You cannot believe the stuff you see on mainstream TV news. Truly, you cannot take any of it seriously. I recall watching Jaco’s “live” reports from Baghdad, and was not at all surprised to see it was staged.
Of course, there are just enough reports coming live for us to believe the fake ones. Still, I have seen some of the most convincing stuff revealed as staged. It’s been going on since before there was TV, when newspapers lied directly and indirectly. But this is particularly ugly — and more common than you could ever know.
On the one hand, I’m completely prudish. At the same time, I would be the last person to legislate regarding public dress codes. Yes, I reject any notion of gender equality because God made women with more assets, and made men to notice them. Women are made to compete on those grounds, and men fail to realize they go all out more for that competition than to actually impress men. That and a large number of other complications, but minimum cover standards for public have been long established. I even go so far as to support having places where nudity is acceptable, but clearly marked so the rest of us can avoid it.
The point is I despise the cultural element which makes sites such as People of Walmart such a big draw. Yes, I turn away in disgust when some blubber-babe shows too much. No, it’s not exactly the same as when some cutie shows too much, but I still turn away for both. There is something nasty about the crude comments and laughter which accompanies photos of the former. It smacks of self-righteous smugness, which is never anything less than a sin.
By the same token, I would refuse to take that site down. The problem is not the pictures; they are worthy of note for showing something of human behavior. People do crazy things, and we need not hide away from it. The sin is in how we react to it. Not just the over-exposures of flesh, but particularly when we see the other kind of picture, with outrageous costumes which don’t have much of a sexual titillation value. Again, the problem is not the photos, but the captions — those supplied and those we make up ourselves.
The very definition of “bizarre” includes the notion of transgressing generally accepted boundaries. Prophets in the Bible used it to good effect. My argument is with our definitions, but even more with our underlying reaction, as if outlandish costume is somehow “wrong.” This plays into the hands of most people who choose to wear such costumes. We have created artificial standards, which completely confuses the message sent by people who transgress them. Is it some punk who simply looks for anything alarming, out of some juvenile desire to offend? Or is it someone with a righteous ax to grind? We can’t know because our culture refuses to recognize righteousness in general, and substitutes an empty materialistic version.
Sure, we understand gender confusion as a sin. A man is not a woman, but does it occur to no one sometimes the confusion is in our own souls, in our broken culture, not in the actual fact of so-called cross-dressing? If a scruffy guy wears a frilly skirt and top, perhaps he’s pointing out a weakness in our categories. That is not a sin, but we would hardly know the difference between a carefully crafted dramatic challenge to culture and a deluded, sick, broken soul. We simply assume the latter, laugh and ignore the possibilities.
Walmart is not so evil as it serves as a pronounced symptom of evil. I have long noted that store brings out the worst in Americans. That’s the bigger point here: We are shallow, crude, selfish and evil as a nation. Walmart reduces the shopping experience to its essence. You want your stuff at the cheapest price. Scrape away any pretense of moral qualities, loudly denouncing God for daring to place a moral tone on His revelation and expectations of us. We’ll eagerly replace His revelation with any number of ways for perverting the truth; sin is defined as anything other than what God says. So we give full vent to our fleshly desires by fighting for the parking places closest to the door, pick through the shopping carts for one that rolls sweetly, run over each other in a hurry to get the cheapest crap any store could stock, make the stockers and clerks miserable for failing our unreasonable expectations, carp and grouch about the long checkout lines, and ignore every civility as we rush back out to our cars, and creep through the vehicles crowding every passage while the drivers wait for their passengers to buy three carts of junk.
Walmart is not the problem; it exposes the problem. That website designed to castigate people for daring to be honest about their sins is another symptom. We reject God’s ways, create a cheap substitute, and poke fun at those who don’t bother with the pretense. Yes, People of Walmart is funny, but the joke’s on us. That’s the real America.
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