Have humans always been moral freaks to the degree they are now or is it just that we find out about them due to confessional culture?
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) November 28, 2012
What prompted this? A letter to a magazine advice columnist from a woman who found out her husband had been having a sexual affair with her mother. The letter ends:
Honestly, if my mother and husband are happy in their affair, I just can’t seem to find the energy to be angry or jealous. So my question is: Is this normal? Should I be upset?
The advice from Elle includes this line:
People who say you should be in a rage don’t understand a thing about love.
Ah. Useful to get that learnt.
Anyway, to Pod’s question: I suspect that there are a non-trivial number of people today who would normally have suppressed their moral freakery in ages past, but now that we live in a permissive culture, feel at liberty to do what they wanna.
My guess is that the Internet has accelerated this trend. The good thing about the Internet is that the 15-year-old boy in Bugtussle, Miss., who enjoys grand opera can now find people just like him on the Internet, and enjoy companionship over shared interests, instead of having his love of grand opera discouraged by a local society that considers him a freak. The bad thing about the Internet is that the 45-year-old man in Bugtussle, Boston, or wherever, who enjoys lavishing romantic attention on barnyard critters can find people just like him on the Internet, and therefore find encouragement in his perversion.