The Haunting Fear That Somewhere Someone Is Having a Good Time

 

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:

https://soundcloud.com/lydia-hoglund/its-cold-outside

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).

There are 56 comments.

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I’m becoming more convinced that the people who promote these ridiculous ideas are fulfilling a narcissistic desire that many people seek these days: getting attention, becoming famous. They aren’t doing anything that elevates society, that teaches us something, that promotes virtue. It’s junk PC blathering.

    • #1
    • December 7, 2016, at 6:21 AM PDT
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  2. Kozak Member

    Attempts to change basic human nature are doomed to failure. But the Left keeps trying to invent that New Soviet Man.

    • #2
    • December 7, 2016, at 6:23 AM PDT
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  3. Seawriter Member

    Susan Quinn: I’m becoming more convinced that the people who promote these ridiculous ideas are fulfilling a narcissistic desire that many people seek these days: getting attention, becoming famous.

    Nah. It’s an attempt at birth control by Progressives. Take the fun out of courting. Pretty soon no kids. Forget ZPG – we get NPG, the ecowienie dream.

    Seawriter

    • #3
    • December 7, 2016, at 6:24 AM PDT
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  4. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Wait, aren’t these the same people who forced sexual liberation on the nation? Of course, they’re also the very same people now trying to blame grooming of the pubis for the spread of STDs rather than their quite successful sexual revolution — that they’re now trying to squash. Maybe they’re just jealous that us uptight, stodgy Puritans still do the erotic part of life better than they do.

    • #4
    • December 7, 2016, at 6:34 AM PDT
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  5. Kozak Member

    The King Prawn:Wait, aren’t these the same people who forced sexual liberation on the nation? Of course, they’re also the very same people now trying to blame grooming of the pubis for the spread of STDs rather than their quite successful sexual revolution — that they’re now trying to squash. Maybe they’re just jealous that us uptight, stodgy Puritans still do the erotic part of life better than they do.

    I don’t think they are trying to squash it. They just have this weird obsession to divorce sex of all human context. They want to make it just a mechanical stimulation of genitals, almost robotic.

    • #5
    • December 7, 2016, at 6:45 AM PDT
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  6. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Kozak:

    The King Prawn:Wait, aren’t these the same people who forced sexual liberation on the nation? Of course, they’re also the very same people now trying to blame grooming of the pubis for the spread of STDs rather than their quite successful sexual revolution — that they’re now trying to squash. Maybe they’re just jealous that us uptight, stodgy Puritans still do the erotic part of life better than they do.

    I don’t think they are trying to squash it. They just have this weird obsession to divorce sex of all human context. They want to make it just a mechanical stimulation of genitals, almost robotic.

    I hear Japan is good with robotics. And China has this “medical device.”

    • #6
    • December 7, 2016, at 6:48 AM PDT
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  7. EJHill Podcaster

    Garland considered Baby to be their song and was furious at her husband for selling it to MGM. Among their friends were many of the “love him, can’t stand her” variety and she was often referred to as the “Evil of two Loessers.”

    Son #2, who is a big theater buff, and I have had this conversation before on the way songs are rewritten or if they even should be rewritten to accommodate modern views.

    We both jokingly refer to “On the Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady as “the stalker song.” We both are amazed that the show, which is about a man molding a woman to his own tastes, is even still performed.

    Once a composer is dead*, though, no changes should be made. The same people who scoff at John Ashcroft for draping nude statues at the DOJ have no problem with this kind of cultural vandalism.

    *Irving Berlin was constantly reworking songs to make them more palatable. In 1946 he completely overhauled the lyrics for “Puttin’ on the Ritz” for the Crosby-Astaire vehicle Blue Skies. The original, published in 1929, was about black servants living it up in Harlem on their night off. More sensitive to race after the horrors of Nazi Germany, Berlin turned the song into mocking the sartorial habits of the upper classes. But it was his song to do with as he pleased.

    • #7
    • December 7, 2016, at 6:51 AM PDT
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  8. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    EJHill: The same people who scoff at John Ashcroft for draping nude statues at the DOJ have no problem with this kind of cultural vandalism.

    The left craves a moral framework in which to live (and judge others.) The problem is that they will raise anything to the level of morality, especially if it is really a matter of taste.

    • #8
    • December 7, 2016, at 6:56 AM PDT
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  9. Mate De Inactive

    I think Ladies had more fun in the 40’s. Geez, that PC version is insufferable. No wonder so many young women are so unsatified with men these days. Thanks feminism, for ruining our love lives.

    • #9
    • December 7, 2016, at 7:00 AM PDT
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  10. Stina Member

    The King Prawn:

    EJHill: The same people who scoff at John Ashcroft for draping nude statues at the DOJ have no problem with this kind of cultural vandalism.

    The left craves a moral framework in which to live (and judge others.) The problem is that they will raise anything to the level of morality, especially if it is really a matter of taste.

    Not just any moral order, though. One that is abjectly divorced from a Divine being!

    I only have a 250 word limit on comments, but I really need to write a post about this. The absurd evolution the left has taken is illogical to say the very least. It is a perversion.

    • #10
    • December 7, 2016, at 7:02 AM PDT
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  11. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe Post author

    CM:

    The King Prawn:

    EJHill: The same people who scoff at John Ashcroft for draping nude statues at the DOJ have no problem with this kind of cultural vandalism.

    The left craves a moral framework in which to live (and judge others.) The problem is that they will raise anything to the level of morality, especially if it is really a matter of taste.

    Not just any moral order, though. One that is abjectly divorced from a Divine being!

    I only have a 250 word limit on comments, but I really need to write a post about this. The absurd evolution the left has taken is illogical to say the very least. It is a perversion.

    Do write that post. This subject — consent as the sole foundation of morality — deserves refutation.

    • #11
    • December 7, 2016, at 7:07 AM PDT
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  12. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Mate De:I think Ladies had more fun in the 40’s. Geez, that PC version is insufferable. No wonder so many young women are so unsatified with men these days. Thanks feminism, for ruining our love lives.

    Well they certainly had more power when they could hold men hostage to their lovelies, as is noted in this Federalist piece. The left has skewed the natural human motivation structure and wonders why things keep getting worse.

    • #12
    • December 7, 2016, at 7:11 AM PDT
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  13. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Paul A. Rahe:

    CM:

    The King Prawn:

    EJHill: The same people who scoff at John Ashcroft for draping nude statues at the DOJ have no problem with this kind of cultural vandalism.

    The left craves a moral framework in which to live (and judge others.) The problem is that they will raise anything to the level of morality, especially if it is really a matter of taste.

    Not just any moral order, though. One that is abjectly divorced from a Divine being!

    I only have a 250 word limit on comments, but I really need to write a post about this. The absurd evolution the left has taken is illogical to say the very least. It is a perversion.

    Do write that post. This subject — consent as the sole foundation of morality — deserves refutation.

    I second this recommendation. I have a 17 year old who has bought into this lie, and I need better tools to correct her thinking in this matter.

    • #13
    • December 7, 2016, at 7:12 AM PDT
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  14. Doug Watt Member

    The virtue merchants are very amusing. On the one hand Hollywood produces films that portray sexual activity with no consequences, or produce suspense thrillers where more ordinance is fired than during the Vietnam War. It isn’t so much about virtue, it is more about who the merchant is and their public political stands.

    This virtue signaling has been with us for quite awhile. The constant lawsuits from groups like the ACLU concerning Nativity scenes is one example. I suspect that the ACLU is outraged because they don’t have three wise men or a virgin in their organization, and they are a public reminder that they were not God’s greatest gift to mankind.

    • #14
    • December 7, 2016, at 7:16 AM PDT
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  15. Miffed White Male Member

    Mate De:I think Ladies had more fun in the 40’s. Geez, that PC version is insufferable. No wonder so many young women are so unsatified with men these days. Thanks feminism, for ruining our love lives.

    My observation is that SJW’s are predominately women. So if women are unsatistfied with men, it’s their own doing.

    • #15
    • December 7, 2016, at 7:16 AM PDT
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  16. KC Mulville Inactive

    George Will used to describe the campus codes as demanding a written consent after a man officially requests “May I touch that?”

    Not even nuns insisted on such things.

    • #16
    • December 7, 2016, at 7:20 AM PDT
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  17. Miffed White Male Member

    The King Prawn:

    Mate De:I think Ladies had more fun in the 40’s. Geez, that PC version is insufferable. No wonder so many young women are so unsatified with men these days. Thanks feminism, for ruining our love lives.

    Well they certainly had more power when they could hold men hostage to their lovelies, as is noted in this Federalist piece. The left has skewed the natural human motivation structure and wonders why things keep getting worse.

    That’s an excellent article.

    With the amount of cleavage on display, I don’t know how any boy makes it through puberty in junior high/high school today. When I was in High School (Class of 1980), the biggest slut in school didn’t dress as revealingly as the average schoolgirl does today.

    • #17
    • December 7, 2016, at 7:22 AM PDT
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  18. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Miffed White Male: With the amount of cleavage on display, I don’t know how any boy makes it through puberty in junior high/high school today. When I was in High School (Class of 1980), the biggest slut in school didn’t dress as revealingly as the average schoolgirl does today.

    Yep. Every time I pick my kids up from their high school I’m both amazed and appalled at the displays of flesh rendered acceptable by society. I am, however, also relieved that my daughters are naturally modest and don’t march in that meat parade.

    • #18
    • December 7, 2016, at 7:28 AM PDT
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  19. Doug Watt Member

    KC Mulville:George Will used to describe the campus codes as demanding a written consent after a man officially requests “May I touch that?”

    Not even nuns insisted on such things.

    The nuns shortstopped the process. When I was in elementary school during recess the boys played on one half of the playground, girls on the other half. One nun kept an eye on the boys, another on the girls. They stood on the border and you didn’t cross the line. That was the wall before a wall became a part of the national conversation.

    • #19
    • December 7, 2016, at 7:33 AM PDT
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  20. Aaron Miller Member

    Just the other day, a hippie friend echoed the complaint about our puritanical habit of tolerating violence more than nudity in fiction. The reason for that preference is that indulgence of sexual temptations is infinitely more common than indulgence of violent temptations in a civilized society.

    • #20
    • December 7, 2016, at 7:51 AM PDT
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  21. Quake Voter Inactive

    Look on the positive. The SJWs on campus and in the media have to time travel 68 years to find objectionable sexual banter in American popular culture.

    Good thing there are no popular “genres” of spoken word performance which celebrate rape and sexual violence and refer to women in the most demeaning and dehumanizing language (one standard even has a Christmas theme).

    Wouldn’t want to deconstruct that, would they?

    • #21
    • December 7, 2016, at 7:54 AM PDT
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  22. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe Post author

    Quake Voter:Look on the positive. The SJWs on campus and in the media have to time travel 68 years to find objectionable sexual banter in American popular culture.

    Good thing there are no popular “genres” of spoken word performance which celebrate rape and sexual violence and refer to women in the most demeaning and dehumanizing language (one standard even has a Christmas theme).

    Wouldn’t want to deconstruct that, would they?

    No, they would not touch it with a ten-foot poll. Nor would those who talk incessantly about there being a “rape culture” on America’s campuses be willing to consult the statistics which strongly suggests that there is a “rape culture” in America but that it is located in a place that one cannot talk about.

    • #22
    • December 7, 2016, at 7:57 AM PDT
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  23. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe Post author

    Were Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski not from Minneapolis, where liberal piety flourishes, I would be tempted to think that their rewrite of this class song was a spoof — meant to mock the feminist lack of a mystique. But today left-liberals inadvertently produce the parodies themselves.

    • #23
    • December 7, 2016, at 8:08 AM PDT
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  24. Mate De Inactive

    Miffed White Male:

    Mate De:I think Ladies had more fun in the 40’s. Geez, that PC version is insufferable. No wonder so many young women are so unsatified with men these days. Thanks feminism, for ruining our love lives.

    My observation is that SJW’s are predominately women. So if women are unsatistfied with men, it’s their own doing.

    Oh I agree completely. Women have done this to ourselves. Men are merely reacting to the change of incentives or non incentives.

    • #24
    • December 7, 2016, at 8:10 AM PDT
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  25. Stina Member

    Don’t know if its quite what you expected, by its been bugging me for quite some time.

    https://ricochet.com/394893/the-perversion-of-the-marriage-contract/#comment-3620703

    • #25
    • December 7, 2016, at 8:14 AM PDT
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  26. Ansonia Member

    Maggie Gallagher is right. They really are “The Enemies of Eros”.

    • #26
    • December 7, 2016, at 8:57 AM PDT
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  27. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Here’s something I don’t often write: This feminist defense of the song appears to be well-informed and cogent.

    • #27
    • December 7, 2016, at 9:12 AM PDT
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  28. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Just listened to the modern re-write. What a preachy, bloodless pile of nonsense.

    • #28
    • December 7, 2016, at 9:21 AM PDT
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  29. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:Here’s something I don’t often write: This feminist defense of the song appears to be well-informed and cogent.

    That explanation nails it pretty well. Maybe the criticism is that in this brave new world men are required to either not have sexual desires or to remain absolutely quiet about them, sort of an inverse of the boring old world where women were to be frigid and men were the aggressors. Are men supposed to wait until a woman feels empowered and frisky? Is that how the game is played now? Of course, nothing turns off a woman (down to the genetic level) more than a beta male.

    Klavan talked about this on his podcast yesterday. He relates how he once sent an editor an article in which he said one of women’s most common sexual fantasies was to be raped. The editor (a woman) sent it back with the correction, “that’s ravished, darling.” There is a difference, and the left really doesn’t get it.

    • #29
    • December 7, 2016, at 9:25 AM PDT
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  30. Western Chauvinist Member

    The King Prawn:

    Mate De:I think Ladies had more fun in the 40’s. Geez, that PC version is insufferable. No wonder so many young women are so unsatified with men these days. Thanks feminism, for ruining our love lives.

    Well they certainly had more power when they could hold men hostage to their lovelies, as is noted in this Federalist piece. The left has skewed the natural human motivation structure and wonders why things keep getting worse.

    Akshully, I don’t think they wonder why things keep getting worse. That would require a level of self-evaluation of which they seem incapable. My own dearly departed FDR-Democrat mother would bemoan the degraded state of the culture (and would think rewriting of “Baby” beyond stupid — my parents and their generation knew fun and romance!), but she would not acknowledge that the poisonous wellspring of decay was located (almost?) exclusively on the Left.

    At least, I can’t think of any debasement that originates on the Right. Bueller? Anyone?

    • #30
    • December 7, 2016, at 9:29 AM PDT
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