Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Marquis de Barred

Originally posted by The Realist

So, any porn which doesn’t involve soft kissing, romance and gentle love-making is going to be banned. This is very dangerous. Let’s break this down and look at it in terms of media, precedent and content.

This is a newspaper editor’s wet dream. Stories about the internet make much better copy than stories about books. Fact. Fear of the unknown and the unfamiliar… Books are considered high(er) culture and the newspaper headlines frighten middle-England and the elderly into believing that the internet is only really being used by LCD-screen-addicted nonces.

Books don’t get banned (anymore) – The One Hundred Days Of Sodom by Marquis de Sade has been in print for more than two hundred years, but because it's “literature”, it is acceptable. His depictions are a work of fantasy, much like the material that is being discussed, so where is the distinction? Another example is music. People can say anything in musical form – no music is banned in the UK. You can still buy Anal Cunt’s seminal Kick The Pregnant EP if you so desire.

But won’t someone think of the children! Children can use computers ("you should see my Tarquin operating the video playing machine!"). They might access this material!!! Well then, the solution is to sort out security, password and certification systems for sites, as you have for films. Alternatively, pay more attention to what your own children are doing. Want some truly horrific, bloody, leather-strap based violence on the internet? Try this. Alternatively, you might want to try Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of The Christ: little more than a homo-erotic S&M fantasy with a twist of Jesus.

The precedent which springs to mind is the “Spanner Case”, about fifteen years ago, when a group of men got up to some pretty heavy S&M stuff with each other in their own homes, which they happened to record on video camera. They were arrested and prosecuted, but it was later overturned and the precedent was set that as long as death is not involved, any acts can take place amongst consenting adults, whether it is filmed or not.

I have no desire to see one man nail another man’s John Thomas to a plank of wood, but if they both want to do that, fine. If someone else wants to watch that, that’s fine too. Who, apart from John, is getting hurt?

Concerned about the sexualisation of women? Ban FHM and Zoo Magazine then. Oh, and Mills and Boon novels. Concerned about violence? Ban horror films. The ‘Son Of Sam’ serial killer was obsessed with them and similar ‘ban this filth’ motions were mooted then. Wrongly. Concerned about something non-consensual or involving kids? Good. Me too. That’s what police and government should be concentrating on.

Not since Stoicism has such a nonsensical argument been put forward. Diametrically opposed to this is the perfectly rational Epicurean notion that you can do anything as long as no-one else is being, ahem, hurt. By all means, crack down on abuse – any site showing footage of genuinely non-consensual acts should have its authors hunted down like dogs and shot. But what adults agree to do in their own attics, barns or dungeons and whom they wish to show that to is none of The Government’s business.

The fucknut who killed that woman was clearly insane and would have done something similar at some stage regardless.

Jack The Ripper didn’t have broadband.


ph said...

Sometimes the 'hurt' can spread a lot further than the consentors.

Clearly insane? seems like it, but did the internet feed his insanity.

Laura said...

I agree with ph on the first issue. Also despite the idea of it being about consenting adults, the porn industry does exploit vulnerable adults. However I recognise that not all adults involved in the porn industry are vulnerable but it would be unrealistic not to think a healthy proportion of them are. It's a tricky one. If I really thought the porn industry truly wasn't exploitative I wouldn't have a problem with it. Sadly, while the principal you are describing is right, I wonder how true that is in practice.

As for ph's point about the internet. I believe a nutter is a nutter and regardless of the Internet. Take the film Blue Velvet for a start. Not an internet thing but I bet that's given a few nutters some ideas...