A few years ago, historian Jacques Barzun released his history of the past 500 years. He called it From Dawn to Decadence. I thought about Barzun's book while I was reading Glenn Beck's Common Sense, because I get the sense that Beck would agree we've become a decadent society that cannot change based on legislation or judicial rulings alone. If you believe society is decadent, then you tend to believe that we need a social and cultural awakening so that we behave better, instead of passing more rules and laws to guide a morally anarchic society.
I thought about this while reading Suzanne Breslin's eye-opening essay, They Shoot Porn Stars, Don't They?. I'm not an anti-porn crusader, but there was something distubing and depressing about Breslin's story. Maybe it was the porn director who wanted to make an actress cry before her scene, maybe it was the actress who reluctantly decided to let a machine invade her "personal space" for the whopping sum of $500, or maybe it was the breezy assertion of a porn producer and director who simply believes that if people didn't want this stuff, nobody would buy it. He's right, of course. People want all kinds of stuff. That doesn't mean it's good for us to have it.
So what do you think? Are we a decadent society?