Monday, April 26, 2010

Cowardice and rot

I am not a fan of South Park precisely because it is so offensive. I would prefer a society with a certain reluctance about giving offense - enforced by a culture of civility, not by government. Ross Douthat nails the real problem with the Comedy Channel's censorship:
...[E]ven Parker’s and Stone’s wildest outrages often just blur into the scenery. .... Our culture has few taboos that can’t be violated, and our establishment has largely given up on setting standards in the first place.

Except where Islam is concerned. There, the standards are established under threat of violence, and accepted out of a mix of self-preservation and self-loathing.

This is what decadence looks like: a frantic coarseness that “bravely” trashes its own values and traditions, and then knuckles under swiftly to totalitarianism and brute force.

...[I]f a violent fringe is capable of inspiring so much cowardice and self-censorship, it suggests that there’s enough rot in our institutions that a stronger foe might be able to bring them crashing down. (emphasis added) [more]
Ross Douthat - Not Even in South Park?
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