Friday, March 13, 2009

"You knew what I was when you picked me up."

Warning: the following post mentions the existence of sex.

You might remember the fable from primary.  The one where the boy meets a snake on the mountain.  The snake wants the boy to carry him down to the bottom of the mountain and the boy refuses because he doesn't want to get bitten by the venomous snake.  After being promised by the snake that he won't get bitten the boy carries the snake down the mountain.  Upon reaching their destination the snake bites the boy.  The boy shocked at the snakes cruelty asks why the snake didn't keep his promise.  The snake gives the response, "You knew what I was when you picked me up."

All this controversy surrounding HBO's Big Love series reminds me of that fable.  There seems to be quite an uproar over the makers of the program choosing to depict scenes from inside a Latter Day Saint temple.  I am not a totally informed commentator as I have not seen the episode in question.

I find it interesting that so many would be surprised by the networks choice.  HBO's business strategy has long been based on using subjects that are taboo, violent, or their favorite: sexual in nature.  Consider the following series they've ran lately.  Six Feet Under (about a family who lives and works in a mortuary), Dead Wood (graphic depictions of super violence on the American frontier), True Blood (vampire sex), Cathouse & Hookers on the Point & Taxi Cab Confessional (prostitute sex).  Big Love (or Big Sex as my grandmother calls it) is right in line with this business model.  Depicting the most sacred ordinances in this series is right in line with the moral bankruptcy of the network.  I'm actually surprised that they didn't do it sooner.

On KSL news they quoted someone who had written to HBO threatening to cancel their subscription if the aired the episode in question.  Am I to understand that this person was OK with network up until this point? 

I do of course find it distasteful that anyone would publicly display any religion's most sacred ordinances.  Just not surprised.

You knew what is was when you paid for the subscription every month.

The above art is issued without permission of my old friend and roommate Jacob Fossum.  Check out more of his work here.  He's going to be famous.


The Nielson's said...

Jenn-I am on the same page with you... I'm not surprised either.

Did you take Ruby to Bountiful at the Primary Children's extension for therapy? How many times did you have to go and how long was each appointment? I'm just gearing myself up for what this is going to be like for me and for Kaebrie.

Christian said...

I'm going to take a leap here and say that even though this post is signed with a huge beautiful flowery "Jennifer" at the bottom, that it is really the work of Skewority.

Logan, very insightful and funny post. So true. It's like the guy who decides to stop patronizing the strip club because he's offended by the bad language of the new bartender.

This little event makes me think about the larger issue of how the church and its members are treated and portrayed by the media and society at large. On the one hand I know we will always be, and are supposed to be, a "peculiar people" and that varying degrees of prejudice and vitriol will inevitably come with this. On the other hand I don't like that we are one of the very last minority groups to be excluded from the P.C. golden rule, and I wonder if and what we should do about it.

rebabell said...

i like this angle- very thought provoking. i've actually never even see the show, but have heard it's pretty bad, guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that anyone in Hollywood would cross the line like this.

senordustin said...

I like your friends artwork.