You may have noticed that America is going insane with finger-wagging, tut-tutting, outrage-ready Mrs. Grundy censoriousness. The legendary Mrs. Grundy was the representative of conservative social control and excessively strict mores.
Today’s Mrs. Grundys — let’s call them Mx. Grundys to be up to the moment — are progressive bullies intent on shutting everyone the hell up lest anyone fail to conform to their narrow sense of what is and is not acceptable. The humorless scolds have decided they are in charge, and for complicated reasons the rest of the culture is going along.
…Meanwhile, the Huffington Post noted that the 1964 TV show “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was “seriously problematic” because many viewers said they were disturbed by its themes of sexism and bullying.
Then there’s the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” In 1944, the songwriter Frank Loesser began performing a skit in song form at the parties he attended in Hollywood with his then-wife, Lynn. He was “the wolf,” she the “mouse,” and they were together at his home when she decided to take her leave.
She shouldn’t go, the wolf says. But her mother will start to worry, she says. With each reason for leaving she offers, he points out that she’ll freeze out there, her hands are like ice and the fireplace is roaring with heat.
This isn’t date rape. It’s mutual foreplay; indeed, it’s just about the most harmonious portrayal of foreplay in the annals of Western culture. They are enjoying their own wit, and we are enjoying their wit.
But here’s the problem: Wit often eludes the literal. It did in 1949 when an Egyptian visitor to the United States named Syad Qutb heard “Baby It’s Cold Outside” at a church dance in Greeley, Colo. As it played, Qutb later wrote, “The room convulsed with the feverish music from the gramophone. Dancing naked legs filled the hall, arms draped around the waists, chests met chests, lips met lips.”
He left America and became a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and is considered the intellectual father of the Islamic extremism that found its darkest flowing in the 9/11 attacks.
Congratulations, Mx. Grundy. You’ve given Sayid Qutb what he wanted. Radio stations in Denver, San Francisco and Cleveland all announced they were banning “Baby It’s Cold Outside” from their airwaves.
There is absolutely no stone the joyless, juiceless Left will leave unturned in their neverending crusade to render all the rest of us—all of life itself—every bit as pinch-faced, sour, and miserable as they are. Funny how all that sexual liberation back in the hippie-dippie 60s has ushered us to an era in which sex itself is, like poor old Rudolph, “seriously problematic.” Steyn says:
As you’ll know if you’re a regular round these parts, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” started life as a party piece for Frank Loesser and his missus that they just did at various soirées around town until they were begged to make it publicly available. So you can see why its fate would be personal to Mr and Mrs Loesser’s daughter Susan in a way that her dad’s more straightforwardly commercial enterprises might not be. In her remarks in The Daily Mail, she blames its apparent controversy on Bill Cosby, and says, “It was written in 1944. It was a different time.”
Well, almost the entirety of human creativity comes from “a different time”. Our time – aside from its notable dearth of great music, great art, great drama, great holiday-season novelty duets – is also the first (or at least the first since Pol Pot) to be set upon destroying everything that dates from a “different time”.
For two-thirds of a century, the song was understood as a distillation of a standard dating ritual: The boy wants her to stay, and the girl wants to stay. But she’s a nice girl so she has to be talked into it, so Rod and Willie and Cee Loo et al give it their best shot.
Now radio stations are banning it not because something has changed since 1944, but because something has changed in the last twenty minutes.
We are in a paradoxical land with a hyper-sexualized yet ideologically puritanical culture. In such a world, the wit and playfulness of Frank Loesser are perforce entirely alien.
Far as I’m concerned, it’s the shrieking soldiers of the Army Of The Aggrieved who are alien; their grim, humorless world ain’t any place I want to live in, or even visit. Hell, I’d be reluctant to so much as fly by it in a starship, unless it was for the purpose of lobbing nukes on the awful place from orbit.
It’s not that the whining twerps are capable of mining offense out of even the most innocuous or trivial thing that frosts my nuts. They’re welcome to be offended over nothing all they like; no skin off my nose, I don’t give a shit either way. No, it’s their implacable demand that we all must devolve to their own pitiful level of shameful, puling weakness—that even their pettiest neurosis must become the standard sturdier, more mentally-balanced people have to live by that rankles. They cannot leave any space at all for normal people to go their own way unmolested.
And they’re getting away with it, too.