Innocence is dead.
We're in the year 2000, and nothing is innocent anymore. This is why I wish I lived in the 1920s. Yes, admittedly, life was not perfect then either, but at least there was some purity then, some sense of virginity and virtue.

Innocence didn't just have a heart attack and expire. It suffered a slow and painful demise, finally to expel it's last dying breath just about the turn of the century.

The disintegration of innocence throught the years is most vividly represented in the different media, which represent (and also have a hand in forming) the inclination of the people. Let's take a look at the evolution of several media through the years:

Where do we go from here?


Gamaliel, you're right, to a certain extent. Of course I was taking it to extremities here. I could have put Pocahontas as a 90's movie, but that would have just been silly. I was making a point, only one sided, admittedly, but you do have to admit that Kim would hardly have been possible 15 years ago.

What you’ve charted is the loss of "innocence" in mainstream American media. It is tempting to use that to extrapolate historical trends, as you have, but it is hardly a accurate historical barometer. The changes in media have more to do with what was going on in the media (the Hays Code, movie ratings, the FCC, etc.) than in the lives of people.

Yeah, I want to live in the 1920s too, but not because of the "innocence" of the time, but because it was actually a pretty wild time, with gangsters and flappers and free-flowing gin and jazz and Cole Porter. Don’t use a silent movie to judge the character of the time; look at what actually happened.

Or better yet, go back a few centuries. In Shakespeare, characters are forming "the beast with two backs." Read the raunchy tales of Boccacio’s Decameron, with its frolicking nuns and monks and priests. Then try to tell me that the past is more innocent than today.

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