This is kind of a long one, but bear with me. I don’t do these long ones much anymore, but this warrants it, and I have a lot to say about it.
Morality and Iraq
The Iraqi constitution contains, among its many flaws, one word that renders the entire document and all the work thereon useless. It ensures that each and every death in that country, be it American or Iraqi, means nothing.
Specifically, in Article 17, Part 1: “Each person has the right to personal privacy as long as it does not violate the rights of others or general morality.”, and in Article 36, where rights to free expression are guaranteed, “as long as [they do] not violate public order and morality.”
Now, the word in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, of course. The problem is more with the concept the word represents. An exercise: Try do describe the boundary between “moral” and “immoral”. Is killing an aggressor to save your family moral? After all, it IS killing. How do you make the distinction? How do you determine the boundary? (If you think “the law” is the unquestionable answer to that, stop reading this and please, right now, go and take all the bottles out from under your bathroom and kitchen sinks and drink from each one of them, especially anything labeled “ammonia” and “bleach”. You’re only making things worse with your blind ignorance. Because, after all, according to German “law”, it was perfectly “legal” for Hitler to kill the Jews.)
Of course, that’s Iraq. You kind of expect that Islamic people would have something like that in their constitution. This is America. This is the land of free speech, where even if something isn’t necessarily “moral”, we still have the right to say it, right? Right?
Obscenity and America
Well, no, actually. Thanks to the new FBI porn squad, we no longer have that right. Fundamentalist Christianity, neoconservatives, and weak-spined Democrats are to thank for the removal of your first amendment rights. That’s right, in THIS country: America.
So again, we have a problem with a single word. This time, it’s “obscenity”. But, see, just like with the other one, there’s nothing wrong with this word; it’s the concept it attempts to describe wherein the problem lies. What is obscene? Ask John Ashcroft–the guy who draped a purple cloth over the tit of a statue–and then ask me and see how dramatically the concept can differ from one person to the next. Try it at home! Ask your friends and family what they feel is obscene, and see how their responses vary. Then, you can write down their responses, enter the data into a computer spreadsheet, and e-mail it UP YOUR OWN ASS because it’s MEANINGLESS. How do you make “obscenity” a policy? How do you make “morality” a policy? Whose definition will you use? The politicians’ collective opinion? Have the people vote on it every year and see what you come up with? Put everyone’s names in a hat and draw a hundred at random? Paint various potentially “obscene” concepts onto people’s backs and have them fight to the death?
And where will it end? Will I eventually be asked to take down my site because I use “the f word” too much? Will it expand from the internet to paper materials? Books in which anything sexual is depicted? Subversive literature? Sexual humor? Again, what is “obscene”? Some die-hard religious types might think it’s “obscene” for women to read. Some might think the idea of women being equal to men is “obscene”.
By the way, if you think you’re safe just because they claim they’re specifically targeting fetish porn and you’re not into that kind of thing, don’t think they’re going to stop at piss, shit and BDSM. What would be the point unless they went after everything? Why would someone be more traumatized from seeing a woman tied to a chair than seeing a woman being penetrated in every orifice? And, you know, I don’t recall anything from their little magic book that addresses consenting adults tying each other up or pissing on each other for sexual arousal. So on whose morality are we operating, here? Certainly not the Bible. I’d also like to see these jerks go after fetishes for specific parts of the body, like feet and hands. “Oop, can’t show your foot on the internet or you’ll get arrested or fined!”
The Market, God Save the Market
Of course, the really ironic thing is that this is coming from the people who for years have claimed that “the market will take care of any problems”, and that the government needs to be “smaller”. Just like the Cunts For America and their Starbucks cup, really. If they really believed what they claim to believe, they’d just stop patronizing these particular businesses–BDSM pornographers and such–and let the loss of business eliminate the “problem”. After all, that’s what they told blacks in the mid-1900s. They told them it was wrong for the government to make it law that businesses can’t discriminate based on race, and that the market would solve the problem. People would stop patronizing those businesses, and eventually the loss of business would mean that the businesses that didn’t serve blacks would disappear.
And, of course, if this is their definition of “smaller government”–invading the internet looking for pictures of consenting adults engaging in fetish behavior–it must be fucking Opposite Day or something. In fact, it must have been Opposite Day for the last, like, five years! Maybe it’ll be an Opposite Decade! Hell, it started with the country saying they, on the whole, wanted to elect one man into office, and then his opponent got in. To me, that’s a GREAT way to start Opposite Decade. I think we really hit the ground running with that one.
So, here in Opposite Decade, “small government” means “spending money on the military, domestic reconstruction efforts, and tax cuts that go mostly to the wealthy, not only racking up a record-level defecit, but doing so by adding tons of fat to what we pay private contractors”. And “an obvious mandate” means “support from about half the people involved”. And “family values” means “shutting down internet porn sites while at the same time being some of the most corrupt, filthy human beings on the planet, whose deeds eclipse a video clip of a girl getting spanked like the sun to a baseball orbiting on the opposite side from the Earth”.
How about, instead of going after internet pornography, they start targeting the forced prostitution of little girls in the Marianas islands? ‘Cause, see, those girls aren’t really consenting to what’s being done to them. I mean, it’s essentially rape. If not actual rape, it’s at the very least statutory. And then, a lot of the time, the bosses force the girls to get abortions if they get pregnant. But, hey, DeLay says that it’s a shining beacon for what the conservatives want to accomplish in the U.S., so it’s GOTTA be a great place, right?
But, hey, we’re just letting the market manage itself over there. If we intervened at all–even to save little girls from being prostituted–we’d be interfering with the Market, God save the Market. And God forbid we ever even question the Market, God save the Market. And after all, the rules of Opposites Decade dictate that “culture of life” and “family values” mean “letting little girls get raped in the Marianas and be forced to abort any subsequent pregnancies in the name of business interests”.
An Aside: Market-Oriented Ideology
Here’s something I’d like to ask all the conservative party-line munchers: How do their policies benefit you, personally? How does this internet porn squad benefit you? How does deregulation of business benefit you? Fine, you want to throw away half the food you buy because it’s infested with bug parts and rat shit and human limb segments? Great, let’s deregulate the food industry. You want televisions that set your house on fire? Great, let’s deregulate the electronics industry. Let the market take care of itself, right? After enough houses burn down, and enough people lose their possessions, and enough people die from eating cryptosporadium in their breakfast cereal, people will stop buying from the companies that produce the defective products, and eventually, maybe a hundred years from now, the businesses that don’t change their ways might go bankrupt, leaving tons of workers out of jobs, but packing heaps of profit to the CEOs who did everything possible to cut costs and quality so they could pocket the benefits. Yeah, I can really see most of America benefitting from that.
Meanwhile, then, what’s the point of government at all? What’s the point of granting massive amounts of power to people who are supposed to serve our interests, just so they can do everything possible to avoid protecting us from things against which we are powerless?
So go ahead and get behind all of this. You might as well be getting behind programs for ants to grow opposable thumbs and eat all of mankind, for all these things you support actually benefit you in the least. I would have hoped that by this time you’d have fucking learned that politicians–GASP–don’t always tell the truth, and that maybe you’d admit that there’s a slim chance–just a very slim one, thinner than Lindsey Lohan’s thigh–that these people you’re electing into office don’t, in fact, have your interests in mind, and that maybe what they’re telling you is going to make you the baron of Cash and Blowjob Village is no better for you than flaying your forearms and wrapping them in lemon peels.
The War for Freedom Begins at Home
This is total lunacy. This is beyond the most apefuck levels of insane, right here. This is the kind of shit that makes me start fantasizing about getting some investors to buy me a heavily-armed old ship in the middle of the ocean with satellite hookups that I can sail into international waters and use as a completely free data storage facility. (By the way, I’d had this idea long before reading anything by Neal Stephenson.)
There will be no end to it, because “obscene” is a completely relative term. Sure, they’re starting with scat and urine and BDSM content, but soon it will be anything referencing that. And regular porn. And then things that are generally offensive, like things containing words like “fuck”, “shit”, et cetera. And books. And movies. And pretty soon, your neighbors will be turning you in for hearing you moan too loudly while you’re having sex. And your friends will be turning you in for mentioning you like to be tied up.
That’s not freedom. That’s not even close. That’s Gilead, a place where women are refused the right to read, and where they have to put on superfluously concealing dresses to hide their shameful bodies, and they have to sit back and be fucked by sterile, limp-dicked old religious nuts because women are–according to popular “morality”–subservient to men, and only useful for making babies.
And of course, if you actually fully support all the things these people are doing to turn this country into that, I have this to say to you: Fuck your vision of America, you dystopia-craving assholes, and fuck you, too.