Just how raunchy can you get?
The answer seems to be: there just plain is no limit. Joe Lieberman
and William Bennett can't be ranged entirely with finicky old bluenoses;
although the media does its best to toss a little disdain their way,
mumbling about the right of freedom of speech and the horrors of
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But, let's face it. Are you a prude because you take umbrage at Jim
Carrey defecating on a neighbor's lawn on a giant movie screen and watch
the shot dissolve into a shot of swirling chocolate soft ice cream? Or
because you don't fancy a bit of Ben Stiller's masturbatory semen
winding up as gel in Cameron Diaz's hair? And we won't even ask how you
like facing up to the late night remarks of Jay Leno and David Letterman
regarding Monica and Bill and oral sex in the Oval Office. Or how the
Clintons responded to Robin William's language at a recent fund-raiser
-- they were caught on film, heads back roaring away in response to some
pretty seamy jokes.
Night after night, on the popular HBO show, "Sex in the City," young
professional women clad in Prada, Armani, Donna Karen with Manolo
Blahniks on their pretty little feet, discuss, nay, analyze, seemingly
endlessly every twist and turn of bedtime behavior. So the youngest
members of your family may well be expected to be bedded down for the
night, but surely not teen-agers.
Sex is relentlessly explicit these days whether on television, in the
movies or in best-selling fiction. And of course above all in the White
House. People may grimace, and indeed shun away from talking about
Monica, the cigar and the stain, preferring to avert their gaze and
their thoughts from such embarrassing moments. But there it is,
thousands of parents across the nation have been forced to find answers
for their children's query, "What's oral sex, Mommy?"
The culture has been captured and irrevocably coarsened during the
last decade, particularly in the last five years. Playboy, despite the
ruffling of feathers the possibility of a fund-raiser at Hugh Hefner's
mansion created among the Democrats during their convention, still seems
downright chaste among the slime and sleaze abounding these days in
other publications, on film and on the Web.
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The sleaze and slime factors have permeated just about all the
women's magazines with Cosmopolitan in the lead. As the marketing
directors of the other women's periodicals watch Cosmo's newsstand sales
spiral upwards, what else can they do but emulate the great big money
spinner? Glamour and Mademoiselle used to concentrate on guiding, as it
were, upwardly mobile young women striving to rise from secretarial
ranks, but now the lead articles issue after issue deal with sexual
achievement. Forget marriage. Concentrate on the likes of "Men's Top
Lovemaking Dos & Don'ts: Guys' Honest Opinions on What Makes a Woman
Unforgettably Great in Bed" (Glamour, September 2000).
Where are we headed? Language too has been coarsened. "Butt" is used
mater-of factedly in coverlines of the most respectable periodicals.
Relatively few publications bother to use only the first letter followed
by dots of the most common four letter words. The f word is used on
cable TV and in films as noun, verb, adjective and adverb.
How about setting up as a mission for the next first lady -- ideally
Laura Bush -- the cleaning up of our culture? She doesn't come across as
anything of a prude, but does seem to have an appreciation of the higher
forms of culture. (The fact she rated "The Grand Inquisitioner" chapter
from Doestoyesky's "Brothers Karamazov" as her favorite piece of fiction
sure puts her light years ahead of anyone else that's inhabited the
White House in eons.) And she certainly doesn't sound snobby or preachy.
Laura Bush for cleaning up the culture -- why not? An added reason
perchance to vote for George W. Let's hear it for the librarian. Listen,
at the very least, think of what a change that would be from Hillary.