This post begins with a confession: I have been infatuated with Yannick Bisson (aka detective William Murdoch on the Canadian TV show Murdoch Mysteries) ever since I first saw him on said show several years ago. It’s hopeless, really… I’m a sucker for dark-haired men with cute smiles. This includes Prince Eric in the Little Mermaid, Dave Seville in the old Alvin & the Chipmunks cartoon series… you get the idea.
Pair that with my love for Victorian-era clothing, and you’ll understand why I’m an inveterate Murdoch fan…
…even when the subplot irks me a little.
Such was the case with this week’s episode, “From Buffalo with Love.” While investigating a murder at a burlesque dance club, Murdoch is stunned to discover that George, his friend and fellow constable, has been a regular audience member at the nightclub. He tries (unsuccessfully) to guide George away from what he considers an unsavory diversion. George ends up falling for a dancer named Nina, with whom he shares a lustful encounter in her dressing room.
Image courtesy of cbc.ca
The next day, George discusses their encounter with Nina, inferring she probably has “certain expectations” and stating he is “an honorable man.” Meaning, he won’t object to marriage.
To which the free-spirited, joyfully liberated Nina simply laughs. Oh, silly George! How antiquated of you to think that in the modern era of 1903, women still regard marriage as desirable!
(See, this is what bugs the crap out of me, when the show unrealistically inserts post-modern ideology into historic settings. Just change Nina’s clothing, and she’d have no trouble at all fitting into 21st-century culture. Wow! What a maverick.)
Anyway, after getting over her amusement, Nina explains that she’s not “the marrying kind:”
Nina: I'm not like Lydia, I don't dance at the burlesque only to snag a husband.
George: Why do you then?
Nina: Because I enjoy it. I won't deny myself the things that bring me pleasure, and that includes you.
Ok, so hedonism. Got it.
She then dispenses some deep wisdom to poor, simple George:
George: So, you really believe that... you can do whatever you want, regardless of the consequences?
Nina: What consequences?
Aaand there it is. The crux of modern society: don’t deny yourself pleasure, and what consequences?
As explored previously in my tap-dancing squirrel comic, disregarding consequences (and natural law) is kind of a problem. It’s unreasonable, unrealistic, and leads to drastic measures. When we become fixated on pleasure at all costs, natural order becomes chaos.
Consider for a moment all the things that are pleasurable. Eating. Drinking. Binge-watching Netflix. The list goes on and on.
What do all these pleasurable things have in common? Undesirable consequences from overindulging.
Overeating leads to indigestion at best, obesity and health problems at worst.
Drinking too much causes brain and liver damage, impaired judgment (which not all people see as a negative side effect, ahem), and really bad breath.
Too much Netflix, and your rear will become as flat & wide as the TV you’re watching.
Yet somehow, we can’t imagine anything negative about unmarried sex. What risk could there possibly be?
STD’s, unplanned pregnancies, single parenthood. Not to mention things that aren’t always as obvious, like relationship manipulation, using other people, you name it.
So basically, Nina is bluffing. She might seem really convincing with that carefree attitude, but we all know better. We’ve seen the consequences in our own lives and those around us. The consequences are everywhere – even if we don’t want to acknowledge them.
Don’t be like Nina. Besides, her burlesque police costume was, as my husband put it, “not attractive at all.”