Friday, September 15, 2006
But WHO grows out of it? Who transcends it? Was it always this way? What happened?
In my estimation, it all began with the death of John Lennon in December of 1980. Before that, America was a place with a lot more touching: parents and babysitters of both genders touched children, played with them, rolling around on the floor, tickling and sitting on laps, and so forth. Then Lennon got shot and the peaceful concept of "love" as a force that transcended sex and politics, love as a unity of all people of all ages and races rather than of sex partners and sex partners only, was put on the shelf.
Then came this scare in the early 1980s of children being molested at day care centers. Suddenly every kid was having recovered memories of being molested at their day care center. From then on, the panic over improper touching of children completely overrode the fact that children need to be touched, not sexually but like monkey-grooming style. Now sex seems to be the only way these lost girls can get their father back, symbolically speaking. Here in our fatherless society, these lost girls wear all this Bob Dole-approved sexy stuff in order to snare the attention of the older Peter Pan man, which they then spurn, because they don't really want the sex, so much as the love and attention, masked in the idea of the power of the tease. They oscillate, like a dangling carrot before the horny horse.
Male educators or others who work with young women on a regular basis sometimes unconsciously learn to parlay this need into a tool for getting the young women to do their homework. It's only when the man is going through a midlife crisis, sexually frustrated etc., that this otherwise positive father surrogate situation can run afoul of the law, or common decency.
This is brilliantly represented in the film, "Blue Car," for example, where a fatherless young girl befriends her English professor, who mistakes her need for a strong paternal force as a romantic crush which he is only to happy to equivocate. The film is devastatingly honest and highly recommended.
A much less recommended film is "Hard Candy" wherein a little Red Riding Hood style disem-baller played by the able Ellen Page is forced to spout reams of unrealistic dialogue with this bland pedophile played by a bland actor's workshop type. The worst aspect of it being that she doesn't actually cut off his balls, after all this build up, as if to actually do so would be going too far. Fuck that, castrate him! Instead the movie itself is castrated, hesitating at the moment of truth in grand punter fashion. Patriarchy's castration anxiety strikes again! Fuck that.
So now, everything is filtered through the sex looking glass... immature men run out on their daughters, then fall in love with a fatherless teenager in a musical chairs of pseudo-incest...but is sex the ultimate goal, or merely the healing "touch" of another human each would have gotten in the 1970s without having to feel guilty.
What kind of goal is sex, ultimately, anyway? The media uses it to sell soap, for God's sakes... but everyone whose had a post-orgasmic depression knows that ultimately it's a genetic con job. Don't fall for it!