Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Just like that song 'bout Nabokov

So there's this popular Japanese comedy manga called "Nymphet," which, according to Newsarama, features an eight-year-old girl who wants to have sex with her teacher. While it was scheduled to be translated and released in America, Seven Seas Publishing has decided against that. They refused to censor or alter the book, and so they chose not to publish it, rather than risking the inevitable backlash.

Personally, I applaud Seven Seas. They stuck to their principles and took a hit on this one, and I can respect that. I wish we could live in a society where people would be able to distinguish between "fiction" and "reality," or even "porn" and "comedy," but since we don't, their response was reasonable.

See, the whole "lolicon" thing creeps me out. I don't like the idea of kids in sexual situations, which is one of many reasons why I don't read it. But I also recognize that in these cases, it is just the idea of kids in sexual situations. And while I may find the material gross, I find censorship much grosser.

I don't know, I just can't quite see getting outraged at fictional characters doing things that I may find morally disgusting. I'm no supporter of pedophiles and their ilk, and I'll vehemently defend laws that set age limits for consent. But there's a big difference between people looking at real sexually-explicit photographs taken of minors without legal consent, and people looking at sexually-explicit drawings of fictional minors created by a consenting adult. And apparently with this book, it's not even that, it's a sexually suggestive story about a fictional minor. Even if there were no other value to the story, even if this were just produced for creepy teenagers and would-be pedophiles to get their rocks off reading about Lolita's little sister, at least no minors are being harmed. And you're going to have to show me some evidence before I get on the "people who read about X are more likely to do X" bandwagon.

This whole debate has been really enlightening; the cultural differences between America and Japan are so vast when it comes to sex (and I apologize if I misrepresent Japanese culture here at all, please feel free to correct me if I do). Japan has ranked consistently (as I recall) as one of the most sexually-dissatisfied nations in the world. There's a Victorian-esque repression going on, which is why it's so startling that they would air their fetishes out in the open as they do. Pornographic cartoons and video games cater to every conceivable fetish market.

Meanwhile, in America, we're far less repressed when it comes to social roles and everyday conduct, yet we relegate pornography to brown bags and low-budget films. As far as I'm aware, American fetish porn is remarkably limited when compared to the subtle genres of Japan. In America, there's mainstream porn, there's bondage, and then there's "weird stuff," while the Japanese have individual words for every genre and subgenre.

And the weirdest, the absolute weirdest thing to me is how Japanese society's sexual repression has led to the creation of wholly new fetishes. From my understanding, the tentacle porn that fueled the whole "Heroes for Hire" brouhaha developed because the Japanese outlawed scenes of penis/vagina penetration, and so the next best thing (phallic tentacles) was invented. I understand that the rules regarding pubic hair have been changed (has anyone else lived with an Asian Studies major recently? Isn't it amazing what you learn?), resulting in a bush revolution of sorts. I have to imagine that there wouldn't be such a ridiculously detailed fetish market if people felt more free to express themselves sexually.

And then there's the rape fantasy stuff, which seems to make it into every Hentai game I read about on Something Awful. I've read enough books and watched enough SVU to know that rape's more about power than sex. I have to wonder if the combination of a society that tends to look down on female independence with international contact with societies that promote feminism, along with a male inferiority complex (partially borne out of the same international contact) is why these disgusting fantasies are so prevalent in Japanese media. The male power structure in Japan is being eroded through international commerce, and this destabilized patriarchy is grasping at straws trying to retain that power.

And when it comes right down to it, I think that's a big part of sexism in America, at least among the old-guard of misogynists. But while American feminism was mostly homegrown, espoused and enforced by our loved ones, to the Japanese (and various other cultures) it represents an outside influence, which threatens the patriarchy with inadequacy and obsolescence.

Oy...I don't know about you, but I think I'm done talking about porn and patriarchy for awhile.

16 comments:

Philosophizer said...

what I want to know is, does tentacle porn predate Evil Dead?

...I should call Andrew.

Brian Hughes said...

Great post. So basically, Japanese culture is just as uptight and self-loathing as ours, only backwards. I guess humans all display the same traits worldwide, only the conditioning varies. Then we fight wars with each other based on the differences in our conditioning! Haha! Joke’s on us!

Anonymous said...

I love it that you posted a HUGE response to my two lines on the Newsarama feed.

Sleestak said...

What, Marvel outbid Seven Seas for the rights?

Tom Foss said...

Anonny: I post huge responses to everything.

Sleestak: Actually, I think it's going to be the next Minx title.

Diamondrock said...

As a resident of that most wacky island nation, I have to say you're pretty much spot on about what you say.

It's amazing the sort of things they air out in the public here. When I got home from work today there were two advertisements for pornography in my mailbox. And not just mine... *Every* mailbox. And they're not censored. Can you imagine how that might go over in America?

There's a store in the main shopping area I usually go to in the city center (it's where they keep all the geek shops). This store is devoted to pornographic comic books. That's all they sell. It's a HUGE store, and they don't try to hide it. It's out in the open, comics displayed in the windows. It's mind-boggling.

But what's more mind-boggling is that it's all stopped seeming weird to me... Mostly, anyway...

Matt said...

I saw an episode of a show that explores sexuality (I can't remember the name) a while back that focused on Japan.

Like Diamondrock pointed out, sex is really just a part of life over there. Seeing psuedo-porn on prime time television in Japan is as natural as seeing a medical or crime drama in America.

From what I understand - and I may be wrong so forgive any absurd stupidity I may spout here - on the exterior Japan is one of the most outwardly sexual countries in the world. It's not uncommon for teenage kids to have more "one night stands" than they do actual relationships - in some cases, it's the norm. In fact, I think that special I watched said that this is causing a problem, because this kind of mentality among the youth is happening on such a mass scale that we're starting to see a populatin decline over there.

Again, if I'm wrong about all of that, feel free to put me in my place.

I think it's really an interesting kind of thing to watch and study.

Great post.

-M

Anonymous said...

I have to apologize for calling you a pedophile. It appeared that you wer being one, but after reading your blog I now see that you weren't defending an 8 year old trying to sleep with an older male...you were defending their right to publish it.

I was wrong to lump you in with those that actually ARE defending child molestation.

BUT, you were also wrong to assume I was in favor of cencorship. That, as my old college prof would of said, is a "straw man" argument. My point was never that they shouldn't be allowed to publish it, nor that they should be editing it in any way, shape or form.

My whole thing was that it was sick, and that as a society, we should come together against such things.

So too would I rally against such things as, in no particular order: Rape, Abusing the handicap, taking advantage of the elderly, etc.

These things are also sick in my book.

You are correct to say that it is a work of fiction..but you must also understand that works of fiction can stir real life emotion, and to casually dismiss these concerns insults the intelligence of those you wish to have a serious debate with.

Two wrongs do not make a right, but I do believe we were both wrong, and I'm man enough to admit my faults.

I'm sorry I dragged it over here, but as you can see, they shut down the comments at Newsarama, and I didn't want you to think I was being rude by not responding to your post. You took the time to write it, I should at least take the time to acknowledge it.

And I also love Scrubs. So we'll always have that in common. I recently purchased a complete set of seasons 1-4 for a ridiculously low price of $60.00 on Cragislist.

I was the envy of my little circle of nerd friends for one entire evening. But I was on a business trip, so my wife had to bask in nerd envy in my place.

Sigh.

Anthony Lucynski

Tom Foss said...

I have to apologize for calling you a pedophile. It appeared that you wer being one, but after reading your blog I now see that you weren't defending an 8 year old trying to sleep with an older male...you were defending their right to publish it.

Gosh, and if only you'd read what I'd written, instead of getting on your moralizing pedestal, we could have avoided this whole crazy misunderstanding. Funny how actually listening to what people have to say instead of assuming their moral inferiority can help avoid conflicts.

That being said, apology accepted.

I was wrong to lump you in with those that actually ARE defending child molestation.

And where are those people, eh? Certainly not in the Blog@Newsarama thread. It'd be different if some moron from NAMbLA were in there, spouting platitudes and garbage, but there wasn't. There was just a group of people who see fiction and say "icky! Do not want! Should not be published!" and a group of people who see fiction and say "well, it's gross, but it's harmless," or "actually, it's kind of funny, if you'd actually look at it." You were tilting at pedophilic windmills.

BUT, you were also wrong to assume I was in favor of cencorship. That, as my old college prof would of said, is a "straw man" argument. My point was never that they shouldn't be allowed to publish it, nor that they should be editing it in any way, shape or form.

Allow me to quote:
"Sex and “8 year old girl” shouldn’t even be in the same sentence, let alone a concept for a book."
"The day I start thinking 8 year old girls lusting and trying to be with older men in a sexual way is enertaining is the day I need to be dragged out into public and shot dead." [Emphasis mine]
"I don’t find it funny on Family Guy when Stewie has his sexual moments, I don’t find it funny in any media. There is a line that has to be drawn. There is no “grey area” in this, in my opinion. I see everybody trying like hell to justify this, and it makes me want to..well, I’ll keep what I want to do to you to myself, lest I come off as an ultra violent nutjob."

I'm sorry, I guess when I see 'people who think publishing this is okay deserve to be shot, I just mentally shorten that to 'yay censorship!' When I see "I don’t find it funny in any media. There is a line that has to be drawn," I can't see how that is anything other than a cry for censorship. It's saying 'this does not belong in media, this is off-limits, beyond this line, nothing gets in.' If that's not your argument, then it's certainly not my fault for perceiving it as such.

And I'm well aware of straw man arguments. In fact, I believe I leveed the same accusation your way, after your "And i’m so sick of people saying 'well, nobody complains about [insert tv show or other media here] therefore it’s OKAY'" hogwash.

My whole thing was that it was sick, and that as a society, we should come together against such things.

So too would I rally against such things as, in no particular order: Rape, Abusing the handicap, taking advantage of the elderly, etc.

These things are also sick in my book.


You keep using pronouns, without apparently recognizing that they contribute to misunderstanding. What should society be rallying against: pedophilia or publications with pedophilic overtones?

I think we all should come together against rape, murder, handicap abuse, elder abuse, and the like. In fact, I think we do as a society come together against those things; after all, that's why we support laws that prevent them from happening and punish people who break those laws.

But I certainly don't support rallying against literature that includes those things. Without literature about pedophiles and rape, what would I watch on USA? Certainly not Law and Order: SVU. And that'd be a damn shame. Without literature about serial killers, I'd lose my favorite series on Showtime, and several damn good movies. See, I can be entertained by a protagonist who kills people and eats their remains with fava beans and a nice chianti. I can be entertained by the hunt for a villain who imports child sex slaves from overseas and chops them up and puts them in the basement. I can be entertained by these things because I recognize them as fiction. Sure, they may be based on problems in the real world; there are real serial killers and real rapists and real pedophiles out there, but that doesn't somehow invalidate the entertainment value of a good story.

You're right, there does need to be a line when talking about real rape and real pedophilia and real murder and real elder abuse. But in literature? In literature, the only lines are the ones that the words sit on. And when I read Darkly Dreaming Dexter or listen to "Don't Stand So Close To Me," I don't think "this is sick, sick, sick, and people who are entertained by it deserve to be shot," I think "damn, that's a good story (or song, as the case may be)." And then I think "gee, maybe by presenting this horrible situation, the author is trying to make some kind of point."

You are correct to say that it is a work of fiction..but you must also understand that works of fiction can stir real life emotion, and to casually dismiss these concerns insults the intelligence of those you wish to have a serious debate with.

You know what else insults the intelligence of people you wish to have a serious debate with? Calling them pedophiles. And misspelling their names. Gosh, that drives me nuts.

But that's beside the point. Of course literature stirs real emotion. That's one of the main points of art. If a work of literature isn't causing you to think something or feel something or reconsider something, then chances are it's not a very good piece of literature. When you read Silence of the Lambs, you inevitably find Hannibal Lecter to be charming, fascinating, charismatic, and empathetic. You identify with a cold-blooded serial killer, and by the end, you're rooting for him to get away and eat Dr. Chilton (okay, I confess, it's been awhile since I read it, so I'm just kind of assuming the book ends the same as the movie). That should make you think about things like morality and good and evil and psychology.

What it shouldn't do is make you think "gawrsh, I guess I'm gonna go out and kill a transvestite!" And it's insulting to think that A) Any reasonable person is going to have that kind of reaction, and B) That the publisher or author is somehow culpable if that reaction occurs.

What you don't seem to grasp is that no one is going to read something like Nymphet or Lolita or any other book with young girls in sexual situations, and come away with the feeling that they've somehow been given license to have sex with little girls. Reading Nymphet won't flip the pedophile switch in anyone's head; reading things does not cause people to do things that they wouldn't do otherwise. Columbine wasn't caused by Doom or Marilyn Manson, it was caused by two neglected, mentally disturbed, emotionally abused teenagers. Did the video game influence the way they killed people? Maybe. Did it cause them to kill people? The legions of Doom-players who haven't gone on killing sprees would suggest not.

And the same goes with Nymphet. If some pedophile were caught with an eight-year-old girl, and copies of this book in his possession, which is more likely: that the book caused him to kidnap and molest a young girl, or that his pre-existing desires to kidnap and molest children caused him to seek out this book?

Two wrongs do not make a right, but I do believe we were both wrong, and I'm man enough to admit my faults.

As am I. And looking back over my posts, I may have been too snarky, but I stand by my opinion. I don't see anything I said in there that I think is wrong. I haven't changed my mind about protecting speech, especially when it comes to reprehensible, disgusting speech. We don't need to protect happy, agreeable things; ideas that everyone agrees on aren't in any danger.

I'm sorry I dragged it over here, but as you can see, they shut down the comments at Newsarama, and I didn't want you to think I was being rude by not responding to your post. You took the time to write it, I should at least take the time to acknowledge it.

Yeah, I wish I'd read the whole post before I refreshed the window and found it deleted. Wouldn't want to think you were rude.

By the way, there is a reason that people like me don't last very long in prison: because the cops come in and say "we're terribly sorry, sir, it turns out that the accusations against you are totally without merit. We'll be bringing Mr. Lucynski in for filing a false report. Please don't sue us."

I'm just joshin', mostly. But I'm glad that you brought it over here, to be honest. I hate leaving long, snarky posts on other people's blogs.

And I also love Scrubs. So we'll always have that in common. I recently purchased a complete set of seasons 1-4 for a ridiculously low price of $60.00 on Cragislist.

That is a ridiculously low price. You know, I ought to check out Craigslist for that kind of thing more often. It's getting harder and harder to find good deals on eBay these days.

So, I hope that what you take away from this, Mr. Lucynski, is a better understanding of the importance of free speech, and who is to blame when people commit bad acts (put simply: the people who commit those acts). I hope you understand that "reading about something" and "doing that something" are not the same thing, and can't even be shown to be causally linked.

And I hope that the next time you see a book with subject matter that you find offensive, before you start shouting about sick people and dragging folks into the street, you stop for a minute, and you consider that the person who wrote the book might be a reasonable person, and the people who are entertained by the book might also be reasonable people, and you wonder just for a moment what a reasonable person might be trying to say by writing a book with that potentially objectionable material. Maybe, just maybe, you'll realize that the odds are against that statement being "it's okay to have sex with little girls."

Diamondrock said...

No, Matt, you're spot on. I'm a junior high school teacher. I'm teaching 12, 13, and 14 year olds. These kids are having sex. The age of consent in Japan is THIRTEEN.

Okay, so maybe I still think it's all weird...

Anonymous said...

Quick thing, I never said others should be dragged into the street and shot, I said that I SHOULD (if I were to ever think that 8 year old sex is a great thing)

And yes, my last post had claws, and it was deleted because of it. At that point, I wasn't using logic, or any form of deductive reasoning. I was aiming to hurt, to push those buttons (I failed miserably, but it wasn't for lack of trying). I believed at that point that you were attacking me, and all civil conversation, or hopes of civil conversation, were at an end.

It has been often said, and I think it bears repeating, that if we were all sitting at a bar (a classy bar, with mixed drinks, prefferably mudslides or a nice sipping drink, like a White Russian. Not that I have anything against black russians.) then most of the internet squabbling could be handled in a much better manner. We'd all be laughing, and understanding, because the internet takes away a certain aspect of conversation.

There are people who have done their college thesis on the subject of the decline of converation due to the internet. It's sad, especially considering what the internet was designed for.

I am embarrased that what I read translated the way it did in my mind. I know we don't know each other, but it is imperative for you to know that I wasn't being a jerk on purpose. I actually perceived a different conversation than what was going on. I saw the topic, and I lost it.

I'm really not one of those right wing conservative nutjobs, honestly. I'm not one of those people who go around doing my best Mrs. Lovejoy impression, screaming "won't somebody please think of the children????"

I'm a card carrying member of the Democratic party. Some people get up in the morning and pray to God. I get up in the morning and pray to the Trix Rabbit (and then make my obligatory dig at our President, but let's face it, it's too easy now. The shiny has worn off)

I think my emotions when the subject turns to children have taken over since I've become a father. If my mind didnt' automatically throw my daughter's face into my mind when these things come up, I think I'd be less inclined to be outraged (or at least calm enough to see the forest for the trees, or however the old saying goes)

I'm not trying to excuse my behavior, mind you. That's not being responsible when one excuses everything away. Rather i'm trying to explain my reasoning, sound or not, at the time.

Woops, gotta go to work.

Anthony Lucynski

Tom Foss said...

Quick thing, I never said others should be dragged into the street and shot, I said that I SHOULD (if I were to ever think that 8 year old sex is a great thing)

No, you said: "The day I start thinking 8 year old girls lusting and trying to be with older men in a sexual way is enertaining is the day I need to be dragged out into public and shot dead." Now, maybe I'm reading it wrong, but phrases like "need to be" and "deserve to be" in that context are typically used as value judgments. There's a difference between saying "Honey, if I ever start listening to talk radio, I should be shot" and "Honey, if I start listening to talk radio, I need to be shot" or "I deserve to be shot." You're making the claim that finding entertainment in media that features 8-year-olds in sexual situations necessitates violent action. And you supported that value judgment later by saying "I see everybody trying like hell to justify this, and it makes me want to..well, I’ll keep what I want to do to you to myself, lest I come off as an ultra violent nutjob." You suggest repeatedly that people who would find entertainment or artistic value in Nymphet deserve violent punishment.

And yes, my last post had claws, and it was deleted because of it.

I suppose that's one way of putting it, sure.

At that point, I wasn't using logic, or any form of deductive reasoning.

At that point?

I kid, I kid. Mostly. But you keep using the phrase "deductive reasoning" like it's the only kind of reasoning there is. Deductive reasoning starts from generalizations and reaches specific conclusions, and in this situation was probably the wrong kind of reasoning. See, you started from a generalization ("only pedophiles would defend this") and worked down to specific conclusions ("this person specifically is a pedophile"). You would have been better off with some inductive reasoning, I daresay, where you could have observed the arguments and points made by the defense team, and reached a general conclusion about them, rather than starting from a mistaken assumption.

I was aiming to hurt, to push those buttons (I failed miserably, but it wasn't for lack of trying).

It's okay, more vitriolic people than you have tried to push my buttons and failed. I tend to keep my cool pretty well in Internet debate. As a wise philosopher once said, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

I think it was Socrates, actually. And the next line was something like "Hemlock, on the other hand..."

I believed at that point that you were attacking me, and all civil conversation, or hopes of civil conversation, were at an end.

No, I was attacking your argument, as I am wont to do. I did say that you were reacting emotionally rather than logically, but that was pretty much apparent. Appeals to pathos bother me, because they really don't have any place in law or reason; they have no logical value, and seek to persuade people by disgusting them into submission. If a point is valid, it can be made with straight logic--appeals to logos--and not with the crutch of argumentum ad Pepto Bismol ("This makes me sick, therefore it is wrong").

It has been often said, and I think it bears repeating, that if we were all sitting at a bar [...] then most of the internet squabbling could be handled in a much better manner. We'd all be laughing, and understanding, because the internet takes away a certain aspect of conversation.

I don't drink, and I don't care for bars. Too loud and smoky for my tastes. Personally, I prefer the Internet for my conversations, for a number of reasons: first, I can organize my thoughts more easily and specifically; if I get stuck, I can stand up, walk away, make myself a sandwich, and come back with a different perspective. I think better when I'm writing than when I'm talking. Second, I can do quick research to support my point, which is rather difficult in your average barroom debate. I'm a scientist; I like my opinions to be supported by facts and evidence. And third, and this is the kicker for me, in a verbal debate it's easy to lie or try to un-say what you already said. In writing, it's preserved right there on the screen for just anybody to go over and get it. This, I find, is useful for keeping debaters honest; you can always be confronted with precisely what you already said, so you've really got to mean what you say and say what you mean.

There are people who have done their college thesis on the subject of the decline of converation due to the internet. It's sad, especially considering what the internet was designed for.

Gee, you're all about the decline of society, aren't you? Let me share with you a brief passage that I read a day or two ago in Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus:

In an anonymous tractate written in response to the Proposals...[Master of Trinity College, Cambridge] Bentley was attacked for his program, and was said, by his anonymous opponent, to have "neither talents nor materials proper for the work he had undertaken."
Bentley took this, as one can imagine, as a slur on his (self-acknowledged) great talents and responded in kind...[He] wrote a vitriolic reply, naming Colbatch and, as was the style in those days, calling him names. Such controversial pamphlets are a marvels to behold in our own day of subtle polemics; there was nothing subtle about personal grievance in those days [the 18th century]...throughout his reply he provides a smattering of rather graphic terms of abuse, calling Colbatch...a cabbage-head, insect, worm, maggot, vermin, gnawing rat, snarling dog, ignorant thief, and mountebank. Ah, those were the days.


I know it's long, but the point is that the politesse of discourse hasn't declined by any stretch of the imagination, certainly not due to the Internet. Public debates today are downright elegant compared to the way they were conducted two hundred years ago. Hell, take a look at some of the political cartoons from the Lincoln era, or the ones that accuse James Garfield (Grover Cleveland? I always mix those two up) of fathering a bastard child. Discourse is far more polite now than it has been in even the fairly recent past. When's the last time you heard a politician use the N-word in a public speech? It's not that the word has suddenly become offensive; it was always offensive. But society as a whole has become more compassionate, and has developed the recognition that we shouldn't say things just to upset people for no reason.

Now, I'll agree that the Internet has led to something of a decline in English grammar usage, but that's quite different from discourse.

I am embarrased that what I read translated the way it did in my mind. I know we don't know each other, but it is imperative for you to know that I wasn't being a jerk on purpose. I actually perceived a different conversation than what was going on. I saw the topic, and I lost it.

Now, that's reasonable. I can see where that might happen. It's in those cases, precisely those situations where what you read causes an emotional response, that you need to take a deep breath and be absolutely sure that you're not misinterpreting what you've read, that you're not reading something into the text that isn't actually there. Before you respond emotionally, make sure that your response is justified.

If that's not an argument for promoting better reading comprehension skills, then I don't know what is.

I'm really not one of those right wing conservative nutjobs, honestly. I'm not one of those people who go around doing my best Mrs. Lovejoy impression, screaming "won't somebody please think of the children????"

And this has been a fantastic demonstration about what's wrong with those right-wingers, traits I've noticed time and time again. There's the lack of reading comprehension, the unrestrained emotional response rather than a reasoned response, the use of almost exclusively emotional arguments and pathos-based fallacies (poisoning the well by calling people pedophiles, for instance), the refusal to accept the consequences of your statements (saying 'I don't think that, but someone passing by might'), and a preference for perceived safety and security over liberty. Thankfully, you've corrected most of these. See, the difference between the left and right isn't necessarily that these traits are right-exclusive, but that the left recognizes them as bad things.

A good rule of thumb when you read something that stirs an emotional response in you is to take the opportunity to stop and consider why it stirs that response, and whether or not that response is justified, before you make it public.

I'm a card carrying member of the Democratic party. Some people get up in the morning and pray to God. I get up in the morning and pray to the Trix Rabbit (and then make my obligatory dig at our President, but let's face it, it's too easy now. The shiny has worn off)

I'd whip out a bit of Hamlet at this point (not as dirty as it sounds), because you do protest too much, methinks, but I don't think it's because you're not what you say you are. I think you genuinely feel bad for this conversation, and I can accept that. I apologize for my own continued snarkiness as well. But you don't need to prove your liberal street cred to me. This fine demonstration of liberal guilt is all the proof I need.

But why on earth are you praying to the Trix bunny? That's for kids. You should be praying to the Constitution, man :).

I think my emotions when the subject turns to children have taken over since I've become a father. If my mind didnt' automatically throw my daughter's face into my mind when these things come up, I think I'd be less inclined to be outraged (or at least calm enough to see the forest for the trees, or however the old saying goes)

That's pretty much what I suspected. Parenthood does strange things to people's protective instincts. I don't doubt that someday I'll have the same problem. Hopefully I'll be able to force my rational faculties to override my emotions when that time comes.

I'm not trying to excuse my behavior, mind you. That's not being responsible when one excuses everything away. Rather i'm trying to explain my reasoning, sound or not, at the time.

I understand that now, and it's cool. Just ease up on the trigger finger a little in the future. The last thing you should think before hitting "Post Comment" is "is this response based on logic or emotion?" And if you're not sure it's the former, you'd better go back and check.

Feel free to drop by again!

Anonymous said...

[b]But why on earth are you praying to the Trix bunny? That's for kids. You should be praying to the Constitution, man :).
[/b]

Because i'm disallusioned with modern religion and I needed a new messiah. That, and he just wants a bowl of Trix. It's cereal for crying out loud, just give him a damn bowl. It's not like the greedy punks don't have a huge box of it. Kids are cruel.

Oh, and yeah, i'm pretty pessemistic when it comes to society. I sometimes think that the super flue that wiped out most of humanity in Stephen King's THE STAND wouldn't be a bad thing..if it, you know, selectivly went through and purged all the people whom I don't think need to be around. Such as bad drivers, people who wear belts around their shirts (??) Loud cell phone talkers (I don't care about your business, I'm trying to eat lunch), Alarm systems door to door salesmen, Jared from Subway, K-Fed, The guy down the street who parks a u-haul van on the side of the road making it a one way street even though he has a large driveway, teeny bopper girls who give fashion advise at 2am at Wal-Mart when you're in line to get medicine for your sick kid who's coughing up a lung or two, People who own comic shops that have no business owning comic shops, born again christians who when the fall off the wagon just get born again and again.

I could go on, but you get the point, I hate damn near everybody. But in order to get through life, I have to pretend I don't.

I thought training my kid to be a hitman (girl, whatever) would be a great idea, but my wife was against it. Everybody else wants their kids to be lawyers, doctors and such. I thought perhaps mine could aim higher.

Get it, "aim higher" (with the throwing knives and such..aww never mind, I shouldn't quit my day job)

Damn! I have a day Job, again, gotta go to work...

Anthony

Manley Ripsnort said...

Just to join in the mud-wrasslin' here, I'd like to point out that "This shouldn't be published or distributed" isn't quite the same as a "Cry for Censorship". It's the same reaction as when I see Maury Povitch, or Anne Coulter on the network morning shows, or that War At Home show. Recognizing something's inherent wrongness (Calvin&Hobbes porn online, for a further example) is separate from banning it. The question is, do you call you senator, burn down the store, or just walk away muttering under your breath?
If I cancel my newspaper subscription because of an Anne Coulter column, that's choice. If I try to bomb or otherwise close down Coulter's syndicate, that's censorship.

Tom Foss said...

Just to join in the mud-wrasslin' here, I'd like to point out that "This shouldn't be published or distributed" isn't quite the same as a "Cry for Censorship".

It depends on how you say it, and how you mean it. If you're saying "War at Home shouldn't be on TV instead of better shows like Arrested Development," you're certainly not calling for censorship. If you're saying "I won't buy any newspaper that publishes Ann Coulter," that's certainly not a call for censorship. If you're a publisher and you're saying "we're not going to print this," you're not calling for censorship. If you're saying "they shouldn't be allowed to show Maury Povich," you're calling for censorship. Once you make a distinction between "things that are legally/morally acceptable for publication" vs. "things that are legally/morally unacceptable for publication," you're calling for censorship.

It doesn't need to be as extreme as bombing a newspaper; supporting a law or a distinction between "acceptable" and "unacceptable" media is calling for censorship. Saying there are some ideas that you shouldn't be allowed to present, that there are some topics you shouldn't be allowed to write or record about, is censorship.

And if it were a Newsarama thread full of people saying "I refuse to buy this," I'd have no problem with it. But it was "this is wrong" and "this shouldn't be allowed," and I have a real beef with that sort of thing.

Colin Wales said...

Saying there are some ideas that you shouldn't be allowed to present, that there are some topics you shouldn't be allowed to write or record about, is censorship.

I usually put it like this: The difference is when you go from saying "I don't want to see this, I will not buy it" to "I don't want anybody else to see this, nobody should be allowed to have it" - making the decision not for yourself, but for others.