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Sax and Violins
by Beth Fiedler
Not For Sale
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“Sax and Violins” by Beth Ann Fiedler © 2006 Beth Ann Fiedler 3/64. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday Night Live (SNL) on NBC had a wonderful female comedian named Gilda Radner who portrayed a ditsy television commentator named Roseanne Roseannadana. Radner died of cancer at a relatively early age but left a legacy of great comedy that is still funny to me these many years later.

In a skit that I recall quite vividly, she waxed on for several minutes about how ‘sax and violins’ were important to the creative community while telling the audience that the drive to eliminate it from television would be very harmful to society. Eventually, another SNL member like Chevy Chase would walk up to her and whisper the real words loudly in her ear. In this case, those words were “Sex and Violence”. Miss Radner would work up a very large smile on her face and then say, “Never Mind”.

This particular topic made me laugh but really also made me wonder about the increased level of sex and violence on television. Keep in mind that this was even before cable! Let me explain.

To put this into perspective, this skit first aired when I was in my teens. Only a few years before, television sensors had refused to air Barbara Eden’s belly button in her harem outfit for the show “I Dream of Jeannie”. In fact, they called it scandalous when Cher showed her naval on television during the “Sonny and Cher Show”. Today, I can walk down the street and see tattoos down the backs (and fronts), of young men and women. I can also very easily tell whether some of them are naturally blonde. Personally, this is just too much information for me.

Yet, this fashion trend does not bother me nearly as much as the subsequent need for every one to discuss sex or their sexuality anywhere, any time, and with any one. Do not get me wrong, I do not think that it is appropriate on the other side of the spectrum to ignore the existence of these things, especially in an age of deadly sexually transmitted diseases. However, I wonder if people have confused the right to talk about sex freely with the ability to understand what you are talking about when you talk about it?

There seems to be some undertow splashing to the surface that your sexual choices have to be publicly recognized. Moreover, when you find someone who does not agree with your sexual choices, that person is subjected to harassment, ostracism, and public abuse for expressing their beliefs. The irony is that the behavior these ‘pro-my-way sexual-choice’ advocates complain that they are being harassed in the same way that many are harassing others. For the record, I do not condone harassment under any circumstances…and especially not for choices that should not concern me at all since I am not in their bedrooms. So, forgive me if I express little sympathy for them when they feel free to try to force their belief system on me. In short, I am sorry if you are harassed because the way that you choose to have sex apart from ‘conventional’ methods. However, the answer to your dilemma is not in harassing me.

Just to emphasize the point. This issue is not restricted to just homosexual relationships. This applies to the heterosexual population who think it is ok to divulge their ’doings’ in public, too. Let me just state again in case it is not clear, I honestly don’t need to know these things!  To add insult to injury, if you publicly try to recruit me or someone I love by using methods of harassment, false accusations and character assassination until I submit, then I have a serious problem with that. Further, if you try to force me to be “straight but not narrow”, I have a problem with that, too.  What's more, the public pronouncements do not endear me to or soften me to their apparent plight.  In fact, they do just the opposite by making me focus on what they do in their bedrooms versus who they are beyond their sexual decisions.   

We all have an earthly option to make a choice as to who our partner will be and at what stage it will evolve.  The prevailing thought is that people are free to make their own choices in this regard as long as they recognize common law in the process. God did give us freedom to make our own decision about belief in Him, but I think He was pretty clear about this particular thing in the book of Romans and in other sections about controlling our 'lusts'. For me, it is still love the sinner, hate the sin.  I recall, we ALL fall short of the glory of God. But when directly confronted, does that mean I must forego my beliefs or suffer at the hands of the opposition? I think not. Isn't is also my right not to be forced to promote or accept what I do not believe in regardless of the level of pressure that is exerted on me? I mean, can anyone fight for their own beliefs while trampling on another’s? It does not mesh.

Even with this knowledge, we all juxtaposition for our own unique spot in this world. I do not interpret this to mean the right to take someone else’s rightful place. But it can simply mean, ‘move over’ so I can share the same general location. To do that, let us make sure that we are first hearing the right words BEFORE we start to argue for a cause that either doesn’t actually exist or only becomes a point of contention where there does not have to be a point of contention.

In short, if you want to get on a soapbox and make ‘sax and violins’ my business by publicly announcing it and then challenging my right to say that I’d rather hear a piano—then don’t be surprised if less music gets played across the non-parallel plane of influence from both sides of the listening audience. Instead, there are many more possibilities of beautiful music that exist from listening to the cumulative sound of a symphony than there are from the individual strains of a stray instrument here and there. The constant argument to demand that each section have it’s own solo does not make sense. Further, I am led to believe that most arguments in this area would end up pointless and result in loud corrective whispers and culminate in Radner’s own comedic exit, ‘Never Mind’.

Ah, but during that long and awkward moment, maybe we can get comfortable in our orchestra seats and enjoy a moment of the symphony. At least until the next round of ‘sax and violins’.

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