Sunday, January 29, 2006

Liberal or Conservative? Sex v. Death

(disclaimer: these are only generalizations, and are my opinion only, backed up by no research whatsoever other than my own observations and extrapolation, so don't come whining to me about how that's not you. You're right. It's not you. You're completely different. I know, I know.)

One marked difference I have noticed between people who consider themselves 'liberal' and people who consider themselves 'conservative' concerns the definition of pornography. Liberals traditionally are more laissez-faire about sex, while conservatives seem to be more easy-going about death.

As a liberal, I object much more strenuously to a shoot-'em-up movie than I do to a movie with two people enjoying themselves together. My young children are allowed to watch neither, but they don't watch movies with sex because it's developmentally inappropriate, not because sex is inherently bad. To my way of thinking, though (I know - call me crazy), killing is inherently bad. There is nothing 'family values' to me about a movie with random killing in it. Yet Republicans champion Arnold Schwarzenegger, who made his not-inconsiderable fortune making grotesquely violent movies, and on the back of that 'success', propelled himself into the Governor's office. He's always on about 'family values' and chiding the Democrats for not having any. Yet mowing down hordes of people with machine-gun fire is perfectly OK. Why? Because you're only shooting at 'bad guys'? Well, who decides who the 'bad guys' are? Are they commies? Indians? Japs? Drug dealers? Mafia? Aliens? Evil scientists? Gang-bangers? Androids? Perverts? As long as they 'deserve to die', it's fine to kill 'em. Yay. Goodness wins, badness loses. One problem that comes to mind, though, is - what happens if you and I become 'bad guys'?

To me, the really horrible part of it is how people (children especially) are desensitized to violence by being inundated with faux-violence - that is, violence without consequences. You get the neuron rush, the high that comes with violence, without the result of that violence - no pain, no blood, no guilt, no anguish. What's scary is that violence isn't scary. If your big brother hits you too hard, you howl and cry. But let someone on TV blow a drug-dealer's head off, and it's cool.

We see the results of this twisted thinking in front of us, thanks to the Kowboy Koward of Krawford. I don't think he or the rest of his neo-con chickenhawk puppetmeisters grasp the concept that these are real, flesh-and-blood human beings who are dying by the thousands every day. Remember the song 'One Tin Soldier'? It seems that the KKofK thinks of the military as his personal tin soldiers, to play with and make fight with each other, with cool accompanying sound effects (Pow! Doozh! RRrrroar!! Take that!! Augh! You got me!!) then leave lying in the dirt when it's nap-time.

But sex, on the other hand, is the high road to hell. I'm not mad at Clinton for lying about a blow job, because he was illegally put into a position that no one had a right to put him in. The 'Troopergate' article that spawned the Paula Jones debacle was a fraud, so any investigation arising out of that is of necessity fraudulent. What I'm mad at Clinton about was the Telecommunications Act of 1996. That has contributed to the demise of the media, and I'm pissed as hell about that. But a consensual act between two people that was nobody else's business? Please. Grow up. These people go into conniptions over 'Desperate Housewives', or Spongebob Squarepants, for God's sake. I wonder what they'd say if they were shown a video of two people having sex, then find out that they're married to each other, were in their own home and were virgins on their wedding day. Would that still be pornography? Why?

And then you find that the people who are the most rigid and repressed about sex are the ones who become child molesters or are in the grip of other perversions. Catholic priests come to mind (I'm Catholic). Human beings who are unable to express their sexuality naturally become twisted. I believe in monogamy because it's good for me and my husband emotionally, not because I'll go to hell if I'm not monogamous. What children you must be if you have to be shamed and punished into doing the right thing.

It's time to get a grip on what real pornography is. What's really offensive. What real 'family values' are. As far as I'm concerned, two people enjoying each other is not pornography. People killing each other is.

8 comments:

dusty said...

Its all in whats a priority to the individual..you have a young child..mine is 25.

Sex is not a priority at my age. Global warming is..I dont care who watches what. I don't care why someone is uptight about certain levels of sexuality.

That doesn't make me twisted right? I dont expressed my sexuality anymore and I dont miss it.

But on violence I will always stand firm..it sucks, it has no place in everyday life from any angle or tv or video game.

I tried to keep guns from my son when he was young. I refused to buy them for him, I tried to steer him in other directions..all to no avail. He was running around the yard shooting a tree branch with a sharp jagged edge..so I figure'd ...buy him a gun at least he isn't going to poke his or anyone else's eye out w/it.

He ended up a good person that doesn't have a fixation with violence..it was just a phase.

Porn will always be in the eye of the beholder..same with violence. The problem is the far right refusing to meet in the middle on both subjects. Some things have to be centrist..they can't be left or right of the middle. The rightwingnutjobs refuse to compromise.

Thats the problem.

oldwhitelady said...

It's time to get a grip on what real pornography is. What's really offensive. What real 'family values' are. As far as I'm concerned, two people enjoying each other is not pornography. People killing each other is.

Absolutely. Why is it okay for kids to watch movies full of killing? Of course, I'd like kids to only watch the old Walt Disney movies.

Alicia said...

Dusty - I, like you, had little boys who, if they didn't have a gun, used a stick, and if they didn't have a stick, used their index finger for a gun. I didn't forbid them to have toy guns, if someone else bought them as a present, but I was very clear that I myself would never purchase or give my kids toy guns. I took every opportunity to explain why I didn't like guns or violent TV shows. You can't shelter kids from reality, or from human nature, but you can make clear where you stand as a parent and a human being, and I think that's where a parent's influence sinks in, consciously or not.

You know, OWL, some of those old Disney movies are pretty darn scary. And why are there no mother figures in them? Moms are always dead, evil or absent...

wanda said...

I have three sons (all grown now). Never, not once did they ever receive a gun of any kind from their Dad and I. Not for Christmas, birthdays, or anything else. When someone did give them a gun, they knew they wouldn't be playing with it. It was put up and donated to charity or it simply disappeared. Two of them now have sons of their own, and they do not give them guns either.
I also did not allow video games that had violent content. They didn't watch shootem up an killem movies either. Not until they were in their teens. With one exception. Star Wars.
Don't tell me one person, one family can't make a difference.
I've always said, people who have never experienced violence cannot understand it and cannot understand the impact it has on the mind, body, and soul.
Of course when your a chickenhawk who's too much of a coward to even show up for the college boy flight training that's keeping your ass out of Vietnam, you have no problem with sending other people to die in YOUR war.

Ricia said...

i have this same (kind of) conversation with my son very often. i'm forever amazed at what his school pals are allowed to see (or the neighbors kids for that matter). "there is no blood" is the equivelance of "no violence" - pardon me? but my oh my - a nude figure? na-uh. or a perfectly harmless (no sex, no violence) film that refers to a homosexual or lesbian couple? na-uh, that is "over the top".

i just don't get it. it's like they want us bred on the casuality of violence. it is as if there is a 'master plan' at work here...

- thanx for that post, glad i happened by.

Alicia said...

Welcome to Hooterville, Ricia! Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you'll come back.

It does seem that the desensitization to violence seems not to meet with much disapproval in our society - makes you wonder...

Thorson said...

Never, not once did they ever receive a gun of any kind from their Dad and I. Not for Christmas, birthdays, or anything else. When someone did give them a gun, they knew they wouldn't be playing with it. It was put up and donated to charity or it simply disappeared. Two of them now have sons of their own, and they do not give them guns either.

I've never understood the abhorance some folks have for guns. They're just tools, and like all tools can be mis-used (ever hit your finger with a hammer? That's mis-using a tool). My boys didn't have guns, not even toy guns, either. But it wasn't because guns were evil. It was because they didn't have the maturity to use them correctly. When they became teenagers, I invited them to a shooting sport I participate in, cowboy action shooting. One didn't want to shoot, and the other did. We all had a pretty good time.

An interesting tidbit from the Winter Olympics Parade of Nations. Many of the flag bearers for the individual countries were biathlon athletes. In case you don't know, biathlon is a sport that combines shooting and cross country skiing.

Alicia said...

I don't believe I ever said guns themselves were the problem, although as you mentioned, it takes a certain amount of maturity to handle them appropriately. I used to work for a man who caught bullets in his teeth. I was the MC for his show; talked to the audience, selected the volunteers to mark the bullet before it was loaded into the chamber, etc. I have a very healthy respect for and familiarity with firearms . My problem is with the violence without consequences that kids (and adults) are exposed to, which gives an unrealistic view of violence. There is very little attention paid to what happens to a person when he or she is shot. And the adrenaline rush provided by the vicarious participation in TV or movie violence sets up neural pathways to pleasure centers in the brain. To me this is inappropriate.