The Thinking 
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“I Wish I’d Never Laid Eyes on Pornography”

July 12, 2010


MARK writes:

Laura wrote in the entry about Lady Gaga: 

“Sexual and violent images are arousing. Young adults imitate what they see, and to a certain extent we all do. And, sure while they’re having sadomasochistic sex, they may be thinking, “This is the apotheosis of decay. I am rebelling by indulging in the worst,” but they have destroyed their souls in the process. You may say, “Well, no. They don’t imitate what they see in Gaga precisely because it’s so horrific.” But then I think you deny the subliminal power of the visual, and how exposure to any images of violent sex, whatever the symbolism or intellectual message, makes it hard to perceive and know beauty. Even for married people, it impedes delight in their bodies and intimacy, though it may be temporarily stimulating.” 

This is well said, and I wish every one of your readers would get this into their psyche. Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned (Prov. 6:27)? The question answers itself, yet people persist. And there’s no sanctimonious judgment on my part when I say this, because I was among those people. And I’ve been burned by my experiences. 

Some philosophical types shrug off pornography as banal, but then, as you’ve indicated, banal is not benign. Speaking for myself, I wish I’d never laid eyes on pornography. Read More »


Is Sheltering Children from Popular Culture Harmful?

July 12, 2010


IN THE previous entry about Gaga, a reader says that shielding children and adolescents from pop stars may be to their detriment. I have heard this argument before. His point was that young people are later exposed to temptations that they are entirely unprepared for and thus give in to them. But, of course, limiting your child’s intake of toxic vulgarity is not the same as placing him in a locked cell. A child only needs to walk into the local CVS pharmacy and listen to what’s on the audio system to get a warning that sexual depravity exists. 

See the comments in that entry by James P., who writes:

 I want to raise my children to have the moral and intellectual strength to regard popular culture with the boredom, contempt, and disgust that it deserves. Exposure to television — even “educational” television — weakens them, and of course, exposure to evil, however banal and commonplace, corrodes their souls and undermines their character development. One need only meet the coarse, ignorant, and self-indulgent children who are typical products of popular culture and the public school system to understand this properly.


Read More »


Une Chanson d’Amour

July 12, 2010



TODAY’S pop performers lower the bar so far that aesthetic simplicity and understatement seem primitive. In fact, they are the end products of high civilization. This lovely version from the sixties by the French chanteuse Françoise Hardy of “Tous les Garçons et les Filles,” is the sort of thing crowded out by Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus. Loveliness, the smiles of a summer night, feminine purity, these have become so quaint and unreal that some even argue that parents are not preparing the young for life if they don’t expose them to the bleakest of alternatives.

The video was sent by Thomas F. Bertonneau, who writes “there is no gyrating, no electronic processing of the voice, very little cosmetic makeup — simply a beautiful feminine voice singing a song about every young person’s dreadful worry that everyone except he or she has someone to love.”


The ‘Inane Noblesse’ of Gaga

July 12, 2010


SEE THE excellent contribution by Scott M. in the previous entry to various reflections on Lady Gaga and the diabolic imagination. He writes:

We can speak of the ageless “powers and principalities” that have been seeking to destroy human souls since time immemorial, but we would be telling only half the story if we did not identify groups in the human community that have been determined and impassioned agents of real malevolence, and whose depredations have not only been tolerated but internalized by their victims. Read More »

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