Home Living Today Media, Movies & Television BIG MOUTH DEBUT: HOW LOW WILL OUR CULTURE GO? WILL YOU BE TACITLY SUPPORTING IT? by Eric Holmberg


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So why be so alarmed by a mere cartoon, a propaganda piece…?

Last Friday night, Netflix began streaming the first season—ten episodes—of Big Mouth, a half-hour, animated “edgy comedy” (their words) that invites the viewer to “relive puberty from the safety of their sofa.” And mainstream critics so far have been unanimous in their praise of the series, garnering the show a coveted 100% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The twelve reviews posted so far shine a bright light on the worldview that animates much of the modern media industry as well as the broader culture that feeds from its trough. Each of them acknowledge the “really, really gross,” “explicit,” “filthy,” “lewd,” “bawdy,” “disgusting” manner in which the show treats adolescents’ “vigorous pursuit of carnal pleasure.” But it’s all fine because Big Mouth supposedly has a big heart as well.

As Hillary Busis of Vanity Fair described it, “by underpinning (its) creatively dirty impulses with earnestness—while each one is occasionally a lot to swallow (snicker, snicker), as long as you know what you’re getting into, you’re likely to leave each feeling satisfied.” (“American Vandal and Big Mouth Are More Than Dick Jokes (Though the Dick Jokes Are Pretty Good)” Sept. 15, 2017)

A lot to swallow, indeed. Because when you boil it all down, the only earnestness that is being celebrated on Big Mouth and more and more throughout the broader culture is that human sexuality is a largely amoral enterprise—with informed consent being the one and only commandment. Gender is fluid, orgasms the holy grail, children have and should enjoy and fully explore their erotic potential, and the only taboo when it comes to sexual matters is that there’s to be no taboos.

Explore away, kiddies. It’s all good.

This is a profoundly curious thing that may very well lift the curtain on the supreme “god” at the heart of our culture. Because if you accept that it is manifest in the one agency or thing that a person or people will sacrifice the most to attain, then sex—even more than great money, fame or power (which most of us will never attain, while orgasms are readily available to everyone)—has all but become the lord of lords in our land.

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