Wednesday, July 12, 2006
A Reasonable Facsimile of Ragnarok
But the question is: What is it about? All the FAQing work has wrung me out. I admit I haven't read another blog in weeks, perhaps over a month. I'm sorely out of touch with the blogosphere. Maybe I can ease into it with a couple of mentions of books I'm reading.
Not in Front of the Children: "Indecency", Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth by Marjorie Heins is a fascinating read about the battle to "protect" young people from, well, just about everything, but sexual content and information in particular. Other people might be bored with the details of court cases but I'm loving it. Ms. Heins makes it relevant and puts the shifting targets of "obscenity" and "indecency" into perspective. The "evolution" of censorship in the USA is fascinating to me. I only spent a few months traveling in Europe in 1979 and have never been back but it made clear to me how very, very prissy Americans are about nudity and sexual subjects in general. And when it comes to children, watch out! We want to protect them from everything. Is it any wonder that they have no inkling or understanding of how to develop mature sexual decision-making when they hit adolescence?
If you are American and you think we have all sorts of frank talk about sex, I must politely disagree. Most of what is in the mainstream is titillation and innuendo rather than serious discussion. Think of the brouhaha over the brief glimpse of Janet Jackson's breast on national TV. Many Americans act like nudity is a form of psychic violence, a incitement to destroy all morals and to engage in acts of random sexual activity. If anything, we engage in pathologizing sexual feelings.
Thus endeth the rant.