A Little Less Conversation
Over at TOM yesterday, Stacy McCain published a damn fine Valentine’s Day essay on our attitudes regarding sex, marriage, and other cultural matters that is well-worth your time.
A few highlights:
What has crept into our culture in recent decades is a subtle prejudice I call “Middle Classism,” the belief that the only life worth living is the affluent upwardly-mobile life, with a college education, a suit-and-tie office job, and two late-model cars in the garage of a house on a suburban cul-de-sac in a good school district.
Middle Classism is a status-obsessed sort of materialism, which measures people according to their incomes, their career advancement, their possession of consumer goods, and other indicators of social status associated with the middle-class lifestyle. What this involves is a type of cargo-cult fixation on acquiring the superficial trappings of “success,” a pursuit of overpriced symbolism that often misleads young people into foolish choices, impairing both their spiritual and economic well-being.
[The Founders though the 'pursuit of Happiness' one of the fundamental, God-given rights. Too many people think that the best Happiness comes from purely material wealth. Sure, it helps an awful lot, but if the, dare I say it, the spiritual version is the core of all Happiness; without it the other kind is but the shell that surrounds a sorry vacuum.]
…the sexualized culture obliterates any separation between the erotic and the aesthetic.Even while concerns about “discrimination” tend to suppress any overt mention of disparities in attractiveness in our workaday lives — lest we be sued for harassment or creating a “hostile environment” – people are simultaneously (and quite surreptitiously) playing a sort of mental “Rate-a-Date” game with everyone they meet, evaluating them in terms of their romantic desirability.
Perhaps never before in human history has a society been so sex-obsessed as ours, while at the same time we rigorously suppress discussion of this topic with a neo-Victorian prudery.
It is therefore unfortunately necessary for me to remind readers, both old and young, that it was once considered scandalous for unmarried couples to live together, but not scandalous for a man to compliment a lady on her looks.
[A 'World Turned Upside Down', eh?]