ho hum. i've just read an interesting piece in the guardian - Page 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 girl
- about the mentality of porn taking over pop culture. It raised some worthwhile points, but i think i have to disagree.
The main points are the preponderance of nubile women in sexual poses in the media, ranging from shampoo ads to Nuts magazine, how this will affect the generation growing up with this and the old chesnut of objectification of women as sex objects. I think these are all fair concerns. What I'm less certain of are exactly which of these issues is particularly new, or worsened, recently and, more specifically, exactly how porn is to blame.
I think it's fair to say that ads have been getting more risque, but over the last 20 years - not just overnight. And i think it's fair to say that kids in the playground gawping at Nuts or Zoo is - culturally speaking - probably not a great thing, but again magazines like FHM have had the same playground cool for a while (and before that kids gawping at page 3... you've got to learn from somewhere!). What seems like a more coherent argument however is not to take these things in isolation and say "hmmm, that's a cause of porn becoming more mainstream and the media spreading these attitudes". It seems that it's more about the lad/ladette lowest common denominator culture that is at the root of all this. Magazines like nuts don't show this stuff because they've seen it in porno, they show it because it's what the public want, because beer and football and tits are all we are. People who want porn can go and buy porn, i don't think that it's some kind of malign evil that is saturating our media; rather it is the media that is taking its cue from popular culture and reflecting the growing interests of the public.
And more than this i'm not even sure if we can cast it in these simple black and white terms. Can we really say culture is dumbing down, or can we only go as far as saying that certain aspects of culture which currently seem popular don't reflect the intellectual aspects of humanity which we consider important? Can we also say that this has always been the case throughout history? This stuff is transitional, attitudes change and i don't think this can generally be cast as either a good or bad thing. Would i like to have the attitudes of someone from the 30s towards nudity? Would i like to have the attitudes of someone from the 1800s towards slavery or empire? No. Things change, but it's not just a one-way street and it's also not just a one-lane road, there's bound to be strange oscilations in taste and standards that some love and others loathe. Sure this stuff is popular, but so is a lot of other stuff that isn't concerned solely with beer and laddish jokes and puns. Look at the bigger picture and realise that there's probably not much you can do about it - save not being trapped by it - nor does it matter much in the end anyway.
and this was good too:It's not political correctness to hold soldiers to account