As I'm writing this, I'm watching a popular primetime television crime show. Tonight's episode is all about a serial killer whose m.o. is immobilizing his victims, then dismembering them while they're still alive. I've listened to talk of this process in excruciating detail; I've also seen a severed head, a mutilated female corpse, and clattering porch windchimes made with human rib bones.
It's horrible, sadistic, vomitrocious stuff. But the common wisdom seems to be that if you pair horrendous story lines and gory, nightmarish imagery with noble, good-looking crimefighters who always get the bad guys in the end, that somehow makes the rest of the show okay -- "must see TV"; pop some corn and sit the kiddos down to watch too.
Interesting, the silence from the direction of the nattering Christian guardians of virtue. Evidently the positive portrayal of gay folks and the occasional bare breast or naughty word are more objectionable to them than, say, women's limbs being buzz-sawed off their living bodies.