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« What is the Tea Party anyway? | Main | Can one be a hillbilly *and* a Thomist? »

05/24/2010

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Robert Hockett

Thanks, Steve,

I'm by and large sympathetic with the tenor of Dr. Maltz's comments. I'd add two doubtless familiar caveats, though. The first is that the portrayal of extreme violence in various media - especially, these days, video games - surely ought to count as 'pornographic' in the sense that Dr. Maltz apparently has in mind, in view of how radically it 'objectifies' human and other living beings, and dysfunctional relations par excellence between parties in which it trades. The second caveat is that many great works of art, including cinematic art, can be very 'graphic' indeed while falling far short of '*porno*-graphic,' precisely by dint of their portraying passionately loving people who surely would rather die than do harm to or subordinate anyone. As ever, the difficulty seems to be that of where best to draw the boundary in ambiguous cases.

Thanks again,
Bob

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Cf.: http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/living_in_a_porn_culture/

Jimbino

It seems from the argument that the Bible and the Koran should be considered pornography as well, since they treat "sex as a commodity, people as objects, and violence, humiliation" if not exciting, commanded by God.

Robert Hockett

Alas, there is much truth in what Jimbino says. Many sacred texts chronicle, and some apparently purport to justify, disgusting treatments of human and other creatures as no more than objects that privileged persons may do with as they will. Intriguingly, however, many sacred texts -- especially a good many penned in India, but also, notably, the Song of Songs -- wonderfully evoke the beauteous, wondrous miracle that is love as well. The latter are those upon which I think we do best to dwell.

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