Since the Janet Jackson Super Bowl Half-Time Clothing Malfunction Extravaganza, I’ve tried to comprehend why a woman’s nipple is obscene. It just doesn’t make a drop of sense.
Men’s nipples aren’t obscene, and they aren’t so different in form that it makes sense to differentiate. The big difference is the breast itself, and we don’t seem to have much problem with women putting them on display.
The uproar occurs when a woman’s nipple is visible. The logic just doesn’t seem to hold water, but for argument’s sake, let’s assume that a woman’s nipple is obscene. What if a woman is displaying a vestigial nipple on say, her foot… Like this person (this is according to the very unfunny scientific journal Dermatology Online).
This woman really has an extra nipple on her foot, and apparently other people have extra nipple’s as well (Gizmodo).
Is displaying this nipple obscene?
Must this woman always wear footwear on the beach?
Or is this ok with the censors of the world?
It’s a nipple, and it’s on a woman, therefore it’s obscene according to the prevailing logic.
I’d say no, but the anti-boob crowd might disagree.
Obscenity is too murky to legislate. Anyone who feels that their personal preferences should be turned into law is a fool.
No joke, no exaggeration. I first learned about politics, and began following it because of the video game Mortal Kombat. Yes, the early 90s arcade game with all of the punching, kicking, eviscerating and decapitating.
I first played the game in the arcades (remember those?), and I was completely blown away by the graphics. The characters looked like people, not drawings of people, and I just thought that was the coolest thing. The gameplay mechanics were neat too, but what set it apart was the look and the fact that you could effectively execute the opposing character in really creative ways when you won.
When I read that the game was coming to home consoles, I saved for months to purchase it. I hadn’t saved money for a video game before, in fact, I had to negotiate an allowance just so I could get my hands on a few bucks here and there.
As I was nearing the necessary amount to triumphantly make my purchase, I learned that there were a lot of parents who didn’t want me to have the ability to purchase or play the game. It was the slaying of your opponent and the presence of blood that caused all of the trouble. They thought it would turn good kids like me into murdering psychopaths. I had no understanding of philosophy, freedom of speech, or the Bill of Rights, but I knew that those parents were wrong.
I knew they were wrong because I had played the game, and I knew that it wasn’t real. Hell, even if I thought it was, I knew I couldn’t shoot electricity from my hands like Raiden, breathe fire to torch a man with my mouth like Scorpion, or punch my fist through a person like Kano. Sure it was pretend violent, but it wasn’t any more pretend violent than my friends and I running through the woods shooting toy guns at each other.
When the Super Nintendo version was released without blood, I knew that it was because some parents thought that would make the game less pretend violent. It didn’t, it was a joke. The game was the same, and I was happy when my mom let me buy it.
That experience of learning that parents other than my own could possibly have an impact on my life was the first time I became aware of the outside world in a non-abstract way. Over the course of the following two years I learned more about government and politics, and by the time I was 10, I was following politics on a daily basis.
The Mortal Kombat franchise has had a lot of weak titles over the past decade, but it still has a special place in my heart because it opened my eyes to the world around me. It helped me learn that censorship is wrong, before even I learned the word, “censor.” It made me examine what impact the games I played had on my own actions. Most of all, it showed me who the enemy is. It made me realize that there are people in this world who like to meddle with other’s work, their creations, and their lives. It showed me that there are people who when faced with something they don’t agree with, attempt to destroy it.
Egypt is in massive political upheaval and their government is cracking down on the protestors in just about every way imaginable. This includes cutting the entire nation off from the Internet.
I know it’s easy to get cynical about the Internet, and what it really means. lolcats, stupid viral videos, and inane status updates aside, the Internet is the way human beings communicate, and assemble. Cutting people off from the Internet isn’t about depriving them of porn, it’s about control and oppression.
You can’t escape your past, but you can study it, learn from it, and eventually find peace and acceptance.
Or you can ignore it, push it away, and not learn a damn thing.
Here are a few crimes against humanity:
- Germany invaded it’s neighbors, enslaved populations based on race, and systematically committed genocide
- Japan invaded it’s neighbors, raped, and killed in a volume that is unfathomable
- Russia is guilty of annihilating large portions of it’s own population
- The United States and England firebombed a city for no strategic gain
All of these acts were committed during World War II. Four bullet-points that represent the brutal deaths of millions of people.
Humanity has done and continues to do all manner of monstrous up things to one another. We can’t change that they happened, but maybe if we learned from these inhumane acts, we can stop committing them.
We owe it to the victims of these acts to remember their suffering the way that it actually happened, not some classy, kid-friendly Disney version of suffering.
When we remove “nigger” from Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, to make it more friendly, classy, and politically correct, we are killing the memory of life under Jim Crow. Twain’s language in Huck Finn was deliberately harsh and indicative of the times. Twain knew exactly what he was writing in Huck Finn, and his points are clear unless you are a shallow and vapid.
Huck Finn is a hard book to read precisely because it paints a realistic picture of humans causing misery. Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, and Elie Wiesel’s Night are just as painful to read because of their honesty. When you don’t have to look real human suffering in the eye every day, it’s shocking when you have a casual encounter with it.
Huck Finn is one of the novels that has been in the crosshairs of book burning scum for about a century. I always believed it would stand the test of time because it was written by Mark Twain, one of history’s great novelists. If we’re censoring Twain is any novel safe from the grease pencils of America’s easily offended helicopter parents?
It is a sad day.
I was perusing one of my favorite blogs, The Occasional Superheroine when I stumbled upon this headline:
“Ron Jeremy Says Violent Video Games Worse Than Porn”
She quotes a PC Magazine article:
Jeremy insisted that the industry only caters to the over-18 crowd. “We don’t want kids to watch porn,” he told the crowd. Though if they do, he added, there are far worse influences out there — like video games. “[Studies have] found that violent video games are much bigger a negative influence on kids.”
And a rebuttal from Kotaku:
“Maybe in a whole-numbers sense Jeremy’s comment could be accurate, but I guess that would depend on violent video games being consumed by minors in numbers greater than porn. And honestly, I’m not too sure about that. So , Ron.”
Who the hell cares what 56 year-old (yes I did look that up) porn star thinks about the impact of porn or video games on children?
Of course he doesn’t think his profession is doing anything bad.
That being said, I can’t seem to find anything seriously wrong with either.
Everyone needs to grow up.
Images of sex don’t harm youth, acting like sex is a shameful act does.
Video games don’t make kids murder, chemical imbalances and/or neglect do.
… And by the way, Mr. Jeremy appeared as himself in the video game adaptation of “Celebrity Deathmatch.” Last I checked, that was a fighting game.
As commenter Crix Lee pointed out, Jeremy retracted his comments.
Regular readers here know that I am really angry about some of Apple’s business practices regarding the iPhone App Store.
However, it does look like Apple is paying attention, not to me, but the wider Internet community.
Hopefully, “we’re listening to your feedback,” will turn into action.