Monday, July 25, 2005

Zoomed In On Sex, Losing Sight of Beauty

Came across a recent Rolling Stone article that profiled actors Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, stars of the recent film Wedding Crashers. Though both men are talented comically, and have led interesting lives, the piece focuses almost entirely on their pursuit of the opposite sex. Profiling two men are quite popular with women and so have numerous tales to share, RS is more than happy to be an eager audience and to peddle their escapades, a pattern the magazine perpetuates with seemingly every issue that hits newstands. The way in which the magazine so painstakingly and faithfully reports graphic sex tales of the rich and famous seems to me to reflect a decided, if twisted, morality. Yes, in much the same way that everyone has a worldview, or some explanation of the way things are, everyone has their own brand of morality, or the way one ought to live. It's not simply Christians and cub scouts who believe in codes of conduct. From the freewheeling coed to the atheist grandfather, everyone operates by an ethical system of some sort.

For RS, that code of morals takes root in the belief that sex is king and that there are few boundaries to the search for it. In short, it just doesn't get any better than copulation, particularly when it's committed by famous people with lots of money. But in zooming in so close on sex, RS's moral system uproots itself from any attachment to beauty it once maintained. Outside of a sense of "separated togetherness," astray from emotional connection, sex is simply an act to be done as often and with as many people as possible. Fast as you can have it, do it. But over time, this frenzied approach grinds the act into the dirt as an anything-goes morality abuses a beautiful gift. The headlong pursuit of physical pleasure, outside of a biblical ethic, leaves one dashing farther and farther from the unique brilliance of sex. Far from freeing people, the morality that seeks primarily satiation, not appreciation, imprisons them, leaving them with a bird's eye view of the act but none of the greater significance of it. The loss of biblical morality necessarily involves the loss of biblical models of living, and with them go the biblical standard of beauty, pleasure, and satisfaction. If only Rolling Stone could see that now.


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