Shawn, Judd, it's evident that among the anythings with
which we're encouraged to identify one finds birds, bees, flowers, trees, and
pimps. I am loath to toss around the word "pimp" more than it already
has been tossed, but its very "mainstreaming" is proof of how the
popular culture could do with a not-so-subtle reminder that to pimp is indeed
to pawn off subjugated whores for profit.
Now that we've got that out of the way, we can draw attention to just what a
fetish of compassion has emerged from several generations of psychotherapeutic
culture. Freud would gasp at what a sloppy and garish spectacle we have made of
our therapies. Part of the quid pro quo involved in upgrading our little
goblins and desires to the status of rights and freedoms is defining deviancy
down; the pimp — with all the gender and race and class baggage that he brings
— must be integrated with all deliberate speed into the safety of
permissiveness. "Pimp" must be made both more and less than
"pimp." What a relief it is that cars and home theaters, in addition
to whores, can be pimped!
And what a riches-to-rags transvaluation of values occurs when "to
pimp" actually comes to mean "to improve." Naturally
enough this is a result of precisely that brutishness the culture wishes to pillow.
The way a pimp improves things is by festooning them with felt and diamonds.
Cars and home theaters, in addition to grills, necklaces, chalices, walking
sticks, sunglasses, and favored whores, are encrusted and draped with jewels,
or "tricked out," another term of esteem borrowed from the sex trade.
It's the most neophyte of the new-rich methods of saying "I got what I
want" — displaying wealth the way a peacock in mating season displays it.
It's also a triumph of cultural ornamentalism at the crudest level, and it
echoes clear across a society that admires desires according to the obviousness
of their successful material entitlement.
That even cartoons might be sucked into association by the wake of this
constant demonstrative thrusting is worse, I think, than a message of mere
pacifism in a
one thing, and affirmative compassion another; yet still a third thing is the
promiscuous, vicarious adoption of tokenized bad identities — the attempt to
breed wicked species down to toy sizes in the naive and fatal misunderstanding
that, having made pets of our own wrongs, we can make a game of domesticating
those of the worst among us.
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