April 2007

The Downhill Slide

One of my younger co workers called me over to his computer early this week. He wanted to show me a video he found funny, which turned out to be Alanis Morissette's parody of the Black Eyed Peas' song "My Humps." I really didn't know much about the original, so he ended up downloading that for me too. It was a sexed up, tarted up, sleazed up little thing, which offended him greatly. "Look at this!" he said "Can you imagine young girls watching this and being influenced by this?" He was horrified because the song was about girls putting out for "bling." He also couldn't understand why I wasn't more shocked than I was.

Now, the man is young, in his early twenties, and quite intelligent. He has a high tolerance for progressiveness and permissiveness- but this was too far. He had a line, and this video crossed it. He didn't understand my seeming indifference.

I explained to him as best I could: I too had a line, and it had been crossed a long time ago. When dealing with any human activity there are two places where a line can most easily, and legitimately, be drawn: all, or nothing. Trying to debate a line anywhere in between is all but impossible. You claim one, but not two, or two, but not three. Monday, but not Tuesday. He was trying to draw a line in the middle. Basically: Sex? Yeah, but not if you get paid for it.

I actually applaud my young friend. Though he is more lax than I would like, he does have some morals. He has some sense of right and wrong. In a word, he has lines that he thinks should not be crossed. We can work with that. I have seen too many who don't have lines, but a price. Offer them what they want, and they will do anything. Anything at all.

But we have crossed the line, and moved away from nothing. We are at a point of "some". The answer to my young friend's surprise at my lack of surprise was simple: I already knew the principle of "sex sells." This was merely an expression of degree. We are carried from one, to two, to three, and all of those points get passed over because none of those can stand. Once you begin on the road, the question is simply how far, and the answer always seems to be: a little bit farther. Another case in point: it is Friday night, and I won't go anywhere near my tv. It's a catholic blog, I won't say why, save that it has crossed way beyond my line.

It has been a long slide downhill. I can say, with a pun, it has been a Hell of a ride. I stop it by turning off my tv. Alone there is little more I can do. But how can I protect my two beautiful girls from a world of people who didn't?

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