…Jane’ll kill me.” So speaks Kris Marshall in the latest BT advert. Jane will kill him for looking at porn with his mates on his stag night. Looking. With his mates. At porn. On his stag night. No, your wife-to-be won’t kill you. The crushing realisation that you’ve wasted your life by devoting it to a censorious bint who’s idea of doing something ‘a bit saucy’ is going on top is likely to kill you first. Well, I presume they’re trying to look at porn. They could be looking at beefburger recipes while he knows that his fiance is strict vegan. It wouldn’t surprise me. I know this series of adverts isn’t going to end up in them bickering their way into a violent suicide pact though, which means whatever happens I’m going to be eternally disappointed.
Anyway, Jane is looking to take over the whole internet. The new internet domain .xxx will soon be coming into effect. All porn will be coralled into one corner of the world wide web. Presumably once the whole wide world has decided what it is that constitutes porn. I’m guessing that the French notion that seeing it going in and everything will be slightly different from the Iranian version where you don’t know what ‘it’ is, let alone its final destination.
While that might seem flippant, it strikes me as one of the many fundamentally fatal flaws with this proposal. I’m not in favour of developing a universally agreed standard of what causes offence myself, but even if that can managed, there’s a few other issues that need to be addressed.
The first is that this assumes that porn is offensive. That somehow the millenia old tradition of depicting naked humans is somehow wrong. The ancient Greeks may have invented philosophy and introduced elements of maths and physics we still use today, but their idea that graphic hetero and homosexual images were suitable for pottery is, quite clearly, the product of a deranged hell-bent society. These urns should, of course, be destroyed in case Bill Wyman sees one and goes on a cock-hard rampage of indiscriminate spurting down Sunningdale High Street.
Secondly, and more seriously, is the idea that this will stop the worst of porn. Surely it legitimises it? Once it has the .xxx domain name then it’s ‘porn’. It’s not bestiality, not rape, not incest, not any number of other things…it’s just porn. And once you have an internet red-light district, where everything is accessible, what becomes of the ‘under the counter’ stuff? If we’ve got softcore, hardcore, sort-of-a-bit-of-a-semi-on-core all in one place, where do you go for the all the really nasty stuff. It just gets driven deeper and deeper underground. Maybe that’s the point though. We don’t care if girls are kidnapped and fucked senseless in the porn dungeon of some sadist if we can’t stumble across it.
The other thing that drives this is the idea that kids can stumble across nasty violent porn by accident. That’s nonsense. You can find pornography easily enough through an innocent google image search, but you have to be looking to find the hard stuff. I’ve been using the internet for many years and I’ve not accidently stumbled across gay scat munchers while researching ancient Scottish fiefdom’s or the like.
Of course I agree that children should be protected from sexual images until they are ready to cope with them, and I can see that some of the images are a bit different to finding a copy of Razzle in the woods. Presuming all porn is hidden behind a .xxx domain will simply make parents less, not more vigilant. If there’s any loophole, the kids will find it first. The idea that it protects children is lazy parenting, devolving the responsibility to Steve Jobs’ moral police.
The issue about the early sexualisation of children needs to be addressed seperately and not just looking at the internet in isolation. The internet has a whole host of images and videos that children shouldn’t be exposed though. Murder. Executions. Torture. BT adverts. Some kids will grow up to commit hideous crimes. Other will grow up to be floppy fringed punchable smug cunts. But all-in-all, kids will investigate things they aren’t suppose to know about one way or another as soon as they become curious. It’s natural.
And that’s the thing. Sex is natural. If all nudity is porn does than mean all sex is rape? It’s a pointless arguement and one that collapses under the weight of it’s own pretentions immediately. The only people who are going to benefit from this are the pornographers. And maybe governments who wanted to set a precedent for censorship using existing internet ‘kill-switch’ powers. Indeed any other groups who wanted to enforce their morals onto society. Why can’t they just set up their own internet and leave ours alone?