Thursday, September 30, 2004

Yay! A column on porn!

For the Oct. 6 Vermilion, a column that crosses several lines:

Before we dive headfirst into this week's empty pool, I want to explain that last week's column was so short because it suffered from what journalists call "115 missing words." To check out the unfiltered version of that column, get online and visit http://ianmcgibboney.blogspot.com/2004/09/what-is-louisiana-smoking.html.

At least the fine folks at the Vermilion didn't publish the conservative column under my name again like they did on Sept. 3, 2003. I spent that week trying to convince people that I never called for anyone "to be castrated with a dull butter knife and then hung in public." But hey, accidents happen, right?

Speaking of accidents, two years ago I was in Stephens Lab visiting a Web site that featured funny photographs. The site also occasionally showed hilariously unsexy nude pictures, and at one point I accidentally clicked on one. I immediately backtracked--yuck!--but it lingered there just long enough for a Stephens Hall administrator to walk by and boom, "Son, this is a public lab and you are not allowed to view material of that nature!" Fortunately for me this didn't happen recently, because the university would have stuck me in therapy.

Last week's Vermilion featured a story on the pornography policy at UL computer labs. Almost everyone quoted in the story claimed that pornography is a sickness. But like anything else, it can be used or abused. The article seized the valid issue of public displays of pornography and twisted it into a call for its restriction simply because some people cannot handle it.

Please understand, I wholeheartedly agree that some sites should be off-limits in a public lab. Nor should child porn or any other coerced nudity be legal viewing anywhere. But UL is really overstepping its bounds by requiring disciplinary action and counseling for this kind of computer solitaire. Here’s a few blunt facts about erotica:

1) Pornography has health benefits. Is there any safer form of sex than masturbation? And is there any safer forum for indulging sexual fetishes? Plus, it’s a cheap date!

2) No one HAS to view pornography. It's just like anything else; if you don't like it, avoid it. Likewise, no one has to pose for it either. The degradation debate ignores the fact that we’ll always objectify those we find attractive. It's how we're wired. And don't forget that, in all legal porn, the models have agreed to pose and are paid generously for doing so. It's all about personal choices on both sides of the lens.

3) The link between porn and violence is, well, flaccid. If you're at home with a magazine, then you are not hurting anyone. Serial killer and rapist Ted Bundy, who blamed his crimes on porn, probably didn’t benefit from growing up thinking his mom was his sister and never forming any real friendships. For every porn-loving rapist, there are a million people who enjoy the same images and live decent lives. You're sitting next to one, if in fact that doesn't also describe you. Show me someone who has never viewed pornography and I'll show you a liar.

The problem is not that the person is viewing porn, but that they lack the self-restraint and intelligence to do so in privacy. If that’s causing a disturbance in the computer lab, then boot them out. But we should be well past the point where we send people to shrinks for the heinous crime of desire.

If campus officials are looking to combat a problem, might I suggest tuition hikes? How about drainage? Or campus safety? No one enrolls in a university to be told that they are sick people. We’re all adults here, so grow up!

7 comments:

Shannon said...

You're forgetting, Ian: Masturbation makes the baby Jesus cry.

PusBoy said...

Plus, when you masturbate, God kills a kitten.

Michael said...

Sing it with me, now:

"Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is great,
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate."

ThomasMcCay said...

What is all this pornographic material being used for?

Anyone who doesn’t know the answer to that question is either too naive to live or a space alien who has been on earth for less than a week.

Beating off, spanking the monkey, skinning the pink lizard, visiting mama thumb and her four daughters, or the five knuckle shuffle. Call it what you will, it all comes down to masturbation.

It's the ultimate safe sex with a partner that never complains, never says no, never wants money for the deed and will never launch a tell all divorce action. It can, in fact, protect one from the above mentioned pitfalls and others too numerous to list here.

Great blog Ian. Funny and oh so true. And such nerve...publicly defending something so, so...well, common.

I would pray for your filthy soul. If I weren't an atheist.

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't know anyone that does not look at porn. I've come across it on just about every friend's computer that I've fixed. I've come across it in my mom's junk drawer. I've hid it for friends who's parents were coming over and I've ordered it for myself on pay-per-view at 10 bucks a pop on a few occasions. Gay ladies, straight ladies, straight men, gay men, trannies you name it, they've watched porn on more than one occasion.

Isn't "sex" like the most popular search term on Search Engines? If people want to claim its a sickness, they should really stop looking for it themselves.

-Chrissy

Zachary said...

A friend in high school once told me that the key to world peace is pornography and masturbation. Who feels angry after beating off? We just need an endless supply of lunch meats and we're set for life.

Shannon said...

Lunch meat? Eh. Never mind. I don't want to know. I'm a vegetarian.