Posted BY: Richard Kirk

How has America been transformed from a society that largely embraced the virtues of temperance, individual responsibility, respect for parents, and the obligation to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” into a nation whose popular culture propagates messages that promote self-gratification, entitlement, and absolution for all personal vices by vilifying living and long-departed white, heterosexual, and Christian victimizers?  No single explanation accounts for this devolution into depravity, but one major reason falls under the artistic rubric known as “pushing the envelope.”

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“Cutting edge” and “daring” are other terms linked to this highly praised characteristic that’s gone from increasingly explicit sexual references to uncensored depictions of sexual intimacy to dramatic portraits of aberrant behavior (50 Shades of Grey) to the dramatic and in-person sexualizing of children (cf. Cuties, drag shows for kids, and a gender agenda for K-6 innocents).  In tandem with this pushing of the sexual envelope has been critical applause for progressively more realistic depictions of violence, moving from largely anodyne Lone Ranger gunplay to blood-soaked Sam Peckinpah violence to the chest needle-stabbing scene that graces the “classic” film Pulp Fiction.  This envelope is pushed even further when sex and violence are intertwined in ways that would amaze even a sadomasochist like Alfred Kinsey.  Law and Order SVU (Sexual Victims Unit) represents the sanitized popularization of this illicit union under the cover of law enforcement.

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