Monday, July 30, 2012

In one traditional form of pornography, from the Victorian “A Man With a Maid” to the more recent “Fifty Shades of Grey,” a young woman is initiated — sometimes uncomfortably — into the mysteries of adult sexuality. In the end she is, at some level at least, grateful for the new horizons that’ve opened up to her. 
Well, we still have that. But let’s face it — porn has gotten pretty boring.
If that's your idea of porn, no wonder you're bored.
Nowadays, you can’t really shock with sex. Even gay sex has gone from edgy to ho-hum. 
So try a different adult bookstore. (Why is he being so coy? Jonah Goldberg would have blegged by now.)
No, if you want to make an impression, it takes something really exotic, like . . . traditional middle-class values.
[record scratch]
A spin across the cable dial will reveal some examples — the Duggars are exciting because they have lots of children and raise them themselves; Dave Ramsey says to live within your salary.
What, the Duggars and Dave Ramsey do porn? I knew I should have paid the cable bill.
But for me the strongest case in point is CNBC’s “Princess,” with Jamaican-born financial adviser Gail Vaz-Oxlade.
Each episode revolves around an overindulged young woman in her 20s or early 30s who’s spent herself — and usually her parents, boyfriend and sometimes even siblings — into near-bankruptcy. With friends and family, Vaz-Oxlade stages an intervention, making plain the costs of this behavior, both personal and financial. 
Then the profligate subject is put on a strict budget, and forced to cook, clean, take public transit and show respect for the parents, boyfriend, et al. who’ve been supporting her... you can tell that many viewers enjoy seeing the pampered “princesses” learning to cook, clean and perform other traditional tasks for themselves...
Oh, so it's humiliation fantasies you're into! But I see you've found a vendor, so what are you complaining about?
But this is only news because so many modern young people lack those skills, once taken for granted.
"So many" young people are literally unable to cook or clean? That explains the popularity of Applebee's.
In today’s culture of immediate reward, a work ethic centering on self-discipline and the ability to defer gratification is almost, to use a favorite term of the avant-garde, transgressive. Hmm: With so much of our economy and politics now based on the absence of those characteristics, maybe it really is a bit transgressive.
We're not doing transgression anymore, Perfesser. It's all about the dictatorship of the proletariat now. That and anal.
But those mores just may be making a comeback in these tough times. The fact is, self-discipline and the ability to defer gratification really do help you get ahead, avoid debt and feel more in control of your life... 
At any rate, we can hope that saving money, avoiding debt and treating friends and family with consideration are now edgy enough to become trendy.
Ugh, sorry, folks, turns out there's not much else to it. Once again old-fashioned values have been abandoned by beatniks and goofball-poppers, but now comes the turn of the tide and soon the kids will learn the simple pleasure of good old-fashioned elbow grease of the sort Perfesser Reynolds hasn't applied in a hen's age.

Give him credit, though -- at least he knew that no one, not even readers of the New York Post, would go for a warmed-over Look magazine mores and tempora lament without something racy up front. It's a classic Berkeley love-in come-on: Yes, these stoned co-eds surrender their lissome torsos to their Black Panther boyfriends for our cameras, but don't worry, eventually the only grinding they'll experience will be the garbage disposal's and their own teeth at night.

But the schtick seems to have gotten away from Reynolds. His pleasure is so palpable at the idea of "a young woman... initiated — sometimes uncomfortably — into the mysteries of adult sexuality," and of rich bitches forced to strain and Swiffer, that when he announces it's actually boring we assume he's just trying to tamp down his hard-on before he has to get up from his desk.

Sex magic is powerful stuff, and whenever these guys fool with it it's like the Nazis with the Lost Ark.


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