There was a time in my life - just a few years ago, actually - in which I bought into the stereotypical definitions of a stuff shirt and a prude.
Yet any time I found myself judging someone with one of those labels, I found myself conflicted, because deep down inside, I knew my criticism wasn't completely fair. And I knew the stances we usually base those labels on are not all bad.
Seriously, as teen and a 20-something, as frustrated as I got sometimes with parents and nosy neighbors, and school principals, and sometimes clergy, and neighborhood police officers - you know, the old school kind who walk the beat and know the neighbors by their first names, I often found myself silently agreeing with them that this behavior or that attitude just wasn't right. I'd never have admitted that to them. But that's another story altogether.
So when I found myself a couple days ago draped across the couch, channel surfing, I landed for a sec. on MTV. On screen I saw Tila Tequila, "star" of the show A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.
Normally, I'd have immediately switched the channel, 'cause I hate stupid TV, unless it's Family Guy, or Futurama, or The Simpsons, or My Name is Earl.
But I remembered Mrs. B had told me the day before that she'd given in to temptation and watched some of A Shot at Love. And she'd said she was appalled at what she saw.
So here's the rub. In an effort to not feel too "old," too stuffy, too elder-like, my almost instinctive reaction was to teasingly call her a prude. She's not. But hey, it was my defense mechanism!
Anyway, I watched the show, which I've seen before, for about 20 minutes, and I got what Mrs. B meant. Tequila, while visiting the home of one of her finalists, made out with the guy's mom...and his sister...while his dad watched, apparently enjoying the whole scene.
Now, keeping in mind that MTV's target audience is roughly 12 to 34, and keeping in mind that the lion's share of that audience is on the younger end of that scale, I gotta say this show and crap like it is just wrong. Not religious wrong, not philosophical wrong. Nothing that deep. Just wrong.
That's it. That's all I have to say about it. It's wrong. I don't have a long rant about how we have to do something about it. What's there to do? I don't believe in censorship, unless it's a matter of physical safety (like not letting folks yell "fire" in a crowded theater).
Kissing ain't wrong. Finding love ain't wrong. Taking shots of Tequila ain't wrong...although this particular Tequila might send you to the hospital in search of a different sort of shot. What makes this kind of crap wrong is that it's just gratuitous and simply sends a bad message about "managing" one's sexuality to the mush-filled young heads at home watching it. I know the age range of MTV's audience goes into the 30s. But trust me. The only 34-year-olds at home watching A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila are the ones who have been married 10 years and have eight kids, or the ones who lack social skills and don't have dates, or the ones who like watching kinky things but can't afford a porn account on the Web. The show is aimed at kids. And if you don't believe that, then you probably believed back in the day that Joe Camel was meant to get more adults to smoke cigarettes.
Yeah, yeah, I know. It's Tequila's right to be a sexual being and be demonstrative about it. But I can say translating those things into a 1-hour TV show aimed at kids is wrong.
Whatever. I should probably stop fighting it though and just face up to the fact that I've become a prude.
Pardon me while I go lobby the TV writers for the return of Little House on the Prairie and Matlock.