We started skipping merrily down the hill in the 1960s with The Dating Game. Witty one-liners and mini-skirts indicated there was more at play here than marriage and the baby carriage. Clever come-on lines led to the hopes of one-night stands and short-term exhilaration. So it was not surprising that the late basketball great Wilt Chamberlain – who claimed to have had sexual relations with 20,000 women – was one of the guest datees.
In the Seventies and Eighties came jiggle TV, along with Love American Style, the Love Boat (“exciting and new”), and Hotel. Adult happiness and sexual adventure were the themes. These programs were not always about being the right person and finding the right person to settle down with for nesting and family life.
Next came a temporary turn in the opposite direction with Chuck Woolery and Love Connection in the late Eighties. Chuck kept it clean and relationship oriented. The message was about finding the love of your life and making a long-term commitment.
Fast forwarding to today, we arrive at a new cultural low with Jerry Springer hosting “Baggage.” This is one small plunge for Springer and his guests, a giant cultural leap over the ledge headlong into the moral abyss for mankind. This is what cultural rot looks like in the 21st century.
The object of this seedy game is not to pick the best potential date, but to eliminate the two worst. Ladies and gentlemen of the cultural jury, I give you:
- A woman whose baggage, among others, includes a passion for sex in public. Who knows how many partners … and diseases … she’s had? And so much for private, intimate moments at home.
- A woman who shares her toilet with a cat. TMI! Springer said he prefers to share a litter box with his cat.
- A man who is a member of an orgy club in Portland, and who “hates marriage and children.” In a time of greater modesty, this kind of thing would be kept secret. Now it’s a “bragging point” for the whole nation to know. And not a real good thing to normalize for children.
- A woman who describes herself as a “seasonal bisexual.” Spring, fall, winter, or summer? Or all of the above?
- A man who got fired for having sex on the boss’s desk. Yikes!
Get this. Springer told the left-winging Huffington Post that “Baggage” is a “family-friendly show.” Who knew! “Ward, would you please call Wally and Beaver down? Baggage is on the tube!”
So how much further can we as a culture sink? We’re not at the bottom yet, but we’re in a freefall and well on our way down.