Thursday, May 26, 2011

Our communal ass seems to be getting tighter

I've been noticing a somewhat disturbing trend as of late - a rising wave of moral conservatism, and most distressingly, in younger generations than my own. 

To be fair, it doesn't take much for me to consider something conservative. My personal heroes are all people who push the envelope. They're rude, crude and hysterically funny. They're also incredibly intelligent and highly successful. For example, Seth MacFarlane, Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman, Bill Maher, etc... You get the idea.

Fairly recently I was admonished for a somewhat rude, yet very true statement. I found this quite odd indeed. Why so serious? I was simply stating a fact, only in a more entertaining manner. I try to be very respectful of other people's values and beliefs, and as much as possible, refrain from telling them they're full of shit and OMG would they chill the f*ck out already. 

Here's my theory: any dummy can be morally or politically conservative - it's easy because you simply adopt other people's beliefs and don't ask any questions. Satirists, libertines and outcasts are usually highly astute, courageous people who constantly challenge the status quo. They don't take all the ideas they were fed as children to be fact. They sift through them, ask questions as to their validity, and if these ideas don't stand up to interrogation, they're tossed aside to make room for new, possibly better ideas. 

Take, for instance, Family Guy. Is it offensive? Well, that depends on who you talk to but for the sake of this argument let's say that yes, it is. However, its insolence is its most powerful tool, encapsulating legitimate social commentary. To really "get" a show like Family Guy, you need to be a fairly well-rounded, shrewd person. A broad knowledge of pop culture also helps. It's not a program for the dumb and dogmatic who simply think it's some irrelevant cartoon with fart jokes or the devil incarnate.

Conservative folks, in general, also seem to have an inability to laugh at themselves, hence their abhorrence of fart jokes or any humourous allusion to other not-so-pleasant bodily functions, sex, religion or morally charged issues like abortion. As the French say: "Il faut rire pour ne pas pleurer." We must laugh so as not to cry.

It seems as if humour, especially "offensive" humour, is perceived as a lower, unsophisticated form of expression, when in reality, it takes on some very heady issues without blinking instead of side stepping topics that may, heaven forbid, cause some controversy.

One should also keep in mind that arrogant, morally inflexible people tend to be the worst offenders behind closed doors. Like Catholic priests, for example. Instead of airing their dirty laundry and having a public debate about contentious issues, they deny their questionable actions and the urges that led to them, and present a totally false image. Instead of trying to fully understand the human animal, they prefer to simply sit in the dark and wank to porn, not wanting to know why they're sitting in the dark, wanking to porn and probably feeling guilty about it. 

Having been raised Catholic, I received the full brunt of guilt-laden messaging so pervasive in that religion. I learned that I was inherently bad, that my body was bad, that sex was bad and should only be had to procreate, and that my life should basically be dedicated to preparing for an eternal life in heaven. In other words, don't enjoy your earthly life too much you useless sack of shit. 

I don't know about you but I find fault in this kind of thinking. I'm shacked up with my boyfriend, have no plans to marry and don't want kids of my own. According to the Catholic Church, I shouldn't ever have sex because it's not for procreation, and I'm not married but living with a man, so I'm basically going to burn in the hungry fires of hell. To which I say: Great! 'Cause really, are there any fun people in heaven? I doubt it.

As George Carlin and many famous philosophers and thinkers have said: "Question everything." In other words, don't ever consider anything as truth until you've tested it out for yourself. And if it doesn't hold up, it's probably bullshit.

To conclude, some classic Carlin:

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