American Culture - Crudity!
In a Meet The Press interview on 24 December, crudity was remarked as something that graphically and unfortunately impacts American life. Moderator Tim Russert was interviewing Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham and Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren. Upon reflection, one can discover many ways this is portrayed by folks who are constant objects of media attention, and, of course, how it reflects upon the media itself – sensation trumping facts in considering what’s newsworthy.
This crudity is exemplified in the ongoing imbroglio engaged in by Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell, two rich (at least as consensually surmised) brats who have called each other “pimp” and “dummy” respectively. Trump, known for casinos and the feminine meat-market called Miss Universe, recently publicized his supposed intention to “fire” a Miss Universe contestant for not behaving herself, including sleeping around, drunkenness, etc. The media was full of pictures of the woman apparently French-kissing another woman and later posturing for the public in caterwauling her appreciation to Trump (smirking behind her in the “press conference”) for keeping her on the “job” and letting her truck on down to rehab, the better to appear nude in a more sophisticated demeanor. Trump advertises his Miss Universe candidates virtually nude as they writhe much as the trollops fronting the houses of ill fame in the movies, thus enhancing his identification as crudity-personified.
O’Donnell, whose claim to fame is her lesbianism (fat, too, according to Trump) is on a TV program apparently sort of overseen by Barbara Walters (okay, I’ve never seen more than a total of five minutes of it), in which women vent their spleens over this and that. I saw the short clip recently in which O’Donnell was holding a pathetic drunk on her lap (what there is of it) while he mouthed trashy talk…very uplifting stuff. Her crudity is enhanced by that of the audience – mostly women addicted to moronic morning-shows – who obviously enjoy the titillation and male-bashing or oohing and ahhing over the “hunks.” Trump and O’Donnell probably have a thing going – whether intentionally or not in the beginning – and see money in it, so they snipe on at each other and laugh all the way to the bank. Law-suits? Ridiculous! They would end the fun and finance.
Crudity on the political scene is obvious in author Bob Woodward’s latest “mother of all scoops,” trotting out an embargoed tape (not to be shown, by direction of Gerald Ford, until he was dead) of his interview in 2004 with the former president before the deceased’s body was cold. The big scoop: that Ford disagreed with Bush’s decision to invade Iraq…hot stuff. Of course, it’s been noted that Ford apparently supported the action in 2003, so Woodward, in his panicky haste to hurt President Bush, also made Ford look bad, not just because of the reversal in position but also because of the obvious intent to not go on the record when it mattered. Of course, who knows what actually happened in 2004? Woodward’s claim to have interviewed former CIA chief Casey on his death-bed has been thoroughly debunked by the people who knew the facts. To be crude enough – not just Woodward but the entire media establishment – to do this at precisely the time Ford lies in state and the nation mourns says it all…about the media and its hacks.
The crudity is seen on the sports scene…in spades. The teasing, taunting, trash-talking, tattoos, fights, and celebratory gyrations resembling those of baboons by multimillionaire ballplayers for just doing what they’re paid to do has become sickening. This disgusting conduct has filtered down to college and even middle-school level, as young athletes ape the pros – veritable buffoons – as role models. Coaches are too tied to money-in-baskets to do anything, and referees don’t dare cross them. The shallow-heads who run television and athletic departments have decided that obscenity is what the public likes, so that’s what the athletes are paid to deliver – garbage. The Janet Jackson and Mick Jagger obscenities that marked Super-bowl halftimes in 2004 and 2006 say it all.
Crudity on a grand scale is already revved up – again in the world of politics. Whereas once the summer party-conventions served as vehicles to inform the nation and cough up candidates, now the hate-filled primary-spectaculars, with their venomous TV ads and knuckle-headed speeches (sound-bites glued together with inanities) go on and on and on and on, with the campaigners convinced that the general public is too dumb to see through any of it. Picture John Edwards making his big announcement for the presidency the other day (practically two whole years in advance) from some backyard in New Orleans, notwithstanding that he is a North Carolinian who once served his state as a U.S senator. Why New Orleans instead of Raleigh? Obviously, Edwards thought he was making a statement about…maybe FEMA, the president…who knows? Such an exercise in pathetic posturing marks him as crude and condescending to the Joes and Janes who he must think have no brains at all, and he can’t see how he misreads the public...not as gullible as he thinks.
Crudity has always been around, but probably took off during the late 60s, when the flower children and hippies made being trashy fashionable. Being out of one’s head became the norm, with hophead O’Leary the guru. Rings in all places – lips, ears, navels, tongues, noses – are considered cool, with tattoos, known as “body art,” the ultimate accomplishment in being with it, and the more the better. Where once only drunken sailors got tattoos, now even college students – especially athletes – are walking-around canvases of obscenity/porn/whatever. “Rap,” endemic to the African-American youth, has crossed over to become a staple in the white community, its obscene lyrics (kill the m-fs, cops, anybody else handy, as well as its mind-deadening throbbing beat) amounting to some sort of rite of passage. It’s sort of reversion to the jungle, the tribal mentality.
Even churches/church-members have gotten into the act, so fearful of losing influence or members or potential members that they consider political correctness (translated anything that feels good is good) the bellwether of worship and mission, devoid of significant constraints. The liturgy has either been abandoned or so inflicted with blunt-forced, groovy trauma that it means little. An entire generation is now ignorant of the great music of the church, and the church and society have become one, despite Christ’s teaching that the believer is salt – briny salt, not sugar-coated, warm-fuzzy “togetherness” at all costs. Whole denominations have accepted behavioral perversions as normal, either de jure or de facto theologically, thus attaining a crudity that threatens the fundamental unit of society – the family.
Where will it end? When will it end? Will the nation be able to stand its driving force or lurch into a sort of nihilism? Ah…crudity, thy name is American “culture!” Disgusting!
And so it goes.Jim Clark