July 29, 2004

The New Morality As the

The New Morality

As the estimable members of the chattering classes no doubt recognize, old-fashioned morals are most assuredly passé. To be certain, most of the smart set will still inform you that murder is wrong (except, of course, when it is committed by the enemies of America and Israel), but the other prohibitions collected in the Ten Commandments—whatever they say—are hopelessly retardataire.

In fact, the mere mention of morality is likely to produce a belly laugh among those in the know. The very word “morals” ushers in thoughts of Pat Robertson, Billy Graham, and other dubious characters.

To be certain, dear reader, William Bennett didn’t exactly help advance the cause of traditional moral values, as it turned out that one of his hallmark moral values is known as “gambling.” Still, talk of traditional values had become un-hip far before Dr. Bennett discussed the phenomenon.

Accordingly, dear reader, our friends on the political Right are undoubtedly enraged by society’s lack of regard for moral principles. How, such benighted rogues ask themselves, can Americans continue to inhabit an ethical vacuum? How can we live unmoored from traditional values?

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Don’t be so square, man. You’re coming across as way preachy. Dude.

Besides, as any clever fellow certainly knows by now, the Old Morality, with its prohibitions against adultery and kindred trifles, has merely given way to the New Morality. This, dear reader, is a cause for celebration, as the fusty Old Morality was, to begin with, depressingly, well, moral.

But what, you may be asking yourself, makes up the New Morality? What has replaced the archaic concerns yore?

Well, dear reader, the Official Armchair Philosophy Department of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” has been pondering these very questions for some time. And, after literally minutes of brainstorming, it has come upon what it deems the beacon of the New Morality: Recycling.

Oh, come on, you say. Recycling, though an important means of lessening the harm that human beings can inflict upon our Mother Earth, is hardly the linchpin of any moral system.

On the contrary. Virtually nothing upsets members of the smart set quite like a failure to recycle. These days, one can have children out of wedlock and receive nothing but praise from friends and neighbors. But throw out a handful of soda cans in the trash and all heck will break loose.

Accordingly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are content to conclude that the Old Morality has given way to recycling—which serves as one of the few cherished activities in which we must all take part. One need not attend a church or temple, but one simply has to recycle.

Now, dear reader, don’t get us wrong: We do not conisder ourselves in-line with the lunatic fringe that considers recycling counterproductive. The Official Headquarters of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” are decked out with manifold recycling bins, and our staff is content to use them.

May we humbly suggest, however, that recycling is not a fully satisfying replacement for the Old Morality? Call us a passel of reactionaries, but we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” don’t think tossing newspapers into purple bins suffices.

Thank goodness the New Morality also frowns upon smoking. With this important prohibition in place, who can doubt the New Morality's concern for all potential ethical quandries?

Posted at July 29, 2004 12:01 AM | TrackBack