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God Bless Liberal Democracy
September 22, 2005 8:23 AM   Subscribe

Liberal Democracy.
This is the taste of freedom.
posted by Meatbomb (80 comments total)

 
I could finally be a t.v. star.
posted by item at 8:27 AM on September 22, 2005


They're doing what?!? Ok, that's it, you're right, we need a conservative theocracy.
posted by iamck at 8:28 AM on September 22, 2005


Taking acid, with his mother, on live TV?

Wow. That should be one hell of a trip.

I don't think I'll be watching, however.
posted by cleardawn at 8:28 AM on September 22, 2005


Reminds me of the binge drinking mom and the steroid dude on 30 Days.
posted by spilon at 8:30 AM on September 22, 2005


Maybe it's the Liberal in me that says, "just change the channel."

I still find American Idol more offensive.
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 8:36 AM on September 22, 2005


[bleep] Bless Liberal Democracy
posted by shmegegge at 8:37 AM on September 22, 2005


Better than any of the innumerable propaganda-vision military shows that are on these days :P

Or Ethnic Mismatch Comedy #4112
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:38 AM on September 22, 2005


Actualy, you could do a show like this in the US as well, minus the 'live' part, of course.
posted by delmoi at 8:40 AM on September 22, 2005


Just so it's clear, I am completely earnest here, not sarcastic. If there was more of this, the world would be a better place.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:40 AM on September 22, 2005


You know, as has been pointed out a billion times... many many people would consider this sinful, while simultaneously figuring that a movie about people getting shot to death isn't that big a deal.

That said, I don't think I'd watch this show... but if I had to choose between this, and, say, Braveheart, I'd watch this in a heartbeat.
posted by Malor at 8:42 AM on September 22, 2005


many many people would consider this sinful, while simultaneously figuring that a movie about people getting shot to death isn't that big a deal.

Um, that might be that because in a movie about people getting shot to death, people aren't really getting shot. Similarly, there are lots of non-controversial movies where people take drugs. What's controversial is that the situation is actually real, not ficticious.
posted by unreason at 8:46 AM on September 22, 2005


Freedommmmmmmmmmmmmm!
posted by bugmuncher at 8:46 AM on September 22, 2005


I have to agree with mr.curmudgeon here, American Idol is way more offensive than this, IMO.
posted by TricksterGoddess at 8:51 AM on September 22, 2005


Anyone who takes drugs experimenting any further than just that has a problem which most likely has nothing to do with this show. I too doubt I'll watch it though. Just maybe for the short rush of amusement of seeing someone stumble out of a bar at 6 am.
posted by stFire at 8:55 AM on September 22, 2005


I don't suppose it will be a webcast, will it?
Alas, I can't pick up and Dutch stations in Colorado.
posted by Balisong at 9:00 AM on September 22, 2005


"We're not setting out to shock, but to inform,"

nigga Please (sorry for the Condi Rice reference).

And Meatbomb, you really think this is the way to a better world? So what are we learning here? Well, let's see what a kid see's: The dude took some acid, had sex with his mom (or whatever the hell he plans on doing) and there were some great commercials from Nike and Pepsi in there. All looks like harmless fun huh? Hey, why don't we follow a serial killer around with cameras so we can learn what NOT to do.

But given that, yeah, I'd watch this before Braveheart too...
posted by j.p. Hung at 9:00 AM on September 22, 2005


Sounds pretty good.
posted by dhoyt at 9:04 AM on September 22, 2005


Is this why the terrorists hate us?
posted by gyc at 9:07 AM on September 22, 2005


... because the effects of drug use and sex are largely a mystery. Right?
posted by basicchannel at 9:13 AM on September 22, 2005


"Um, that might be that because in a movie about people getting shot to death, people aren't really getting shot."

Yes, I thought immediately of the same objection. However, do the thought experiment with something completely imaginary, like animation or prose fiction. For many, imaginary violence is acceptable while imaginary sexual activity is not.

Oh, well. Today I'm just going with the whole "people are nuts" explanation.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:23 AM on September 22, 2005


try LSD at home on the sofa under the watchful eye of his mother

That's sure to turn out well. A boy's best friend is his mother, after all.
posted by soyjoy at 9:24 AM on September 22, 2005


So they get to see "This is how you screw"
and we get to see "This is how you are screwed"
posted by srboisvert at 9:25 AM on September 22, 2005


A boy's best friend is his mother, after all.

Just ask Jack Parsons.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:26 AM on September 22, 2005


Meh. Whatever. It sounds as boring as any other "reality" show to me. Possibly moreso, actually. This sort of stuff doesn't exactly make me wish I had a TV.
posted by Decani at 9:27 AM on September 22, 2005


Is this really much different than what we see on "The Real World" these days?
So the sex is live and the drugs are illicit.
posted by SAC at 9:28 AM on September 22, 2005


Hey, why don't we follow a serial killer around with cameras so we can learn what NOT to do.

Are you...wait, just lemme wrap my head around this...are you comparing acid-popping to serial killing? Don't you find that just a wee bit absurd? I mean, just a little?

Oh, wait. I forget, sometimes. I do live in a country where two dudes goin' at it is comparable to beastiality and pedophelia to some, and marijuana is the "gateway drug" to heroin. And Right Wing hate radio.

I think this show sounds fantastic, both as entertainment and education. Let's demystify sex+drugs as quickly as possible. The mysterious surrounding them is, honestly, half the goddamn problem.
posted by ford and the prefects at 9:29 AM on September 22, 2005


what the fuck is wrong with heroin?!
posted by shmegegge at 9:32 AM on September 22, 2005


TV in less liberal countries: much better?
posted by iviken at 9:33 AM on September 22, 2005


"Look at me! I'm from Holland!
Isn't zat vieeerd?"
posted by penciltopper at 9:39 AM on September 22, 2005


Actually, I think part of the reason "conservatives" (that should actually read "Stinks in the mud", but I'm trying to be nice to the mud) feel the need to cencor things and to keep certain subjects taboo is that they realize, deep down, in the depths of their bowels, that once you demystify something as simple and silly as sex and drugs (and rock and roll), everyone will just end up like them. Stodgy, boring, sitting at home reading the Economist for the jokes. And if everyone becomes like them, the world will simply grind to a halt because they won't have anyone left to hate for being indecent. Or something along those lines.

To be honest, I've done my fair share of the illicit substances (primarily of the lysergic variety) and the thought of tripping on acid in the same room as my mom is really, really creepy. i mean, the amount of introspective shit that ends up happening to you is freaking creepy. Plus, imagine if he wigs out and starts having a minor psychotic episode (yes kids, introducing a substance into your system that causes you to basically have fever delerium for 8 to 12 hours can cause you to have irrational and sometimes harmful behavior). Now that's what I call entertainment. Though, more than likely he'll try and talk to his mom about why he likes womens breasts, mainly because he liked his mommy's breasts and he been searching ever since he was weened for the perfect set of replacements. You know, the kind of insight a mother really doesn't want to know.

Cheese is your friend.
posted by daq at 9:43 AM on September 22, 2005


The sole worthwhile contribution to society from American Idol was William Hung. Besides that one brief and shining moment, the show is like slow motion puke, hard to look away but you feel gross afterwards.

My wife's a huge fan of the INXS show and I have to admit the music and singing was ten times better but Dave Navarro's a fucking 'noid.

I like the idea of a show like this. We've got Dave Atell doing Insomniac while drinking the entire time, what's the difference with this? Would it be better if they had him popping a whole crapload of pills (aside from the heroin pill)?
posted by fenriq at 9:53 AM on September 22, 2005


Obviously this is a lot less wholesome than starting wars abroad on flimsy pretenses.
posted by clevershark at 10:07 AM on September 22, 2005


...and I definitely wouldn't do acid with my mother around. That would be creepy.
posted by clevershark at 10:08 AM on September 22, 2005


Is this why the terrorists hate us?

Yes, gyc, this is exactly why the terrorists hate us. It is also why the conservatives hate us. It is a long and hard war ahead for all right thinking Liberal Democrats.

To the barricades!
posted by Meatbomb at 10:10 AM on September 22, 2005


Look whatever's clever, but if all you can think of to do with your total social freedom is to sit on your couch tripping balls with your mom and take the bisexual blowjob pepsi challenge then I have to say that about 8 million wasteoid american teenagers from the '80s got you beat and they didn't make such a big deal out of it.

I love Europeans and open cultures to the max, but sometimes I do wonder why people who have solved all of their problems and live in socialist utopias can't find anything better to do than fuck with the squares.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:15 AM on September 22, 2005


...if all you can think of to do with your total social freedom is to sit on your couch tripping balls with your mom and take the bisexual blowjob pepsi challenge then I have to say that about 8 million wasteoid american teenagers from the '80s got you beat and they didn't make such a big deal out of it

There are many different expressions of human potential, happiness, achievement, satisfaction... I am not saying that everyone should do this, rather that it should be done, that the fact that these things are done proves our common freedom. When I was a wastoid american teenager in the 80's I lived in fear that my future could be destroyed because the regime I lived under considered my personal lifestyle choices criminal. I can't live as an honest and free man in most of the world, that has to be political and important doesn't it?

I do wonder why people who have solved all of their problems and live in socialist utopias can't find anything better to do than fuck with the squares.

As long as the squares and the Man are trying to destroy us, we've got to fight.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:27 AM on September 22, 2005


American TV would never go this far. They'll stick with the black bars and blurred out portions so they can still sell the "Uncensored" edition DVD's.
posted by motherfather at 10:27 AM on September 22, 2005


Delmoi and SAC are exactly right; the only difference between this show and US television is the "live tv" aspect to the presentation. HBO's 'verite' documentaries are a good example of equally provocative themes easily found on US cable tv.
posted by extrabox at 10:32 AM on September 22, 2005


I have to agree with daq: the thought of taking acid on camera in a room with my mother is somewhere beyond creepy. As acid trips go, this is not going to be a "look at all the shiny stuff, isn't cool?" sort of experience. It's more akin to inviting your mother to sit in on a therapy session in which you plan on discussing her in detail, and in the sort of detail you'd rather she not find out about.

Kudos (I suppose) to the Dutch for going that extra step. Must have been an intersting idea to pitch:

IDEA GUY: And then, we'll have someone take acid on camera.

PRODUCER: Too tame. needs some spice. Could he take acid and maybe juggle a few chainsaws?

IDEA GUY: I see what you mean, but that's too standard. Needs some edge. How about taking acid and bungee jumping, or fighting a bull? Or self trepanation?

PRODUCER: Now we're getting somewhere. How about something that is fearful but not unusual or sensational, like taking acid and doing your taxes? Or sitting in a room with your mother.

IDEA GUY and PRODUCER together, raising eyerbows and exchanging a knowing look: Bingo!
posted by mosk at 10:33 AM on September 22, 2005


Meatbomb,
I understand what you are saying and agree with the spirit of how you feel. I would like to make it very clear that I was raised by a nutty yippee drug guzzling gun shooting hairball commie and a pacifist feminist nerd who hung out with radical nuns, those are my core values and always will be. I think freak flag flying is job number one for all us Americans that haven't totally fallen into Babylon.

I don't agree that having a pushy tv show where people bug out on drugs (like a little bit too, in a kind of wishy washy way, tripping with moms, a pill of heroin? slam it frances, if you gonna do it at all, blowjobs? from dudes, Joshua blow your trumpet and the walls will fall) and so on is really all of that great of an expression of that freedom, it smells like a drunk rich kid speeding through main street because he knows his daddy will get him off. I'm glad you see what you see in this though, that's important.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:41 AM on September 22, 2005


you misspelled FSM in the title text.

But my guess is that the subject of this 'experiment' will clear that up when he gets all noodly his own self.
posted by wah at 10:41 AM on September 22, 2005


I hugged my mom goodnight on acid once and all my friends (who were watching me through a sliding glass door whilst tripping) laughed their asses off at me afterwards.

But this seems so much worse. I mean, forget being in the room with your mom, you're on live TV while tripping on acid! And they know, you know they know...I would definitely get The Fear.

Wouldn't it be better to tell the mom her kid's on acid & then spike her drink instead? I mean, forgetting that that's completely ammoral for a second...
posted by stinkycheese at 10:47 AM on September 22, 2005


Watching people take drugs is the most boring thing in the entire universe.
posted by agregoli at 10:50 AM on September 22, 2005


The very idea of such an outrageous show makes me very sad and angry that I do not have this channel.
posted by StarForce5 at 10:52 AM on September 22, 2005


agregoli: I agree, it's totally boring. Which is one of the reasons I think this would be so great: you get to see how boring drugs really are. Not some kind of boogeyman that is turns people into evil monsters.

Also, am I the only one here who would enjoy doing acid with their Mom around? Why is everyone so down on their Moms?
posted by freedryk at 11:16 AM on September 22, 2005


Can't find a link now, but didn't someone on the BBC in the 60's take LSD on air and report on the effects?
posted by devon at 11:27 AM on September 22, 2005


I've found in life that watching people get drunk is way more boring, not to mention sort of depressing, than watching people 'do drugs'.

And freedryk, I notice you mention being the "only one here who would enjoy doing acid with their Mom around". I think you should get back when you've actually done acid with your Mom around. I love my Mom and all, but jeepers...do you think your Mom would want to be around when you dropped acid in the first place?

It's a real step-up from passing her a joint, you know.

On preview: devon, I think I've seen that somewhere. There's a lot of fascinating personal accounts of LSD use (by ministers and priests in particular) before it became a big boogeyman and was outlawed.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:31 AM on September 22, 2005


Actually the only thing more boring than hearing people talk about how they do drugs, is being stuck in the same room as a bunch of straight-edges who can't talk about anything except how they don't do drugs...
posted by clevershark at 11:33 AM on September 22, 2005


Huston Smith became a priest (and world-renowned religious author) because of his LSD experiences.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:33 AM on September 22, 2005


"Watching people take drugs is the most boring thing in the entire universe."

I'd pay to watch a room full of people (I personally select) do datura.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:37 AM on September 22, 2005


Well, here's one link anyways. I'm a little too busy right now to do a proper search, sorry.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:38 AM on September 22, 2005


Huston Smith became a priest...

The Columbian mushrooms are what gave me the calling.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:43 AM on September 22, 2005


from the stinkycheese link:

...Most took LSD in a private home, either their own or that of an experienced LSD user. Having used LSD themselves, moreover, a majority of this group went on either to initiate or to encourage at least one other person to use LSD.

This desire of LSD users to enlist others runs as a common theme throughout the Blum report. One reason for this proselytizing enthusiasm was that a majority of the sample felt that LSD had improved their lives or persons, and wanted their friends to experience similar benefits.


One step at a time, if we all work together we can get everyone (even the squares) onto the love train. Don't be shy. Please tell your friends the Good News. Be proud of who you are!
posted by Meatbomb at 11:51 AM on September 22, 2005


I love Europeans and open cultures to the max, but sometimes I do wonder why people who have solved all of their problems and live in socialist utopias can't find anything better to do than fuck with the squares.

You do know this is a TV show right?
posted by undule at 11:51 AM on September 22, 2005


These links could keep you busy all day. Lots of good stuff here.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:54 AM on September 22, 2005


You do know this is a TV show right?

I might not always make the joke right, but you ain't exactly getting it amigo.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:58 AM on September 22, 2005


"One reason for this proselytizing enthusiasm was that a majority of the sample felt that LSD had improved their lives or persons, and wanted their friends to experience similar benefits."

I hardly know any LSD users that regret their experiences and do not recommend it to others. Hell, my sister probably doesn't want me to broadcast this, but even being now a conservative evangelical who doesn't even drink, she can't bring herself to disavow the value of her LSD experiences.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:15 PM on September 22, 2005


Just so it's clear, I am completely earnest here, not sarcastic. If there was more of this, the world would be a better place.

At the risk of being called a stick-in-the-mud, I have to disagree. This has nothing to do with liberal democracy. The United States was a liberal democracy for more than 100 years with very traditional and conservative sexual mores. As the American founders put it, there's a difference between liberty (good) and licentiousness (bad).

Personally, I think US diplomacy would benefit immensely if there were an embargo on the export of American television to the rest of the world. It's not just sexual content (which is nothing compared to this proposed show), the depiction of violence and materialism is unattractive as well.

Margaret Bayles: One of the few efforts to measure the impact of popular culture abroad was made by Louisiana State University researchers Melvin and Margaret DeFleur, who in 2003 polled teenagers in 12 countries: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, South Korea, Mexico, China, Spain, Taiwan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Nigeria, Italy and Argentina. Their conclusion, while tentative, is nonetheless suggestive: "The depiction of Americans in media content as violent, of American women as sexually immoral and of many Americans engaging in criminal acts has brought many of these 1,313 youthful subjects to hold generally negative attitudes toward people who live in the United States."

My personal opinion is that the weakening of moral standards in the West is mostly a Bad Thing. (I say "mostly" because there's exceptions, like the taboo against homosexuality. But lots of behavior which would have been condemned in the Old Days--infidelity, promiscuity, casual sex--is now considered more or less normal, and I think that's Bad. I think sex carries too powerful an emotional charge to be dealt with casually.)

Putting it more concisely: I don't think moral anarchy should be celebrated as the natural outcome of liberal democracy.
posted by russilwvong at 12:48 PM on September 22, 2005


I might not always make the joke right, but you ain't exactly getting it amigo.
It's hard to sort the jokey bits/sarcasm around here sometimes.
posted by undule at 12:56 PM on September 22, 2005


Just so it's clear, I am completely earnest here, not sarcastic. If there was more of this, the world would be a better place.

Yeah, I can totally see this as the pinnacle of human acheivement. Decadence as enlightment, I'm sure that's never been done before, and if it has, always had wonderful results.

One step at a time, if we all work together we can get everyone (even the squares) onto the love train. Don't be shy. Please tell your friends the Good News. Be proud of who you are!

Christ, just what we need, more do-gooders evangelising because they divide the world up with an us-and-them mindset and can't bear the thought of people thinking that their lifestyle choice might not be all it's cracked up to be.
posted by Snyder at 1:07 PM on September 22, 2005


russilvwong, you said: My personal opinion is that the weakening of moral standards in the West is mostly a Bad Thing. ...behavior which would have been condemned in the Old Days--infidelity, promiscuity, casual sex--is now considered more or less normal ....

I just wondered where you got your data on that. As far as I'm aware, levels of promiscuity (versus monogamy), casual sex, and infidelity, remain essentially the same today as ever. In fact, I think I read that Americans became slightly less promiscuous after all the publicity about HIV in the 80s.

But if you have contrary data, please share!

I'd also find it entertaining to watch you take acid. But that's probably a bit much to ask.
posted by cleardawn at 1:08 PM on September 22, 2005


Open your mouth a second Snyder, let me put this little piece of paper on your tongue...
posted by stinkycheese at 1:09 PM on September 22, 2005


Well maybe it wasn't a very good joke undule. That site you link to in your profile is pretty interesting btw.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:12 PM on September 22, 2005


Well thank ya sir, it's getting there.
posted by undule at 1:46 PM on September 22, 2005


Hell yeah undule! Thanks for pointing it out, DW!
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:50 PM on September 22, 2005


I just wondered where you got your data on that. As far as I'm aware, levels of promiscuity (versus monogamy), casual sex, and infidelity, remain essentially the same today as ever.

Historian Samuel Eliot Morison describes a revolution in sexual mores taking place around the time of the First World War. The Oxford History of the American People (1965), pp. 904-909.

The mores or sexual relations in European countries have fluctuated through the ages, and are a difficult subject upon which to generalize, owing to public reticence and lack of records. It is, however, fair to say that the so-called Protestant ethic -- which is really the Christian ethic -- in sexual morals prevailed in the United States from at least the early nineteenth century to around 1910; and that, whilst laws and principles have changed little in fifty years, practices have undergone a radical revolution.

The Protestant ethic allowed the sexual instinct to be gratified only within marriage. It disapproved of premarital intercourse as well as adultery, and regarded the Catholic countries of Europe as hopelessly immoral, although Irish Catholics and the French bourgeoisie were, if anything, more austere in sex matters than descendants of early Puritans. Virginity before and chastity after marriage, absolute requirements for girls and women, were also enjoined on men; but for them, especially for young men whose marriages had to be postponed until they could support a wife, public opinion condoned prostitution as an outlet. Nobody can tell how far these ethics were actually respected around 1910, but they were the norm for middle-class Protestant Anglo-Saxons, Irish Catholics, and most of the immigrants from northern Europe. ....

Parallel with efforts to enforce the Protestant ethic by force or fear, it was crumbling from within. The loose morals of the 1920's are generally ascribed to the First World War; but a general laxity was observable for at least seven years before America entered that war. Increased knowledge of sexual hygiene counteracted the terror of infection. The automobile offered an easy spot for courtship away from the family parlor or porch. Moving pictures were becoming more attractive and lascivious; the sight of Theda Bara very lightly clad, in close and luscious embrace with a lover, could not help but be suggestive. Dancing, formerly confined to supervised homes and ballrooms, could now be practised in all manner of night clubs and country dance halls; and instead of the sedate waltz and two-step, one now had the hesitation waltz, the Argentine tango (both banned by the Federation of Women's Clubs in 1914), the bunny-hug, the fox trot, and the turkey trot.

Women's costumes, too, were undergoing a revolution; the knee-length skirt did not arrive until after the war, but the stiff, carapace-like corset, which for generations had helped protect weak women from enterprising males, went out; girls whose parents did not allow them to follow the fashion had to discard their corsets surreptitiously in cars and dressing rooms, or risk being called "Old Ironsides" by the boys. The drinking of hard liquor by women and young girls started about the same time....

Thus a revolution in sexual morals was well under way before the war started, but the war quickened it. American troops who went overseas indulged in experiences denied to them by law and custom at home, and a paternal government gave them inoculations to prevent venereal disease. Nurses, Red Cross and Y.W.C.A. workers had their eyes opened. All returned to a country where there was more of everything -- money, leisure, cars, sexy movies, dance halls, jazz; not more liquor for a time, but Prohibition made drinking more exciting, and the sort of liquor one got [hard liquor rather than beer] removed inhibitions.

Coincident with the weakening of religious sanction, a pseudo-scientific version of psychology began to supplant it. Doctors Sigmund Freud of Vienna, Carl Jung of Switzerland, and Havelock Ellis of England were the prophets. Ellis's great work, _Studies in the Psychology of Sex_, a sober and scientific case book, began circulating in America around 1910. Both Freud and Jung had lectured in the United States before the war, and by 1916 there were 500 practising psychoanalysts in New York City alone. But it was not until after the war that their doctrines, through translations and popular simplifications and distortions, began to infiltrate. One of the saddest things in history is the way the doctrines of scientific innovators become distorted before they reach the mass of the people. Sir Isaac Newton was a deeply religious man, but got the reputation of postulating a purely mechanical universe; Darwin's doctrine of evolution was distorted to mean that man was descended from a monkey; Karl Marx would never have recognized the societies in which he has been substituted for God; and Dr. Freud, an austere man of impeccable morals who mainly wished to take off the wraps which prevented medical research in sex phenomena, became, in the writings of his unprofessional disciples, the prophet of promiscuity. In 1919-20 one began to hear college students comparing their dreams and prattling knowingly (as they thought) about complexes, inhibitions, infantile sexuality, introverts and extroverts, and the libido.

Probably Ellis, Freud, and Jung did much good by throwing light on the dark places of the subconscious, and opening discussion. But on the young of the "lost generation" (as those of the 1920's liked to call themselves) the effect was catastrophic. By presenting inhibition or repression of natural impulses as an unmixed evil which would warp one's character and even ruin one's life, it followed that the Protestant ethic was wrong; that instead of resisting temptation and channeling the sex impulse into marriage, it should be indulged from the age of puberty. A girl who objected to being kissed and handled by her swain of the evening was apt to be silenced by a quotation alleged to be from Jung; a young man indifferent to girls would now be accused of being permanently in love with his mother; virginity became something to get rid of, chastity a medieval relic. ...


I'd also find it entertaining to watch you take acid. But that's probably a bit much to ask.

Fraid so. Unless of course we get a Canadian version of "Inject and Swallow." ("Inject and Swallow -- on the Ice!")
posted by russilwvong at 1:55 PM on September 22, 2005


Oh, I don't know -- this all seems a bit "mythbusters", but busting myths that people actually do wonder about.

Weren't the dutch once a straightlaced and somewhat grumpy people? I know my grandmother certainly was.
posted by davejay at 4:14 PM on September 22, 2005


Weren't the dutch once a straightlaced and somewhat grumpy people? I know my grandmother certainly was.

Just to prolong the stereotype, most of the Dutch people I know are still like this. I think it's a case of them being so grumpy they don't want anyone else telling them what to do. Plus, they can make money by attracting all the freak tourist business...
posted by Meatbomb at 11:02 PM on September 22, 2005


*joke, mostly, I think*
posted by Meatbomb at 11:06 PM on September 22, 2005


undule, yeah, that's an interesting page all right. BTW, is this an intentional reference to a certain well-known internet image?
posted by soyjoy at 7:18 AM on September 23, 2005


I think it's a case of them being so grumpy they don't want anyone else telling them what to do.

Meatbomb as you say, they are grumpy, but they are grumpy rational, social libertarianism is the output of grumpy rationality and that's why we get the northern European: "I don't care what you put in your nose or ass, now please move over 12 steps to the left as you are standing in my potato patch." It's one of their most lovable traits.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:38 AM on September 23, 2005


Most Dutch people I know never do anything remotely interesting, let alone immoral. They just don't see the need to stop anyone else. Why should they - it's entertaining to watch!

Russilvwong, that's a long quote with no figures. Since you didn't provide dates for your alleged moral decline of Western civilization, it's hard to delineate exactly what we're discussing... perhaps we're not going to make much progress on this!

The Buddha once remarked (or so I've heard) that "the elders of each generation believe the young to be corrupt."

If that was true 2,500 years ago, I don't really think things have changed very much - but the absence of precise data makes it difficult to empirically confirm.
posted by cleardawn at 3:35 PM on September 23, 2005


Since you didn't provide dates for your alleged moral decline of Western civilization, it's hard to delineate exactly what we're discussing... perhaps we're not going to make much progress on this!

Maybe not. :-) I thought Morison provided clear dates, though: the turning point was around 1910-1920.

the so-called Protestant ethic ... in sexual morals prevailed in the United States from at least the early nineteenth century to around 1910....

The loose morals of the 1920's are generally ascribed to the First World War; but a general laxity was observable for at least seven years before America entered that war [i.e. 1910]. ...

Ellis's great work, _Studies in the Psychology of Sex_, a sober and scientific case book, began circulating in America around 1910. Both Freud and Jung had lectured in the United States before the war, and by 1916 there were 500 practising psychoanalysts in New York City alone. But it was not until after the war that their doctrines, through translations and popular simplifications and distortions, began to infiltrate. ... In 1919-20 one began to hear college students comparing their dreams and prattling knowingly (as they thought) about complexes, inhibitions, infantile sexuality, introverts and extroverts, and the libido.


There you go. What I found particularly interesting is that the sexual revolution is usually ascribed to the 1960s; according to Morison, it occurred much earlier than that.

... the absence of precise data makes it difficult to empirically confirm.

One way to get data would be to compare modern data across societies. There's noticeable differences in behavior even between the US and Canada.

One in eight Canadian teenagers has had sexual intercourse by the age of 15, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday. ...

By the time teenagers reach 17, the proportion of those reporting they had had sex at least once more than doubled to 28 per cent, and by age 24, it was 80 per cent. ...

In the United States, the proportions are more than double for younger teenagers, according to 2003 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost 33 per cent reported having sex by age 15, rising to 61 per cent by the end of high school.

posted by russilwvong at 3:53 PM on September 23, 2005


I wish I had been getting some when I was 15... we need to encourage the youth of the world to have more sex, sooner.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:57 PM on September 23, 2005


Why's that?
posted by Snyder at 1:33 PM on September 24, 2005


Comparing data across societies, while extremely interesting, isn't the focus of the question I don't think. You seem to claim that promiscuity, casual sex, etc. is more prevalent in the us today than it has been in the past.

Also, there were sexual revolutions in both the 1960s-70s and in the early part of the century, with a more socially conservative time between. It would be interesting to see if this was a general pattern.
posted by Rictic at 2:47 PM on September 24, 2005


I wish I had been getting some when I was 15... we need to encourage the youth of the world to have more sex, sooner.

Not me; I don't think we should be encouraging 15-year-olds to have sex.

The main reason for my saying this is that physical intimacy and emotional intimacy are closely bound together, which is a pretty heavy responsibility for a 15-year-old: if you're careless, you can really hurt the other person. I don't think most 15-year-olds are mature enough and responsible enough to handle this. I certainly wasn't.

Dating and relationships absorb huge amounts of time, attention, and emotional energy, especially when things aren't going well. And15-year-olds are already having to deal with tons of stuff--high school, adolescence, peers, figuring out how the world works and how they're going to fit in.

There's also health aspects--AIDS and other less serious STDs, pregnancy. Most teenagers aren't very good at assessing risks, no matter how much education you give them.

Personally, I'd encourage kids to wait until they've graduated from high school--or at least until their last year of high school--before they start dating and getting physically intimate. By that time they should be more accustomed to taking more responsibility for themselves (e.g. deciding if they want to go to university, what they want to study, where they'll live).

I wonder if my kids will read this someday. (Hi, kids!)
posted by russilwvong at 5:32 PM on September 24, 2005


Comparing data across societies, while extremely interesting, isn't the focus of the question I don't think.

Sure. It's just that cleardawn seems to think human sexual behavior has been pretty much invariant since the, uh, dawn of time. I thought comparing the US to more traditional societies (the US was founded by Puritans, after all) might provide him with some concrete evidence that this isn't the case.

I did a quick Google search on infidelity. I couldn't find any straightforward comparisons of the 1950s vs. today, for example, but I did find one concrete statistic describing a recent change. From Newsweek:

In 1991, the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago asked married women if they'd ever had sex outside their marriage, and 10 percent said yes. When the same pollsters asked the same question in 2002, the "yes" responses rose to 15 percent, while the number of men stayed flat at about 22 percent. The best interpretation of the data: the cheating rate for women is approaching that of men, says Tom Smith, author of the NORC's reports on sexual behavior.

It's easier to find historical statistics on the number of children born to unmarried mothers. From the 2004 edition of the CDC's Health, United States, table 9: of all children born in 1970, 10.7% were born to unmarried mothers. In 2002, the figure was 34%. (For non-Hispanic whites, the figures are 9.6% in 1980, 23% in 2002.)
posted by russilwvong at 7:35 PM on September 24, 2005


I wish I had been getting some when I was 15... we need to encourage the youth of the world to have more sex, sooner.
Well, we all* were doing that back when (just post-hippie and pre-AIDS), and it was normal (as opposed to the current oral/anal/anything but regular penetration things going on now, which are demeaning and minimizing to at least one and maybe more generations of girls). Of course you're not emotionally ready for it if you're younger than 17 or so, but you learn tons about people and power and using others--and yourself--in the process. And--since there's no funding anymore for realistic sex ed (and there wasn't when i was a young teen either), and probably never will be again...get ready for an explosion in teen pregnancies (like that Ohio highschool had--they had only taught abstinence).

even nerds and dorks and misfits and losers and a/v club people, etc--definitely more than 90% of my highschool class were having sex before 16
posted by amberglow at 7:48 PM on September 24, 2005


The best interpretation of the data: the cheating rate for women is approaching that of men, says Tom Smith, author of the NORC's reports on sexual behavior.

I hope they also asked if the sex outside of marriage was permitted by the spouse or not.
posted by agregoli at 9:08 AM on September 27, 2005


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