YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

February 27, 2015

Are “young” people dead to the world?

WSJ Spring Fashion Issue

WSJ Spring Fashion Issue

Last night, being bored by Hannity’s love fest with conservative potential candidates for President at CPAC, I switched to NBC, which broadcasts EXTRA and ACCESS HOLLYWOOD at that time (7-8pm West Coast ST). And so this blog.

I was not surprised by the glamour girls, the culturally correct blue jeans (that will hug the body all day, including at the office), or the dread of aging, with homage to (entrepreneurial) “ageless” Christie Brinkley and Cindy Crawford. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/25/christie-brinkley-skincare-cindy-crawford-unretouched-photo_n_6753130.html.) That’s business as usual. (There was also an obeisance to Madonna’s ageless beauty and pluck in finishing her song at the London pop music version of the Grammys after she fell off the stage, which has aroused the networks to fulsome coverage, including Fox.)

What shocked me out of my snooze was the segment in which a pretty young woman described her initial resistance to submission in sex (she mentioned “bondage”), which she was successfully coached out of. Appreciative smiles all around.

It turned out that my blog on the fabulous success of the movie and novel Fifty Shades of Grey was the most viewed in February, thanks partly to its being posted on a website devoted to the history of women. (See https://clarespark.com/2015/02/14/fifty-shades-of-romantic-necrophilia/.)

Sadly, a tiny number of these viewers used the reference to my analysis of middle-aged women (MOM) being the target of the sadomasochism that I have studied. (https://clarespark.com/2009/07/13/eros-and-the-middle-manager-s-m-with-implications-for-multiculturalism/.)

Perhaps more interesting was the next show on NBC, “The Slap” in which Uma Thurman was the lead character in this episode, and sure enough, she had a bad mother (an English professor of great note, who turns out to be dying: played by the ageless Blythe Danner) who, it is suggested, has thwarted her daughter’s desire for marriage and motherhood. The Los Angeles Times synopsized this episode as “Anouk” attempting to “balance” her contending alliances with mom and younger boy friend (a hip singer), while yet another post mortem sees Thurman’s character as “the voice of reason” (criticizing her hippie friend for pursuing revenge against the hyper-masculine Greek-American slapper of her obnoxious, unsocialized, violent little boy. See http://2paragraphs.com/2015/02/uma-thurman-voice-of-reason-on-the-slap/). That “Anouk” is a successful writer for television gets left out, for these culture critics are dead to the world, and to the crucial details of plot lines.

Uma Thurman in 2paragraphs

Uma Thurman in 2paragraphs

Moderation wins again, and Thurman is yet another ageless beauty, likely to appeal to the NBC demographic (18-49), who may be themselves torn between motherhood and abortion rights; Anouk decides to keep the child, leaving us with a note of optimism, reason, and balance. (For more on The Slap see https://clarespark.com/2015/04/03/the-slap-and-pop-culture-during-easter-week/.)

Needless to say, in the lead up to the well-written Slap, I wandered into an alternative universe, where Brian Williams’s oddities are of no concern, for he is drowned out by the toasts to the glamorous Kardashians, Madonna, and suchlike nonsense, some of it sinister for what it portends for the next election.

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1 Comment »

  1. Hello, Clare!

    I hope that you and yours are well.

    There may well be a difference between ‘dead to the world’ — which my grandmother used as meaning as ‘sound asleep’ — and ‘dead in the world’, which would mean consumed by it. Similarly, for those who prefer, ‘dead to sin’ — obliviously avoiding it — versus ‘dead in sin’, fully submersed in it. Either way, it’s an interesting juxtaposition.

    As ever, you raise pertinent points which indicate that these could well be more than ‘fads’ (as Grandma would have said) or ephemeral trends.

    Comment by churchmouse — March 16, 2015 @ 9:21 pm | Reply


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