“In olden days a glimpse of stocking…”

by on July 21st, 2006

The movie critic Joel Siegel reportedly walked out of Kevin Smith’s new film “Clerks II” because he was thoroughly disgusted, but no one should be surprised that the Motion Picture Association of America decided the film was fine for children as long as the parents were along.

It’s axiomatic that our Hollywood cultural elites have, for several decades, been engaged in a zealous search for the bottom of our cultural cesspool and that their descent continues apace.

That stated, it’s facile and intellectually anemic for them or anyone else to assert that they’re merely reflecting societal expectations because the paradox is that it’s the G-rated films, not the R-rated that are profitable. That is, average folks find films that drip with sexuality at least disconcerting if not intolerable, not only because they distort reality but because they reflect some of our basest and most vile instincts.

Finally, their influence on our children is unequivocal because kids are so impressionable and lack the contextual maturity to make accurate moral judgments. Of course, parents should play a key role in safeguarding and monitoring their children’s exposure to these experiences, but that’s an argument for another day.

As those more advanced in years or with a more critical eye know, we began this downward trend several decades ago when we were told by our leftist brethren that the absolutes we held in such high esteem were only the product of high-browed moralists. From there, the champions of amorality led the unwitting down the path to abortion, single parenthood, teenage sex, and a host of other equally corrosive activities.

In the 1940s all it took was a glance or a smile by Cary Grant to Grace Kelly and we implicitly understood the entire gamut of emotions that was being communicated. Today we’re bombarded by a raw sexuality that is at once unimaginative and indifferent to the standards of a civilized society.

Philip Mella