Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sex or Violence?

Like a lot of people, I've long thought our culture rather hypocritical in its approach to sex versus violence. For example, in the arena of entertainment, an errant nipple will get you an R rating in a movie (or a huge fine on TV), but you can show scores of people getting killed through violent means and still rate a PG-13.

The vandalism of Andres Serrano's photo exhibit in the little Swedish town of Lund is a transcendent expression of this hypocrisy. It's apparently, emphatically not OK for adults to see depictions of sexual behavior in an orderly fashion, in an enclosed space, but it is OK to destroy other people's property and even to threaten other human beings to prevent them from seeing that material. It's not OK to voluntarily place yourself before such imagery as an adult; but it is OK to subject people involuntarily to violence to make your political point. Violence, it seems to these folks, is morally superior to nudity. Bloodshed better than sex.

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