- The Simpsons is apparently turning 30 this year. I used to be a huge fan of the series in middle school and high school, but lately, I’ve basically given up watching TV. Shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy are funny, but because they are also offensive, I started to feel kind of slimy from liking them and laughing at the stupid jokes. My husband and I watched the entire first season of Disenchantment (same creator as The Simpsons), which we found funny, but again, watching it was a slimy experience. I suppose those shows are my guilty pleasure.
- At my job, there has been a small push for people to start putting their preferred pronouns in their email signatures. Rainbow-colored lanyards were distributed for the Transgender Day of Remembrance (I’m still not clear on exactly what that is). In a word, things are getting more “progressive.” If they are as truly “inclusive” as they say they are, they won’t force me to conform.
- For some reason, I got re-obsessed with Bella Morte, a gothic band that I used to like when I was in college. They did really good covers of “Earth Angel” and “My Heart Will Go On,” as well as The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Soma,” which was how I found out about them in the first place. The lead singer’s voice is probably one of my favorite male singing voices. I don’t know exactly what it is about it that I like.
This is somewhat of a follow-up to this post. By now I’m sure everyone’s heard about the latest Duggar scandal (and I suspect there will be more to come), in which Josh Duggar (oldest son of the brood) admitted that he was addicted to pornography after he was found to have used an Ashley Madison account to cheat on his wife.
Honestly, I can’t tell you what I think Anna (the wife) should do. I can’t tell you that girls should be raised to breathe fire. Come on, people. It doesn’t matter how much fire you breathe. If someone’s a dirtbag, they’re going to be a dirtbag regardless of what you say or do. If she divorces him (highly doubtful), he’ll continue to be a dirtbag, and if she stays with him and offers love and forgiveness, he’ll continue to be a dirtbag.
My theory about Josh is that he chafed against his parents’ restrictions and rules, but instead of rebelling outwardly (you really can’t rebel in a Fundamentalist Christian household, apparently), he internalized his rebellion until he became an adult and separated from his parents upon marrying Anna. Instead of gaining a little freedom from restrictions and responsibilities, he became saddled with four young children in quick succession, so he was once again in the same position he had been in at home: the leader, the oldest, the responsible person. It’s a lot of pressure.
In keeping with his parents’ values (but apparently not his own), he started working for the Family Research Council in Washington, DC, a conservative pro-life and pro-marriage lobbying organization. From what I hear, the District of Columbia is not a nice place, what with all the politicians and other venomous creatures. What a change from life in rural Arkansas. So it’s really no wonder that he started to lead a double life in which he felt as though he could explore other options beyond what he had always been taught.
I don’t expect that things will get better for Josh in “rehab.” If anything, being beaten over the head with Bible verses might cause greater confusion; it seems as though a life steeped in religion was what he had been trying to escape by creating his illicit online accounts. The issues run deep, possibly too deep to be fixed. Maybe Josh isn’t a certified, grade-A dirtbag, but he certainly needs help; probably more help than he can get from another Bible-based rehab that only echoes his parents’ teachings.
In my universe, there shouldn’t be such a thing as “guilty pleasures,” which are “guilty” because the unspoken understanding is that you should be ashamed of enjoying them. Many are afraid to admit they enjoy reality TV because it’s supposedly complete and utter garbage, but it continues to climb in popularity, and new reality TV shows appear every day, each crazier than the last. Some people must like it, so many people must have the same guilty pleasure.
Perhaps we don’t admit our guilty pleasures because we might be afraid that others might think we’re stupid or wasting our time or money on what we enjoy. But I always say that it shouldn’t matter what you like and what other people think about what you like (unless it’s illegal or causes harm to animals or people).
The real waste of time is feeling guilty about your pleasures. The other waste of time is worrying about what others like and don’t like. Life is too short for that. So if someone likes reality TV and it doesn’t seem to be turning into an unhealthy obsession or causing them to act as crazy as the personalities on the show, that’s their business.