So far I have railed against politics and religion. They are two of my favorite topics. I think it is necessary to shine the light in to the dark corner that nobody wants to talk about because dark corners are ignored too often, but contain things just as real as anything in the sunlight. The old adage that one should never discuss politics or religion in polite company is lost on me (in case you haven't noticed), as is the notion that people should not discuss what is quite possibly the most sacred “taboo” topic: sex.
I don't know if you have noticed this or not, but people in this country have a serious problem with sex. If someone brings the topic up, there is a palpable change in the atmosphere of the conversation. People begin to fidget and blush as they attempt to redirect the conversation back to some other topic...any other topic.
When the topic of sex is thrust (no pun intended) upon the nation, the reaction is very odd. Case in point: the notorious Janet Jackson “nipplegate”/“wardrobe malfunction” during the SuperBowl XXXVIII halftime show. For those of you who may not know what I am talking about, or have forgotten what the uproar was about (or just want to see it again), here is what happened Press this to see the end of civilization.
The reaction to this brief millisecond occurrence was so visceral that one may have thought that the people in this country were told that their government had been lying to them and not acting in their best interests for years. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson (two of my most admired people on Earth) famously condemned the incident, CBS, Justin Timberlake, and Janet Jackson (as well as a host of others). Falwell was particularly bent out of shape because he claimed that he was watching the game with his grandson and was horrified that his grandson was exposed to such a sight.
This may surprise you, but I agree with Falwell. That his grandson had to be exposed to the spectacle of some very large, testosterone-overloaded, brutes FIGHT OVER A BALL, may not be the thing you want to expose a young and impressionable youth to. As for the other thing, as an Irishman I know is fond of saying, "are you fookin searious?" Falwell's argument hinges on some staggeringly bizarre logic. Even though his intentions may have been "good," his argument breaks down to: violence = good, sex = bad. So in Falwell's ideal world we would have a society that would beat the hell out of one another over trivial matters, but not engage in what some see as love (and this guy lead the Moral Majority).
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that more parents would rather their children grow up to one day have sex, than to one day grow up to be in a fight. I don't have any statistical backing for this assumption, but over the years I have met more people that have told me that they want grandchildren than have told me they want their child to go and die in a war (maybe it's just the group I tend to hang out with).
Personally, I have been in my fair share of physical fights over the years. I see violence as a last resort, not a first response (a policy that I would like to see the United States adopt). Some of them I walked away from, other's I wasn't so fortunate with. Regardless of the cause or outcome, one thing is a constant after any fight: you tend to hurt a lot. I'm against increasing my already high pain levels. I've also had sex. Guess which activity I've enjoyed more.
Maybe I'm just not meant to understand why it is that in our society it is far more acceptable for someone to talk about how they cracked someone's ribs, knocked a tooth out, or broke a nose, than it is for them to talk about something that is, in every definition of the word, more pleasurable. Our priorities seem to be a bit fucked up.