Friday, 14 October 2011

Can you make porn come on my screen Dave?



UK prime sinister David Cameron took a turn from his usual chauvinist approach to small government by this week getting the big four ISPs to agree to an opt-in for users who want the option of porn on their PCs.

Based on a joint Mother’s Union/Department of Education report, it’s a nice but probably feeble try at a ‘central approach’ to the commercialisation and sexualisation of children, in effect little different than changing one’s browser preferences, setting up different users at log-in stage or buying a porn detector from the likes of McAfee. But as we’re frequently told these days we can’t trust ourselves (as Brent says 'it's not for us to say' on the issue of censorship), let alone porn’s purveyors: the levees broke on this in the early noughties and it’s going to be very difficult to contain.

Years of dial-up taught us patience we had grown unaccustomed to as seasoned and avid consumers; patience quickly scorned as we pounced like virtual predators when the i-porn became freely available, obsessing with the ‘money shot’. From there it’s a dark journey into an anarchic free enterprise underworld where we fall prey to our baser instincts, uploading image after image to our memory banks, for hour after hour. Yet it’s not addictive or harmful to others just liberating, we convince ourselves.

Sure, all this pro-am action, the vast majority of it probably taking place in California, probably HAS broadened my sexual outlook. Like so many other activity t’net is good for, it’s an able surrogate for imagination. But I cant help feeling such awareness has come via a sleazy pact; souls decay as retinas burn. That’s just a personal take, then there’s the ongoing objectification of women, society’s oversexualisation, the destructive effects of pornography on relationships and values, harming not just children but also adults. Still the Graun ran a piece defending its liberating effects by, er, someone from Porn.

And like so many other Up, Close and Personal elements of the internet that broadband has facilitated (social rather than sexual networks have only recently gained more web traffic), it came at a frontier moment, where developments in technology fast outpaced the ability (or indeed willingness – rather more lazy than laissez-faire) of regulators to rein in problem areas. It’ll be interesting to see that even with public support whether politicians can really play gatekeeper, the benign Big Daddy, on this.

1 comment:

Mr. W. Kasper said...

Relating to the post below this one, it's arguable that net porn was the biggest 'x-factor' destroying nightlife and subculture. Your alienated (male) misfit is far less likely to seek a sense of community and 'alternative' ideas outdoors now. Realising their poor chances on the 'pulling market' they'd settle for sitting in and masturbating all weekend, from a very early age. Forever under-socialised.

Go to any major city now, and the clubs are dominated by 'the beautiful' (or rich) people, young, well-dressed, and scarily confident. The cool kids, less likely to turn sexual alienation into a pathology. Club adverts tourned towards the semi-pornographic and stayed that way around 1999 - 2001. Their message being: You go out to look fit and get laid - end of. Drugs are mainly used for cast-iron confidence (coke) or various aphrodisiacs and stress-suppressants that emerge every year. The oddballs, gurners and gesticulators ended up staring at filth on laptops.