Sometimes a story comes along that encapsulates many of our society’s problems in one convenient package. The story behind Rolling Stone magazine’s latest cover is just that.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine from Seinfeld) looks back at the camera, covering her “tasteful” side boob with her arm, looking mildly surprised, like the reader caught her just waking up or some garbage. On her naked back is a “tattoo” of the Constitution (you know, so she’s not just naked for no reason). Why the Constitution? Because Louis-Dreyfus is promoting her new HBO political show, Veep, in which she plays the first female Vice President of the United States. The show leans very liberal apparently. I haven’t seen it. Nor will I.
So here’s a rundown of what’s wrong with this picture:
1. It represents the disturbing fact that politics has become entertainment and entertainment has become political. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a comedienne playing a female VP in a political drama. Like House of Cards, Veep indicates that people can’t get enough of political drama. But that lust for entertainment doesn’t end with our TV shows. We drop “boring” news for stories of sex, racism, and scandal. Because we want our real news to be as entertaining as our sitcoms. And because of this, reality and fiction are converging.
2. Prominently displayed near the top of Louis-Dreyfus’s off-panel backside like a tramp stamp of historical ignorance is John Hancock’s humongous signature. Yes. John Hancock. Now, if you know even the most basic facts of US history, you know that John Hancock did not sign the US Constitution. He signed the Declaration of Independence. But who cares, right? It’s just a prop. And that’s exactly the problem. Whether it is in Hollywood or Washington, the US Constitution is little more than a prop.
3. Sex. Sex. Sex. Is anyone tired of how cheap and mass-produced it is yet? Why must anything and everything be sold with the naked bodies of women? Why would Louis-Dreyfus be okay with this? Why are purportedly “feminist” women endorsing this enslavement and effective prostitution? It really needs to stop. This is not empowering; it is debasing.
In the end, the cover of Rolling Stone doesn’t matter much. But when considered alongside all the parallel compromises of this mediocre age, it begins to make sense why our nation is in its twilight.