Decency on Life Support

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By Amanda Metzger:

I happened to agree with something Adam Schiff said during the closing arguments of the impeachment hearings on Monday. “Decency matters,” Schiff said, after also stating that “truth matters.” Coincidentally, I thought just the same words the night before as I watched the Super Bowl LIV Half Time Show with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. I wondered how it was possible that in the 21st century, in an age of supposed empowerment, female performers feel in order to be relevant, they need to know how to straddle a pole wearing shreds of shiny clothing during what is supposed to be a musical act. There was nothing empowering or feminine about it. The performance was a submission to the entertainment world’s male gaze — all for a fleeting flicker of relevance for these two women.

All the glitter in this performance coated what I fear is a very ugly truth. I thought of one of my favorite Jack Kerouac quotes — “The only truth is music.” Perhaps that’s why the half time show of 2020 didn’t contain even a hint of music. Maybe both truth and music died at this LIV Half Time Show.

In this era of misuses of truths, the ends justifies the means in the modern American political landscape. Sergey Nechayev, a leader in the Nihilist movement and a Russian revolutionary coined that phrase — the idea being that if the goal was morally important enough, it didn’t matter what you smashed and wrecked along the way. To make it worse, the ends the current people in power in politics and entertainment are working toward is personal gain and self-preservation at the cost of the posterity.

If Schiff and the partisans need to abandon truth to oust Trump, they think that’s justified. Truth isn’t their value — money and power is what they see as supreme. Do they think of anyone else when they drag our nation through this time-and-money-wasting circus and further attempt to divide us? I wondered if the people involved in producing this Super Bowl Half Time Show thought of anyone but themselves and their own gain. Did they consider parents sitting at home with their children trying to enjoy an American past time and bond as a family as they watched the biggest football game of the year? Did they consider the influence they could have on young girls – sending the message that it doesn’t matter how well you sing or play an instrument.

To find relevance and praise in this society, you must sacrifice your decency and modesty. Shred your clothing and show you paid attention in pole dancing classes if you want to be noticed. I fear the message they send is this: The only talent valuable in this inhumane world is sex appeal. What is the message to young boys who saw that show?  

I am not a mother yet, but as a millennial who hopes one day to raise some of the next generation, I fear the consequences of this current selfish, degenerate generation who has sacrificed decency for lives of tarnished luxury.