Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Are they out of their minds?

In Moral Relativism and Enabling Evil ShrinkWrapped takes us on a disturbing ride around the slum that is moral relativism. In addition to linking to previous posts on the topic (read 'em!) SW points to an article on Variety.com, Express route to controversy in Atlanta which tells us:

Around the holidays, the biggest challenge for many theater companies is convincing audiences to care about yet another staging of "A Christmas Carol." This season in Atlanta, however, Actor's Express wants to stir up buzz about a less familiar property -- namely, a pedophile musical.

The Express has already started pushing "Love Jerry," a new tuner written and composed by Megan Gogerty that follows the tortured story of Jerry, who develops a sexual relationship with his nephew while trying to stay friends with the boy's father.

A delicate, often heart-wrenching piece of theater, the show, which preems Jan. 22 at the Express, never descends to shock-value tactics as it explores volatile terrain, and its lilting country songs give the characters emotionally vulnerable texture. Should it manage to attract a crowd, "Love Jerry" could very well leave them cheering.

If only audiences weren't such prudes, the tale, set to music and song, of a pedophile might leave 'em cheering.

But how do you convince anyone to come sing along with a child abuser?
Beats me. I'm even more baffled trying to understand why Mark Blankenship feels some need to ask the question.

It's a double-edged question: Not only can untested musicals be notoriously hard to launch, especially when the writer is an unknown, but pedophilia (not to mention incest to boot) has proven anathema to ticket buyers.

Gee, whooda thunk it? Shrinkwrapped goes on to give us a psychoanalysts view of the underlying questions by which some seem to believe there is some justification for this level of human degradation. I'll give a knucklehead's view of what is at work here: their basket is packed two sandwiches short for a picnic, they are embarked on an elevator that does not go to the top, and the light is on but nobody's home. These idiots have, at best, one oar in the water.


Unknown said...

This is bizarre. Why not put Lolita to music? At least Nobokov had enough sense to make the pedophile hate himself.

vnjagvet said...

Not the sharpest knives in the drawer, either.

I wonder what these guys would do with Scrooge's eventually better relationship with Tiny Tim in "A Christmas Carol"?

flenser said...

Shrinkwrapped does not respond to this argument, but it's one which irritates me.

"2.Even if such relationships are wrong, it is the job of the artist to provoke and the play is certainly thought-provoking."

It may well be true that people who wish to be provocative find it useful to pose as artists, but I'm highly skeptical that it is in fact the job of the artist to "provoke". If it is, then many of those regarded as the greatest artists in history were failures. There is nothing provocative about "The Last Supper" or "David" or the Parthenon, at least not in the sense that the modern provocateurs understand.

chuck said...

"2.Even if such relationships are wrong, it is the job of the artist to provoke and the play is certainly thought-provoking."

Retching and thinking ain't the same thing. The guy is a few bunnies short of a warren.

truepeers said...

Of course, none of these people involved actually believes in child abuse. If an adult were to approach them to take their child or child relative/friend out on a date, they would of course be appalled, outraged, etc. If their child were raped they would demand justice, in many cases bloody. Would they feel much different if it were a hetero or homosexual rape, a social outcast or a priest? I doubt it if their children were involved.

And yet, they can pose in public as artists curiously exploring a difficult subject that may not be as black and white as some of us think.

In what is implicitly a question of passing judgment on a behavior that might be seen to be critical of some small segment of an official victim group - homosexuals or social outcasts of some other sort - they shy away from their own true feelings.

They live in denial of who they are because self-assertion is anathema to contemporary liberalism with its fear of self-assertion causing an imbalance in the moral order, where no one can pretend to better than another, unless, that is, one is better at defending an official victim group.

If this self-denial is not key to understanding the insidious nature of contemporary victimary "liberalism", then I don't know what is.

We could be cynical and say this is just another instance of leftist elitists desiring power, in the form of a paying audience and, no doubt, grants. And as I have noted before, moral relativism is a tactic of power, not something anyone really believes, for a belief cannot, by its very nature, be purely relativistic. It has to justify itself, somehow.

But what is at work here is probably less lust for power as the self-destructive side of our humanity. These "artists" have come to hate who they are. That is the essential difference between them and the great artists Flenser invokes.

ex-democrat said...

don't they hate the rest of us even more, truepeers?

truepeers said...

"don't they hate the rest of us even more?"

-Well, ex, that's a tough one to answer. In some cases it sure looks that way, in others, not. In the world of the left and the liberal there are the aggressive tyrant types full of self-righteous resentments that mask their own inner self-hate, and so the hate for the patriarchal other is publicly tantamount. BUt others are more passive in their following of the line: self-righteous at times, but perhaps more often self-denying.

Think of Hitler to see the paradox a little more clearly: did he hate Jews more than he hated his own and Germany's failures that he blamed on the Jews? If he had succeeded in killing all the jews and winning the war, would he have emerged as a loving person who had transcended his resentments? No, of course not. Only the humble person who sees clearly how one and all are implicated in the inevitability of resentment and a fallen humanity can hope to transcend hatred. The scapegoaters can't see this, so they can't even begin to understand the source or object of their hatred.

MeaninglessHotAir said...


With an attitude like yours...I'll bet you haven't even hugged your terrorist lately.

buddy larsen said...

Alexandra also, is on the topic.

Barry Dauphin said...

"2.Even if such relationships are wrong, it is the job of the artist to provoke and the play is certainly thought-provoking."

Of course, these "artists" are begging the question, "provoke whom?" (although the assertion they are provoking "thought" is simply wrong). Well, I have an idea for a provocative play. In it, the protagonist cuts funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and cuts taxes. Although many are distraught at first, soon enough they discover the world to be a better place for it.
Hey, I'm an artist!

Morgan said...

If it is truly the job of the artist to be provocative, the supply seems to have outstripped the demand. Probably because it's heavily subsidized.

It reminds me of an argument I had with one of the regulars over at Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, who thought that The Administration was reprobate for valuing self-made businessmen above self-made artists. I replied that the market sets the value, not the administration, at which point he dismissed me as a "true believer" who was not worth arguing with. Hee hee.

flenser said...


it's so ... PINK!!

vnjagvet said...


Larry Lessig's oddysey is a sad but heroic one. My heart goes out to him, and I pray he will be more at peace after this significant legal victory.

Thank you for the link.

As someone who loves choral music, especially the music of the Catholic and Anglican rite, it pains me to confront the reality of predators in the midst of that beauty.

It is reminiscent of the kind of stuff that beset Hollywood in the days of the "Studio System" when the casting couch was the way to stardom.

Sexploitation is exploitation whether hetero or homo in its manifestation.

Human nature still has its very dark reaches, and not judging depredation as such does not aid in improvement of our species.

Where this stuff belongs is in the medical, psychological or psychiatric classroom and not in Christmas season "entertainment".

flenser said...

I'm ambivalent about the Lessig case. Child predators should be whipped, at a minimum, but holding the criminals employer fiscally liable seems a bit dodgy. It simply creates some "deep pockets" from which money can be drawn, for a time.

vnjagvet said...


It is a tough call, but allowing an organization total immunity encourages a "head in the sand" mentality. When that organization is responsible for young children, there should be some recourse for overt assault on those children.

Doug said...

vnjagvet, agree.
esp when, as is the case with the Catholic Church, the organization has REPEATEDLY covered up, re-assigned, and continued to employ these criminal perverts.

Luther said...

But I really do like the pink! Omygod.

But, hopefully more on topic, there will always be folks with more money than brains who will support what ever seems 'toney'. It is an unfortunate artifact of our freedom. Nowadays how many artists are only about 'free expression', everyone has to eat. Its a niche market, but a market nonetheless. Is that not the ultimate driver? I have to believe that is the case, otherwise I become purely disgusted.

Doug said...

Isn't "Buddy"
Pretty in Pink?

buddy larsen said...

hey, I go watch a movie, and come back "pretty in pink"?

buddy larsen said...

yeh, that pink'll set your eyes on fire, for sure. Website theater. That euro-look with the sharp conservatism is a helluva nice jolt.

Alexandra said...

All right with the pink already....I was going to change it just for Buddy...but then he said his favorite was gray, so that was the end of that.

Now about the matter at hand. I am unfortunately going to bring that revolting 'to the right of Genghis Khan' view of treating the subject of child abuse as a pedophile musical with zero tolerance.

We have seen many things said and done and portrayed in the name of art, provoking a strong reaction, but sometimes we as a society need to simply give this sort of show a wide birth. As usual money talks and bullshit walks, and if the show does not sell tickets it closes.

The problem is we don't, we intellectualize about it and condone it by the purchase of a ticket, and discussions in the press and elsewhere ad nauseam.

I am a huge art lover and collector, my father was a writer, and I spent my entire childhood around artists of one kind or another. So for me to say this is very hard, I just don't wish anyone to misunderstand me.

I have become very extreme in my zero tolerance views on a couple of important issues. One is terrorism and the other is child abuse.

I truly believe that only zero tolerance and complete hard rejection, ruthless and sometimes as in my case, going against everything that my core beliefs have taught me , will win the day.

As in terrorism any intellectualizing or artistic expression of child abuse is an encouragement to those who are sick enough not to know the difference between what is evil and what is not.

I am glad that the word 'evil' is back, and used without worrying about political correctness. It describes the subject and the treatment of it by the author quite well.

Thanks for the pointer to this Buddy. It certainly did put the blood pressure up a few notches.

As for the subject of Larry Lessig. It is important that you all know that most of the faculty at the time were well aware of what was going on at the school. The school administration, again worrying, as they always do about the school fees and the continuation of what they perceive as the school's life line, sacrificed those children that were repeatedly abused, in order to protect the reputation of the school.

Many of the abused alumni have been in touch with me personally, and the heart wrenching emails I received, were astounding. The level of cover up and neglect for the sake of the school’s reputation was astounding.

The accountability factor at the end of the day is all to do with money again. And why should money again take priority over these children's’ wellbeing, whose welfare was entrusted to the school. The abused alumni's lives are totally ruined for ever, and whilst you may feel that the school is not responsible, if you read the stories I have by the children that once were, you will see that the responsibility rests entirely on their shoulders.

If nothing else, this ancient law that existed only in New Jersey and I believe Alabama and has nothing to do with the liberty that this nation stands for, will deter the schools from hiding behind it, and face the responsibility entrusted to them to look after our children with the same vigor as they do their coffers.

buddy larsen said...

The ONLY thing that can be said for pedophiles is that they "can't help it". But that's hooey--if they can organize the crime, they can help it. If they can tie their shoes, drive a car, hold down a job, boil an egg, they can help it. What they "can't help" is not giving a rat's ass about nothin'.

Alexandra said...

"Child molesting is the “in thing” among many radical Leftists."

David I am as much up for radical liberal bashing as the next person, but isn't that a bit o.t.t. ?

Although I have to say that this liberal obsession with personal freedom has led us into severe problems dealing with Islamofascism as well as child molesters.

Eric said...

I'm wondering if Mark isn't right about this being some sort of "Producers" scenario.

Life imitating art?

Alexandra said...

"Over the top? That's a friggin triple gainer with a somersault. Get a grip man."

Are you talking to me Mark?

buddy larsen said...

That ain't no man, Mark.

buddy larsen said...

David is merely stating the obvious--that when society removed the guardrails, kids became more vulnerable to many consequences of sharing space with adults who feel that there should be no limits on behavior.

Mark & Alexandra are reminding--one charmingly, the other with a brick, that the organizations promoting this idea of 'freedom' exist on the left-wing as well as right-wing.

How dat for even-handed?

truepeers said...

David is merely stating the obvious--that when society removed the guardrails, kids became more vulnerable to many consequences of sharing space with adults who feel that there should be no limits on behavior.

-don't send your kids to Canada! Our ridiculous Supreme Court is at it again: "Clubs that allow group sex and partner swapping do not harm Canadian society and should not be considered criminal, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Wednesday." but it's cold up here!
Hopefully, this will actually work to speed up society's rejection of liberalism and actually make Canada a safer place for children to associate with adults who are not endlessly sating their desires.

buddy larsen said...

Damn, lost track of this thread, and now Mark has gone for the holiday with out me and my wife, Sis, explaining the South to him. Durn.

buddy larsen said...

Piltdown Man, if I recall my Anthro, was inspired by the discovery of Java Man, who had gone extinct the morning he ran out coffee.

buddy larsen said...

Homo Neanderthalensis, AKA "LeatherBiker Man", went extinct for an entirely different reason.