I realize that speaking about freedom of speech versus social morals and values is opening up a philosophical can of worms, but just as President Elect Obama has more leeway now to speak about African-Americans, I have leeway to speak about the “fringed” liberal groups. Being a lesbian automatically puts me into that left-winged, liberal sect that is also stereotyped as having no morals and values. Well, I am on a rant today and so I must say- “BS” to that. I am so sick of this country’s moral demise I want to scream. As Thomas Moore writes in Dark Nights of the Soul- there is a definite “dumming down of America”. I hope that President Obama’s energy will help fix that as well. But, it has to come from us, from Americans; parents, brothers, sisters, all of us who aren’t afraid to speak up and speak out against moral indecency. And- please keep in mind that there is not “one” particular group who has “righteous” claim to morality.
I may be a lesbian but I was born - first, a female, an American citizen, a daughter, a sister. I was raised to respect adults, respect seniors, respect my mom with my heart, my words and my actions- no matter what she did. Go to a therapy group later if you need, but in person- in public- respect your parents. I was taught- If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Speak kindly to others. Never harm animals. Clean up after yourself. Don’t be lazy. Take personal responsibility. Don’t ever lie. Don’t steal or cheat; And- have a sense of humor. But this is where my rant begins- ( you thought I had begun??)
I write. I love the movies. I love good scripts. I love to laugh. But I am more of a Monty Python fan and I don’t see a lot of intellectual humor anymore. At least, not in the crap that comes from the video store. My partner wanted to watch Step-Brothers- with Will Farrell and John C. Reilly. Both, very funny guys. But from the previews I didn’t think I would like it. Then, three minutes into the movie I had to leave the room. And my partner, who generally likes all humor- even said after watching it in its entirity that she was disgusted and outraged. It should have been rated X. I remember when Town and Country came out, with Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton, how I felt the same way. Two actresses I love and who are imbedded in the American culture of iconic humor; yet the script had “F” every other word and was so sexually perverted it made me embarrassed for the actors. Aren’t we better than this? Yes, I am a big fan of Saturday Night Live- and even they push the limits too far sometimes. I don’t care if France has nudity in every scene or people walk topless in Italy, does America have to put this kind of junk out for our kids to see? I don’t have kids, but I fear for all who do and for those children who will be deciding what to do with my medi-care someday.
Women made such strides in the sixties and seventies to bring awareness to sexual discrimination and assault and now we are hard-pressed to find a movie that doesn’t make sex and rage as cavalier as opening a door. To say nothing of the dozens of male erectile commercials I have to watch every night. It’s no wonder our economy is in trouble; people have forgotten to read a good book, take a walk in the woods, play with their kids without using an electronic apparatus; there are so many channels on tv that they are filled with junk and advertisers sell junk to pay for the junk on television. And I wonder what kind of producer would put up the money to make a movie like Step-Brothers. Now that was a financially sound investment. Not!
My mom was very funny, and sometimes she said things she shouldn’t have, but still- her message of human decency and respect resonated so strongly that even through the occasional sludge- my family learned how to be respectable adults. And, all my nieces and nephews reflect that. When I wrote my books, I was very careful to make sure that a twelve year old could read them and his/her parents wouldn’t be offended; which may explain why I haven’t been picked up by a mainstream publisher yet- ouch. I’m not marketable to a society that would rather vulgarize everything. But at least I can hold my head high knowing that while I may not leave a literal legacy on this planet, at least I haven’t left it anymore filth.