H.L. Mencken once defined Puritanism as “the haunting fear that someone somewhere is having a good time.” What I know of the real thing suggests to me that Mencken did the Puritans a grave injustice. But there can be no doubt that his quip applies in spades to contemporary liberalism.
Consider the posture of preachiness and horror adopted by pious liberals in the face of the comic call-and-response duet “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” which Frank Loesser and his wife Lynne Garland threw together and first performed for their friends at a housewarming party in the Christmas season in 1944, and which MGM inserted in the movie Neptune’s Daughter in 1948 — where, as you can see, Ricardo Montalban and Esther Williams did one rendition and Red Skelton and Betty Garrett did another with the roles reversed.
The piece is playful and mildly naughty. You can see why it won an Oscar. It captures the dialectic of courtship perfectly, and one would have to lack a sense of humor altogether not to recognize as much. But if there is one thing that today’s liberals lack, it is a sense of humor and fun. Witness the rewrite of the lyrics and their rendition by Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski:
In the place of mischief, we are given a sermon on consent. What red-blooded American woman would want to have anything to do with the wimpy guy presented in this version? No wonder the girl is so eager to get out the door.
But, as you would expect, the folks at CNN, Time, People, and The Huffington Post are ecstatic. One of the striking features of our time is the attempt to take the eros and flirtation out of sex. I suppose that this explains why liberals embrace prostitution. When you turn the whole thing into a business proposition, there is an implied contract and there is consent (and nothing else).