Thursday, March 13, 2008

See Barb at Notre Dame, March 29th

I will be one of the speakers at this event at the end of the month. The web site for the event is a bit sloppy, but I believe my talk will be on Saturday between 1pm and 3pm.

My talk is titled, "Hollywood and The Sexual Revolution: What's Left to Do?" I got the title from an event I attended several years ago with Karen Hall, called the S.H.I.N.E. Awards. That stands for "Sexual Health in Entertainment," and every star in the firmament was there. It was one of the most mindnumbinglyest crass events I have ever attended - kind of like back to back screenings of Little Miss Sunshine and Super Bad with the little heartwarming family moments left out. Karen was nominated for a SHINE Award for an episode of Judging Amy she had written which was about the date-rape drug Rohipnol. The host for the event - I'm thinking Caroline Rhea, suggested that all the winners of the awards should have to being their acceptance speeches by relating their first real sexual experience. Karen leaned over and said in deep Georgia drawl, "I hope I lose."

Anyway, at one point, they showed a fifteen minute clip real of the "heights" (read "depths, deep DEPTHS") of sexual openness that had appeared on television in the past forty years. They had everything from Lucy and Ricky moving to a double bed to Maud's abortion to Roseanne's lesbian kiss, ending with a truly barbaric moment from MTV's Real World in which house members were discussing things that called to mind vividly in me what St. Paul meant when he said, "Some things should never even be mentioned among you." At the end of the verbal and visual orgy, the screen went black to thunderous applause and actress Tyne Daly, I believe, stood at the microphone and said, "Yes, we have come a long way! But we have SO FAR left to go!!!" Feeling very much like a little lamb at a ravenous wolf convention, I leaned over to Karen and said while trying to get my eyeballs to uncross, "What do they possibly have left to show?!!?"

It's actually an excellent question. And especially if we put it to movie-makers who are people of faith. There is a lot about sex and human relationships that we haven't plumbed on the screen. Basically because, borrowing from Bono, Christians have left all talk of sex to the pornographers.

I have no idea what I am going to conclude, but it should be a fun rant.

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