Pete's Blog

O! Ever-Descending Cultural Slide!

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The most talked-about, presumably most popular, song of the year is entitled "F*** You." Let's let that sink in. A teenage couple on their first date, college students discovering real adult love for the first time, new parents out for a rare night without the baby, rediscovering the fascinating person they married all those diapers ago, are more likely to be serenaded by a song entitled "F*** You" than by anything remotely expressing the emotions they're feeling or society's approval and support of those emotions. Twenty-plus years ago a group called 2 Live Crew became a lightning-rod for worries about the coarsening of our culture and the vanishing of the great R&B tradition in a cloud of smut. The song in question was called "Me So Horny." In a television comedy called "Evening Shade" an aging football coach played by Burt Reynolds lamented at some length that a local juke-box where he used to hear romantic hits of his youth like the "The Duke of Earl" now played only coarse, stupid, modern acts like 2 Live Crew. "'Me so Horny?' Whatever happened to the 'Duke of Earl'?" he cried. My question is: will some nostalgic 40-something ask, in his own lament of lost civility and romance, "'F*** You'? Whatever happened to 'Me So Horny'?"

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