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November 28, 2012

"Two and a Half Men" Co-Star Denounces Own Show as "Filth;" Advises Viewers to Stop Watching It

Angus T. Jones, who plays the kid on the show (not really a kid anymore), has found Christ and now finds Two and Half Men's jokes -- which are largely about sex -- spiritually poisonous.

I only saw parts of this show twice -- once was on an airplane, when I had few other viewing options. (The airplane wasn't streaming TV; it was playing a few recorded TV shows, and Two and a Half Men was among my two and a half options.) I was surprised by two things: First, it was kind of funny, actually, although I was on a plane, of course, and thus desperate for distraction. And second, that every joke -- every joke -- was about sex. At least the episode I saw. It involved Charlie Sheen and his therapist, played by Jane Lynch. I saw part of another episode recently, and there the jokes weren't about sex.

Angus T. Jones is of course currently being gently ministered to by the Tolerance Brigade, which as usual is showing its tolerance through jeering, insult, and hate.

Also a good deal of jealousy, though at least that I can understand as response: A washed-up former actor like Zack Branff (or whatever his name is) is understandably annoyed by someone working on a hit TV show making at least $350,000 per episode. Envy isn't a good emotion, certainly, but at least I can understand it.

What I can't understand is the simple hate, the hate for hate's sake, the hate of The Other for the sake of Self-Affirmation. I especially can't understand the hate coming from the sort of people who will insist to you, quite seriously, that they have essentially purged all primitive and dark emotion from themselves and now exist on an elevated Oprah/Chopra plane of pidgin Zen harmony and balance.

There are two ways, it seems to me, to deal with the hatred that lurks in every human heart:

1. Acknowledge it, acknowledge one's flaws, acknowledge one's darker tendencies, and by acknowledging them, increase the control over them. Same idea as with alcoholism: You can't address a problem until you have acknowledged its simple existence.

Or, the route that I see most benighted "progressives" going:

2. Insist that there is no hatred in your heart, because you are simply that ennobled a human being. When your hatred (which still exists, despite your callow claims to the contrary) exhibits itself, engage in a silly semantic game in which you claim your "hate" isn't hate at all but something else, like, I don't know, "teachable moments" or whatever. Give free vent to all your spleen and all your venom and just insist, like a child caught with his pudgy fingers in a cookie jar, that he was actually looking for the healthy vegetables, and thought maybe they might be hidden among the Oreos.

All that said, I do not really understand this notion among Christians (or among many of the godly) that laughing at a human foible, or laughing at bad behavior, is something akin to taking delight in that foible, or engaging in that bad behavior oneself.

I know the idea is something like "If you can laugh at it, you're not taking it seriously" and thus "mainstreaming" it. But I heard the same thing in college, when I'd use the word "gay." "If you're saying 'that's gay,' you're not taking the problem of homophobia seriously, and you have genuine hate in your heart."

I didn't see the connection when offered from the left/secularists, and I still don't see the connection when offered by the right/religious. Enjoying a vengeance movie where the good guy slaughters the bad guys doesn't have much connection to a true intention to kill. I will concede that there must be some connection there -- which is why particular fantasies appeal to particular people, and why men tend to like Vengeance/Omnicompetence fantasies and women prefer, I don't know, Twilight, whatever the hell that is -- but it's such a thin and weak connection it seems to me to be a rounding error in the accounting of human flaws.

Instapundit used to joke about the feds announcing this or that crusade against a new moral panic: Well, I'm glad we've got all the other problems taken care of, then.

Likewise this sort of thing -- the "taking delight" or laughing at some kind of human flaw or sin -- is of such a de minimis or venial nature that I wonder if we overconcern ourselves with this sort of thing in order to avoid thinking too much about more serious things.

Small problems and small sins are reassuring in that way, aren't they? People enjoy, say, worrying about leveling up in a videogame precisely because it is so meaningless and permits them an escape from more pressing problems.

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posted by Ace at 03:24 PM

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