British Historian On Porn And Internet Censorship: North Korea Is Right -- The Internet Is Our Enemy

from the nobody-does-liberty-better-than-totalitarians dept

Timothy Stanley, University of Oxford historian and occasional blogger for The Daily Mail The Daily Telegraph, peers out at the internet (from within the internet) and decides he doesn't like what he sees. The problem? That old moral panicist's standby: pornography.

Over in the UK, British Prime Minister David Cameron has just introduced a rather overextensive anti-porn "crackdown" which forces Britain's four largest ISPs to filter pornographic material unless the user specifically opts in. Acting pretty much at the behest of something called the Mothers' Union, Cameron is also taking on billboards, aggressive advertising, sexualized tween clothing articles and, well, just about anything any concerned parent can dream up, thanks to the brand new Parentport website, where parents can go to file complaints about "any TV programme, advertisement, product or service they feel is inappropriate for children."

Stanley seems to be ok with all of this (as well as its obvious potential for abuse), referring to it as a "modest" proposal. He expresses dismay that so-called "conservative" commentators find this to be "injurious to liberty," while dropping what may very well be the quote of the day:

I am confused as to why such people use the label conservative to describe themselves. The single purpose of conservatism is to protect what is good about the traditional order. The internet is a threat to the traditional order and so it is not our friend. The North Koreans understand that, even if we do not.
At this point, many of us are getting up to open windows and doors and turn on the fans in an effort to diffuse a bit of the irony hanging in the air. Stanley has just used the internet to badmouth the internet. Fair enough. People do this all the time. But to drag North Korea in as some sort of example of The Way Things Should Be Done? It's too much. For a British citizen who writes about politics (often in a dissenting manner) and who travels freely between "London, Oxford and Los Angeles" to refer to a country where dissent and attempting to leave the country are frowned upon (and by "frowned upon," I mean "punished with lengthy imprisonment, torture and death") as being somehow "smarter" is downright incomprehensible. (And deplorable.)

But he's not done yet. Stanley pursues the familiar "gateway" theory. Much like our beloved drug warriors constantly remind us that marijuana is the "gateway drug" through which all drug users pass en route to wasting their lives away in badly lit PSAs, Stanley is here to tell us that pornography is the "gateway," um, "thing" that leads to pedophilia and serial killing.
Internet pornography is an obvious example of how permitting one variety of perversion invariably leads to greater and more terrible crimes. The internet turned pedophilia from a private sin into an organized crime. It put people in touch with each other who would never have otherwise met, allowing them to pool resources and share victims. It gave predators access to kids through forums. It also used mainstream porn as a gateway drug. By introducing younger and younger models into erotica, it blurred the lines between childhood and adulthood. People who previously would never have had access to material by which to test their inclinations were now goaded into more and more depravity ("If you enjoyed that, you'll love this..."). Its the expansiveness of the internet that makes it so ripe for regulating.
If you can fight your way through that paragraph without having your eyes roll out of your head, re-read that last sentence. "Because the internet is big, something should be done." It's nice to know that someone is out there encouraging politicians to grab ahold of something they can't possibly control and make a lot of "thinking about the children" noises until their approval ratings go up.

Porn is definitely evil, though. That much Stanley is sure of:
Nowadays, all a child has to do to access some muck is to log on to the family computer. Within seconds they can see videos of whips, goats, origami and tantric projection - the whole T&A.
In Stanley's mind, Cameron's proposal doesn't go far enough:
I would go one step further and suggest that it's time to give back to local authorities the power to outlaw the sale of pornography altogether.
Why?
Like heroin, porn has been proven to be addictive.
Now porn is no longer marijuana (a.k.a. "the gateway drug"), but rather the destination itself. And that destination is? You guessed it: Murdertown!
On an existential level, pornography objectifies human beings, reducing them to the status of commodities. There is no need to engage with them as real people because the sexual stimulus is entirely one sided. This encourages the viewer to regard the subject as less than human.
Yes yes yes. We picked this concept up over at PETA's porn site. What else?
That objectification has lethal consequences. Porn addiction is a common trait among serial killers. The murderer Ted Bundy detailed his experiences thus: "I would keep looking for more explicit, more graphic kinds of materials ... until you reach the point where the pornography only goes so far. You reach that jumping-off point where you begin to wonder if maybe actually doing it will give you that which is beyond just reading about it or looking at it."
Troubling. Could porn actually lead to pedophilia and serial killing? Given porn's ubiquity on the "under-regulated" internet, you'd think the world would be filled with nothing but murderous pedophiles. Of course, there's no reason to refer to correlation and causation as identical (they're actually fraternal twins), no matter which side of this argument you're on. (That means you too, Stanley.)

So, without a doubt (in Stanley's mind), porn is bad and something draconian needs to be done about it. Unless, of course, you're talking about the good old days of porn when it came (sorry) in magazine form and needed to be smuggled about in paper bags and trenchcoats. Those were the good old innocent days, eh Stanley?
When I was a child, getting access to filth was bloody hard work. The best source was The Daily Sport, a silly old rag that featured saucy stories... All of this contact with nudity was fleeting and furtive. The joy was less in the seeing than the getting.
Oh. I see. When you're nostalgically viewing your mental Kinetoscope (in Rose-Tinted Nostalgia-Vision), porn was just "dirty magazines" and free of the serial killer training material that is so prevalent today. Boys will be boys, I guess. Except not anymore, apparently, because according to Stanley's back-of-an-envelope calculations (Porn + Internet = Bad) they'll just grow up to torture household pets when not idly sexting naked shots of themselves to their Facebook friends.

Well, Mr. Stanley, no wonder you're behind the Prime Minister's proposal. Anyone who's cool with the ISPs collecting a list of opt-in perverts at the behest of the government and who supports the implementation of a nationwide snitch line to keep people from being offended can most likely read your post with a straight face, somehow missing the irony, hypocrisy and unintentional hilarity its steeped in. I, as a fan of free speech and someone who "frowns upon" [see definition above] handing over control of the internet to various governments entities, cannot.

 



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  1.  
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    The eejit (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 8:09am

    Ah, the Daily (Hate)Mail. Owner of moral panics the world over, and about half as informative as Fox News.

     

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    Richard (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:00am

    a "modest" proposal.

    He is aware of the history of that phrase?

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:00am

    Yes let us censor the internet to protect people.
    Let us start with University of Oxford historians who have obviously failed to study history.
    Kim Jong-Il as a role model for a free society shows a complete failing of understanding a dictatorship and a democracy. History should have given him a much better understanding of these types of moral panics and how often they are overblown by so-called experts who it turns out have no qualification for the job and often have a hidden agenda.

    How long has the University of Oxford been blocking your access to goatse Mr. Stanely? Are you cranky that others can see that which you no longer can? What is the creepy "historical" explanation for your fascination with 2 girls 1 cup? Or are you hoping to land a spot on the commission in charge of the list of porn so you can avoid having to learn how to use Google like everyone else?

     

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    PaulT (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:00am

    "Within seconds they can see videos of... origami"

    Erm, what? Is there a new paper-based fetish of which I'm previously unaware, or is this guy merely an idiot?

    Oh, Daily Fail. Carry on then...

    "The murderer Ted Bundy detailed his experiences thus:"

    John Wayne Gacy was known to be a pretty big Disney fan, while Jeffrey Dahmer has a number of anecdotes associated with him and his apparent obsession the character of Emperor Palpatine from Return Of The Jedi. Should we ban those as well?

    "When I was a child, getting access to filth was bloody hard work. The best source was The Daily Sport, a silly old rag that featured saucy stories..."

    What I was a child, I remember every single page of the Sport being covered with tits, and half the back of the paper being ads for sex chatlines, sex toys and videos where nobody asked your age before sending them off. I also remember having access to whatever my mates happened to get off their older brothers, which included hardcore and (uuurgh) scat porn back when both were only available on VHS and totally illegal in the UK.

    This all just furthers my assumption that a lobotomy is a prerequisite for writing for that particular rag.

     

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  5.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:04am

    Re:

    Let us start with University of Oxford historians who have obviously failed to study history.

    Hugh Trevor-Roper and the Hitler diaries spring to mind!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:05am

    Re:

    "Within seconds they can see videos of... origami"

    Erm, what? Is there a new paper-based fetish of which I'm previously unaware, or is this guy merely an idiot?


    I have a feeling he meant something else, then intentionally swapped the word in order to sound less knowledgeable on the subject.

     

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    kleuske (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:05am

    Hmmm...

    They say you get from the internet whatever you're looking for. The fact that this man finds only porn is rather telling.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:06am

    Re: origami...

    as a lark I decided to look for origami sexual organs...
    Rule 34 wins again.
    *shakes head*

     

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  9.  
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    Duncan Geere, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:09am

    Nope

    It's a commonly-reported fallacy that the filters are opt-out only.

    In fact, the proposals merely mandate the ISPs to ask the user at the point of subscription whether they want the filters enabled on their account or not. You have to make a choice, but it's not decided for you.

    Existing users see no effect whatsoever.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Is no one else going to bring up the fact that Ted Bundy killed all those people in the seventies? I highly doubt any of his porn was obtained via internet; oh well, Ted must have had to make do with The Daily Sport as well.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:16am

    Makes sense!

    "Acting pretty much at the behest of something called the Mothers' Union..."

    Ah, I see. So mainstream pornography is being taken on by a group whose rank and file by definition had things shooting into and out of their vaginas?

     

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    Jay (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    Yep, no Playboy, Hustler or adult entertainment whatsoever.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:18am

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:19am

    Maybe it's satire?

     

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    Planespotter (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:21am

    http://www.themothersunion.org/

    Won't somebody think of the Christian children?

    These people really piss me off, if you don't like what you see on the internet don't friggin' go looking for it. Stop being offended on behalf of others who, probably, would rather wank themselves to death than spend 5 minutes listening to the drivel spouted by these "Christians".

    My filter is off...

     

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    fogbugzd, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:34am

    How about a law that requires parents to do some actual parenting? Perhaps parents should talk to their kids and prepare them for the day they encounter pornography whether on the Internet or elsewhere.

     

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  17.  
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    Yogi, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:40am

    Oxford man?

    This is the kind of thinking Oxford can produce these days?

    So the past, in which there was no internet, was simply fabulous? Did this moron forget Hitler? or two incredibly murderous world wars, the Cold War, the killing fields in South East Asia, several centuries of almost non-stop war all over Europe...what's not to like?

    Yes, let's go back to that great era in which there was no internet and people didn't watch porn - instead they lived in misery and abject poverty, and raped and murdered their fellow man at every opportunity, at the behest of their religious and political leaders, who had a complete monopoly on information.

    Yes, let's turn the clock back - why stop with the internet? What about the printing press - books filled with filth, that's what Gutenberg really meant!

    Let's go back to the really harmonious days, when all the people believed in one God and his Son and a ghost, and all was peace and bliss in the world, except in the dungeons of the church's inquisitors where the screams of the heretics bothered no one, least of all self-righteous cowards like Timothy Stanley, University of Oxford historian, who knows shit about history and couldn't care less about his fellow man.

    This a great example why to tenure should be abolished in academia. Man, Britain has seriously regressed if this is the quality of thinking at Oxford. What an utter a--hole.

     

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  18.  
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    Blaine, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:41am

    What caused the porn?

    According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Bundy.

    Ted Bundy confessed to 30 homicides committed in seven states between 1974 and 1978. And was executed January 1989.

    According to http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090107061316AApFiqz that points to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_pornography (don't really want to go there from work, just in case) Internet porn first appeared in 1991, 3 years after he was executed.

    Executing Ted Bundy caused Internet porn!!!!!

     

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    Prisoner 201, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:42am

    Puritanism; the haunting fear that somewhere someone is enjoying themselves.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:46am

    "Like heroin, porn has been proven to be addictive."

    In that case why stop at outlawing porn? We must also outlaw sex, and sexual relationships, any kind, it doesn't matter if it's two individuals or a different gender or the same, it also doesn't matter if it's consensual sex!

    After all, sex is what porn is all about. If porn can be addictive then obviously sex can be addictive as well, so we must do something about it!

    Just like drug dealers exploit their customers who are addicted to the drugs, and just like people who look at porn are exploiting the people in the photographs, people having sex are exploiting each other for their own sick addiction to sex!

     

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  21.  
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    ethorad (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:52am

    Reporting Parentport?

    the brand new Parentport website, where parents can go to file complaints about "any TV programme, advertisement, product or service they feel is inappropriate for children."

    Don't worry - I'm just off to the parentport website to register a complaint that the parentport website and state censorship are inappropriate for children (and everyone else). I expect to see the news it's all been shut down in the next few days.

    In the meantime how about a Kickstarter project to fund a one way ticket for Stanley to North Korea, since it's evidently a halcyon ideal state with no porn and thus no crime.

     

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  22.  
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    Blaine, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:53am

    Historian?

    Shouldn't an actual Historian be able to compare the timelines of the examples used to 'prove' the topic?

    It took all of 2 minutes to look up the timelines for Ted Bundy and Porn on the net.

    Maybe he still gets his 'facts' delivered in paper form?

     

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  23.  
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    jakerome (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:57am

    A modest satire?

    Surely this is just spot-on satire, right?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Actually propaganda to /promote/ pornography.

    Polarizing drivel. With just one or two wacky statements, suddenly everyone jumps to the opposite of the apparent proposition, and begins vehemently defending a vice as an actual positive good. The reasonable middle ground is lost.

    Don't believe everything you read is as on the surface. At least comments above think it may be satire...

    Disclaimer: I'm not against vice in /moderation/. Moderation in all things, ancient Greek advice.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    pffft hell no that would require actual effort, better let the government take care of it

     

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  26.  
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    Ninja (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:01am

    Oh dear Lord... I just found out I'm a serial pedophile murderer. Not necessarily in that order.

    You can always count on "Moral Police" for a good laugh. Sad part is politicians take the comedy far too serious.

     

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  27.  
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    TheStupidOne, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:02am

    Re: a "modest" proposal.

    Is this proposal in the same spirit as the aforementioned modest proposal?

     

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  28.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:04am

    Re: "Half as informative as Fox News"?!

    Half of zero is zero!

     

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  29.  
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    DOlz (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    Civilization dies again.

    Everything new leads to the end of civilization. Just in my own lifetime it has been repeatedly destroyed by the following perils.

    1) Comic books in the 1950's
    2) Rock and Roll in the 1960's
    3) Disco in the 1970's (they may have been correct about that one)
    4) Video games in the 1980's
    5) Rap in the 1990's
    6) and 2000's to present the internet!!!

     

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    Ninja (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re:

    I can see your feeling but my feeling when I read that was rather disturbing. Could they have taken BSDM up a notch and added paper sheets under the nails to the repertoire of painful and disturbing practices?

    Disclaimer: I have nothing against BSDM lovers but my freedom of speech allows me to voice my opinion that you are all freaks. But then again I must be a freak too depending on the point of view so we are even ;)

     

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    ASTROBOI, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    On bluring adulthood and childhood?

    I find it ironic that this fellow should discuss the blurring of childhood and adulthood in the same article as his reference to preserving good stuff from the past. Like Ronald Reagen and his "traditional family values", Stanley, an historian, ignores the real past. Victorian England was not all Sherlock Holmes and Pomp and Circumstance marches. Little kids, some in their single digit years worked alongside adults in mills and mines. They logged double digit hours with maybe some time off on Sunday to pray. If that isn't blurring childhood and adulthood, what, pray tell, is?

     

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    mike allen (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:22am

    he is a historian does he not know that porn has been around for at least 100 years from Victorian saucy postcards to today. all of which have been illegal in the UK at some point.or moaned about by prudes they still about and so will porn be regardless of this ruling. check out http://www2.arnes.si/~dlimon/Saucy%20Postcards.htm

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Re: Actually propaganda to /promote/ pornography.

    Moderation in all things. Including moderation. :)

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:26am

    Re:

    Porn has been around a lot longer than that. There are plenty of examples of prehistoric porn, not to mention sex toys.

    By the way, did you know that the man who was hired by Edison to develop the motion picture (William Dickson) also developed the first porn movies around the same time? Just an interesting bit of trivia.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Re:

    Well, and outlawing heroin has totally made it go away! I'm sure it would be the same with porn.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    Of course! The Thought Police are the answer to anything we don't like!

     

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    Ninja (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:29am

    Re: Civilization dies again.

    The image of comic books leading to the end of civilization caused me to choke in laughter. But in a sense you are right. Anything that doesn't fit the conservative way of life (at the time) is seen as something satanic, evil and depraving. I wonder what will be the next demonized movement...

     

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  38.  
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    Killercool (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re:

    ... Do you read cracked?

     

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    Jesse Townley (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:35am

    Re:

    Yes, I was going to mention this too.

    Facts can be SO inconvenient!

     

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    anonymous, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    "When I was a child, getting access to filth was bloody hard work. The best source was The Daily Sport, a silly old rag that featured saucy stories..."
    he obviously must have succeeded in getting access, mustn't he.
    as a historian, he must be well aware of the kind of decadent society existed in ancient Rome. bet he still teaches about the 'Roman Empire' tho'.

    seems like he is a complete f***ing idiot to me!

     

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    Machin Shin, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:42am

    Origami

    Yes it is imperative we must protect our kids from the dreaded origami! I mean this is dangerous stuff! They might get a paper cut, or poke out an eye with one of those deadly paper planes!

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    And just today, in a far more reputable publication, a study demonstrating the exact opposite to be true:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,790266,00.html

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Civilization dies again.

    I seems ridiculous now, but it was a "real" scare in the 50's along with communism. There's a great book on the subject, "The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America".

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Re:

    If you go to the Mothers' Union website and check the poll question "Is too much sexualised or violent content shown before 9pm?", almost 70% voted NO!

    It's like the Fox News poll that asked if people were "for" or "against" Occupy Wall Street, and over 70% voted "For"!

     

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    Greg G (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 10:55am

    Re:

    ..about half as informative as Fox News


    Yet still 100x more informative than CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and the NYT combined.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Civilization dies again.

    The book is superb (and is currently available at half-price or cheaper on various sites)
    Well worth picking up.

    If you want to see what comics they're talking about, check out Seduction of the Innocent, which re-presents the 1950s comics uncut! http://seductionofdainnocent.blogspot.com/

    And you can read the original book by Dr Fredric Wertham that started it all at http://www.dreadfuldays.net/soti/soti_chapt01/soti_chapt01.html

     

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    FormerAC (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:13am

    He's a troll.

    Why does anyone take this idiot seriously? He's a troll.

    He tore through Godwin's Law in the first paragraph.

    Ted Bundy was apprehended February 15, 1978. What does internet porn have to do with him? Is the author really claiming a causal link? Porn made him do it?

    He claims "The internet turned pedophilia from a private sin into an organized crime". Got any evidence of this? Organized crime organizations were not involved in child porn or the kidnapping and exploitation of children before the internet?

    What about Page 3? Should we censor/ban newspapers as well?

    "The single purpose of conservatism is to protect what is good about the traditional order." Maybe that is what you want to define conservatism as, but I doubt you'd find a majority to agree with you. Then he goes on to state that the North Koreans get it.

    Of course, "The constitution of North Korea declares that "the Democratic People's Republic of Korea shall, by carrying out a thorough cultural revolution, train all the people to be builders of socialism and communism." So a country whose constitution dictates that the entire populace shall be brainwashed to build communism and socialism is the one we should be looking to for advice on, well, anything?

    YMMV as to whether that is true conservatism or not.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Indeed, which is what reminded me, but I had originally learned about this in media courses in college.

     

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  49.  
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    Tim Stanley, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:20am

    Pornotopia

    Hi,

    I enjoyed this debunking of my article enormously. One small correction: I write for the Daily Telegraph. Although, in this instance, my thesis would probably suit the Daily Mail better.

    On the North Korea and origami thing, it's germane to my style (and this was on my personal site) to use non sequiturs and outrageous statements to satirical effect: "Brave New World!" and "Think of the children!" are comparative examples. This is a very English quirk and shouldn't be read too much in to. I shall close with another:

    "Your brother in Christ",

    Tim Stanley

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: origami...

    I wish I was surprised

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:33am

    Re: a "modest" proposal.

    I was really hoping the phrase indicated this was all just satire since it's hard to believe anyone could say these things seriously.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Some Guy, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:33am

    Well obviously (I hope) this was purely satirical. And if it wasn't, well... [shrugs] there's all kinds of people in this world (and I'll leave it at that).

    All I can say is I read something I now plan on saying as regularly as possible... "I enjoyed this debunking." To be followed up with a ;) and another quote, "Giggidy."

    That is all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Re:

    These supposed Christians don't read their bible
    Here is Mark Ch 7 v15
    "There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man."

    and they don't know the sayings of the Church fathers either:

    Abba Evagrius said "take away temptations and no-one will be saved."

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:36am

    Re: Hmmm...

    When you look into the abyss.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Yogi, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:47am

    Re: Pornotopia

    It's very hard to recognize that post as satire.According to your standards, your post above is also satire.

    Maybe we should outlaw satire altogether, since it causes many misunderstandings and hurt feelings, which leads to porn, murder, and gay people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:51am

    "On an existential level, retail employment objectifies human beings, reducing them to the status of robots. There is no need to engage with them as real people because the customer service experience is entirely one sided. This encourages the customer to regard the employee as less than human."

    FTFY

    If we're going to have a moral panic about every element of society that objectifies human beings, let's talk about credit scores, fashion, customer service, corporations, meat market bars and clubs, social security and drivers license numbers, and automobiles.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: origami...

    I think he meant "shibari"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re:

    Richard, you are by far my favorite Christian on the interwebz. Disagree as I might with your theology, damn you know your shit....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

    Re:

    100 years? Go read a bible. Hell, just go look at one of the really old ones, you know the ones with the pictures of all the naked people in the margins.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    Keith_Emperor_of_Penguins (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Wow

    "Nowadays, all a child has to do to access some muck is to log on to the family computer. Within seconds they can see videos of whips, goats, origami and tantric projection - the whole T&A."

    Damn Mr.Stanley, you're into some kinky shit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    Keith_Emperor_of_Penguins (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Pornotopia

    So are you the Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh type of comedian?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    Keith_Emperor_of_Penguins (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    He's an old school Christian. The real kind

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    heyidiot (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    The only problem with free speech...

    ...is that they hand it out to everyone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Aleron, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:58pm

    Educate don't legislate

    The problem with most control freaks who want to ban, fine or penalise others activities is that they miss the main point. If people didn't want to view or use porn then there would be no problem. The problems are all of our own making, the solutions are not to be found in penalties, or fines or bans, they can only be found through consensus and education, free thinking and freedom of thought are in the end, the ONLY way change occurs in a community. Educate, don't legislate. Legislation is nothing more than an admission of failure to communicate, a failure of consensus.

     

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  65.  
    icon
    Eponymous Coward, AKA Doug (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 12:59pm

    Looks like some commenters (puts on sunglasses)

    Aren't so Swift.

    YEEEAAAAH!!

    The ready availability of Irish child pornography is especially troubling, as it serves to objectify what could otherwise be pristine source of food for the millions of starving. English children have to be told often enough not to play with their food, now we run the risk of having to constantly remind them not to fantasize about their food as well.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re:

    And 5x the viewship...positive OWS coverage vs negative Tea Party coverage is the smoking gun.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    sharing victims ?

    If we have to have child porn, isn't it *better* that the perpetrators share victims ? Surely that means fewer victims...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually I was just thinking that there are tonnes of flowery japanese terms for specific types of porn (if five minutes on 4chan taught me anything...)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    icon
    Valis (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    Shades of Reefer Madness...

    "This is not your father's porn!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Pornotopia

    Hi, Tim.

    Thanks for enjoying this debunking. I'd argue I enjoyed writing it more, but I don't want to threadjack the comments simply to expound on the joy of writing/debunking.

    First of all, let me apologize on linking you with the Daily Mail. I was cross-referencing your post with your provided link to the details of Cameron's proposal, which happened to be at the Daily Mail. I started with the word "Daily" and followed through with what I happened to be reading at the time.

    While I can see that the North Korea/origami (esp. the second one) are elements of your style, the first one (North Korea) bears a little too much resemblance to Bono's suggestion that the US could use a little China-style internet tracking to cut down on infringement. The suggestion was made in faux-passing, as in "I don't think that we should necessarily emulate on of the worst countries in the world in terms of civil rights, but the technology is available." The mention of North Korea seems (to me) to be in that same spirit.

    Now, I have to admit that after reading that particular paragraph, I was under the impression that your post might be some ultra-low-key, triple-black satire. So, I did a bit of browsing around, both on your site and your writing for the Daily Telegraph. Considering the slant of some of your pieces (and your upcoming biography of Pat Buchanan), I have no reason to believe that this post is anything but what it appears to be: a supporting voice in favor of censoring the internet.

    Thanks for reading (and for writing, because without your piece, I wouldn't have mine),

    Yet Another Tim

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But sadly, not also an old-school Goth.

     

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  72.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Historian?

    By the paper her reads, no less...

    The Daily (Hate)Mail has no need for such things as "fact-checkers"!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    icon
    Dementia (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: origami...

    Congratulations!!! Your comment was result number 3 on google for the search term "origami sexual organ". Just thought you should know. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Civilization dies again.

    As this an article from the Fail, you have to slot "video nasties" in the for the 1980s. This ridiculous moral crusade achieved nothing except and extremely short-lived "victory" for the right-wing censors led largely by... the Daily Mail. A pattern here, I think.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    icon
    DOlz (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Wow

    Or tantric projection, origami goat whipping. Talk about one stop shopping.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 3:07pm

    Re:

    I agree! Since the vast majority of porn involves vaginas, the only solution is to outlaw all vaginas!

    Vaginas are a threat to the children!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    icon
    The Incoherent One (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re:

    Then where am I supposed to get my right/left slanted fluff?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    icon
    The Incoherent One (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Makes sense!

    I thought they had their own sub-level of porn. Not to mention that the "MILF" term may not have ever come to be.

    Courgars anyone???? Older woman lots of money, and casual sex. Could it be any better? No I am seriously asking

     

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  79.  
    icon
    PrometheeFeu (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 3:44pm

    First, I think we should acknowledge the possibility that getting used to transgressing a traditional social boundary can indeed lead one to believe that such traditional social boundaries are often arbitrary and need not be respected. That being said, the vast majority of people have no interest in murder, child molestation and other distasteful activities. Just because there is no balustrade and people can get close to the edge does not mean they are going to jump.

    In there are many benefits to be gained from people not feeling as constrained by social pressures. "Out-of-the-box" thinking is by its very nature transgressive and has given us some of the most amazing innovations in existence. In the sexual realm, being exposed to many ideas may allow some people to realize that there are safe and consensual ways to explore fantasies that they may otherwise have expressed in truly harmful ways.

    But that's all intellectual masturbation. The cold hard facts tell the story. And the story is that countries with tighter controls on access to pornography tend to have a higher incidence of rape. In other words, the quoted historian should look long and hard at considering a different career.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    icon
    The Incoherent One (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 3:45pm

    Re:

    Sounds like threat level orange.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV7CTlIcKlw

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    icon
    The Incoherent One (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 4:14pm

    History?

    Going back, Volstead Act: We all know it as prohibition, and when distilled spirits and its brethren were declared illegal in the United States. It was intended to protect us from ourselves, but out of it grew an underground culture that did not care, and organizations which were made wealthy by even today's standards by its illicit trade.

    Columbia and Pablo Escobar. The shear fact that coke is illegal and so furiously hunted made it as expensive as it is. We have waged war on this drug for decades, and somehow it is still all over the United States in very large amounts. Those cartels now have cash in the billions of dollars.

    The Zeta cartel in Mexico: We have all heard of the news where groups of people and journalists are being beheaded by the cartels members over the drug trade in Northern Mexico. They are so brazen the even target police chiefs in broad daylight.

    Banning porn. Won't work, not ever. Even if we threw money at it, and created a porn police people would still find a way to get what they are looking for. It would take what people now do in the private of their homes (or not). And push it down even farther.

    The problem is that government thinks that they are doing this for the good of the people overall. They should not be the ones who get to make that decision, I should. If I want to watch porn in my house at night then that is what I am going to do. My neighbor never needs to know, nor should he be interested, but that is a different story. Society judges people for their actions. Mostly we all agree that murder is a bad thing so don't do it. Cocaine is a bad things so be prepared to be judged if you get caught. Porn is generally something that is not shared openly, though society seems to be making a slow turn on this one as a more main stream thing. The only people I tend to hear complaining about it are my wife, and old people.

     

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  82.  
    icon
    The Incoherent One (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Shades of Reefer Madness...

    Nah, Dad's dead. Mom is a FREAK though!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 4:28pm

    fossiles like this turd belong in one place only :
    the museum...

    on his sign:
    "here lies another dinosaur thinking he could survive the ice age"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Glenn, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 4:58pm

    We have met the enemy,

    and he is ...us! (It's all God's fault, though... coming up with this thing "sex". I mean, really... what was God thinking? Well, it's just nice to have all these "experts" who know better how the world should be. [Of course, the next thing you know, they'll all be calling for clothing the animals... wild ones, too.])

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 5:42pm

    Re: Re:

    If you don't mind misinformation and lies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 6:46pm

    Re:

    Cropolites are very important to understand the past.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    Digitari, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 6:50pm

    RE Pron (as the kids tweet it these days)

    I first got online in 1991, and, Your welcome :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 7:00pm

    Re: History?

    What is most impressive is that things that really need some kind of barrier governments get rid off, like assassinating others when done by the government has no legal repercussions, but it should as to act as a deterrent to abuse of that power, but somehow porn is a bigger problem.

    They need to protect business, but they don't protect little business or people, like copyrights that are used to get musicians that actually work for a living fired or without venues to work, because someone once wrote some music and they claim ownership and want absurd amounts of money for nothing, those artists they claim to represent won't go down to a bar and play, they won't entertain nobody on the clubs but even without working they still want the money and claim it is their right, I can't see nobody else that gets money without having to work for it, I don't even see other companies that can go after their customers and claim they are owned money for things they didn't do, I couldn't see a taxi driver having to pay Ford for using Ford cars to make money.

    The more I see what people do in power the more I think their compass is pointing in a direction opposite of what mine points.

    Dire Straits was right "Money for nothing".

    Still, this government nonsense is not really about porn, is about control of the population, the guy pulled a U2Bono here because the government actually is scared now after the London riots.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 7:05pm

    Child pornography is a shield that politicians use to hide their true intentions and that is they want to censor their own people badly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    A. Nnoyed, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 8:20pm

    Timothy Stanley - Luddite

    Timothy Stanley mirrors the thought process of persons disrupting technological advances in the weaving of yard goods during the early 1800s. He is a perfect example of a Luddite. As a historian he should recognize that he is behaving like a Luddite. See this description of Luddites here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    icon
    The Incoherent One (profile), Oct 17th, 2011 @ 9:49pm

    Re: Re: History?

    Isn't protesting generally about speaking out against an abuse of power? If the UK would just look at its own history. Clamping down on a population usually has the opposite affect that they are hoping for.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re:

    Although that was referring to the Mosaic law and the prohibitions against unclean food. Should probably be careful trying to apply it to porn.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 5:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Civilization dies again.

    There's a great book on the subject, "The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America".

    Is there a graphic novel version of that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 5:43am

    Re: Re:

    Coprolites are even more important. ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 6:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, 4chan. You can't go there without sustaining some degree of permanent mental damage. Personal experience.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96.  
    icon
    Shane Roach (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 11:55am

    Pron

    Apparently is not as popular as leftists continually say it is. It's fun to watch people try to defend it. The best you can do is complain about over-reactions.

    It's a serious issue that gets blow off and blown out of proportion all at the same time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Pron

    "Leftists" are the ones into porn? Funny, everything I read about a porn scandal it's because some repressed religious nut or "conservative" politician's been caught consuming/making it (usually gay porn, if they're vehemently anti-gay)...

    The conservatives are the ones who would wish to kill my freedom to repress their own deviant urges. Sorry dude, you can't enforce celibacy onto me just because you can't take your own humanity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98.  
    identicon
    Caggles, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Origami

    Hey! I'm glad I'm not the only one who looked at that and said "Whaaaa..?" I suspect he might be confusing origami with something else...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Oct 18th, 2011 @ 6:38pm

    I cant believe nobody posted this,

    so I guess I will.
    The Internet Is For Porn!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100.  
    icon
    toyotabedzrock (profile), Oct 23rd, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    The Real Problem

    The only problem with the Internet is that someone showed this yahoo how to use it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101.  
    identicon
    Tim Drage, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 7:11am

    "many of us are getting up to open windows and doors and turn on the fans in an effort to diffuse a bit of the irony hanging in the air"
    - Uh isn't 'fan death' a South Korean thing? :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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