Member since: Sat Nov 29, 2008, 01:55 PM
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Number of posts: 15,589
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Fiction is not. The only distinction I can make between assault and a fictional representation of same, barring physical evidence, is the consent of the individual. Even then consent alone is not a bright line. That's why workers have contracts that define the parameters of the job.
If you really wanted to end real violence in porn you'd advocate for a union so that actors would be able to police the industry in which they work. I've heard a lot of bleating about workers rights but no advocacy for a union to protect those rights. How can it be that ostentatious progressives can have such an extended discussion about workers rights without using the word union? I suspect it's because the objective is not to actually help people, but to scold them for their ideological heresy.
There is a union for actors, but from what I've seen SAG/AFTRA wouldn't touch the porn industry with a ten foot pole. There's just no public support for workers in the porn industry. There is no support because the industry as a whole is stigmatized in our culture by uncultured sanctimonious literalists who get upset about pictures of people who aren't fucking the way they're supposed to.
Posted by rrneck | Wed Dec 4, 2013, 11:25 AM (0 replies)
Every group of people from a single family to an entire country has an embarrassing lunatic fringe. From the obnoxious unreasonable uncle at Thanksgiving to fringe political groups causing havoc in an entire nation, they're an embarrassment to the rest of the group of reasonable people who have a more intelligent and nuanced grip on reality.
So for example the Republican party has the Tea Party and to the right of them gun toting militias running around in the woods playing soldier. Those preening right wing nuts would embarrass Il Duce. And lets not forget the religious fundamentalists and their peculiar obsession with medieval science and morality. The political left no doubt has its share of bombastic nuts as well, but probably not enough of them. Since the collapse of communism the ranks of our lunatic fringe have been seriously eroded.
A fellow smarter than me once said that an unexamined life is not worth living. I would add that an unexamined ideology is not worth having.
These members of the lunatic fringe all seem to have something in common; an unwavering devotion to ideology as an object in itself. It becomes a fundamentalist religion, a precious thing that has to be defended at all costs, right or wrong. I expect there are many reason for this unquestioning embrace; fear, pride, arrogance, greed, ignorance, or any combination of all of them. There are times when unwavering devotion to ideology is essential, as in war for example. Extreme times call for extreme devotion.
And we are at war. A culture war. It's an ersatz conflict manufactured out of the most selfish motivations of its combatants. It's a wag the dog Las Vegas feathers and brass production for the emotional gratification of people who view culture as a product to be acquired and hoarded.
I asked you to engage in something any rational person should be willing to do. I asked you to engage in a bit of ideological self examination. And you couldn't do it.
Posted by rrneck | Fri Nov 29, 2013, 12:59 PM (1 replies)
I expect the last thing we would want is a Progressive Theory of Everything as attractive as that may sound. Such a theory would be codified into an authoritative holy writ against which others would be measured and, more importantly, would be punitively defended because of the emotional and financial investments of those who control it. Banesbane has pointed out the inequities of capital distribution in financial systems but has overlooked the the dangers of iniquitous intellectual capital distribution.
Only a fool would argue that feminism hasn't been a benefit to society and that many of the objectives of feminists carry with them considerable moral authority. But there are inherent dangers in the transformation of any ideology into a holy writ to be defended rather than a tool for cultural development. When ideology becomes an object, it becomes a product and when that happens it can be coopted by capitalist interests. Everybody wants to be told what they want to hear, and there will always be somebody out there willing to do that for a price.
Now, here's the money quote: Pornography is art. It is a fictional representation of human activity. So when freedom loving, fearless novelty seeking, big tent inclusive, personal expression accepting liberals run into rape porn we are forced to put our money where our mouth is. The intellectual and emotional discomfort and conflict ain't pretty, but it's real. That puts people like me in the unenviable position of defending something they find disgusting. I don't like rape porn. But then again, I'm not interested in seeing a bullwhip stuck up some dude's ass either. And I'll go you one better than that. I'll even defend Thomas Kincaid's shit as art. And that one really hurts.
Posted by rrneck | Thu Nov 28, 2013, 01:03 PM (0 replies)
Why don't you summarize them and explain them. Can you do that?
The use of media is a collaborative effort between the artist and the viewer, or in this day and age between the producer and the consumer. They are, as with any other interaction between human beings, a relationship. All media alters our brains because interaction with everything in our environment alters our brains. Television alters our brains just as cave paintings altered our brains fifteen thousand years ago.
The "problem" with certain types of media consumption is not the media but the consumption. Or rather, over consumption. People have been exploring new and interesting ways to insert tab A into slot B since the advent of sex, and they will continue to do so. There is nothing that will halt, or even slow, human innovation in the field of fucking.
Have you read 1984? The dystopian society that Orwell describes is only possible through forced complete immersion in state propaganda. Hence the torture. The problem with seabeyond's OP is that she is proposing to "cure" people's perversions through forced immersion in the media that she feels is so destructive. Not only is it an oxymoron, it is a punitive solution that flies in the face not only of healthy cultural development but liberal ideology as well. The real question is how she came to those conclusions.
The relationship between Fox News and the people who consume it is purely commercial. They are telling people what they want to hear. It's a sort of highly focused banal wish fulfillment just like any other bad art no different from a Thomas Kincaid painting or a trashy romance novel. For such a commercial enterprise over consumption, or addiction, is profitable and total immersion is just another term for market domination.
Of course around here Fox News is always a ready example of all that is evil in the world but there are liberal ideology producers with the same business model - produce heroin content for market domination of peoples confirmation bias. Through it's role in the tremendous social advances in this country, feminism is an important part of liberal politics and liberal ideology. Such success has not gone unnoticed by those who would make a lucrative living telling people what they want to hear and over consumption of liberal ideology is just as pernicious as it's opposite number.
So many of the culture war issues that seem important are little more than the source of a lucrative revenue stream for people who make a living turning ideology into an addictive drug. There is no functional difference between the cheap wish fulfillment peddled by televised talking heads, hyperbolic polemicists, romance novelists or pornographers. It's all pornography one way or another.
Posted by rrneck | Sat Nov 23, 2013, 12:05 PM (0 replies)
I revisited 1984 the other day (hey, Audible deal of the day for three bucks) and was reminded of this:
(O’Brien) ‘We are the priests of power,’ he said. ‘God is power.’
When ideology of any kind becomes more important than humanity, horrible injustice is the result.
Posted by rrneck | Sun Oct 27, 2013, 01:58 PM (1 replies)
I spent most of my life there. When I was young my politics were as deep red fundamentalist Christian conservative as any you’ve ever seen. But then I reached, as Bill Maher says, the age of reason. I decided that the cultural attitudes and political ideology of my youth were wrong. It wasn’t easy. There wasn’t anybody around to support my decision. In fact, there was active resistance. It alienated friends and family. It affected every job I got thereafter. But I persisted, because I knew it was the right thing to do.
It was the right thing to do because I saw how people in the south got treated and how southerners treated each other. I saw workers of every race screwed over by corporations, lied to by religion and traumatized by education. At the same time I saw poor and middle class southerners of every race, creed, and sexual orientation quietly working together in peace to try and have a better life while getting screwed over at every turn.
After graduate school in the north I finally moved away from the south to an unabashedly liberal community and I have seen the same bigotry that gets blamed on the south every day. It comes from people who have had their liberalism handed to them on a silver platter. They have enjoyed the privilege of marinating in an ideology they didn’t have to earn. For many of them, liberalism is little more than social plumage.
There is an especially dangerous and ugly kind of bigotry beneath the feathered plumage of ideological arrogance. Liberals, or progressives if you will, are supposed to support others and help them have a better life, not use them as a foil to prove the bona fides of their liberal ensemble. Behaving that way is dangerous because the obvious arrogance and bigotry of such an attitude makes it impossible to build a successful political coalition. If you behave that way not only will people not work with you, they will actively work against you. And there will always be somebody out there willing to exploit that division.
When ideology becomes an affectation it also becomes a product. The people that profit most from ideology as a product are the 1%, and they are selling us the tools of our own destruction. They pit us against each other by turning citizens into consumers. The result is the Morton Downey horse race culture war scrum that American politics has become. It's nobody else's job to tell us how right we are. It's up to us to prove that we can make what we believe work for them.
Posted by rrneck | Thu Oct 17, 2013, 01:47 PM (377 replies)
A more important one might be market saturation.
In terms of the symbolic importance of guns, the features of guns that make them dangerous for innocents makes them equalizers for innocents in the event of an assault. That merry go round of potentialities underlies the entire debate. So whenever there is a mass shooting, calls for the elimination of guns are matched with the desire to acquire them for defense.
The Navy Yard shooting and Sandy Hook, while both mass shootings, involved a different set of victims and their role in our culture. Sandy Hook involved children while the Navy Yard shooting involved the military. Never mind that guns are not commonly carried on military bases and certainly not in office buildings, any organization with the word "navy" in it calls to mind rough and ready soldiers kicking ass and taking names at the drop of a hat. The murder of defenseless children in what should be in a place as safe as their homes personalizes the experience for the public in a way that the killing of people associated with the military would not.
I expect a bunch of factors combine to make the Navy Yard shooting a less viable product for lobbyist group and firearm manufacturer profit. He used the wrong gun for the wrong reasons on the wrong people too soon after the last mass shooting and too late after landmark legislation had run its course. The result was outrage fatigue, legislation fatigue, stereotype confusion, and an event that does not fit the ideologically based business model of the outrage manufacturers and fearmongers that feed off of both sides of the issue.
Posted by rrneck | Tue Oct 8, 2013, 10:18 AM (2 replies)
but who designed the culture that bounds us? How is it distributed and how do we acquire it? How diverse is the marketplace of ideas? Ideology, on the right and the left, has become little more than a consumer product. The institutions that have traditionally been a bulwark against mercantilism have been co-opted or marginalized by the profit motive, and when they fail, disaster capitalism can find a way to make money off of that.
College enrollment is going up, but look what the kids are studying:
And add to that the number of disciplines that are considered mere extensions of business like communications, journalism, engineering, health professions and the arts. While the objectives and methods of business are obvious, how many people are trained in other disciplines within the context of those same methods and objectives? That's how we get Madison Avenue, network television, HMO's, Google Glass, Twitter, SSRI uptake inhibitors for "social anxiety", Olestra, Fox News and the Southern Baptist Convention.
I once talked to a cowboy that trained horses for a living. He said the trick to training horses was to make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard. We are suffering from a national sense of anomie because our culture is been skewed to train us to make the wrong thing easy and the right thing hard. Today, given the obvious dangers over the horizon regarding resource depletion and climate change, the wrong thing is to do it the way we've done it for hundreds of years.
The term "liberal" refers to increased, or "liberally applied", cultural change. That's why we need a Democratic congress in 2014, because it's our best chance for change in a time when cultural change will make or break our country and our species. Conservatism simply makes no sense given what we know about the world today and our prospects for tomorrow.
Everywhere you look, from incessant culture wars to packaged cable television, your culture is doled out to you . Ninety nine percent of the images people see every day are produced by a corporation. Human relationships are metered and squeezed for profit by limiting them to, for example, 140 characters. Political discourse is dominated by ratings driven hyperbole on both sides of the aisle. From where I sit whole swaths of our population have become little more than trained pigeons pecking at a button for a pellet.
Posted by rrneck | Mon Sep 16, 2013, 10:57 AM (1 replies)
California lawmakers pass expanded semi-automatic weapons ban
By Sharon Bernstein, Reuters
SACRAMENTO — New sales of semi-automatic rifles with removable magazines would be banned in California under a bill passed by the Democratic-led state legislature on Tuesday, and those who already own such weapons would have to register them.
Missouri: Pro-Gun Laws Took Effect This Week
On August 28, House Bill 533, sponsored by state Representative Jeanie Riddle (R-49) and state Senator Brian Munzlinger (R-18), took effect. This new self-defense law protects the right of a state employee to store a firearm in his or her private vehicle on state property as long as that vehicle is locked and the firearm is not visible. Additionally, it prohibits any government entity from using tax dollars to participate in a gun “buyback” program unless the firearms are resold or transferred to a federally licensed firearms dealer.
Finally, a provision in Senate Bill 75, sponsored by state Senator Dan Brown (R-16) and state Representative Eric Burlison (R-133), also took effect on August 28. This provision allows schools to annually teach the NRA Eddie Eagle Gunsafe® Program to help keep children safe by preventing gun-related accidents. However, the portion of this bill that makes sheriffs the issuing authority for all concealed carry permits in Missouri will not take effect until January 1, 2014.
Blue states go one way in the culture wars, red states go the other, swing states get divided. The split grows wider with every bill passed. And we sit around scratching our heads wondering why congress can't seem to get anything done. "What's the matter with Kansas?", we ask. How did one percent of the population wind up owning most of the country? This is how. We burn off metric tons of political capital on both sides of the aisle fighting culture wars while they run off with the store. Well, at least the money in the store. They leave the ideological kitsch for us to fight over.
Posted by rrneck | Wed Sep 11, 2013, 09:50 AM (0 replies)
I think I would have to assume a right, since I cannot confer it nor prove it exists beyond the evidence given when someone exercises it. For me, and not having given the matter much thought before now, a right is not a social convention or law, but the expression of one's own being. Birds fly, fish swim, and people do whatever it is that people do. Rights do not exist unless they are exercised, and the social conventions that surround them are the result of that exercise.
Rights are attached to actions, and the expectation of action exists in the future.
I don't know if that makes any sense, since I just made it up. The implications lead us to all sorts and kinds of notions regarding a priori goodness and what it means to have certain rights to be one sort of person and not another. But maybe, as we do whatever it is that we do and build social conventions around those actions, the relationship between what we want, what we do, and what we discover doesn't work and declare the wrong thing to do revolve around our relationship between our inner and outer lives. That kind of thinking sorts well with my concepts of form and content in the human experience.
Posted by rrneck | Thu Aug 22, 2013, 07:31 PM (1 replies)