Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ten Morally Taboo Behaviors That Deserve A Second Look (reprint of my National Lampoon article)

AUTHOR'S PREFACE: It recently occurred to me that, having received an undergraduate degree in Philosophy (with a minor in Third-World Omelette Recipes), I haven’t been applying my college studies in my adult life. But a true renaissance man must do more than earn a living and amass the world’s largest DVR “Family Guy” library. So I herein return to my undergrad philosophy training to re-examine morality in postmodern society, whatever that means. 

HYPOTHESIS: Bad, sinful, socially unacceptable behavior is vastly underrated. 

ARGUMENT: The problem with taboo behaviors is that the pejorative label “sin” often stops wimpy goody two-shoes like me from trying them. And when enough people start avoiding taboo acts, it tends to give them a bad name. But as the years pass, an enlightened man (i.e., me) has to take a hard look at his preconceived moral values and subject them to the rigorous analysis of “am I missing out on a good thing, here?” 

PROOF: With that in mind, I revisited a few of today’s more popular taboos to see if maybe they have gotten an unfair shake over the years. (And doing a fair amount of “research” along the way.) Here’s what I found… 

1) ADULTERY. God got this one half right. “Coveting” thy neighbor’s wife is the pits. But nailing her--that’s the ticket! And while this old wives’ tale of a Biblical taboo still has its believers, I assure you there is nothing morally or ethically or romantically wrong with making the missus next door. In fact, doing so will probably help her marriage. Look, her husband works a 12-hour day. Then he does his receptionist for another hour or two. He’s tired! Now he has to come home and pleasure his wife of twelve years?! So this poor schnook is popping Viagra like they’re Tic-Tacs, trying to last long enough to give his ice queen the orgasm she’s been hounding him for since their second anniversary. Who needs that during the last ten minutes of “Law & Order”? But if YOU take the initiative, she’ll be so turned on by the newness and naughtiness of it all that she’ll either squish one out or convince herself that she did. Then he comes home, she’s smiling, and they both doze off to Jon Stewart in wedded bliss. And probably stay together for another twelve years, until the kids are off to college and may enjoy the doting attention of two warring parents who each spoil them rotten in the hopes of turning their flesh-and-blood against that heartless ass who wasted his/her youth. Now I ask you, how can that be a sin? 

2) STEALING OFFICE SUPPLIES. Of course, it’s hard to argue with “Thou Shalt Not Steal.” Yet “thou shalt not pay $8.95 for Post-It Note Pads” also rings true. Look, when God was writing the ten commandments, he was thinking about farmers stealing goats from each other. He wasn’t contemplating lifting Post-Its from a multinational corporation that uses my pension fund to give their CEO free Lakers season boxes and unlimited Lear jet privileges to shuttle to the games from Pittsburgh. And God certainly couldn’t portend what Staples would be charging four thousand years later for a small box of Slimline staples. In fact, I see a pattern here: “staples, the Staples Center, and Staples Office Supplies.” Hmm…maybe there is a Grand Unifying Theory of Trinityism after all. Either way, I’m still not buying my own legal pads! 

3) GAY SEX. Y’know, original sin aside, I’ve always assumed this gay stuff is for the birds. Then I started thinking about it like a mature adult. Hey, all those gay men must know something. You often hear of men “turning gay.” You never hear of one turning back. Look, I’m no fagala; I’m married and very happy with the action I’m getting now, thank you. So I have to rely on anecdotal evidence for this one. But let’s call a spade a spade: homosexual intercourse must be absolutely terrific. No illusive G-spots to hunt for. No periods to contend with. No loosey-goosey birth canals. Just tight, straight rectum as far as the eye can see (followed of course by rigorous post-coital hygiene). Sure, there’s gonna be a certain cringe factor at first. Like anything worth doing in this world, the first step is always the hardest. But as the saying goes, “you can’t make an omelet….” Plus, if you have any charisma at all, you get to bag the best looking guys in the world. Guys who’d be totally out of your league if you were a woman. Guys better looking than even the girls you’re getting now. And as far as lesbian sex goes, well…wouldn’t it be the height of hypocrisy for a straight guy to defame that? 

4) TATTOOS. This chestnut of a taboo is already coming out of the closet, and it’s about time. Look, art is beautiful. And art on a woman’s butt cheek, well, that is ART! Put a butterfly on a well-formed bosom or a serpent under the taut bellybutton of a Hooters’ waitress and you have a masterpiece that puts the Mona Lisa to shame. Now, I know that Jewish cemeteries have a slightly different take on this issue. But art has always had its critics. And quite honestly, we Jews should be a little less judgmental about things given, you know, our history with rubbing people of other religions the wrong way. Live and let live. Tattoo and let tattoo. Bury and let be buried. 

5) SEX WITH A MINOR. Face it, the number “18” is purely arbitrary. Lots of 17-year olds are perfectly ready for the emotions of sexual intimacy, while plenty of 30-year olds crash and burn at it. How many times have you seen a mid-30s single gal weeping in her pillow cause her married boyfriend broke it off. But how many high school cheerleaders act that way? None. They simply move on to the next father figure who wants to pay for a room. And why shouldn’t they? A high school sophomore with a hot bod can own the world. Why should she settle for some frustrating petting, or worse yet, doing it with some equally underage peach fuzz prince who hasn’t yet developed the technique or staying power to light her lights? And here’s the real reason this so-called taboo is yesterday’s news: hot chicks over 20 can use their sexual wiles to snag a high paying job and buy a Mercedes 600. But unless Julie Jailbait has a rich daddy who isn’t pouring his millions into an abyss of hookers and mistresses of his own, she has virtually no chance of driving a decent set of wheels unless she uses what God gave her now… before the cellulite Santa comes down her chimney. 

6) GAY SEX WITH A TATTOOED MINOR. Self-explanatory. 

7) EATING SHELL FISH. Yeah, like Leviticus would’ve turned down the free shrimp at a wedding. This is nothing but another Biblical “law” that simply creates abomination for abomination’s sake. Listen, I get the whole Kosher thing. Yawn. We live in a world with E-coli in our burgers, mercury in our tuna melts and Mad Cow Disease at Sizzler. You don’t want the free shrimp? Fine, more for me. 

8) SPOUSAL ABUSE. You know, I’m back and forth on this one. On one hand, I hate to see anyone hurt or humiliated under any conditions. On the other hand, have you ever been married for more than three years? And this is not a misogynistic opinion, either. I’m saying what’s wrong with taking a whack at your wife or your husband??? It falls into the same category as Adultery: bad if you’re the victim, but a solid if you’re the assertive partner. Look, I’m not suggesting a 250 pound man or woman should be slapping around his/her 105 pound significant other. But if you’re both within, say, 30 pounds of each other, then alls fair in love and war. Let her take a goddam karate class if it’s too much for her. The exercise would do her good; she’d end up working off that extra flab she put on over the years, which would probably make him less inclined to take a swing at her in the first place. Problem solved. 

9) INTERCOURSE WITH YOUR FIRST COUSIN. My, a lot of these taboos have to do with sex, huh? Gives you an idea of the mindset of these so-called “moral people.” Look, no one is saying you should have kids with your mom’s brother’s oldest girl. I’m just saying, after 16 or more Thanksgivings together, eating at the kiddies’ table together, smoking grass afterward together and cursing your parents together, you’ve certainly laid the groundwork for a romantic connection. And Thanksgiving is the perfect time to suggest she do something that would disgust and revile her emotionally abusive parents. (Christmas, weddings and funerals work as well.) And hey, if angry sex is the best sex, sex to get back at a disapproving daddy has got to be fan-tootin’-tastic.