"It [government] covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting: such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd." ~ Alexis de Tocqueville
The Great Breast Sighting of 2004
As telescreen viewers may be aware, during a musical interlude in a recent football match a young white boy performing as "Justin Timberlake" (surely a made-up name) momentarily declothed part of the upper body of a black female singer who is apparently related, in some way, to the beloved celebrity Michael Jackson. In response, Authorities within Minitrue and also within the official regime are jostling and elbowing one another in order to be the first to swoon upon the divan, lace hankie fluttering. Indeed, a Federal Investigation looms, and the department of Minitrue that aired the atrocity -- CBS -- is being threatened with multimillion-dollar fines by the regime's official censorship bureau. Moreover, the Michael Jackson kinswoman has bared her breast all over again, albeit metaphorically, taping a sorrowful, abject apology that is being broadcast universally.
If the established media are to be believed -- always a parlous proposition -- the Great Breast Sighting has offended not only officialdom but also "the public," or large parts of it, at least. Now, one cannot help comparing the current outcry with the total lack of any such thing when the telescreen aired footage of Iraqi women and children maimed and slaughtered by the American military. But of course that is mere War Crime; perhaps I would do better here to focus on what is usually considered Indecency.
During a commercial interval in the same football match, CBS aired a beer promotion centering on the flatulence of horses. It was supposed to be amusing -- and in fact it seems to have amused a large proportion of the same viewing public that is purported to have been outraged by the momentary mammarian display. But of course that is only to tug at a corner of the cultural bustier. The same public has also made tycoons of "gangsta" rappers, and princesses of semi-nude singer-whores. It has reveled in such presentations as "Sex in the City," "Queer as Folk," and "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." It has indulged its children in hellish video games designed to promote and reward psychopathological impulses.
American popular culture squirms reeking in the mud -- and now its creators and consumers suddenly attempt to impersonate their straight-laced great-grandparents! This goes beyond hypocrisy. Can an entire culture suffer from multiple-personality disorder?