Saturday, January 21, 2006

Pornography

Sex per se is not bad. It could not be bad since it is an absolute necessity for the existence of all sexually reproducing species, of which species, we humans are one. (Sorry Kansas, you're included here.) Sex won't become unnecessary until having test tube babies is more popular than natural conception, or we pollute our environment so badly that there are no reliably healthy, undamaged sperm and eggs left in the wild. Of particular importance to the point I hope to make here is that interest in sex can't be bad. That appetite or motive that works within us to make sex, especially the act itself, such an all-fired interesting matter is the master link in the chain of human generations. Please don't read "the act itself" and think "yeah, a guy would be focused there". I have been married over 30 years. I know that is just a punctuation to a possibly long and involved conversation a couple can conduct. In fact, sex lacking any preamble, shared understanding or after-action intimacy is probably only something akin to masturbation. Each link is important but the master link is the one you can easily break. There may never have been any tribe or culture of humans that didn't know where babies come from and fewer still [the Shakers are an illustrative exception and I don't know what to make of the Heaven's Gate cult but they were suicidal] that didn't want babies. That being the case, it is clear why every cult, culture, tribe and tradition found some way to sanctify sex that produced offspring but denigrate and disapprove sexual activity that wasted the precious opporunity and avoided the hook of labor [pun intended] that nature hid in the bait of sex.

Short circuited gratification of primitive desires that avoids the good if arduous work those desires were meant to motivate...that is what pornography is.

Shokai was reaching for an example or defining instance of "zen porn". It started me thinking. Then I came across Surrogate's dissection of a particularly sleazy ploy Rush Limbaugh is operating. I'd hit a few mentions of Limbaugh's self promoting scam earlier this month but the write up on Jesus Reporting kinda tipped my mind to finish my thinking. I say "ah HA!" where you may groan "oh no, here he goes again"....

Humans are political animals as surely as they are sexual. Politics is an absolute necessity. It is the means by which we share the wells, the fields, the roads, the oceans, the hazzards and just generally the wealth of the planet. That sharing is going to happen whether its is a bloody brawl or a civil debate. We hope, in expressing political opinions, to change minds, to bring about a shared understanding of some problem facing us all so that a shared effort might result. Does Rush Limbaugh change any minds? Do any but those who want their fears condoned and their ignorant suspicions complemented even listen to people like Rush or Bill O'Reilly? A frisson of outrage, as satisfactory as a good sneeze, is mostly what their listeners get. They are presumably providing their audience some politics but actually avoiding effective persuasion by appealing only to those already persuaded over one-way media: much as masturbation is sex without contact, confrontation or consequence.


O'Reilly is not quite as mercenary as Rush , eschewing the unbelievably crass and hypocritical tactic of "SUPPORT OUR TROOP'S (subscription to my sewage)". What are they selling? More factual information than other news sources? More learned opinion than other journals of commentary or OpEd pages? No...they are selling a little excitement to an audiance that does not want to talk face-to-face with real people who don't share their opinion. All this does is make me the more certain that these are not political commentators but rather entertainers. They relate to their subject matter the way the cheerleaders for the Dallas Cowboys relate to football: just along for the ride to add a little titillation for the fans. Pandering to an audiance that seeks excitement without having to get wet or dirty or buy anyone flowers or just generally having to confront ANY consequence whatsoever...its political pornography if you ask me.

3 comments:

wildpic said...

sex and death are a rather late invention in the evolution of life. as of now, giving birth is the only social celebration !

Alicia said...

Very astute take on the subject. I totally agree, and it fits in with the way I see things as a whole, with the evolutionary tug on our responses to modern life.

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