Friday, April 29, 2016

Quickies: Everywhere == Nowhere Redux

     Remember this essay?

That which is everywhere is banal.

     It’s impossible to maintain one’s interest in something that omnipresently beats one over the head, screaming “Look at me!” from every vertical plane. The mind learns to tune it out for reasons of sheer survival, especially in a crowded, hypercompetitive environment. That this is possible even with the sex drive and the associated reproductive imperative is only slightly more surprising than the well-known indifference of candy-factory workers to candy.

     Japan might still have the lead in that “race,” but it’s possible that America’s sex-saturated culture is catching up:

     The birthrate among American teenagers, at crisis levels in the 1990s, has fallen to an all-time low, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention....

     ...teens -- despite their portrayal in popular TV and movies as uninhibited and acting only on hormones -- are having less sex.

     "There has been a change in social norms that has happened in the past 20 years, and the idea of not having sex or delaying sex is now something that can be okay," said Bill Albert, chief program officer for the National Campaign To Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

     Talk about ambivalent news! I don’t know whether to be happy about the decline in abortions and unwed mothers, or to fear that America, like Japan, is about to enter irreversible demographic decline. I do know that our media have gone about as far as the FCC will allow them to go in presenting us with sex-laced entertainment. Must we back away from the beauties on our 16:9 screens to get this job done? Or is that too terrible a sacrifice to contemplate? Don’t glance at your spouse as you answer that.

     Come on, people! The future you don’t want to engender is depending on you. Get out there and screw like minks!

     (No, that doesn’t mean “do it while wearing fur coats.” In a few weeks it’ll be too hot for that anyway.)

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