Bronze Medal winner Scotty Lago (Snowboard Halfpipe) is home early from the Olympics following the publication of photos by TMZ. The coverage of this story illustrates the cultural divide and maybe something else. Consider the following web stories:
- U.S. Olympian Scotty Lago’s racy, disgraceful photos is the headline from Examiner.com.
- ESPN.go.com‘s second paragraph of the story reads, “While out celebrating on the town, Lago was captured in a somewhat compromising position with his Bronze Medal.
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports writes, “The photos are kids’ play, and yet because somebody caught Michael Phelps taking a bong hit, anything – anything – gets the USOC’s tighty-whities in a bunch.”
Other news reports employed: risqué, racy, sexually suggestive, salacious, and inappropriate.
From ‘disgraceful‘ to ‘kid’s play‘ is quite a wide swath and illustrates a divide. Most news agencies describe the first photo as a woman kissing the medal as it hangs below his waist. None of them state the obvious which would be: “A young woman mimics fellatio on Scotty Lago’s bronze medal.” If that’s not the point of the act and the photo then there would be no story.
Words are powerful. The Bible uses words like fornication, adultery, impurity, and immorality. We use words and phrases like “making love,” “hooking up,” and “sleeping together.” Why not state the obvious as I did above? “Because that sounds dirty,” someone might retort. Well…?!
Paul states, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking” while Michael Scott yells, “That’s what she said!” Innuendo, cautioned C.S. Lewis, is more damaging than profanity because it pollutes the mind by forcing the hearer to do the dirty work themselves.
While conceding that this generation is crude –there is no shortage of “F-bombs” in pop culture — they are also cleverly participating in the earliest post-Fall activity of mankind. Hiding! We use less offensive language to hide and cover the nakedness of our souls from blame. Ironically, in our acts of verbal camouflage intended to cover us, do we not expose that below the facade, we know the truth?
Perhaps one thing we need to be intentional about with GenMe is using legitimate language in world that is busy hiding in plain sight with verbal camouflage. God comes to us and calls us out of hiding:
“Adam…Eve, where are you?”
“Hiding behind our self-protective language God.”
“Ah, I see that you know you are naked.”
“What’s that? You feel dirty? Well, you are. But you know, I was stripped and exposed on the Cross. I was made ugly to restore you. Why don’t you come out from behind the camouflage of your language and know that I will love you with the love you’ve always thought you could find but never did.”