Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Celebrating Decadence: The Tony Awards Promote Homosexuality, Bad Behavior, and Immoral Dogmas
The other night, Broadway celebrated another year of stage theatre with the Tony Awards. As usual, my family and I sat down to watch the festivities, something my wife and I have done since we were first married, even on our honeymoon. It has been a tradition in our home every year.
Over the past 20 years, just like other awards shows, the Tonys have seen a marked increase in the amount of political blather celebrating the display of bad behavior, usually centered around blatant sexuality and especially in praise of homosexuality.
The other night was no exception, as we were subjected to a monologue from none other than Hugh Jackman extolling the virtues of same sex marriage, while telling those of us with differing opinions that it is none of our business. I don't know about you, but I can think of nothing more offensive and politically charged than for the writers of a nationally televised awards show to tell half of the audience that our beliefs and politics are irrelevant.
Despite the politics and the politically correct attitude, I enjoyed the show and the entertainment.
That is, until we watched Neil Patrick Harris perform in the revival musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. In the musical, Harris portrays a singer from a fictional rock band who is transgendered and whose sex change operation was botched. Hence, he's left with an "angry inch."
Besides being one of the stupidest of ideas for a story, Harris' performance was a celebration of the basest of human actions. Dressed in drag, gyrating to one of the worst rock songs I've ever been subjected to, Harris ventured out into the audience to shake his genitals (which presumably haven't been surgically removed) in people's faces, to give a lap dance to Sting (who tolerated his antics, at best), and to snatch a kiss from another man.
The audience clapped and cheered. Harris won a Tony for Best Actor in a Musical. The show won a Tony for Best Revival of a Musical.
Except that the music is banal. Harris' acting consists of trying to shock people, and the show, which originally opened in the late 1990s got a new breath of life, guaranteeing that decadence and Hedwig's disfigured genitals, will live on another few years.
The show Caberet was revived this year as well. From the selection aired on the Tonys, the show that originally demonstrated the evil and decadence of pre-Nazi Germany, and the greater evil of Naziism, instead glorifies pornography.
One of my friends texted late, after the show, to describe her frustration with the trend in theatre. She teaches a history of musical theatre class and feels that, when covering the last ten years, she's teaching a class on the demise of American culture.
It's true. I've run into the same problems myself when teaching US history. Both culture and politics have become painfully corrupted.
The trend on Broadway (even more than in Hollywood), is to praise and celebrate the most immoral dogmas of liberalism. These dogmas include the use of coercive force to stifle any dissent over same sex marriage. They include the celebration of bad behavior in the name of art. They encourage Tony voters to uphold the basest displays of human debauchery and ignorance by rewarding them with recognition.
And do you know something which surprises me? This year's Tony Awards was better than in previous years. Most of it actually celebrated and awarded honest talent.
But like so many award shows, it continues to promote the decadent, the banal, and the pretentious, all in the name of "art."
Last year's Tonys gave Best Musical to Kinky Boots, a story about an English shoe manufacturer who found a niche market in making ladies shoes to fit men. Now there's the basis for a great story!
In the past few years, we've seen awards go to shows that glorified making fun of an entire religion, while also including more F bombs than all other Broadway shows combined (The Book of Mormon Musical). The Tonys have rewarded shows about homosexuals taking over a fantasy kingdom (Shrek), about kids having sex for the first time (Spring Awakening), about homosexual puppets and the virtues of pornography (Avenue Q), about drug abusers and homosexuals (Rent), and several about transvestites (for example, Hairspray).
It's almost axiomatic now that Tony winning shows must include some propaganda in favor of normalizing homosexuality.
We've come to accept such in our entertainment, as shows become more and more a celebration of decadence, pushing the boundaries of morality with each passing year, then telling those of us who don't like it to butt out.
Perhaps we've believed the lies, that such behavior is really none of our business. Perhaps the New America really is the land of free sex and the home of base human desire.
I don't believe it. Not yet. And in the meantime, it really is my business to keep pointing out the flaws of immoral dogma and the poor politics of decadence.