Saturday, October 19, 2002

Avoid The Label: Good, Evil and Other Higher Truths Damn Us

We humans get into deep shit when we avoid the obvious and start constructing imaginary worlds out of the terms we use to describe real world things. For example, the debate over "Racial Profiling": when does a physical description cross the line into being discrimination? It's a troubling issue for our society, but not difficult if one looks at it. When a possible criminal or terrorist is identified, the physical profile determines those people who will need to be examined as potential threats. If the word goes out that a white man is the DC sniper or a black man is the mystery rapist, anyone resembling that person in the area affected will be detained and double-checked. But this appears to be too much for people lately, as the USA begins its search for terrorists of middle eastern origin.

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit by two men who were removed from a Continental Airlines flight on New Year's Eve when a passenger complained about "brown-skinned men."

Debevoise's decision, filed Thursday, came a week after a federal judge in Los Angeles reached a similar conclusion in refusing to dismiss a similar lawsuit involving an Arab-American removed from a United Airlines flight on December 23.

Recently two people of middle eastern descent (POMEDs, a group that includes Jews and Arabs) were thrown off a plane in the wake of September 11, 2002. Some passengers felt "threatened" by them; they were removed and flown on another flight. While we here at loathe the distinct anti-Arab bias that has been felt from Hollywood media for the past 30 years, and while we detest the Judeo-Christian influence in that media and in American politics, we're also not about to deny the obvious. If under assault by a different group, race, or people, one will first and foremost use physical characteristics to determine potential enemies. The reason is simply practical: when at war with Rome, and there are 12 people in a room and one is Roman, watching the most likely enemy while keeping a guardful eye on the others is an optimum strategy for survival.

In our modern time, with people afraid to offend or "discriminate," the trend is toward avoiding any kind of racial profiling except that of white people. You can bet your last dollar that if the DC sniper turns out to be a white male, all white males in vans will be inconvenienced as these two POMEDs were. Since America is no longer run by exclusively white people, and since the American voters include now a very active voting bloc of Hispanic and Black and Asian voters, we can assume that there's no inherent pro-white bias to government. Therefore, in theory, these white males are being racially profiled, just like the lone white male in a BMW in a black neighborhood late at night will be assumed to be buying cocaine. Are we denying the obvious in limiting their ability to sue?

The world of humans is best off when reality is recognized and not hidden behind social "truths." We can talk about the people who might not fit the profile in individual cases, but in considering the case as a whole, we have to wonder which method will catch the one guy with a bomb: worrying about individuals, or focusing on profiling and catching the "bad apple" in the whole. One nice thing about tribalism/racism is that it doesn't set up a double standard; it simply says, "This is wanted, and that is not." This is how Osama bin Laden has spoken of his people mortal enemies for 3,000 years, the Semitic Jews, and how terrorists speak of Israel's primary ally, the United States. Wouldn't it be nice if America was as honest as its ostensible "enemies"?

Friday, October 18, 2002

Freedom Is Incompatible With Taking a Stand

I found this charming link floating around on a BBS for masturbating metalheads (metal is a genre that's 99% loser and 1% beyond genius). It's part of that wonderful aspect of American "culture" that says, "If your life sucks, but you talk to enough people about it, it will be just like a movie and you won't be alone feeling like a loser." So since you're getting hired for $6.50 an hour to hand out pudwhack material to degenerates, you should at least celebrate that fact and whine "creatively" to others. One can just hear the muffled revengeful pretense of self-importance beginning to rise...

My position on porn is that I'm fine with whatever floats your boat, as long as
everyone involved is a consenting adult. Manga throws both of those rules out the
window. Sure, all the boxes claim that all the characters are at least 18, but a lot
of them are clearly drawn to look about 12. And there's a lot of raping. Not
just run-of-the-mill raping, either - we're talking about triple-penetration rape by demons.

I consider myself a first-amendment feminist, but to be honest the anime section
really makes me wrestle with that sometimes. And guys that rent the entire La Blue
Girl series all at once (check out the box cover sometimes and you'll see what I
mean) freak me out even worse than the guys who rent the Animal Trainer series.

How precious. The open-minded feminist is offended by nothing except that which offends her, and is busy in self-congratulatory mode thanking herself for being so liberal and accepting. This spectacular display of feminized logic culminates in her extensively complaining, throughout the site, about the types of people with whom she has to deal.

Lots of people are hung up on a particular race, or a particular racial combination, and many straight men are pretty specific about breast size (The Nice Rack series and the Itty Bitty Titty series seem to rent fairly evenly). The most common fetish, if you can call something so common a fetish, is for borderline jailbait. This is true of both straight and gay porn. The gay series to watch are Eighteen Today, Just 18 and Gay and First Time Tryers. The straight series are Bring 'Em Young, Barely Legal, and, horrifyingly, Faces with Braces. We actually have a guy who vets all our videos and makes sure that nobody is under 18, but still, guys who bring a stack of those up to the counter make me want to hiss and warn them away
from my little sisters. And it's never the 21-year-olds who rent Barely Legal, it's always the 45-and-ups. Gah. The 21-year-olds do occasionally rent the one Older Women, Hotter Sex video we have. I approve of this, in a shocking display of my own personal prejudices.

Let me get this straight... you work in a shop that sells fucked up, blown out, twisted pornography and you're surprised or concerned that the customers are blown out, fucked up, twisted losers? These are people who spend by her own admission thousands of dollars in the store. They are return visitors. They are successful enough in society, but have some grotesque fetish in common that makes them seek out video - lots of it - for masturbatory purposes. Our good liberal side says that everyone is equal, and therefore this is just a lifestyle choice, but anyone with a brain notes that one's lifestyle choices define what one is and/or becomes. There's no point to pretending that some guy renting $2,500 of porn a year is on the same level of stability as some guy with a house and family who periodically on a lazy Sunday jerks off to the smug looking supermodels in the latest Martha Stewart home living catalog. It's sort of like expecting people who use heroin to be as stable as some guy buying aspirin for the family. The good liberal rejoinder is, "Oh, but the normal looking people can be fucked up *inside* as well," -- while there's no "normal" and the well-adjusted looking can conceal the twisted, it is far less likely than the twisted enclosing the twisted, which is the case of most people entering porn video stores.

My advice to foolish feminized, liberalized, "open-minded" chickie: realize you can get $6.50 an hour working almost anywhere, and acknowledge your own perversity. You're fucked up like your customers, and your job - like your politics - is just a personal identity fetish. Get someone to film you renting and self-righteously typing out your diatribes, and maybe some broken, self-pitying slob like yourself will rent it.

I get sort of conflicted about throwing kids and teenagers out of the porn section. I really don't want them down there, not because I think sex is dirty or bad, but because I don't want them to think that that's what sex is about. The stuff on our boxes is sex in the basest, sometimes most brutal terms - naked women spreading their relevant orifices and making that Porn Face. Unless you're talking about the Max Hardcore series, which involves women with "SLUT" and "WHORE" written across their foreheads in lipstick. And besides - do we really need to raise another generation of men who can't deal with pubic hair?

So I don't feel bad about getting them out of there, except that I'm very conscious of the fact that I'm a woman while I'm doing it. I worry that I'm either setting up or reinforcing the idea that there are fun, bad women who like sex and good, boring women who restrict access to sex.

I always want to debrief them. "Hey, guys, it's cool that you're curious, but this isn't the way to find out. Porn is fine, but it's not real sex. Real sex is great, and even good girls love it, but it has to be a two-way street..." But I always just end up with "Sorry, guys - come back when you're 21." Perhaps I should write a children's book. Porn Is Healthy and Fine, but Only as a Temporary Physical Release.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

The Wisdom of Avril Lavigne: Liberalism and Christianity Are the Same Idea

For years people have told me that I'm a paranoid wingnut for seeing "secular Christianity" in modern liberalism. I thought it might be useful to expound on a fragment from the smarmiest and cheesiest and most greeting-card-ish palaver our society can produce. Enter Avril Lavigne with "Sk8er Boi":

Sorry girl but you missed out
Well tough luck that boys mine now
We are more than just good friends
This is how the story ends
Too bad that you couldn't see
See that man that boi could be
There is more than meets the eye
I see the soul that is inside

Oho, what's this about a soul that's inside? This song is a familiar archetype in Western media: rich girl falls for messy/poor boy, turns him down and faces regret. After seeing any of these you have to conclude you'd be a fool for taking someone at face value, even though the someones in your life don't look like Hollywood stars either. This song is trying to convince you of the same: that no matter how fucked up someone appears to be, they've got a soul inside and that's what counts (dualism). As the song illustrates, it is these souls that determine whether or not we succeed ("get onstage") in life or not, not how competent, balanced, intelligent we are. It's hilarious that this cheese is a source of profound revelations about the nature of this technocratic, liberalized system, and ironically fulfills the "promise" of democracy to show us what the average thinks.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Saving Lives Is Deciding Not to Decide

From CNN: "No cause or aspiration justifies the taking innocent life," Ralph Boyce, U.S. ambassador to Indonesia said in a statement. "The United States has offered all appropriate assistance to the government of Indonesia to see that those responsible for this cowardly act face justice."

I couldn't help but chuckle when I saw this. There are two important facets to it:

1. The USA is a liberal government with liberal values.
2. The "religious approach" to human life is completely unnatural.

First, what kind of government would repeat this pap? If nothing justifies the taking of an innocent life, no wars can be waged, nor executions allowed to occur, as an innocent life might be taken. The USA has exterminated an estimated 750,000 Iraqis through starvation from boycott of food and medical goods, and has bombed civilians in several wars. Does that mean those wars should not have happened? If so, why doesn't the USA pay reparations like those going to Jewish immigrants to Europe and potential descendants of slaves? This is clearly a liberal/humanist justification for power, in which the idea of "protecting innocent life" gives us the power to kill innocent people allied with those we "believe" will be taking "innocent" lives.

The second part of this is equally evident, when one's mindset is correctly configured to see past the media smokescreen. This approach of human lives - souls - before all other options is insane. It doesn't take into account any of the machinations that happen on a governmental level independently of what individuals are doing. It seems to deny the capacity for government in itself, because if individual lives are the most important, how can we even target foreign governments that are composed of individuals who may not agree with their government?

It seems clear to me that the root of this is democracy American-style, which makes each individual feel as if he or she is important. Message to these "individuals": you're not important. Get over it. Unless you're a genius with leadership capabilities, you're also not all that "different" from everyone else of your background attempting to be "different." Quit posing with this semi-religious leftist attitude and face reality now.