Saturday, March 27, 2004

Love and Sex & the City

Well, the last episode of Sex & the City showed in the States a few weeks ago, but it finally showed in Britain on Wednesday, and in Canada on Friday.

Sex & the City grew up, and Love finally mattered. The writers did a masterful job of squeezing the subject of Love into the single, final episode, considering that they have spent years expounding on Sex.

And what an earthquaking shift in popular culture. Sex used to be rebellious and cool: it used to mean that you were breaking the chains of a repressive culture and upbringing. But that was when the world around you was completely repressive and conservative, and church-going. In the West, it isn't as strangling as it used to be, unless you still live in the heart of Mormon country, or on the Isle of Man. In the Rest of the World, well that's the more challenging story.

As in everything, balance is the art, the science and the poetry. Sex isn't dead. It never was completely so, even in Queen Victoria's time. It's just that since the 60's it has been the primary emphasis of cultural progress. It finally reached its point of over-emphasis.

Sex & the City was about people who had sex first, and later learned about love. There are also people who love first, and later learn about sex. Both types of people have occurred naturally since the dawn of time. The predisposition to one or the other is almost a quantifiable genetic feature, subject to competition, survival, and natural selection depending on what is luckily successful.

Before the 60's, western Society used to only have official approval for people who loved first and learned sex afterwards. In recent years the pendulum had swung to the extreme end. If you arrived in the West from the mountains of Afghanistan, you would certainly think that western society only sanctioned people who learned sex first and never learned to love.

Whether the official sanction is one way or the other, there will always be some people carrying on in the opposite way, regardless of what social pressure exists around them. There are 6 billion people on the planet, and the only way they will ever completely march in step is when they are assimilated by the Borg. (The Borg is a concept from Star Trek, of a part-machine society where all members are mechanically wired and uniformly controlled. You can quickly observe that the Internet is the first incarnation of the Borg, and extrapolate to your mind's delight).

Love and Sex: everyone needs them both, and everyone can thank them both, for being alive, alive, alive, alive......

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