I very rarely write introspective posts, but somehow today I feel the need for it. I’m not sure what triggered this blue mood, but I think it was the latest teaser from Outlander, the Starz TV series written after Diana Gabaldon’s brilliant books.
I’ll start by saying I ADORE these books, and they have been like a Writer’s Bible to me ever since I discovered them, years ago. When the TV series appeared, after agonizing months of anticipation, it was a bit of an anti-climax for me, as it was for so many other fans. I couldn’t quite see Caitriona Balfe as Claire, and Sam Heughan is definitely not Jamie to me.
Still, for the love I have for these books, which I’ve read dozens of times, I made compromises and I really wanted to like the series. It has beautiful parts, like the great landscapes, a wonderful soundtrack, and talented actors. But starting from episode #7, it was all sex. Explicit, plentiful, soft core porn sex. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to see this magnificent saga reduced to the only element that sells everything these days. And judging by the latest Outlander teaser, this is the basic element they want to promote. This story—this odyssey—is so much more than that, but of course, they are competing with Game of Thrones, so they have to show as much naked body parts and copulation as they can.
Is this all that matters in this world?
Are we no more than pieces of meat and genital organs? Is this the example we want for our innocent children?
Humans have been having sex for half a million years or more, but it has never been such a public display. We are more primitive now than ever before. Haven’t people had enough of gritty porn—which is too elegantly called ‘erotica’ these days? All I see when I look at books and movie posters are naked hunks and six packs. Even the reputable publishers who I thought had principles and high standards have aligned themselves to this unbreakable fashion.
What happened to decency? What happened to originality? There’s nothing special anymore, and books of talented authors are sitting on Amazon buried under terabytes of junk, and of course, covers with decapitated muscled hunks. And this is supposed to be art? Isn’t it enough that we are plagued by wars, by illness, by cruelty, by death and all the evils unleashed upon us? We can’t even find consolation in art anymore, because art is dying too. All we have left is the legacy of the past: Agatha Christie, Edgar Alan Poe, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Scott Fitzgerald, and so many other titans, whose talents went galaxies away beyond cheap porn. They will soon be forgotten too, crushed by the likes of E.L. James and legions like her.
That makes me desperately sad. And hollow inside, because I know that true art is lost forever. There’s no one to create and appreciate it anymore. I wouldn’t have imagined I’d live through such sad times, and before I’m even thirty years old. I shudder to think what the world will be like in another thirty years. I’m not even sure I want to find out.