Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What was that about "One Night in Bangkok"?

Once again, you wonder what people are thinking. We already have a cultural frontier which is a playground for every perversion under the sun. The fact that television programs regularly feature and write entire stories around deviancy suggests how tolerant we have become to things which are fodder for greater problems. Granted, a story must have a conflict to set it in motion. What catches my attention is the ramping up of the weirdness and depravity factors in these plot/character motivations. 30 years ago, it was enough to say that the murder happened to cover up an affair. Now, a similar television program, a police procedural e.g., now has to add dimensions of sadomasicism or fetishism. It seems to me that all of that is an effort at normalization of abnormal tendencies. But I digress...

The irony here is that the officials both want to simultaneously curtail and promote a certain set of behaviors. Singapore has something of a reputation when it comes to public sexual matters, including the post-post production editing-out of racier material from movies. Common sense tells us that you can't have it both ways; it's akin, to my mind, of both leading the world in Splenda production, in order to cut obesity risks, and selling it in a chocolate box. If a specific act or set of actions are not conducive to the promotion of the common good, then you can't argue later that somehow that, if we police it very carefully, then it's good.

We can even follow this into a whole different disturbing quarter. Currently, throughout the world, there are not a few girls and women who are sold into sexual slavery. They are forced, at the point of violence, into a world of prostitution and drug use. What would the Singapore government have to say if mysteriously, one of the vendors or participants at their little sortie suddenly was revealed to be involved in one of these sorts of plots, perhaps even getting the idea for the criminal action, because the expo tipped him off to its existence.

Defense of the common good from all that would corrupt and co-opt the rights of the constituency begins at the simplest levels and then follows through to the largest and most comprehensive work. It sounds like Singapore has got it backward.

Biretta tip to Jason Pohlmeier for the link.

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