We’ve all heard of guilty pleasures, such as Dove Bars, but even better are the guilty pleasure you can clear yourself of. These are pleasures where you’re guilty but figure out ways to prove yourself to be innocent.
Back in the early 20th century, the censors forbade skimpy clothing in Hollywood films. The director C.B. DeMille was an upright man, but he also knew that sex sold. So he came up with a solution: Have women wear scanty garb, and engage in louche activities on screen, but make sure they do these things in films about the Bible, where these racy ladies and semi-nude men pay a terrible price for their wickedness. This way, he told the censors, movie fans can see that sin doesn’t pay.
The censors bought the idea, and soon the guilty pleasures of seeing sex on screen became necessary in order to see, with great innocence, that transgression would be punished.
I like to watch the I.D. Channel on cable. It’s about sleazy crimes -- mostly murders -- and I like to view the episodes because, I suppose, I enjoy seeing people whose lives are even more messed up than mine. But I keep telling myself that I’m learning a lot about police procedure. A guilty pleasure has now become an innocent one.
I’m still working on the problem of Dove Bars.
But wait: Someone’s just told me that chocolate is good for back pain.
This is Tom McBride, and that’s my innocent and pleasing Perspective.