Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Lewd S**t

When an L.A. sportswriter described Wilt Chamberlain's house as "decorated in early Batcave," the lengendary Lakers' Center called the article "lewd s**t."

There's been some lewd s**t assaulting my senses lately. It is symptomatic of a sick "culture" without much in the way of respect for self or other people. Here are some "highlights":
  • Just saw a guy walking his wife into the ob-gyn clinic. He's sporting a t-shirt with a pheasant picture, headlined "Here in South Dakota we have the biggest c**ks." Since he's wearing this into a waiting room full of women, I hope he winds up like the jerk in Fried Green Tomatoes.
  • I travel a few blocks behind a car with an array of rainbow, Earth Day and other obligatory liberal bumper stickers - inlcuding "Who Needs Men?" The temptation is to say, "Given how you look, you won't have to interact with too many of us."
  • A guy pulls up to the hospital valet with his pregnant wife and preschool-aged daughter. As they climb out of the car, he's got a hip-hop song throbbing. It's about a guy watching a stripper's pole-dance, with a lovely refrain, "You know I wanna f**k you." Well, at least he provides medical care. Maybe he and the wife think the little girl should have an open mind on what to be when she grows up.
  • Then there's "Billboard Butt Syndrome." What's up with girls in shorts or sweatpants with words printed across the backside?

The world can go its merry way down the wide, easy road to destruction. But as we heard Jesus pray to our Father last Sunday, "I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours" (John 17:9).

The Lord has a higher standard for those within his church. We are to be a new community trying to live by God's values: "But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips" (Colossians 3:8).


8 comments:

Alice C. Linsley said...

These are signs of a culture in decay.

robroy said...

Amen. I must admit to temptation to take the car key to the side of the car with the bumpersticker about you know what happens.

It used to be that cars with such bumper stickers would some how get pulled over for speeding 1 mile over the limit etc., which would quickly put an end to such public expressions.

David Handy+ said...

Tim+,

Your quotation from Col. 3 was apt. But so is a passage from today's epistle from the Daily Office, namely from the second half of Ephesians 4. I'm thinking of Eph. 4:29,

"Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear."

The increasing coarseness of our culture is one of many signs of the fact that American society is in moral free fall. And the dominance of moral relativism today leaves society generally powerless to halt the slide into ever greater degradation.

And robroy, nice of you to visit this site. It shows that awareness and notice of this blog is growing. Cool!

Anonymous said...

Yikes! I would have gotten my mouth washed out with soap if I had even uttered some of those words. Whatever happened to the lovely little bumper sticker that just said "WWJD"? As for the person with the rainbow sticker and the sticker that says "Who needs Men?"--well, obviously the person's mother did or they wouldn't be here!

The Oblate

TLF+ said...

robroy - so good to have you visit! The Oblate, Alice and you are right about social decay. One symptom is that old ways of dealing with obnoxious and deviant behavior - some official, some "informal" are discarded in favor of individualism. We have no common bonds (well, except the last question in the '79 Baptismal Covenant, diocesan boundaries and Ubuntu, I guess).

David+, great verse from Ephesians... I confess that I've been finding much inspiration via the '28 BCP dail lectionary so I'm not always in sync (but always in prayer!) with others around the Anglican landscape.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Social controls and enforcement of "norms" take various forms: folkways, mores and laws. In a multi-cultural secular society such as we have, it is difficult to enforce any norm. In traditional societies control over deviant slogans on cars and clothing would take the form of shunning and ridicule. The individual would be the brunt of jokes endlessly until they stopped weraing the offensive slogan. Maybe that's what we ought to do with these people. Just point at them and laugh. Make them feel like the fools that they appear.

prairiewords said...

My twelve y/o grandson told his mother the f-off last week. When I grew up my grandfather shaved with a straight razor and that piece of leather hung in the bathroom. Bad language was severly inhibited by its presence.

TLF+ said...

Thanks, Alice and prairiewords...

Our problem, of course, is that there is no consensus around which to rally. (There might be a "strap" hanging, but nobody is empowered to use it).

I might have been able to ridicule the guy with the t-shirt, because an insensitive male is an OK target... but the guy with the hip-hop garbage was Black, so I would be racist to challenge him.

Everything is "tribal" - not in the unifying sense that some cultures might use the word, but in the interest-group sense of everything serving a subgroup's interests rather than overarching values.

Don't know if that makes sense but now I'm tired and I have to get up early. Will try to write more coherently later.