Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sterility City vs. Toddler Town

Sophisticated Entertainment in Branson, Missouri
I've just written a new article for the next issue of the St. Austin Review, entitled "Sterility City vs. Toddler Town."

Here's a teaser, a short excerpt from the article ...


For there are two main cultures in the United States. There may be several regional flavors, but there are two main cultures.

There is the Culture of the Family and the Culture of the Self – which is to say the Culture of Procreation and the Culture of Sterility.

The latter you will find in urban centers, on television, and anyplace that caters to what we once used to call the Yuppie mentality. Once you accept and celebrate contraception, you get this culture and all it entails. Divorce sex from marriage, from love and from babies, and you find people living entirely for themselves and thinking nothing of it. Divorce sex from its purpose – its spiritual and biological purpose – and you get singles and couples who live as if all of life is what sex has become, an elaborate and life-long act of onanism.

The despair that creeps in under the radar in such cases produces an appetite for irony and cynicism. In the Sterile City you’ll hear applause for acts of perversion in the bedroom and cheering for acts of depravity on stage. Humor becomes mean and vicious; any act of humility is ridiculed; absurdity is actively cultivated in art and literature; and cruelty co-opts tolerance, the last of the virtues.

But leave the Sterile City. Drive an hour or so out into the country. Find a place where you can’t get rap or jazz or NPR on the car radio, but where it’s all country music and farm reports. Better yet, head to Branson or the Wisconsin Dells or the Black Hills of South Dakota, places where families go on vacation.

There you’ll find the other America, the older culture, the culture of Families – which is to say the culture of kids. In Branson you’ll find mini-golf, all-you-can-eat buffets, country music stage shows with straight-forward humor, and even respect for God and for military veterans. Sure, there’s plenty of tacky souvenir shops, and you might find a motel or two shaped like Noah’s Ark, but it’s the other culture. It’s a culture that is what it is because it appeals to adults who live with and travel with children.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great observation! From such a culture perhaps our nation will get through this mess.