This is topic Artless Media (yes, I edited the title) in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

To visit this topic, use this URL:;f=2;t=023209

Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
This was originally titled "Another Porn Dobie". But it was falling off the screen. I tried to Google a quote from a Rabbi, but couldn't find it. It went something like: "Sin is anything you can't do wholeheartedly".

That is, I tend to say "The Bad" is all which is not "The Good" and don't seen any morally neutral actions. If you move your pencil across your desk (an example Tom once gave) and you are doing it solely to preserve a nihilistic world view, then I do define that as "not the Good". If it is to accomplish your work, then it is "The Good".

I believe much of our social economy (media, retail institutions, fads) is based solely in a quest for greater consumption. Is it wrong to give people what they want? At the cost of the environment? Is there an environment of a human relationships that is destroyed by gluttony and self-gratification?

I don't only object to porn. I object to most of what is on network television. I think that anything that isn't deliberately helping people to be better is hurting.

Of course one's definition of helping and better are going to vary wildly. In Tom's example of the pencil, his intent in explaining it to me is to help me be a more open minded person- an improvement in his view. So while I can construe the act as non-neutral (I wouldn't say Eeeevil) I appreciate his intent in sharing the idea with me as a artful one.

Take for instance some of the art I have heard described, especially those linking sexuality and theology. If they were made with the intent to shock and hurt, I think they are garbage. But there are some that may have been honest. And since I do think there is the divine in sex, they may not have been offensive to me (though I can't imagine me actually producing one). I think part of the creation of art is to display it to the right audience. If shocking and hurting a group will improve them, then that can be the artful thing to do. (For instance, Uncle Tom's Cabin was probably shocking to the slave holding U.S.)

I think it is under this banner that nudity is often protected as art. It's a depiction of "real life" meant to shake us from our complacency. I don't think the average porn film has any more art value than the average Hollywood sequel. And I haven't seen much of either. Do I have to see Airplane II and Speed II and Police Academy 7 to know they suck? I don't think so. (Though I did see Speed II :barf smilie: )

The only other thing I wanted to add is that within the realm of "the Good" lies the danger of Eeeevil. Evil being complete self-assurance. If one sets out to improve others in the express image of oneself it is not art, but propoganda.

I guess my thesis is that Porn is merely the terminal state of a culture of self-gratification. Rather than put collective resources into treating the cancer, we should be looking at grassroots efforts to prevent it.

Edit: Frag and open parentheses, Title

[ April 07, 2004, 05:38 PM: Message edited by: pooka ]
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
Bumped with new improved title!
Posted by mr_porteiro_head (Member # 4644) on :
I think that HR is tired of talking about porn.
Posted by T. Analog Kid (Member # 381) on :
Well, I'm not. What about artful porn?

there is, for example, a guy named Julius Zimmerman who does original pornographic pencil sketches of various cartoon characters. They are, technically speaking, very good (my wife is an artist and has confirmed this) and personally speaking, quite clever (they are often humorous, but even the ones that are the most serious and titillating have a wry streak in them that I find very artistic in itself).

Does doing something sexually provocative automatically make it bad art? I definitely don't think so... I have long been of the opinion that NIN's "Closer" is a fantastic song, even though I find some of the sentiment distasteful and I think it is quite definitely as pornographic as a song can get.

So where does this kind of thing fit in for you, Pooka?
Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
Man, I think most of the media halfway counts as porn. I mean, at the check out line in the super market the Glamour and Cosmo magazines are skintastic. It's like running an awesome gauntlet of some kind. And in this room, everything stops when a Victoria's Secret commercial comes on. Sex is even getting into things that aren't remotely sexual, like Dentyne Ice. I mean, it's minty gum.

I'm torn between going CHACHOOGA! and making whoop sounds, and trying to hold onto whatever vestiges of dignity I still have.

[ April 07, 2004, 01:01 PM: Message edited by: Book ]
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
I applaud your efforts to be dignified, Book.

I was going to bring up fashion mags in bevs thread, but couldn't quite figure out how.

Nudity and sex can be part of art, certainly. I would tend to say that art and porn are mutually exclusive, though where the line is between them depends a lot on the person. But something with nudity is going to have a harder time selling itself to me as art. Just like a sequel is going to have a harder time getting my attention. And yet some of my favorite films are sequels.

And some things are porn even though they may not have nudity just because they are suggestive and crass at the same time. Like Book says about the fashion magazines.
Posted by AeroB1033 (Member # 6375) on :
Okay, I have problems with this reasoning because it eliminates the worth of ALL art that is not trying to send a message. What I mean is, when you say that you don't see any worth in most everything that's on network television, how does that not apply to everything else? Novels? Movies? Poetry? Sculpture? Painting?

Totally brushing aside the porn issue for the moment, I have to apply to the Keats school of thought, "art for art's sake" (though I'm actually not a big fan of Keats' poetry itself, but that's beside the point).

On television as in every other form of art, there is worth to be found in the beauty of the art itself. It doesn't have to be consciously trying to "help people", it just has to be honest and well-crafted.

It's true that television has been becoming more and more of a wasteland of reality TV (which is NOT art, in my opinion), but there's still a lot of worth to be found out there. I don't need to cite specific examples, because almost everyone has at least one or two scripted shows that they enjoy "even if nothing else is good". For myself, I watch about 5 dramas that are currently on the air, because I've made an active search for television of worth, and found out that there actually is plenty out there (gasp!).

Now, about pornography--no, I don't think porn for porn's sake is art, as it's not about 'the story' or 'the beauty', it's about appealing to primal lust, and that's its sole purpose. Note that I'm calling porn something that does this for the sake of that alone--there are plenty of rated R movies that have downright 'pornographic' scenes, but those scenes are part of the story and don't exist for their sake alone (at least, I would hope).

But to say that something is a sin or wrong because it doesn't "help people" is foolish, in my opinion. Most art would fall into this category, and to say that all such art is 'sin' takes away the worth of centuries of, in my opinion, the finest aspect of human culture.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
My definition of "help" is fairly broad, and I specifically excluded helpful to the point of preachy as propoganda.

It doesn't have to be consciously trying to "help people", it just has to be honest and well-crafted.

Being honest and well crafted is elevating, in my opinion, and falls within my definition of helpful.
Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
By the way, I do find it odd that many women's magazines have covers that are very sexually arousing to men, and in fact seem engineered that way.
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :
Because women want to be sexually arousing to men.


Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
According to bev's thread, women also find women attractive. Though I don't buy magazines on the principle of being a tree hugger. I think I'm more interested by a cover with a celebrity on it than a random model, so I'd have to say I don't find that I'm attracted to the "sexiness" of fashion mags.
Posted by Alexa (Member # 6285) on :
Evil being complete self-assurance.
so much for my idea that Christ is good. I hope I don't get any "good" doctors.
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :
I don't know if women find other women attractive as much as women find other women beautiful. Did I miss someone making a point to the contrary?

I can fully enjoy all of the physical beauty of a woman, but I don't find any enjoyment from imagining some sort of sexual encounter with one.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
Christ is good, but how can I ever be 100% sure that I am representing him perfectly? I can't. At least I try to remember this. Are you familiar with the cycle of Pride in the Book of Mormon, Alexa?

[ April 07, 2004, 01:51 PM: Message edited by: pooka ]
Posted by T. Analog Kid (Member # 381) on :
Why is the emotion of sexual attraction somehow "less" than the emotion (not the act*) of love?

What does it matter if it's a flutter in your heart or an increase of blood pressure in your genitals? Why is one the legitimate subject of "art" and the other mere "pornography"? why can there be no such thing as artful porn or pornographic art? why can't something be good art if it's primary purpose is sexual arousal?

Edit: * - by the "act of love" I don't mean sex, but the act of loving someone... that is putting their interests even with or before ahead of your own. I meant merely to distinguish this from just being emotionally overcome by someone.

[ April 07, 2004, 02:36 PM: Message edited by: T. Analog Kid ]
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
Because of what was inflicted on the board yesterday, I have spared you all a Dobie on this thread. [Smile]
Posted by Alexa (Member # 6285) on :
NO, porn is NOT worse then artless media in my opinion. Artless media, by it's nature and the public availability of the content, has a far greater reach with a greater willingness of those who view it to accept it.
Posted by T. Analog Kid (Member # 381) on :
my questions weren't rhetorical... if someone feels like answering them, I'd like that.
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :
TAK: I thought about answering but it all boils down to the same old "sex is private and fornication is bad" argument.
Posted by T. Analog Kid (Member # 381) on :
ok, thanks, Psi.
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :

I figure you've heard it before.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
I guess you have a good point, TAK. I try to resist the Manichean fallacy wherever I find it. But I think it comes back to objectification. People can certainly be objectified in what is normally considered art and religion. But my personal meaning of objectification is a whole other ball of wax.

Reminds me of my art class where we always came back to whether Michael Jordan isn't really the greatest artist alive today.
Posted by T. Analog Kid (Member # 381) on :
I haven't really... I haven't put much thought into the matter before because I never really tried to justify porn usage... but I can put 2 and 2 together quickly enough [Smile]

I think I can buy into those premises as generalities, but not as universals, if that makes sense
Posted by T. Analog Kid (Member # 381) on :
Pooka, now you've really got my ears perked up.

Could you tell me what *you* mean by the Manichean Fallacy?
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
I think Disney is as offensive as porn. The Jungle Book, for instance, I find deeply offensive. Also Disney's Winnie the Pooh. Both for the reason that they trashed a precious beloved childhood story and ruined it forever for all those who see the Disney version.

I believe that Muzak is also horribly revoltingly offensive. Because of the travesty it works on real music. And because it's used coercively, to encourage workers to be more productive, or shoppers to buy more. Ugh! Madonna and Brittney Spears feel the same way to me. I just wish they wouldn't call themselves music. Music is obviously of not the slightest importance to them.

But luckily I don't get to impose my view of everything on the world. [Smile] The world is bigger than my spirit. The spirits of others hold things unknown to me. I do believe that some people can find good in all these things. And making them banned would only lend them false glamour, anyway.

I talked recently to a guy who had moved here from China. The thing he liked most about the U.S. was strip clubs. Things like that are illegal in China. I blinked. Somehow where I see only seediness and squalor and human misery, he sees some glamour or finds some joy. I see a poor woman debasing herself to try and feed her family and he feels some heady freedom.

Yes, I think pron is ugly and stupid. It doesn't outrage me morally so much as aesthetically. Sex needs to be rescued from the stupidity that is porn. But that has to be understood and chosen by the individual. And nobody can judge what is good or bad for someone else.

I believe in the teaching of my church, that people should expose themselves to that which lifts their spirit up. That they should seek out what elevates them and makes them better people. I don't watch tv at all. I think it's 98% garbage and I can't be bothered to find the other 2%. [Smile] But I don't want to ban tv. Agency matters more. And there is nobody who can choose rightly for others. One person's nectar is another one's poison. It is all we can do to choose rightly for ourselves.
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :
Hey! I LIKE Madonna! "Like a Prayer" is one of my favorite songs.
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
All 3 Disney Jungle Book movies represent the worst atrocity ever commited against literature by the movie industry.

And that includes the original Dune movie.

As if Bagheera would be scared of Shere Kahn. Sheesh.


[ April 07, 2004, 05:33 PM: Message edited by: Dagonee ]
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
I interpret the Manichean Fallacy to be the idea the everything mental or spiritual is good and everything physical or material is bad.

However, I do think that the mind or spirit is the unique quality of humanity, whether in creation or nature. And to subjugate it to the physical would be as disastrous as a lion trying to get by eating grass.

I guess perhaps to view a person as a material being is to deny something essential about them- their mentality. However, it is nearly equally necessary to consider the material component of their identity.

I feel the mental must rule in the successful life, but that success is not possible without the body. I know that sounds so obvious as to be silly. But watch how often people try to separate them. I usually have to argue more forcefully in favor of the mental.

(I edited the title to help get over today's overly charged atomosphere)

[ April 07, 2004, 05:39 PM: Message edited by: pooka ]
Posted by T. Analog Kid (Member # 381) on :
Pooka, makes perfect sense... and I agree. Cool.

To you and AK, I would say that I think sexual expression can be deeply spiritual and totally uplifting. If that can be accomplished in art, well... cool, I think, mostly.

I'm hearing something that sounds to me like " pornography is, ipso facto, degrading, disrespectful, and spiritually stifling." I'm not so sure I agree. Still processing here...

Edit, to be clear: I am working form the definition of "pornography" as "something whose primary purpose is to evoke a sexual response and arousal." Obviously, if you define pornography as "something that degrades sex to a mere visual representation fo a physical act" it cannot be done artfully.

[ April 07, 2004, 05:46 PM: Message edited by: T. Analog Kid ]
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :
something whose primary purpose is to evoke a sexual response and arousal
That's far too broad. Me in a corset does not equal porn.
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Some people may be uplifted by Madonna, I suppose, or by Mozart. I can't actually see either, but I can admit the hypothetical possibility. [Smile] That's why I don't think I should dictate what others can listen to. Certainly I want nobody else choosing for me. What if they decide to ban something like The Passion or The Last Temptation of Christ or Chaim Potok, in which I found much so truth and beauty?

Yeah, I guess anything that is uplifting, whether or not it's erotic in nature, I would not call pornographic. I'm not sure whether something whose sole or primary purpose was evoking a sexual response could be uplifting to me. (I'm not trying to decide for others.) I don't know if there even is such a thing. (I haven't been trying to find out.) If it's powerfully evocative to me personally it will most likely be because something spiritual or emotional is deeply touched by it.

An example I can think of is the french movie Olivier Olivier. There was explicit sex in it, and yet it was so powerfully sexy specifically because it was emotionally overwhelming in context in the story. That was a great movie. You felt exactly the feelings of the family torn apart by the loss of their son, of the mother when she told him she could not survive it if he left again, of the boy of whom so much was demanded, trying to be who they so desperately wanted him to be. It's the sort of thing that would never be made here. (I don't know why the french can make such good movies and we can't. Ours prostitute their souls for money, maybe.) It's the kind of movie that many people would want to ban here, probably. And yet it is one of the best movies I've ever seen.
Posted by T. Analog Kid (Member # 381) on :
Psi, I'm sure you in a corset qualifies distinctly as "art"

(am I smooth or what?)

ok... let me back up then...

How do you guys define pornography?
Posted by T. Analog Kid (Member # 381) on :

The movie sounds beautiful and is a great example of what I'm getting at: people can't seem to straighten themselves out whenever sex gets involved. Look at the hoopla over Janet's bare breast, or, even more telling, the reactions to breastfeeding. My office came in from a group lunch which I didn't attend and they were completely freaked out about a woman breastfeeding in their resteurant. It was "disgusting". Why? Because a woman's breast is involved? [Roll Eyes] [Grumble]

There's a great article in a local weekly about the woman who was arrested for selling sex toys in Burleson, Tx. The couple met at a Baptist Student Union funtction, the guy was a virgin and a preacher. The woman had only been in one sexual relationship prior to their marriage. They are, by all first-hand accounts, entirely chaste but sexually expressive.

And they are being persecuted for it... seen as dirty and ugly things because they enjoy themselves and their bodies... why do we do this to people? to ourselves? why do we seperate sex out from other powerfully motivating emotions like love and fear and compassion and say that it is bad, in the abstract? Fear is not bad-- letting it rule you is. The emotion of love is not bad-- getting addicted to it is. Compassion is not bad-- letting it dominate you to the point that you excuse any behavior is.

So why do we say sex is bad?

We think stories and pictures about love are good.

We think stories and pictures about facing fear are good.

We think stories and pictures about compassion are good.

So... stories and pictures which contain sex are bad?


I know I'm over-simplifying... but I 'm trying to make a point. [Big Grin]
Posted by Storm Saxon (Member # 3101) on :
TAK, you are my hero.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
Also, we posted at the same time, so I'll think about the issues with sex in particular. But were you for or against that childbirth broadcast over the net?

I'm going to shift this to discussing violence as porn, and hope you can figure out what I'm talking about. I'm going to discuss the original "Terminator" and "The Matrix" (in case anyone wants to skip the specifics, I'm going to talk about when the Terminator acquires a need for wearing sunglasses and mention the one spot I felt "The Matrix" crossed the line into violence porn.)

I remember when I was watching "The Matrix" with my sister she said all the bullets falling from the helicopter was an artistic statement. I can kind of see that. What that statement was is not easily put in words (or they wouldn't have had to make it into a movie). But what we were given to relish in slow motion is the sheer consumption of ammo, and not each bullet strike (except where one of the agents shot Morpheus in the leg, which contributed to the sequence of action.)

But when Trinity shoots that agent in the head, maybe it's her action hero wisecrack "Dodge this" or the aerosolized blood, or the fact that he turns back into a cop as he lands, that seemed kind of sensationalized to me. Though it is somewhat softened by her looking away.

The characters reactions to what is happening are important. I think words I associated with porn are "mechanical" and "unfeeling". This links back to the fashion mags in that these really hot women all look bored.

Now to me the scene in Terminator where he goes to the bathroom mirror and excises the damaged tissue from around his robot eye was really gross. Of course he's going to be mechanical and unfeeling, because he's a cyborg. And maybe it was the director's intent to cause us to detach from what is going to happen to him. Maybe it would have worked better if the special effects hadn't been so bad.

I don't know, it just stuck out in my mind as one of the grosser things I've seen. I live a calculatedly sheltered life, because I have a near-photographic memory, and I'm a churchy type.

I think it's a matter of whether the situation shown moves the story along or is merely done for the relish of those that have a taste for that sort of thing. Have you ever seen a bad musical? I actually feel that Oklahoma had singing where it didn't need it, where it didn't make sense. Or going back to Jungle Book- the sequel apparently had multiple iterations of the same song just because it was one of the most popular ones from the first movie. Is this morally damaging? I don't know, but it is in my definition of "not art".

Edit for clarity

[ April 08, 2004, 10:57 AM: Message edited by: pooka ]
Posted by Sal (Member # 3758) on :
I only skimmed over this thread. One thing that stuck was that a few times "nudity" and "sex" come up in the same sentence, as if both are valued equally.

Now, I've come to the conclusion that there is a huge conspiracy going on. The media pay the politicians to be unnaturally conservative. Honest to the bribe, the politicians use their well-functioning brainwashing machinery to ingrain into the public mind the notion that it is improper to view certain regions of skin. A forbidden fruit is created. As with most forbidden fruits, the closeted public pays a lot to get a juicy bite. Pretending to defy the politicians, which also increases the customer base, the media then do display certain regions of skin. As a result, their profits skyrocket.


Agreed, there is no sharp border between nudity and sex. Everybody draws the line for her- or himself. I do find though that someone who automatically equates nudity and sex has a few repressionist issues to wonder about.

But then, I grew up in a country that probably had the highest amount of "clothing optional" beaches in the modern world.
Posted by T. Analog Kid (Member # 381) on :
I wouldn't broadcast my childbirth over the net but have no issues with someone doing that, nor with someone watching it.

The "bored model" thing is a good tie-in, I think, as is "heroin chic". Those dead looking things might be saying something, but not something uplifting to be sure.

Is it safe to say, then, Pooka, that you wouldn't regard all sexually explicit material as "mechanical and unfeeling"? and, liewise, you clearly seem to be throughout the threade drawing similar lines in other areas as well. That seems, to me, a very consistent and well thought-out position.

I guess I should clarify that I'm not necessarily looking for a fight here... I'm just frustrated by a society that sees to be stuck on empiricism and dead to the spirit of things. I'm reminded of a young boy who reads _National Geographic_ to see pictures of breasts. Our society seems to have this same confusion and inability to put things in context. We pigeonhole things and demand laws which completely ignore the spirit of things. It doesn't matter, for example whether a movie portrays sex as a cheap and easy way to manipulate or as a beautiful connected experience, if it shows nudity it's going to get an "R" and if it shows penetration it's going to get an "X". I think that's why sexual sin has been so vilified over the years: it's ultimately overt. Someone gets pregnant or someone comes out of the closet and all of a sudden everyone knows and "we have to do something!"

and that's neither merciful nor just. Usually we are concerned with balancing these two things, but when it comes to sex, we seem to be inclined to show neither.

edit to add: that was my 2112th post... as a Rush fan, I may have to never post again... Speed and Ralphie would understand [Smile]

[ April 08, 2004, 11:20 AM: Message edited by: T. Analog Kid ]
Posted by Book (Member # 5500) on :
I'd say there is a degree of sensuality which has its place in art. For instance, at the time Rossetti's work was considered pornography, but now we understand how he was trying to meld the spiritual and the sensual into one experience. Sex, to many people, is the physical expression of love, and love certainly has its place among art.

However, most of those people probably aren't watching porn. Porn, in my opinion, is not just made to arouse, but to arouse in the most base, way possible, objectifying sex. For instance, there is a website called College **** Fest which features young drunken college kids having sex in front of large numbers of people at a college party. There are many of these videos on this site. In some videos, they find a girl in the back room who has passed out and essentially rape her. That is porn. It is a far cry from art. These things happen all the time in real life, because life is full of bad things, but that doesn't mean we need to see them on video.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
I did skip the sex scene in "Matrix Reloaded". Ironically, I was in the kitchen making cheesecake. This is ironic since I think sex indulgence and food indulgence have a lot in common. Mormons are these goody two shoes and yet we have the highest ice cream consumption per capita in Utah of all the United States. No one wants to get all their nutrients from vegan yeast cakes. I guess there was a pretty good scene about this "The Matrix" also.
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :

I have to be honest, I really have tried to answer you about five different times, and I keep starting over because it's difficult to explain how I feel about it. Suffice it to say that I don't think sex is bad, but can be used to achieve a "bad" end.

In that context, you have to ask yourself what the sex is being used for in the movie you are watching. What is its purpose? Is it there to show the beauty of real love and commitment between two people? Or is it there to cause a person to get aroused? I would say that pure arousal in this context is bad, because I believe that there are negative effects of that. So far there is no concrete proof to say that porn damages people, especially since most people choose to ignore the testimonies of people who have had their lives ruined by it.

Why aren't there studies about porn? Why don't they put a five-year-old boy in a room watching nothing but porn for two hours a day, everyday, and see how it affects his relationship with women as he gets older?

The reason they don't is because there's no mom out there that would allow her son to participate is such a study, despite how much she argues that porn isn't necessarily bad. There's always the chance that she's wrong, and her son might very well have problems from it.

(To all the people out there who believe that porn has no negative affects, I challenge you to start a study on it, and let your kids be the test subjects. Or your family. Don't try to tell me that porn won't hurt MY family until you're willing to subject your kids to an onslaught from it.)

I'm rambling a bit. All I'm trying to say is that you can't say that people are against porn because they think sex is bad. It may very well be that indiscriminate sex with multiple partners IS bad, and has damaging effects. There are different levels of sex. Some are bad, and some are good, IMO.

Once again, my post comes too late. [Smile]

[ April 08, 2004, 11:44 AM: Message edited by: PSI Teleport ]
Posted by Chungwa (Member # 6421) on :
I don't think there are too many people who would argue that porn doesn't have negative effects on children. Even among those of us who think porn is not to blame for negative actions of adults.

[ April 08, 2004, 12:20 PM: Message edited by: Chungwa ]
Posted by The Digital Man (Member # 6427) on :
Still Jim (TAK), just using a temporary S/N from work. Afterwards, I'll be posting as Jim-Me.

Book, so you would say that a sexually explicit film exploring different aspects, spirits, emotions and variations of sexuality in an artful way is *not* pornography?

Pooka, perfect example. The Matrix Reloaded sex scene was, IMO, not very graphic, beautifully shot, and completely engulfed in spiritual ideas. I realize I'm probably in a minority in this opinion, but...

Why did you skip it? I agree wholeheartedly that sexual appetite is similar to food appetite. So why do we treat the two so differently? I think there's nothing wrong with having an indulgent meal once-in-a-while... in fact, I insist on it. So why is indulgent sex bad?

Psi, wouldn't you agree that there are plenty of good things that have potentially negative effects so we keep our children away from them till they have the maturity and capability to explore and learn about these things in a healthy manner? I think challenging someone to prove that something can be a positive force by saying they should expose their 5 yr old to it is like saying "I'll believe that cars are good when people start letting 5 yr olds drive."

I hope I'm not angering you or pressing you too much, Psi. I like what you're saying and I want to hear more of what you think, especially where we disagree.
Posted by PSI Teleport (Member # 5545) on :
I don't think there are too many people who would argue that porn doesn't have negative effects on children.
Psi, wouldn't you agree that there are plenty of good things that have potentially negative effects so we keep our children away from them till they have the maturity and capability to explore and learn about these things in a healthy manner?
I knew these arguments would come, and I'm not sure how to answer them. My points weren't really directed at people who already believe that kids shouldn't see sex. Of course, the same people wouldn't let their kids see porn.

I'm more concerned with the people out there who say that there's nothing wrong with children viewing sex (and believe me, there are alot of them, many of whom post on this forum). They don't mind if kids see sex, but they don't want them to see porn. How does that jive with the argument that porn isn't inherently bad, because sex isn't bad?

My point isn't so much that I agree with all the arguments. I'm just trying to point out that even among people who think that sex is natural and beautiful and there's nothing wrong with a kid seeing it, there will still be some that think there's something wrong with viewing porn. (At least to the extent that they won't let their kids watch it.) That opinion isn't reserved only for people who have some sort of "sex is bad" hang-up.

All I'm trying to get across is that porn isn't seen as bad just because there are a bunch of people out there going "sex is baaaad!" There are alot of people who don't have any squeamish feelings about sex, but still don't find porn appropriate.

I guess I could have said that in a much smaller paragraph. Sorry, everyone knows I'm terrible at communicating through writing.
Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
Why did you skip it? I agree wholeheartedly that sexual appetite is similar to food appetite. So why do we treat the two so differently? I think there's nothing wrong with having an indulgent meal once-in-a-while... in fact, I insist on it. So why is indulgent sex bad?
A lot of folks, OSC in particular, said the scene was unnecessary. I think the scene was there if you hadn't seen the first movie or only watched it cursorily. Such a person would need to understand how Neo's love for Trinity could be as important to him as the survival of the human race. Otherwise the choice Neo faces at the end, and Persephone's request for a kiss wouldn't make a whole lot of sense. It was especially funny that I had gone and made this dessert when the scene rolls around where the Merovingian sends the big O cake to that lady in the restaurant. I dunno. I hadn't really thought of reloaded in this way. Maybe I will see the third.

Anyway, I don't think indulgence in sex (within my marriage) is worse for my immortal soul than indulgence in food. Indulging in empty calories (a Krispy Kreme doughnut being a prime example) can destroy my body, and that is a sin. It is suicide, even if it is spread thinly over several years. Does that mean I never have a doughnut? No. [Blushing] But I want a lot more of them then I usually eat. I can eat until I am physically sick and still feel unsatisfied as to the drive that caused me to eat the doughnuts.

I think there is a drive that is not the sex drive nor the food drive that is engaged by self-indulgence. I guess I ultimately agree with what was said on the other thread, that we indulge not because the temptation is so compelling, but because there is something broken inside us. We are searching for self-esteem in a place where it cannot be found.

Can a movie contain sex and still be art? Yes. Can it be entirely about sex and still be art? Yes. I did see "Alfie" which stars a young Michael Caine. (SPOILERS) He is a single man who seems to have a hypnotic hold over the ladies. But it doesn't bring him happiness in the end. But I think it was far too graphic to be considered a cautionary tale in those days. I think if it were made now, it would be a really different movie because they wouldn't package the misogynistic philandering together with the piercing regret that comes to haunt him.
Posted by The Digital Man (Member # 6427) on :
Pooka, I liked your post, but I wanted to highlight this:

I think there is a drive that is not the sex drive nor the food drive that is engaged by self-indulgence. I guess I ultimately agree with what was said on the other thread, that we indulge not because the temptation is so compelling, but because there is something broken inside us. We are searching for self-esteem in a place where it cannot be found.
nicely put.

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2