Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Rearranging The Dictionaries On The Titanic

Laban points to an interesting mixed message in the Liberal line on the unfortunate happenings in Ipswich, namely were the deceased the poor, disenfranchised losers in the lottery of life under Casino Capitalism, or were they Amazonian sexecutives in the flesh industry, sticking it to the man and his tired, old views about ‘morality’ and the like ?

This isn’t just a matter of tone or nuance – it goes to the heart of a real pathology in modern Britain. That’s not to say, both lines of argument aren’t garbage in and off themselves. The Welfare State gets a lot of stick, but at least it means women aren’t forced to sell their bodies to feed their families. On the other hand, smackhead hookers as the shock troops of female liberation doesn’t really ring true.

It’s hard enough for the best of us to do the right thing, but these women not only had to overcome their own background, but also a culture determined to tell them that they were either hopeless victims, or worse, defiant rebels.

We have a culture that glamorises dysfunctional lifestyles while denigrating traditional family values. Hell, look at the number of actresses who’ve been Oscar nominated for playing hookers. There’s Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman), Kim Basinger (L.A. Confidential), Sharon Stone (Casino)….and so on. Meanwhile, whenever Hollyweird touches on normal family life, it’s just to remind us, as in American Beauty, that a stable relationship is the worst of all possible fates that can befall anyone.

No, no one wants to bring back the scarlet letter or whatever, but let's face reality: you can have all the drug rehabilitation programs in the world, but if the smackheads don’t see why they should come off the junk, they’ll keep shooting up. Ditto, with swords, oakleaves and gold cluster, the idea that all types of relationship are equally ‘special’. No, they aren’t.

If Liberals want to place the Ipswich murders in some kind of broader sociological context, then they can start with themselves and all the Liberals who depicted snorting coke as delightfully decadent or sexual anarchy as a sign of sophistication. But, true to form, the Left has gone the other way. They’re worried that by calling prostitutes ‘prostitutes’ we’re dehumanising them. Nope, selling their bodies dehumanised them, and everything else followed from that, right up to the horrific final act. Still, isn’t that Liberalism in a nutshell ? They can’t make things better, but they can make people talk about them more sensitively.

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