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“…Ah, but it’s cold outside.”

And apparently getting colder.

Do I feel a kind of perverse pride in my uncanny prescience in getting ahead of the curve in regard to this year’s insipid, pathetic and all too fatuous reaction to the brilliant Frank Loesser’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside?”

Not even a little. It was too easy.

You see, I remember when it was just the prissily hypocritical evangelical right which felt the desperate need to censor, repress and suppress—in the name of a number of people’s designated savior.

FOOTLOOSE, anyone? The war on Christmas? “One nation, under god?” Roy Moore, for fuck’s sake?

Yay—our own American Taliban! Eat your heart out, Islam!

Now it’s apparently the morally performative other side of the room’s turn to suck the life out of any aspect of culture that makes it uncomfortable—as if it’s the responsibility of art to make anyone comfortable.

I assume that these are the same sort of people who need “likeable” heroes, whose idea of acceptable stories boils down to the narrative equivalent of a hot bath, cocoa and a cookie.

As noted earlier this week, I loved COME FROM AWAY, a musical which, under no circumstances, could ever be identified as anything but family friendly uplift.

I spent most of the performance in tears, all too willing to have my feelings manipulated, and, not to put too fine a point too it, exploited to tears.

At the same time, I love the entire body of John Waters’ work—including the early, genuinely transgressive pictures, which would, and in all likelihood should, manifest a mass embolism in anybody who takes offense at Frank Loesser’s witty song about the social dance between grown men and women.

I represent an American mindset that allows me to wallow in sentiment on one hand, and forces me to confront challenges to my own belief systems on the other.

You know—an adult. Not adulting. An adult.

And maybe that’s one of the keys to understanding this societal adjustment.

Grown men and grown women—with actual social experience, including success and failure, rage and joy, elation and disappointment—are now apparently an endangered species.

Replacing this cohort is a cadre, of unfortunately all too many ages, which believes that Forever 21 is a good thing, and that protection from discomfiture is a constitutional endowment and entitlement.

And just to be clear, I’m no relativist.

There is no doubt in my mind that the American Reich is an exponentially far greater threat to what remains of the Republic than any of this newly minted progressive puritanism. If the homegrown Nazis aren’t checked, we are doomed as a nation—which is not to say that it isn’t too late already.

That said, these internal conflicts, which all too often boil down to insistence on denunciation, suppression of complex ideas, and demands of censorship, from what should be a free thinking and progressive side of the room, point to a deeper problem.

While we find any possible reason to be offended—far too frequently by each other, I might add—they laugh.

And as long as they laugh, they win.

And with that, I’d like to hope to fucking hell I’m done with this nonsense—until next year, of course, assuming I’m still around.

Happy Holidays!

And, as ever, I remain,

Howard Victor Chaykin—a prince, and a grown up, to be sure.


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