If we’re going to talk about pornography, I’ve got a disclaimer to make. Back in the ‘70’s, the Red Dog Saloon in Oklahoma City bought more kegs of Coors beer than any joint in America. And we didn’t just pile those kegs up in the cooler. We tapped ‘em and poured ‘em out in pitchers and glasses by the tens of thousands. On a Friday or Saturday night, the music was so loud in there you couldn’t hear anything. The smoke was so thick, you couldn’t see. And most of the people in there were so looped they couldn’t think about anything. And above it all were the dancers.
At that time, it was illegal for them to dance topless; but the Red Dog wasn’t exactly jammed with law abiding types. So the girls pretty much danced however they wanted and misdemeanor fines were just a cost of doing business.
But when you tend bar in a place like that for awhile, something curious happens. After awhile, you don’t notice the dancers anymore. Once you’ve seen their tricks and routines a couple of hundred times, they blend into the atmosphere--like the juke box, the dance floor and pool tables. Your interest might get aroused when a new girl came along. But soon enough, she blends in with the others.
In time, the guys who kept coming in and making idiots of themselves got to be a joke. At best, they were mildly amusing. At worst, they were pathetic. But they were all there to be manipulated. The bottom line is, they were all sheep--sheep with money. And the dancers were expert shearers at work in a willing flock.
Okay. For what it’s worth, this is part of the background for my views on pornography.
So what exactly is pornography? Well, I looked it up and made some curious discoveries. First, that word is a relative new comer to the English language. It doesn’t appear until the 1850’s. If it tells you anything, we borrowed it from the French. Like lingerie and boudoir.
Anyway, porna was the Greek word for harlot. So, pornography, technically, meant writing or drawing about harlots and their customers.
So, what do you suppose a pornocracy would be? If aristocracy is government by the aristocrats, and democracy is government by the people, pornocracy must be government by--you got it. Evidently, according to some historians during the first half of the tenth century, the Papacy was a pornocracy. It was a time when the most important government decisions were made as a result of sexual exchanges and promises. Some disgraceful way to run a government, huh? Who would put up with something like that?
But I digress.
Let’s assume there’s a bright line difference between pornography, erotica and obscenity. There isn’t, of course, but for purposes of discussion, let’s assume the line exists.
What is a manly man’s attitude toward pornography? Obviously we won’t arrive at a consensus on this, but let me offer my opinion.
First off, manly men love women. They love watching them, talking to them, listening to them and looking up to them. Manly men aren’t afraid of women and they darn sure don’t hate ‘em. Manly men are inclined by nature to be protective of little girls. The manly man would lose an arm before he’d harm a child. Manly men respect women and they can’t help but admire examples of womanly beauty.
What a manly man does not do is sneak around. He doesn’t stay up late on the computer pretending to be doing something else while he skulks around on porn sites. He doesn’t lock his office door pretending to work while using his employer’s computer to look at sleaze. In several recent cases in the news, elected officials were caught viewing porn on tax payers’ money. An employee of the National Science Foundation cost the taxpayers approximately $58,000 spending 20% of his working time trolling pornography sites.
A news story appeared yesterday announcing that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that prison inmates don’t have a constitutional right to have access to pornography while they’re serving their sentence. Apparently a ban on pornography resulted in a reduction in assaults and sexual misconduct. Far as I’m concerned, that’s good enough to support the ban.
Catholics mark July 22 as the feast day of Mary Magdalene, patroness of reformed pornas. I wonder if there’s a patron saint for reformed pornocrats.
I’m Hink and I’ll see ya.
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Thu, July 23, 2009
by Michael Hinkle