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Friday, January 9, 2009

Taboos

I am writing this from Las Vegas. As I was burning through a $100 bill today in about 20 minutes, I was thinking about how Vegas is known as "Sin City". You know, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas". The only thing I am sure that stays in Vegas is about 90% of all the money that people bring in here. I was thinking about how we (at least the people I know) don't discuss much of what is really important, complicated, and/or controversial in life. (yeah, I think about stuff like that when pushing the "Bet Max" button over, and over, and over) I have never had an intelligent unbiased discussion with anyone about really deep, important stuff. Now, I know some of you are thinking - "I have"; and maybe you really have, but I wonder. We don't discuss death. (It is only in my lifetime that we discuss pregnancy, so maybe it is coming) One of the few unifying parts of humanity is death. Yet we all avoid discussions of it in specific terms. (saying "I'm going to KILL him/her when they get home" does NOT count) We certainly don't discuss sex. Another unifying similarity we all have is that none of us would be here if there had not been a LOT of sex going back to when sexual partners were defined by "Eve meet Adam". We don't discuss religion. I always find it interesting that there are five major religions and many , many other "minor" ones and thousands of offshoots of the major ones that all KNOW they are the right one. Yet, most people are sure they are practicing and/or belong to the ONE that has it right. Yet, when you get right down to it, your religion has as much to do with where you were born and who your parents are than any Divine intervention. (although depending on your religion, that might be Divine intervention!) If you doubt that statement, how many practicing Buddhists do you know that did not immigrate here? What are the odds of the kid that was born in Saudi Arabia as I was writing this becoming a Methodist? We don't discuss money, or specifically how much you or I have of it. It is NOT considered correct to ask - "How much do you make?" Nor is it correct to wave one's paystub in another's face. We will go on endlessly about how we got a deal on something, but not how we paid for it. Then there are the bodily functions. The only people that discuss the waste elimination process are the very young and the very old. Kids will proudly tell anyone that will listen that they pooped in the potty. An eighty year old will go on and on about how their latest bathroom accomplishments were either fantastic or a disaster. (I can't even find the words to write this one it is so taboo) Erectile dysfunction used to be extremely taboo. Taking the little blue pill or having 36 hours to respond when the moment is right is now presented as a badge of honor. As for other bodily functions, commercials have also made hemorrhoids, menstruation, constipation, and embarrassing feminine itching topics of notice if not discussion. I would rather discuss death, sex, religion, or money personally.

2 comments:

Holli T. said...

No one asked about my hysterectomy. I was asked how the "surgery" went. In the case of erectile dysfunction, I'm thankful people have inner censors.

Anonymous said...

It is all about who your parents are and how comfortable they are with talking about those things. My husband has no problem asking someone how much something cost or how much money they earn, while I think of that as something you don't discuss. Working in a mental health center I can say there are many people out there who will discuss any and everything with you. Sometimes much more than you would ever want to know.