Friday, February 22, 2013

American Morality

H.L. Mencken once defined Puritanism as the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. H.G. Wells described censorship as jealousy with a halo. So, it's a bit of worry that not only is Andy Serkis planning to take the politics out of Animal Farm, Boing Boing happy mutant
My 9-year-old daughter is an avid World of Warcraft player, and enjoys reading Dungeons and Dragons manuals (We are joining a twice-monthly game that my friend is setting up). So it's no surprise that whenever she hears my wife and I discuss Game of Thrones (which we do a lot), her ears perk up. She wants to know everything about Arya Stark, the young female sword fighter. She begs us to let her watch the show. I wish she could watch it, too, but I don't want her to see the sex and nudity scenes. (I don't really mind her seeing the violent scenes.
That, in a nutshell, is the paradox of American Morality.

There's nothing new about the Yanks infantilising works of art. The Christian Fundies have been sterilising movies for wholesome consumption for years.

The US spawns great observers like Mencken, Hemingway or Henry Miller. But if any artist flashes a bit of cunt at the American consciousness, they can't deal with it.