Friday, June 01, 2007

Upper-Middle Brow Porn

A tiny movement is afoot to create a higher class of porn.

Some Harvard undergraduates have created a new magazine, H-Bomb, which they say is a "magazine about sex" without being just pages and pages of pornography.

New Republic editor Britt Peterson wrote about "Porn with a Silver Spoon." She writes that in the "alt-porn" movement "the smut itself is becoming more upper-middle-class: urbane, ironic, self-aware, and intellectually as well as sexually titillating." As an example of this, she cites a film in which she appears as an extra, which contains a "cum blanket" scene. "The scene with the cum blanket, for example, ... exaggerates the traditional cum shot to the point of subversive absurdity."

Oh, great, just what we need.

Now, I don't think pornography ranks very high on the list of things you shouldn't do. I think it is a fair assumption that every man you know, and most of the boys, look at is from time to time. Kiddie porn, of course, is evil. Porn addiction is bad the way all addictions are bad. Mostly, though, porn is bad because it is kind of a waste of time, time spent on the most animal kind of sex that could instead be devoted to real human love.

Still, I think the attempt to create upper-middle brow porn (which is about as high as the genre can go) will fail. The market is too small and the options too limited, and the temptation to sink back into the tried and true will be too strong. Alt-porn sounds like just another temptation to liberals to think they are smarter and more sophisticated than traditional people.

9 comments:

Roderick said...

Weston sez: Alt-porn sounds like just another temptation to liberals to think they are smarter and more sophisticated than traditional people.

Roderick: You know it's hard to take you seriously sometimes.

You call yourself a professor yet you set up straw men to be provocative.

Could you please show me some evidence to prove that liberals are behind this newest form of porn.

Links and names would greatly be appreciated.

Gruntled said...

I would think that having an assistant managing editor of the New Republic praise alt-porn because it is "urbane, ironic, self-aware, and intellectually as well as sexually stimulting" would be proof enough both that it is a liberal project and that it is a temptation to think that being for alt-porn is proof of being smarter and more sophisticated than traditional people are. As Britt Peterson says later in the same article that I link to, "I'm probably "for" pornography in the way I'm for legalized abortion."

Edith OSB said...

I'm not quite so nonchalant about porn, either. Priest friends tell me that their time in the confessionals these days is just a tirade about people addicted to internet porn. When the medium changed, availability increased and probability of detection (reltaive to purchasing it in stores) decreased.

Some of the recent psych literature on porn's effect on the brain makes a pretty good case that the addiction is real, in the sense of the brain getting used to regular rushes of pleasurable chemicals.

We are virutally surrounded by softcore porn - especially young people - of this urbane, intellectual witty type. Minnesota Public Radio has been airing a fund-raising message where the husky-voiced announcer uses constant double-entrendre to ask us to donate. It's so similar to phone sex that I find myself turning off the radio out of sheer annoyance.

Edith OSB said...

Later the same day: an article in the LA Times on porn-style hotels and restaurants:

Gruntled said...

I have heard anti-porn activists describe internet porn as like crack cocaine. In some (most?) fraternities it is, I am told, ubiquitous, and brothers are supposed to simply accept it as the normal background images of their lives.

Roderick said...

So you're taking one person's OPINION as gospel because it fits your preconceived notion that pornography is somehow liberal because pretty much anything goes.

I hate to tell you this but we liberals are the Democratic Party and if don't like us do us a favor and change parties. We don't need 'Democrats' like you or Zell Miller or Joe Lieberman.

Go join the Republican Party so you can use yuor Rovian smear tactics free of charge.

Any addiction is bad. Some people are addicted to food, others to shopping, and still others to gambling.

Are any of you abolishionists willing to ban, food, casinos or shopping malls or are you obsessed with porn because it involves sex---something you guys obviously aren't getting enough of. LOL

Stuart Gordon said...

Roderick:

Methinks you protest too much. Where did Gruntled utter the word "ban?" Does any expression of concern about the corrosive effects of some behaviors become, in your view, censorship?

And what responsibility, in your mind, do we have toward one another in society, regarding addictions of any sort? It seems that you're not so much a liberal as a libertarian.

Roderick said...

Stuart Gordon said...

Methinks you protest too much. Where did Gruntled utter the word "ban?"

Roderick: No but that is where it usually leads.

I recall last year the holy rollers were trying to pressure hotels to stop offering adult movies

Stuart Gordon: Does any expression of concern about the corrosive effects of some behaviors become, in your view, censorship?

Roderick: If you believe in Original Sin then you know that corruption is sew into every human being from birth. So any corruption you see in the world is the result of humans not the other way around.

Stuart Gordon: And what responsibility, in your mind, do we have toward one another in society, regarding addictions of any sort? It seems that you're not so much a liberal as a libertarian.

Roderick: No I am a dyed in the wool liberal, but it's impractical to try to manage the personal lives of other humans. Hell most of us can't manage our own affairs.

Anonymous said...

@Roderick:
I think you're getting upset over the use of the word "liberal" more than the actual content of the post. Perhaps you should step back and examine what Gruntled is trying to say.

Calling yourself a "dyed in the wool liberal" would seem to suggest that you're very defensive of the term and that you self-identify with it. Perhaps he's writing about pornography rather than an article against you and your lifestyle in specific? Also, do you really want to debate the political leanings of a Harvard publication?

Regardless, I think you're being a bit a ridiculous.