Carol Platt Liebau: Porn Nation?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Porn Nation?

Here is an article worth reading -- a worrisome discussion about the prevalence of pornography in America today and its effects.

3 Comments:

Blogger cookie jill said...

A better article to read.

One from the Nation....

On November 15, 2004, a report on CNN.com briefly described a clash in the Iraqi city of Baquba, including an insurgent attack with rocket-propelled grenades on members of the First Infantry Division, in which four American soldiers were wounded. CNN did not post any images of the battle, and the incident wasn't given much attention in other media.

But visitors to the amateur porn website nowthatsfuckedup.com were given a much closer view of the action: "today in baquba we got into the shit again and got some of it on vid.....this is me and my wingman fuckin some shit up when these fucks shot 3 rpg's at us so we took down the whole spot.....look for yourself...the fight lasted like 85 mins total and they are still counting up the bodies."

The poster, an anonymous soldier identified only as "Stress_Relief," uploaded two videos of the clash onto the website, drawing enthusiastic responses from patrons: "nice work, guys. Keep blasting those mujadeen [sic] bastards."

Originally created as a site for men to share images of their sexual partners, this site has taken the concept of user-created content to a grim new low: US troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan are invited to display graphic battlefield photos apparently taken with their personal digital cameras. And thousands of people are logging on to take a look.

The website has become a stomach-churning showcase for the pornography of war--close-up shots of Iraqi insurgents and civilians with heads blown off, or with intestines spilling from open wounds. Sometimes photographs of mangled body parts are displayed: Part of the game is for users to guess what appendage or organ is on display.

One soldier who goes by the alias "shottyintheboddy" said in an e-mail exchange with The Nation that he posts combat images on the site because it gives civilians a more accurate view of his life in Iraq. "I mostly take interest in the response of civis back home. Most know what CNN tells them and couldn't hack it here," the soldier wrote. He added that he recommended the site to his fellow soldiers, and knows others who post.

Chris Wilson of Lakeland, Florida, said in an interview that he created the site in 2004 as a simple Internet pornography venture: Users post amateur pictures--supposedly of their wives or girlfriends--and for a $10 registration fee, others can take a look. He claims there are about 150,000 registered users on the site, 45,000 of whom are military personnel. Of the 130,000 unique visitors who come to the site daily, Wilson estimates that 30 percent of the traffic, or 39,000 unique users, are US military personnel.

Early on in his Internet venture, Wilson said, he encountered a problem--potential military customers in Iraq and Afghanistan couldn't pay for membership, because credit card companies were blocking charges from "high-risk" countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Not wanting to shortchange US troops, Wilson established a rule that if users posted an authentic picture proving they were stationed overseas, they would be granted unlimited access to the site's pornography. The posting began, sometimes of benign images of troops leaning against their tanks, but graphic combat images also began to appear. As of September 20, there were 244 graphic battlefield images and videos available to members.

Why would a site devoted to sex also reduce the horrors of combat to a spectator sport? According to one expert, this confluence of pornography and violent combat images may have roots in the way the human brain processes high-arousal information.

"For some people, any arousal--it doesn't matter if it is a negative image or a pornographic image--if it takes away the boring humdrum of everyday existence, it's all the better," says David Zald, a Vanderbilt University psychologist who studies how the brain processes emotional stimuli.

http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20051010&s=the_porn_of_war

10:26 PM  
Blogger Mr.Atos said...

Interesting article consiering the source. I have never lived in a city as obsessed with pornography as Seattle, Washington... except maybe for Portland, Oregon.

Medved was discussing this subject on his show last week, and brought up a fantastic point that I think he attributed to Ben Shapiro from his book Porn Generation. It was something to the effect of degenerating traditional moral standards for the sake of liberal progress dissolves the foundations of civilization.

Just because it is a trend, doesn't make it healthy. Ask Emporer Honorius, who watched the approach of the Visigoths knowing that the gates of Rome no longer had enough integrity to hold fast.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Colonel Steve said...

Thank you for your reference to the article on the subject. And for the concern shown by posting it.

It is sad to me that today's culture has fallen to this. Leaving all of us, male and female, with the unique temptations for each of us to possibly fall into.

It is also sad to me that some folks don't get it. The lack of understanding, or concern, for the exact subject you've presented here.

4:39 PM  

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