Basest instinct

Shouldn't society fight to overcome rampant vulgar behavior?

Have people simply become more crude, lewd and vulgar? Or does a more omnipresent media just do a better job of telling the sordid stories?

 

Yet again we, and our children, are being treated to days and days of salacious reports of the affairs of the powerful.

It’s difficult to comprehend how leaders who appear so upright and functional as Gen. David Petraeus can be so foolish as to liquidate their own careers and lofty reputations by having sleazy affairs. Or how they have the time! Gen. John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, is being investigated for some 20,000 to 30,000 pages of emails with Petraeus’ Tampa, Fla., socialite friend Jill Kelley.

This past week, we learned that a former Georgia State Patrol helicopter pilot based in Thomson had admitted carrying on a tawdry affair at the state hangar. Photographs allegedly depict the man and a woman inside the hangar, and even inside the helicopter.

Recall, too, that a couple was arrested last June after allegedly being caught having sex inside a Columbia County movie theater.

Are people becoming more brazen? If so, why?

One top relationship psychologist interviewed by website The Daily Caller blames the neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is associated with pleasure and risk-taking. “If it feels good, dopamine neurons are probably involved!” says another website.

Maybe it should be spelled “dope-amine.”

Heaven help us, though, if we’re nothing more than helpless creatures at the mercy of chemicals.

You can’t help wondering whether news and entertainment media have only encouraged such behaviors. Both of them bombard us with fictional and actual images and tales of coarse and loutish behavior.

Hollywood tends to romanticize them. But even real life can often fail to put them in a proper context. Bill Clinton’s escapades with a young White House intern, and his tacky trail of womanizing that led him to commit perjury, seem to mean nothing today. He was the star at the Democratic National Convention this year. And disgraced and fallen former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who was found to be patronizing high-priced hookers, was rewarded with his own national talk show.

And just turn on daytime television to see how boorish American society is becoming.

We are, with any grace, called to be more than our basest instincts.

Historically, human nature has been blamed for such things. But can mankind be defined by inclinations we share with animals? Or is human nature something more than that?

For our part, we reject notions that such behaviors are the inevitable result of either chemicals or nature. Mankind is imbued with free will and levels of thinking our barnyard friends are denied.

Uncouth behavior will ever be with us. The question is, what will society do about it?

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