"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Santorum and Gov. Pence put sex on our minds

Rick Santorum has said pornography should be taken off the Internet.
Santorum is a perennial presidential hopeful on the conservative end. He's not quite a member of the "clown car," where he'd be in with Michele Bachmann. But he's conservative enough that we can dismiss him as a viable candidate.
"Conservatism" is a fungible term. To some extent we'd all like to consider ourselves "conservative." We must be careful with our resources. We need to stimulate free enterprise. At some point of course, the gap between rich and poor, between the haves and have-nots, needs to be addressed. Republican conservatives can never be counted on to do this.
When Democrats talk about the wealth gap, they are decried for engaging in "class warfare." Now, the Republicans are starting to talk about it, because there's just no avoiding it. Where's the "class warfare" tag now?
But in the meantime, Republicans have another priority that they are seeking to push. This matter has sprouted mainly in Indiana. Does Mike Pence speak for all Christians? Is this what Christianity is all about?
The clergy community everywhere is watching closely. That's because the so-called fundamentalist Christians have for too long been able to identify what Christianity stands for. The trend began in the mid-1980s. I remember a Baptist couple in Morris MN that was a textbook example. I won't type their name here.
Governor Pence along with many conservative Indiana lawmakers devoted precious time to crafting a so-called religious freedom measure. Pence is now saying it gives no license to discriminate. Why, then, is this law even needed? I see no impediments out there for churchgoers to do their thing. The Morris MN churches don't seem boxed in by any unreasonable constraints.
Government needs to be helping all of us get greater opportunity for a good life. Right wingers would say "liberty" is an absolute, yet the likes of Santorum want to regulate the Internet by trying to remove pornography. Right away we're reminded of the judge who gave the famous quote about how "I can't define pornography but I know it when I see it." It's really not a laughing matter.
If you're a man, think about when you first began discovering your sexual impulses. Surely these memories aren't pleasant. Maybe things are better today. Maybe there are fewer restrictions on males, or females too, learning about such things.
Joe Scarborough has addressed this in an interesting way. Joe co-hosts the early morning show on MSNBC. He talked about when he was young and how he was probably age 14 before he even saw an image of a naked female body. Boys would get ahold of Playboy magazine. Of course, you would die if your parents ever discovered you had one. Which points to the fundamental problem. The naked human body should be no big deal. Why is such mystery and shame associated with this?
Mr. Scarborough shifted his thoughts to the present, where we now have the Internet, and kids can access those taboo images quite conveniently. The result? Kids actually become weary of all this. They have become numb to it. They become indifferent. A male who looks at porn with great frequency over a short period of time gets sick of it. In effect, he gets these nagging sexual thoughts out of his system. This is a wholly good thing. Porn quickly becomes a grotesque thing. We wonder why it ever stimulated us.
With this distraction removed, we can move forward contentedly in our lives, focusing on the things that matter. And yet the likes of Santorum want to enforce the old Victorian, regressive notions about sexuality, just like Gov. Pence is locked in a regressive set of attitudes about sexual orientation.
As boys we went to Annette Funicello "beach" movies which seemed to be deliberately teasing adolescent boys with sexual images. No one had prepared us for this.
We'd pass around "contraband," i.e. a father's Playboy magazine, and feel nervous about it. My God, what if we were "discovered?" What a waste of mental energy (to apply discipline with this). Pornography probably provides a service, assuming we can keep minors away from producing it, although it's strange that once you reach a certain birthday, overnight, you're OK for it.
Porn helps men get sex out of their system. They aren't torn with frustrations over it. It becomes irrelevant to them. There are images easily accessed online that would have made us and our parents faint in an earlier time. Why? I'll repeat something I wrote before, about the mystery attached to sex: perhaps it's evidence, after all, that human beings are a hybrid species - an offshoot of space aliens mated with Earth primates.
There, now you understand those Annette Funicello movies. Annette herself wasn't all that sexual - the moviemakers couldn't have the heroine in that mold. But she had quite the "supporting cast."
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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