Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

bowdlerized

if life were bowdlerized, i wonder what would be left of it.

no one would ever be able to express their hatred with lewd gestures. instead, we'd resort immediately to combat. this combat would, of course, be bloody and elegant, and at the end the victor would be the one who did not resort to trickery to try and gain an advantage. since everyone would always try to use trickery to gain an advantage in life, we would all be villains. since we are all villains, none of us would get the girl and ride off into the sunset. instead, we'd squat in our own bile - figuratively speaking - and die miserable, and alone. thank goodness we're allowed to bite our thumbs at our enemies, instead.

no one would ever be able to kiss too deep. the tongue would be reserved for witty repartee, and glorious pre-battle speeches. since the vast majority of life involves neither witty repartee, nor battle speeches, most of us would lose the use of our tongues entirely as anything but tasters of food. this food would all be healthy, of course, and would thusly taste like something between straw and paste. thus, evolution would favor them that have no tongues at all. in fact, we probably wouldn't have lips, either, because kissing upon cheeks does not require the soft, cushoin-y landing pads that prevent us from damaging each other when we're digging into someone else's skin. would we really need a mouth at all?

also, bathrooms would only exist for very, very soapy baths. we must maintain cleanliness, but god-forbid any voyeuristic tendencies slip our eyes below the surface of the water. no, we must smother ourselves in soap and bubbles of soap and different colors of soap and we must certainly not enjoy the sensation of the fizzing and scrubbing all over our selves. since no one ever uses the toilet at all, i'm afraid that all the people of the world would be full of shit.

and, of course, there would be no love-making, no pregnancy, no menstruation, no erections, nothing at all so sinful. children arrive via stork. prior to this, they are constructed by elves in Jesus' workshop, somewhere near the South Pole, and sent only to the chaste couples that would love and nurture all rosy-cheeked bumpkins to a proper, wholesome puberty wrapped in swaddling and bows and ribbons.

i was thinking about this, because of this thing someone said about Larry Niven. How the books were good, but what the heck was up with all those sex scenes?

I never had a problem with Larry Niven's sex scenes. I usually thought they were important to the story.

I asked the guy who would bowdlerize Larry Niven if given the chance this question:


"If someone was writing the biography of your life, would you want it to have a sex scene?"

I know my answer.

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