Behavior is a mirror in which everyone displays his image.
The use of the masculine in Goethes quotation brought to my attention the progress in our appreciation of egalitarian principles. Now, at long last, the feminine counterpart of his image referred to by Goethe is on display.
The focus on liberty in the expanded view of civil rights has become a license for bestiality with social sanctions, including the multi-genders of him and her, them and those.
The angry vulgarities publicly applied to each other by the president and first lady, at an appearance for the 1996 inauguration, received little media attention. This was good policy, no doubt, since it would have had to be beeped out.
This behavior, as reported by Barbara Olson in her books The Final Days and Hell to Pay, are a graphic account of the behavior of two people who were elevated to the most prestigious world position. We must not make the mistake of thinking that these examples of grossness are found only as a partisan defect. It is, in fact, a growing part of the cultural blight. It is more endemic in the liberal mindset, thought it contaminates all those in its proximity.
Judge Robert Borks book, The Tempting of America, correctly anticipated the future in demonstrating the effects of the prevalent constitutional theory which gives rise to the egalitarian political agenda of the libertarian movement.
The Augusta State University Womens Studies presentation of Eve Englers The Vagina Monologues is only more evidence of feminisms efforts to discard all inhibitions. Englers tawdry title characterizes the modern feminist mind as it indulges in a blatant exploration of free licentiousness, tearing the very fragile fabric of a society which is held intact only by its moral constraints. These would-be celeb-rities of a cause are intoxicated with the freedom to exercise that freedom.
Presented as a V-Day event to raise awareness of violence against women, they manage to shade their token display of violation of social mores much as television has accomplished a perversion of taste by sneaking in an expletive or two and gradually conditioning the sense of what is normal.
Every facet of society is subject to this conditioning by degree, which results in a grotesque sense of normalcy guided by the free spirit; so if it feels good, do it.
Where do these cultural pollutants come from? As one whose reference for perspective extends back to a time when society was melded together by a natural inter-dependency, I can only offer my opinion.
I consider the seismism of change. Well, not earthquakes literally; society does experience quakes (social change) of a sort. Mostly, though, these occur at the micro-seismic level, like waves lapping on the shore. A gentle erosion, its gradual change of the landscape is hardly noted. Then something notable happens. A war, a great depression; these are macro-seism. These things usually bring about social unity and support for common cause. History is full of these events, and in these times it is a shared sense of morality, a social support system, which smoothes out the upheaval.
Whats wrong with us? Since World War II, technology, the pill, television, and womens ability to shuck the domestic role have swept over the country, transforming society and its cultural mores. Represent-atives of every aberration came out of their closet, demanding equal recognition and civil rights. Legitimacy is claimed and granted for every view, as concepts of evil and sin are thrust aside.
These moral inhibitors have at best been only marginally effective in restraining the excesses of a primate that preys and prays, in his world where war is the best solution to put off dehumanization by self-gratification. But then again, maybe that is what being human is all about: the exercise of freedom of choice to shape our image as we display it.
(Joe E. Cook is a Martinez resident. E-mail comments to email@example.com.)
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