Marybeth Hicks

I'm working the refreshment tent this week at the music festival in my hometown, putting in my volunteer hours for our children's school, when I realize I am not shocked by the tattoo-covered, fifty-something woman walking toward me in Daisy Duke shorts and midriff-baring bustier.

Her stiletto sandals, black nail polish, pigtails and pierced, red lips don¹t faze me in the least. I turn to her without blinking and smile easily as I ask, "What can I get for you?"

In retrospect, it's possible this is the moment when I surrendered to the reality that our cultural decline is now complete.

Heck, when you don¹t bat an eye at a teenage boy's gauged ears (those are the pierced ear rings that put giant holes in the ear lobes), and you take for granted that the child in front of you in church will spend the entire service playing games on a Nintendo DS, and you don't roll your eyes anymore when you realize your middle-aged neighbor is highlighting his hairSwellS you¹ve been worn down.

There was a time when it made headlines that a young woman's phantom pregnancy resulting in her unexpectedly giving birth, when she thought all she had was a bad stomachache. This happens so often now there's a reality show on the Discovery Channel called "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant."

For some of us ­ mothers, for example ­ this is like naming a show "I Didn't Know I Was Breathing." But culturally, we'd be in the minority.

Sadly, those days are long gone, faded into cultural oblivion along with obituaries in which the last names of surviving family members are all the same.

Not only has our culture devolved into a celebration of diverse and widespread tastelessness, but those of us who yearn for bygone days of common social mores are loathe to even mention such things, for fear of offending the people we find offensive.

Perhaps this is why the new book, "Of Thee I Zing: America's Cultural Decline from Muffin Tops to Body Shots," by radio host Laura Ingraham with co-author Raymond Arroyo is such a treat. For culturally cathartic ranting, it's well worth the cover price.

But be forewarned: "Of Thee I Zing" may elevate your blood pressure. Reading Miss Ingraham's observations about dirty dancing at the prom, designer duds for infants, and airplane seat companions who fire up laptop porn will likely cause you to break into a sweat when you realize your chances of avoiding such phenomena are nil.


Marybeth Hicks

Marybeth Hicks is the author of Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left's Assault on Our Families, Faith, and Freedom (Regnery Publishers, 2011).