Sunday, 5 January 2014

Lowest Common Denominator

Are sexual jokes and bathroom humour your favourite kind of comedy? Do the sounds of gunshots and sirens mean must-see TV to you? If so, from what I see and hear in entertainment, you are in the majority. And I’m a total weirdo.

I learned long ago that I can’t enjoy a performance at a comedy club. Even a show billed as, “The Nice Guys of Comedy” began with a comic whose obscene jokes made me walk out, disappointed yet again. No stand-up comedy for me, apparently, despite the fact that I laugh loudly as much as anyone I know.
Television comedy, too, has devolved from clever and hilarious shows like “Mad About You”, into predictable sketches about who’s having casual sex with whom. Even the smartest writers and comedians, like Tina Fey, seem obliged to make frequent sexual references.

And then there are the serious dramas serving a combo plate of sex mixed with violent crime. Yummy! Gore, guns and strippers. Satisfy all of your appetites at once.

Many friends have recommended Netflix as a better resource than TV, so I hoped it would be the answer. I'd rather avoid the slimy mind-pollution that oozes from Hollywood and most network programming.
It is true that when I searched through mounds of muck on Netflix, I eventually found some fascinating documentaries and a brilliant independent movie or two. But in hunting for those, before I could hit STOP, I saw and heard things I'd rather never have seen or heard. 

Even the higher quality productions have startled me with, for instance, the close-up of a naked couple having sexual intercourse (does no one consider that private anymore?), and jokes about excrement in someone’s pants.
Really? Bowel movements crack you up?
And those two examples were in:
A. an otherwise excellent movie starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken
and B. a creative and poignant British comedy titled “Derek”. 

What’s the deal?
Are the rest of you out there having sex with random strangers? Do you enjoy seeing characters die from gunshot wounds? Or are you thinking frequently about your rectum? 
Are you stuck at some infantile stage of human maturity, newly discovering your clitoris/penis and learning how to use a toilet?

Here’s an option for adults only:
Let there be creative stories and belly laughs, wit and wonder. 
And at the same time, “Let there be no sexual sin, impurity or greed among you. Let no one be able to accuse you of any such things. 
Dirty stories, foul talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, remind each other of God’s goodness, and be thankful.”
“Be careful how you act; these are difficult days. 
Don’t be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good. 
Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to find out and do whatever God wants you to.
Don’t drink too much wine, for many evils lie along that path; be filled instead with God’s Holy Spirit.” 
(Ephesians 5)