Sunday, August 07, 2011
[From High School Confidential 1958; the voice of the Beat Generation]
Since the 1950s, the trend in American society seems to be moving more and more toward selfish, short term pleasure and enjoyment and more away from being concerned with long term consequences, the welfare of others and the afterlife.
Pornography became somewhat socially acceptable with the publication of Playboy magazine in December, 1953. Marilyn Monroe, the first Playboy model, and Elvis Presley, known for his suggestive movements, became superstars in the mid-1950's.
In 1964, the Beatles became the first true "rock stars". In 1967, the Summer of Love popularized the hippie movement.
About 1970, it became socially acceptable for women to have sex before marriage. Abortion was legalized in 1973. Divorce also became much easier legally at that time and divorce became commonplace rather than a rarity. Young people commonly smoked marijuana by about 1970. Also, at about that time, sodomy became legalized in many states. In the 1970's, the term "serial killer" was coined, generally referring to people who kill many strangers for pleasure. Child abduction and murder began becoming a national problem in 1981.
Today, probably almost every man, woman and child in America is regularly exposed to hard core pornography thanks to the Internet. Many men report losing interest in sex due to pornography being better than sex. For women between age 15 and 25, casual sex with virtual strangers is normal. About half of all children are born to single women. Marijuana is basically legal in California and becoming legal in other states. Many states have legalized same sex marriage. Stranger homicide is becoming more and more common. Programs like Intervention and Celebrity Rehab give insight into the horrifying world of hard core addicts. Hundreds of thousands of homeless people, primarily drug addicts and alcoholics, litter city sidewalks, something which blossomed in the 1980s.
Beginning slowing in the 1950's, gathering speed in the 60's and really taking off in the 70's, self indulgence and pleasure seeking has become more and more "cool", smart and fashionable. What is this leading to ultimately? What would the ultimate in hedonism look like? How cool can we actually get?
I can imagine society eventually allowing the opening of what I would call Total Pleasure Centers. These centers would allow Godless hedonists to indulge themselves at no cost to society and to then disappear, without endlessly filling up prisons, rehab centers, hospitals, homeless shelters, etc. Just do it and get it over with.
The Total Pleasure Centers, which would be heavily advertised in the most attractive terms, would work simply like this:
The client must be 18 or older and have at least $10,000.
If the client has custody of children, that custody must be completely surrendered and the children made available for adoption.
The client will surrender all his money and assets to the Total Pleasure Center when arriving.
He will be stripped naked, shaved and placed in a cell.
The cell will include a very comfortable recliner and a large screen computer monitor and desk with a mouse and keyboard. The monitor will also be attached to cable television. There will be a funnel attached to a tube to collect urine.
The client will have an IV line inserted, which will deliver nutrition.
The client will be groomed by aides (sponge baths; hair will be shaved periodically; he will be turned every two hours if need be to avoid bed sores) and nurses will make sure that the IV line remains open and uninfected. The urine collection bag will be changed daily as well.
The client will have a hand held device which will control the delivery of either heroin or cocaine through his IV line. The client will also have access to, but outside easy reach, a button which will administer a dose sodium thiopental, causing death.
The client’s account will be debited based on the cost of his basic care, the drugs he uses and the websites and cable programs he accesses if they require payment. The client will never be allowed to leave his cell. If necessary, he will be restrained to his chair.
Finally when the client’s account approaches zero, the IV will automatically administer a dose sodium thiopental, causing death. The client will them be cremated and his ashes disposed of in a refuse bin.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 4:10 PM