Doris Day has passed away. She was known to me as she was everyone in my generation, as well as countless other generations. She was the girl next door, or at least that was the image she projected.
It was an image, of course. Married four times, she was one of many actresses who publicly disavowed her 'goody-two-shoes' image. Of course many of her works were also post-puritan, we just missed it. Like much of Hollywood, her work was not shy about pushing a porn-culture attitude, even before cameras were invited into the bedrooms to watch.
In fact, it was because the cameras were not allowed in, and the dialogue had to be wrapped in euphemism and innuendo, that we often miss how post-Christian Hollywood morality was, almost from the beginning. Movies celebrating affairs, sleeping around, cohabitation, even polyamorous relations, were all in the theaters long before that rascally Sexual Revolution we hear so much about.
Ms. Day, in her personal life and opinions, far from objected. In fact, over the years, what she objected to most was this image of the 'girl next door virgin' with which she was saddled. I don't say this to dishonor her memory. I wish her the best, and pray she is received into the loving embrace of a merciful and loving God. I pray peace and strength for her loved ones.
But she, as much as anyone, embodied the ugly fact that America had been pushing toward paganism and hedonism for generations. It may not have reached Main Street and the masses until the 60s and the television generation. But it was there, from Hollywood and our entertainment industries, long before Americans ever thought they would lean about such locations as Iwo Jima or Anzio. Already, they were being primed. Following the war, Americans began to indulge with growing unrestraint, even if they wouldn't admit it. It is now that we must bear the weight of their lack of control and foresight.
And nobody seemed to show the contrast in what Americans claimed to be and what we were becoming, than Ms. Day. RIP Ms. Day. Thanks for all you brought, but I'm sorry for what you so proudly wanted to bring.