Life (or not) According to “The Big Bang Theory”

What is the meaning of life? If you watch “The Big Bang Theory” you could be forgiven for concluding that the meaning of life is sex. Take Howard Wolowitz, the skirt-chasing, 27 year-old Jewish engineer who lives with his overbearing mother. Wolowitz once tried to use the Internet, military satellites, and robot aircraft to find a house full of gorgeous young models “so I could drop in on them unexpected.” On another episode, he told his physicist friend, Sheldon Cooper, “I’d kill my Rabbi with a pork chop to be with your sister.”

Hardly a word comes out of Howard’s mouth that doesn’t have to do with getting a woman – any woman – to “be with” him. The overgrown adolescent doesn’t know how to carry on a conversation with a woman as a fellow human being. To him they’re not people; they’re walking appliances.

The Wooing Tactics of Howard Wolowitz

It’s sad, really. Wolowitz embodies what Dale Kuehne laments in Sex and the iWorld. When all relationships are sexualized, a person doesn’t know how to have a non-sexual relationship, which means he really doesn’t know how to have a relationship at all.

It’s not that sex is bad; in the right relational context, it’s good. But a hyper-sexualized life is ultimately lonely, frustrated, and unsatisfied with all its relationships. Perhaps that’s too common-sensical for a Hollywood rocket scientist to grasp.

This post originally appeared in the Salvo Signs of the Times blog.

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