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Member since: Sat Nov 29, 2008, 02:55 PM
Number of posts: 17,671

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Well, I'll just have to work with what I've got then.

Every group of people from a single family to an entire country has an embarrassing lunatic fringe. From the obnoxious unreasonable uncle at Thanksgiving to fringe political groups causing havoc in an entire nation, they're an embarrassment to the rest of the group of reasonable people who have a more intelligent and nuanced grip on reality.

So for example the Republican party has the Tea Party and to the right of them gun toting militias running around in the woods playing soldier. Those preening right wing nuts would embarrass Il Duce. And lets not forget the religious fundamentalists and their peculiar obsession with medieval science and morality. The political left no doubt has its share of bombastic nuts as well, but probably not enough of them. Since the collapse of communism the ranks of our lunatic fringe have been seriously eroded.

A fellow smarter than me once said that an unexamined life is not worth living. I would add that an unexamined ideology is not worth having.

These members of the lunatic fringe all seem to have something in common; an unwavering devotion to ideology as an object in itself. It becomes a fundamentalist religion, a precious thing that has to be defended at all costs, right or wrong. I expect there are many reason for this unquestioning embrace; fear, pride, arrogance, greed, ignorance, or any combination of all of them. There are times when unwavering devotion to ideology is essential, as in war for example. Extreme times call for extreme devotion.

And we are at war. A culture war. It's an ersatz conflict manufactured out of the most selfish motivations of its combatants. It's a wag the dog Las Vegas feathers and brass production for the emotional gratification of people who view culture as a product to be acquired and hoarded.

I asked you to engage in something any rational person should be willing to do. I asked you to engage in a bit of ideological self examination. And you couldn't do it.

Finally! An intelligent OP on the subject. Thank you.

I expect the last thing we would want is a Progressive Theory of Everything as attractive as that may sound. Such a theory would be codified into an authoritative holy writ against which others would be measured and, more importantly, would be punitively defended because of the emotional and financial investments of those who control it. Banesbane has pointed out the inequities of capital distribution in financial systems but has overlooked the the dangers of iniquitous intellectual capital distribution.

Only a fool would argue that feminism hasn't been a benefit to society and that many of the objectives of feminists carry with them considerable moral authority. But there are inherent dangers in the transformation of any ideology into a holy writ to be defended rather than a tool for cultural development. When ideology becomes an object, it becomes a product and when that happens it can be coopted by capitalist interests. Everybody wants to be told what they want to hear, and there will always be somebody out there willing to do that for a price.

Now, here's the money quote: Pornography is art. It is a fictional representation of human activity. So when freedom loving, fearless novelty seeking, big tent inclusive, personal expression accepting liberals run into rape porn we are forced to put our money where our mouth is. The intellectual and emotional discomfort and conflict ain't pretty, but it's real. That puts people like me in the unenviable position of defending something they find disgusting. I don't like rape porn. But then again, I'm not interested in seeing a bullwhip stuck up some dude's ass either. And I'll go you one better than that. I'll even defend Thomas Kincaid's shit as art. And that one really hurts.


Why don't you summarize them and explain them. Can you do that?

The use of media is a collaborative effort between the artist and the viewer, or in this day and age between the producer and the consumer. They are, as with any other interaction between human beings, a relationship. All media alters our brains because interaction with everything in our environment alters our brains. Television alters our brains just as cave paintings altered our brains fifteen thousand years ago.

The "problem" with certain types of media consumption is not the media but the consumption. Or rather, over consumption. People have been exploring new and interesting ways to insert tab A into slot B since the advent of sex, and they will continue to do so. There is nothing that will halt, or even slow, human innovation in the field of fucking.

Have you read 1984? The dystopian society that Orwell describes is only possible through forced complete immersion in state propaganda. Hence the torture. The problem with seabeyond's OP is that she is proposing to "cure" people's perversions through forced immersion in the media that she feels is so destructive. Not only is it an oxymoron, it is a punitive solution that flies in the face not only of healthy cultural development but liberal ideology as well. The real question is how she came to those conclusions.

The relationship between Fox News and the people who consume it is purely commercial. They are telling people what they want to hear. It's a sort of highly focused banal wish fulfillment just like any other bad art no different from a Thomas Kincaid painting or a trashy romance novel. For such a commercial enterprise over consumption, or addiction, is profitable and total immersion is just another term for market domination.

Of course around here Fox News is always a ready example of all that is evil in the world but there are liberal ideology producers with the same business model - produce heroin content for market domination of peoples confirmation bias. Through it's role in the tremendous social advances in this country, feminism is an important part of liberal politics and liberal ideology. Such success has not gone unnoticed by those who would make a lucrative living telling people what they want to hear and over consumption of liberal ideology is just as pernicious as it's opposite number.

So many of the culture war issues that seem important are little more than the source of a lucrative revenue stream for people who make a living turning ideology into an addictive drug. There is no functional difference between the cheap wish fulfillment peddled by televised talking heads, hyperbolic polemicists, romance novelists or pornographers. It's all pornography one way or another.

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