Sunday, June 8, 2008


I saw a call for entries for self-portrait dolls today that included the following statement:
The Totem exhibition recognises we live in a growing culture of alienation which results in an increasing suspicion of strangers and shame of the self.

Bwah? I'll buy "suspicion of strangers" because it's healthy to have some for self-preservation, but "shame of the self"? Are you freaking kidding me? Our culture has all but abolished shame (the exception appears to be women who wear double-digit sizes...which is a rant for another day).

For proof I give you any "who's the baby's daddy" episode of any daytime talk show, Planned Parenthood's "I had an abortion" T-shirts, the Folsom Street fair in San Francisco, Tila Tequila (warning, vulgar), any given Saturday night on Water Street. I won't even get into the sense of entitlement to "free government money" held by corporate fat-cats as well as private citizens who prefer not to work, or the whole "Obama is my Savior" movement.

Nope, this is a culture that publicly celebrates behaviors that people would have minimized out of shame even thirty years ago. I say "minimized" because when people did them, they didn't proudly broadcast the details to total strangers non-freaking-stop.

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