Sunday, March 14, 2004

The Disabling of Shock & Shame...

In What We Can't Not Know, J. Budziszewski outlines the effects of the natural process of desensitization, but then explains how such a system can be fooled into accepting now what it would not have previously. Regarding a current fad of toy action figures of pop musicians, he writes:
The Eminem figure from Art Asylum is screaming and swinging a chainsaw, his face distorted with rage and malice. But the best is yet to come: the next Eminem release will include dead woman in a car trunk, memorializing the lyrics and cover of his first album. ...Art Asylum's promotional literature declares that "The traditional jack-in-the-box, once the king of every kid's toy box, is being reinvented for the 21st Century." Its slogan is "Psycho Toyz for Crazy Kidz," and they are, in fact, sold in some toy stores. Then again, why not? As one music critic explains to us, the rapper is merely "one of those charming rogues" - "indubitably dangerous" but "exceptionally witty," thoughtful," and "good-hearted." This by way of comment on another Eminem album, the lyrics of which concern incest with his mother.
We willingly allow perverse behavior to occupy our space, all in the name of art. In so doing, we have moved from considering such behavior as abominable to considering it worth thinking about. What is next?

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