Times are tough. And in these trying times, it seems no one is trying hard enough. The political climate is palled by the gloomiest of clouds. With a forecast of "nothing but trouble," and an economic atmosphere that I have no informed opinion on but might as well "suck terribly," current events have evidently fallen ill due to an unidentifiable epidemic. Abortion, I say.
Anyhow, one cannot hope for encouraging news in these perverse days. To wit, American society has slowly yielded to European immorality, victim to a culture crisis of Olympian proportions, helpless to a creeping sociological decay even Weber would have had trouble with.
In past eras of Arthurian glory, a staple of American culture was celebrating the diversity of a country that accepts people from all over, without an ounce of standards. America was founded on the joy of grouping its citizens according to their strengths and weaknesses.
In America, where we rejoice in being black and being white, having and having not, it was natural and noble to ensure people knew why they were different.
As such, the word "label" used to have a different connotation: "friendly reminder."
Now it has been tossed in the mud, forced to compete with pigs for survival, a sad symbol of the disgraceful demise of America's bread and butter, to clear the path for abortionistas and political correctness and giving women the vote.
A modern, albeit busy man can spend the morning smoking ganja and preaching peace, jump downtown to work the afternoon on Wall Street, and finish out the evening thumping bibles. A gorgeous model may be a "self-proclaimed geek" and a Duke student may proclaim herself "spicy-caliente"-am I the only one confused by this possibility?
(In these days of political correctness, an honest man can no longer give an honest answer to the question, "Who are those white-hooded men burning crosses in our lawn?"
"Men of faith, son, men of faith," he must say.)
Say a little prayer for me. I hear us bemoaning the loss of our society's simple elegance, but shut your tears. When an American tradition falters, leave it to a homegrown from the heartland to be our savior. That's right, an Iowa native has begun to lead us out from the dangerous depths of our contemporary hell back to harmony, a return to innocence.
He is Ashton Kutcher, and his word is bond.
As executive producer of the TV program Beauty and the Geek, Kutcher succeeds in using a sub-rate reality television show to address the intrinsic incongruence of today's un-American society. I'm not one to deify, but if possible, I'd like to make his birthday a galaxy-wide holiday.
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our editorially curated, weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.
The show itself, an "intellectual delight" rare among the transparent emptiness of contemporary programming, harks back to the good old days by dividing the contestants into beauties and geeks and making an emphatic display of their differences.
The show makes a clear implication regarding its title-beauties and geeks are mutually exclusive-and reaffirms an old friend's assertion that pretty much any two groups of people are mutually exclusive. Some may say labeling is a thing of the past, like slavery or Mach I razors, forgotten in a future of chimeric personalities, but Kutcher provides documented proof, archived in my TiVo, of the simple charm of mutual exclusion.
Scooter knows he can't seduce a man with his eyes, and Megan knows she can't assemble a CB radio, so they won't waste time crossing skill sets and accomplishing nothing. Instead, they can work together as a clearly delineated team for the betterment of society. Specialization of labor defined.
And so what if Megan makes a little fun of Scooter for being a geek. He had it coming anyway. Twenty-three year old men shouldn't wear Boy Scout uniforms in public.
Ashwin Bhirud is a Trinity senior. His column runs every other Friday.