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Reverie 7 (Politics, Pornography, and Freedom)
Politics, Pornography, and Freedom
Politics is a fetid arena, a den of Hypocrisy, Deceit, Corruption, and Confusion. In the official sense, there really is no place of Decency or Morality, only Legality. What one person deems lewd may appear to another as courageous, and what may seem virtuous to one group may be inappropriate to another. Thus, the standards of Right and Wrong are subject to interpretation, and they seem to change on a daily basis.
The phrase "virtual child pornography" has gained headlines recently, as the debate over the line between Good and Evil heads into the ring for another round. In one corner, the fight is to protect our children from abuse and exploitation; in the opposite corner, the fight is to protect our freedom of speech from Censorship.
Both are noble causes, and equally significant. Child pornography is in no way a good thing, that goes without saying, and anyone who needs a law to realize this should be crucified. At the same time, our right to express our thoughts unmolested is a virtue that should never be compromised, lest we become engulfed by Fascism. We can publicly scorn our leaders, praise Jesus Christ, support homosexuality, and condemn the police, all without the fear of military reprisal. We don't have to worry about the President's henchmen busting into our homes and slaughtering our families because of something we said.
The issue at hand appears to be when adults portray minors in sexual situations. Those opposed to such see this as one step closer to actually using children for said purpose. It can also be suggested that this feeds perverted temptations, and someone who sees enough simulated sexuality of youngsters may jump to the next level, craving the real thing. This last argument is the same mentality that classifies marijuana as "The Gateway Drug," insisting that legalizing weed will only lead to acceptance of heroin, cocaine, etc. "Crack addicts always start with the POT." I've yet to meet a crack/smack/ether aficionado who didn't try nicotine before a bong, let alone a rock or needle. Their "Gateway" was Curiosity or Desire, or maybe even something else, but certainly not Reefer.
That's a whole nother ding job, though, let's get back to porn.
Those who are against prohibition feel that more restrictions will follow, possibly without end. This position fears total suppression, a domino effect that will crash all Expression into a regulated domain.
Within the past few years, there has undoubtedly been more liberties taken in Expression, particularly in film. Traffic depicts a teenage girl using her body to score narcotics. True, the actress was a legal adult, but she did a remarkable job as her character, and the scene is incredibly disturbing (without showing her nude, by the way). The message behind the movie would not have been as powerful if this particular incident was cut from the feature. Kids was so unsettling, I almost kicked in my television, and have since vowed that if I ever see anyone resembling Casper (punk from the movie), I'll strangle him on general principle. Although I found this film entirely pointless, it was nonetheless effective in stirring emotion.
What if JFK was made to be more tame? The book was already written, but it was the film that rocked the Boat so intensely that Congress was forced to amend their prior stance on the matter. Would this have happened if audiences didn't watch Kennedy's head jerk "back...and to the right, back...and to the right" over and over, close-up and in slow motion?
I have a hard time believing that either official side of this debate condones pedophilia, or anything that caters to that abhorrent fetish. Still, just because preventing such is the Cause, our other rights cannot be cast aside in the name of Morality. Otherwise, the day will come when Sublime fans get arrested for enjoying the song "Mary," stories such as Romeo and Juliet will be banned, authors such as Dean Koontz will be imprisoned for writing Intensity, and movies will be nothing more than bland repetitions, forced to adhere to some parochial guidelines.
Hell, aren't cherubs made to resemble naked children?
"The right to think is the beginning of freedom, and speech must be protected from the government because speech is the beginning of thought."
(Justice Kennedy, Supreme Court of the United States)