Monthly Archives: May 2008

I love clothes.

Just to make that clear. I love clothes. Usually, as a high school student with a minimum wage job and no allowance, I can’t afford them. I have to save up for a couple months to buy some high-end items, so usually I just go to eBay and buy some scarves or something.

But this coat/jacket:

Has me disregarding the $195 price tag, simply because the back is too cool:

It’s hooded! A hooded trench coat! The idea blows my mind apart! (Not really.) But too cool.

Now I just have to choose between buying this, assuming it’s not sold out by the time I can save up enough money, and buying one of the other myriad of clothing items I really want, but obviously can’t afford.

Eventually I’m going to end up with more jackets than shirts. Which would be interesting.

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child pornography and pedophilia.

A recent Supreme Court ruling has (again) declared representations of child pornography (drawn, digitally drawn etc) to also constitute child pornography.

Jill from Feministe has a nice post analyzing the intentions behind the ruling.

Whether that’s “really” child porn isn’t a closed subject, I don’t think. No, it’s not using actually children, but it is digitally altering adults to look like actual children. It is banking on the idea that pedophiles or people which pedophilic sexual urges will believe the images feature actual children.

And all of that rests on the premise that what makes child porn child porn is the appearance of it, not necessarily the actual age of the person in it. The actual-age argument is one that Ren and lots of others rely on, and it makes a lot of sense. But I remain troubled by it, especially in light of the fact that a whole lot of people who look at child porn go on to molest actual children. I don’t buy the argument that there’s a big fat line between what people enjoy in their pornography and what they enjoy in real life, especially when it comes to things like this.

The guy who’s looking at naked children is doing it because he thinks naked children are hot. That’s a big problem in itself, and a bigger problem if he decides to seek out some sort of sexual interaction with the kind of people he’s attracted to.

Emphasis mine.

So I haven’t seen any child pornography, but I doubt that the children are happy and “consenting” to the sexual advances of adults in the videos. Thus, child porn promotes the rape of children. And even if the children do “consent” in the porn, it would promote the heavily unbalanced power play of an adult seducing a child. Which would be rape.

But to call attraction to children itself “a big problem” gives me pause. The act of sex with children (rape) is illegal. But should the attraction be condemned? Society reacts so viciously to pedophiles
and convicted child rapists. We declare them automatic monsters, regardless of whether the person in question is a pedophile or not. Very few people would voluntarily choose to become pedophiles, in my opinion, except for those who find that molesting children is a good way to exert power. But to turn to children in the first place – I’m so disgusted by the thought that I can’t comprehend it. And I imagine it is that way for most of the population.

But what happens is that pedophiles find that they are rejected from society. Any mention of “I need help, I find children erotic” brings a reaction of “you’re a monster. Get away from my children!” And then what do they do? Because regardless of how you feel about pedophiles, as long as they haven’t raped a child, they’re still human. And even after they’ve raped a child, it’s arguable, but they’re still human.

So what should they do? If society condemns the act but not the attraction, that sets up for some serious compartmentalizing. So I have no clue on this topic. Thoughts?

P.S. My previous stance on pornography has changed. I now believe that any portrayals of live adults in pornography is exploitive, even if the sex is safe and both parties are enjoying pleasure and nobody is being hurt. It is still putting on display the bodies of one, two, or more people and focusing on specific body parts. However, safe, pleasurable, consenting sex in the form of literature/art is fine by me. As long as it doesn’t promote abuse, misogyny, violence, and the negative gamut of porn.

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growing older.

The Dug-Out

Siegfried Sassoon

WHY do you lie with your legs ungainly huddled,
And one arm bent across your sullen, cold,
Exhausted face? It hurts my heart to watch you,
Deep-shadow’d from the candle’s guttering gold;
And you wonder why I shake you by the shoulder;
Drowsy, you mumble and sigh and turn your head…
You are too young to fall asleep for ever;
And when you sleep you remind me of the dead.

St Venant, July 1918.

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not a good way to pick up girls.

Katherine Zoepf has been doing a NYTimes blog series on dating in Saudi Arabia. Her latest entry is about numbering – when Saudi boys drive in cars alongside the cars of Saudi girls and wave their phone numbers on cardboard and send Bluetooth messages, hoping to get some reply.

But I want to draw attention to this portion of the post:

I looked around. We were surrounded by several other cars, all containing young men and all trying to get the attention of the figures in the GMC, while simultaneously trying to edge each other off the road at high speed.

“Isn’t this getting a bit dangerous?” I asked.

“Yeah,” said Fahad. “Sometimes the girls get really scared, there are so many cars chasing them. Sometimes they’re in their car, crying and screaming for us to go away. It’s fun to make girls angry.”

Just in the sentence before, Fahad admits that the girls “get really scared,” but then he dismisses their genuine fear as getting “angry” and says that “it’s fun.” I’m sorry – can he repeat that again? “Crying and screaming” equates fun? I’m charmed.

This eerily parallels claims in the U.S. of harmless, fun, but ultimately very hurtful jokes. For instance, that rape jokes are funny. Or that fun can never hurt people.

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a Chelokee update (good news!).

According to Centennial Farms, the owner of Chelokee (who was injured, remember?), Chelokee successfully completely surgery and is recovering great! He’s not out of the woods yet, but his odds have significantly improved from the 50/50 earlier.

Originally given a 50-50 chance of recovery, we are delighted to report that odds are now in our favor. If two weeks pass with no additional complications, then the odds of a full recovery will then rapidly increase.

“He is begging for peppermints and tried to nip me as I walked out of his stall. He is eating hay well. So far, so good.”

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the problem with white jeans.

Sadness:

I just stained my new white jeans.

The culprit:

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progression of a song.

I went and bought Augustana’s new album, Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt, today. I absolutely loved the first single of the album, Sweet and Low.

The first version of this song was called “Heart Shaped Gun.” Lyrics are here, a video is here.

Augustana changed the lyrics. The melody is still the same. The result:

Hey Now
sky black and blue,
blue turned to red,
it’s quiet in the streets now,
it’s screaming in your head, Continue reading

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