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Desperate Housewives

In a recent article in the NEW YORK TIMES, Caryn James
discusses "one of the year's hottest topics" in movies and
on TV: infidelity. Whether it's recent movies like CLOSER
and KINSEY, or the hit television series DESPERATE
HOUSEWIVES, cheating on your mate and then telling
him or her about it is the order of the day.

In both CLOSER and KINSEY, a character admits to infidelity,
expecting that being honest will somehow make up for their
betrayal. In both cases, the betrayed party disabuses them
of that notion. As Kinsey's wife tells him, the traditional
restraints against adultery "keep people from hurting each
other . .. " The unfaithful character in DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
was prepared to tell her husband when her "confession"
was interrupted by his arrest.

There's another, albeit politically incorrect, explanation for
the increased onscreen depiction of infidelity. In an essay
about HBO's SEX AND THE CITY, Lee Siegel of the NEW
REPUBLIC noted that the show's creators were gay men.
This led him to suspect that the promiscuity on the part
of the female characters was really "an ingenious affirmation
of a certain type of gay-male sexuality," which is notoriously

Siegel called the popular show "the biggest hoax perpetrated
on straight single women in the history of entertainment."
Single women who saw themselves in the relationships
and anonymous sex portrayed on the screen were actually
watching what was a justification for the gay men who
produce the show.

The same thing may be happening in DESPERATE
are also gay men. It's altogether likely that the show's
misgivings about marriage and family life reflect the
creators' own concerns.

I'm not talking about a conspiracy or a deliberate agenda.
I'm talking about a worldview, one that is much more
prevalent among our "edgy" creative class than in the
population at-large. And it is not just gay men. Writers
like Richard Florida have written about the link between
creative people and indulging in so-called "alternative
lifestyles." This link makes socially liberal views on
cultural matters, like same-sex "marriage," almost
mandatory in Hollywood.

So it shouldn't surprise anyone that "monogamy has
come to seem an impossible goal" on TV and in the
movies. But believing that life onscreen is just like
real life would be the worst kind of hoax: self-deception.
MORE: http://xrl.us/ek8k

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