Archive for August 8, 2014

Gay-MarriageSame sex marriage is one of today’s biggest hot buttons in the media. Nineteen states in the US have officially legalized it, while thirty-one remain either on the fence or continue to legislate against it. 

Personally, I believe it is only a matter of time before same-sex marriage is a universally accepted right in this country, and I have no problem with that. I look at this topic as something that doesn’t affect me personally, doesn’t harm me in anyway, so who am I to decide who can and cannot marry? 

What does bother me is the amount of organized religions out there worrying more about what two people who truly love each other do in the privacy of their homes than the way television programming has evolved. I’m talking about two new “reality shows” that blow all standards of decorum and morality right out of the water: Dating Naked and Marriage at First Sight.  Perhaps it is time the morality police step in and turn their attention and efforts towards making reality TV illegal. I’d vote in favor of that law.

Dating Naked pairs up couples and follows them as they, yes, spend time together in various dating situations – while entirely naked. That’s right, not a single stitch of clothing allowed between either of them, all captured in incredibly well-placed blurred out patches of video. Allegedly, this show is designed to remove all forms of inhibitions and concerns about body image and just let the men and women get to know each other’s “personalities”. Sounds like a reasonable premise, right?

I was curious about how this show got through the censors, so I spent five minutes watching two naked people sitting in a hot tub, getting to know each other. I noticed a few things right away:

There was an abundance of alcohol available to these couples (a few shots of tequila in and hell, I would probably be willing to do this show too!)

Every single naked person on the show was attractive, well built and wrinkle free. So, basically, under the age of 23. No wonder they have no body issues – they haven’t suffered from the effects of aging and gravity yet. Here’s a suggestion, try expanding your pool of qualified candidates to the middle aged crowd. Want reality? Show what childbirth, unemployment, work stress, improper diet and lack of exercise really does to the body. Now THAT I would watch, because I bet the conversations in the hot tub would be far more interesting than having to listen to some vacuous blonde warble “Soooo, like, I was thinking of getting a tattoo of my cat on my hip, like, right above my pelvis, because, that’s like, so ironic, it’s so close to, you know, my heh heh heh”. Quality scripting there, to be sure.

But, the morality violation didn’t end there. Some other brilliant set of producers and directors of reality TV decided it would be very entertaining to mess with the concept and definition of matrimony (Are you listening, all you Judgy McJudgersons? This part’s where you come in).

They assembled a group of professionals trained in the art of determining “human compatibility” (whatever the hell that means) and asked them to participate in a “little experiment about marriage” (translation: let’s f*ck with the traditional, biblical definition of marriage). As with any reality TV show, a casting call went out to single people everywhere who felt their lives were over because they hadn’t found “the perfect model –er, mate” and convinced them to sign up for a show called “Marriage at First Sight.” And guess what? That’s pretty much the whole show there. The chosen candidates were asked a series of questions (which we weren’t privy too), then the pairing off began. 

And that’s when I started watching. Because I couldn’t turn away from this future Divorce Court episode. Not for a million dollars.

Weddings were planned just like any other wedding ever gets planned: Bridezilla goes nuts, gets her dress picked out, flowers, beats a few of her bridesmaids into submission, prays her husband is “hot”, cries at her bachelorette party. Groom gets together with his groomsmen and they all drink themselves into a stupor while the men throw out questions and comments like, “Are you f*cking insane? You don’t even know this woman’s name! What if she’s an ugly fatty, are you going to go through with it? God, you could end up with a wife that sucks in bed!” Ah, another true American love story, all caught on camera.

The happy day arrives, and the couples are filmed as they get ready for their weddings. Remember, they haven’t even been told the names of their future spouses. When it is time for the vows, the “officiator” has to do one of these: “Do you….(looks down at the name written into the space marked ‘Insert name here’) Doug…take you (back to the script), Lisa…” while the bride and groom smile and giggle nervously, probably saying to themselves “Thank GOD her name isn’t Ethel!” “He definitely is not a Brad Pitt lookalike, I feel like I’ve been lied to”. Charmingly romantic.

The brief, secular, completely unemotional ceremony (unless you count the looks of sheer terror and WTF did I just agree to? spreading across their now ashen colored faces) ends with the couples being given a short, short time to back out (read: they aren’t allowed to back out, because that would be the end of the show. See what they did there?). Obviously, the desire to remain in the TV spotlight as the show follows them through the next five weeks of being newlyweds is stronger than their ability to think things through before making very important, and to some sacred, decisions about their lives.

hiking2Back to same-sex marriage, and the purpose of this post. It is obvious to me that same-sex marriage is a hot button due to the strongly held belief by Christian zealo- Christians that marriage should always be between a man and a woman because the bible says so. However, if one were to read the Old Testament, they would find numerous examples of marital infidelity, multiple wives, incestuous relationships, etc. So, the argument about the sanctity of marriage is rendered moot by the first few books of the very document used to support its own argument. 

Honestly, same-sex marriage is less of a threat to the sanctity of marriage than what I saw on TV: two total strangers, conscientiously deciding to choose fame and notoriety over dignity and integrity, agreeing to marry total strangers sight unseen. After all, isn’t this the definition of an arranged marriage, which still occur today in non-Christian based countries?

Man, I do love great, situational irony.