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April 17, 2004

Comments

Eric

Hugo,

If there are a thousand of us who will pay to see you jump off a building, would you?

If we will follow the logic of your last post, you would. Because we made that choice possible for you. It's all about choice, brother. And by discounting choice, you are discounting the main factor.

Eric

By the way, I never said that you can't be a victim when you reach a certain age. What I'm saying is that at a certain age when you already know what you are doing, you can't be a victim by claiming you don't know what you are doing. Because you do. Big difference. You're putting words in my mouth.

Eric

Lastly, that's the problem with society nowadays. Accountability to one's action is almost always removed. You drink too much, people will say they have a "disease" called alcoholism. Making their vices a disease thereby removing the accountability to one's action. You got an hiv by doing a double anal penetration for a porn production, people will say poor girl, a victim of lack of education. Where's the accountability to one's action? She could have chosen to go to school. I believe canada gives free education to its citizen who can't afford one. Accountability to one's action. A society with citizens that lack the sense of accountability to their own action will self-destruct in due time.

Ralph Luker

Eric, Have you lived on McDonald's wages?

Eric

Ralph,

I haven't. But I don't need to. I understand your point. I know that their wages are low, that's your point right? But I also know that there are a lot people who worked at mcdonalds but are now successful. Nobody said that you have to live with a mcdonalds' wage for the rest of your life. You can CHOOSE to get a degree while working at mcdonalds. Of course you can make excuses and take the easy road instead by being a porn star where you just have to lie down and money will flow. Again it comes down down to choice and accountability to one's action. You make the choices, face the consequences.

jen

way to shake things up, hugo.
you deserve every hit you get and i hope your new readers are mad enough to read more.
:)
peace and many blessings,
jen

John

Awesome Post Hugo,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading and learning about what a respected and highly intellectual Californian deeply thinks of such controversial issues surounding his neighborhood.

I am writing this from Australia and I thought I may give you an insight into our pop culture during these times. I believe our country is slowly following into the footsteps of America and moreso California. I have a live in g/f who cannot pass on her weekly fix's of reality T.V. shows such as Average Joe or The Bachelor. I must admit - even though I would love to deny it - it sometimes draws me in too. I do wonder if this reality T.V. is reality at all because it seems so structured. I was also wondering the other day if there are courses in America for reality T.V actors now. Anyway, sorry for getting off the subject. I guess I wanted to write in this post to share some of my thoughts about the spread and allurement of pop culture. I do believe there is a definite allure to your pop culture (if it be the porn industry, hollywood movies, McDonalds, etc etc.) in this country. I don't think there are many cultures in this world that can totally resist this growing trend, especially with the internet bringing countries/cultures so much closer together. American Idol is a good example of something that has turned this country into a frenzy with our Australian Idol equivalent. This show would have to be the most talked about show in history. I think it's good to import these shows, I mean at least it's positive and it encourages and promotes happiness. I think it would be nice to look at America and especially California with more of a positive and moralistic approach than not. I mean it all comes down to 'how much of' and 'of what quality' the types of entertainment you export. To conclude - I guess it all comes down to freedoms and freedom of speach. We may import all sorts of shows from talk shows to reality shows, to some real crappy shows like 'Jerry you know who', however, at the end of the day, we only do so because that is what the majority of the public seems to want. It would be nice to see heaps more positive and moral forms of media from America and Hollywood because America is a beautiful country with good people. The world needs to see a constant stream of refreshing positive imagery for a change for the better.

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mythago

So who really likes condoms?

Me, for one. So do men I know who believe it makes them 'last longer'--especially some of the newer ones.

If you really feel that sex with condoms is like plastic food, then I'd gently suggest you rethink your approach to sex.

Enyo

My third post on your blog today, Hugo - the topics you cover are just so interesting!

Just wanted to comment on the effects of porn as inspiration for sex offenders; Americans, or even Canadians outside Toronto, might not be familiar with the Holly Jones case. Holly Jones was a ten-year-old girl who was snatched, raped and brutally murdered on her way home from a neighbour's house on May 12, 2003. Her killer was convicted in June of this year. He pled guilty and will be spending the next 25 years in prison without possibility of parole. He told police that he was watching child porn right before he murdered Holly Jones and that this was the motive for his attack. Holly Jones' family is now pushing for a tougher law to fight child pornography - Holly's Law.

An article about the Holly Jones case, from Canada's national public news network, is here:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/jones_holly/

I realize that child porn is illegal in a way that adult porn is not, because of the differences inherent between them. However, stories like this ought to make us take a very hard look at all forms of pornography and the kinds of behaviours they promote for men and women.

I, for one, believe the costs of pronography far outway the benefits, but this may be because I fail to see any benefits to pornography at all.

Anyone have any thoughts on the benefits of pornography? Redeeming features of the prorn industry? I would be genuinely interested to read them.

Hugo

Well, I think that erotic material that depicts sex as fun and loving and mutual may be not only harmless but even healthy for some folks. On the other hand, it may also be destructively addictive; in general, I think any argument for the healthiness of porn have to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

But driving it underground is, in the age of the internet, surely impossible as well as unwise. Better to regulate and control as best we can.

Enyo

I guess I'm just curious about how pornography is regarded in other places, especially in America (as opposed to here in Canada), and why. It's one of those tricky issues that people seem reluctant to comment on.

mythago

Anyone have any thoughts on the benefits of pornography?

How about the benefits of car magazines? The benefits of magazines that teach you how to make desserts? The benefits of Reader's Digest?

Which is to say, it's a meaningless question. The real question is whether pornography is harmful, and first I'd like to hear a definition of pornography.

Joe Perez

You concluded:
"Fantasy is not without its redemptive purposes, but when it is about sexual conquest or violent destruction, it is, I think, at odds with what it means to live an authentically Christian life."

I've never agreed with you Hugo on pornography, so I'm not with you on fantasy either. Here are some rambling stream of consciousness thoughts about your post. I think what you say about fantasy is true on one level. Refusing to indulge in fantasies that are psychologically or spiritually harmful is probably a good thing for most people most of the time. Pedophile rapists, for example, should probably not be encouraged to cultivate an active fantasy life. But for most people, fantasy simply doesn't have the harmful consequences you think it does. Only your philosophical and theological judgments make fantasy "wrong," and therefore you want to cut it out, or repress the offensive fantasy. Your judgments, however, are only valid on one level of thinking about fantasy: the moralist's. Moralizing about fantasy is one legitimate function, but it's not a very complete picture of what constitutes human flourishing. Go deeper into "fantasy is not without its redemptive purposes" and there you will have a litany of reasons not to oppose or get overly moralistic about pornography or fantasy. The distinctions you make between pornography and erotica (one is good, the other is bad, guess which) strike me as strained ... but then I don't buy the whole "objectification" crapola argument either. If using pornography makes you feel guilty, don't do it. But that doesn't make porn bad, except in your mind. Porn is just another human cultural invention like any other, with a whole host of good and bad and in-between qualities. It can be used for a whole spectrum of purposes from those very low in developmental maturity to very highly mature purposes; and purposes from low to high can all be valid for persons at different times and places. Even saints can need to look at a hunky jock or a buxom lass to get off now and then, and no there's nothing wrong with that, IMAJ. It may not be the highest or most noble or most selfless (what's so damn wrong with selfishness anyways?) act imaginable. Serving soup to the homeless would probably be more dignified. But there are few things more human.

Joseph Miranda

I know firsthand how destructive porn can be.

But why only male porn? Why not female oriented porn, such as romance novels? Romance novels are the number one type of book sold in the USA. How do they affect women? Do they cause women to believe what they have is so valuable that the perfect man will sweep them away--a common theme in romance novels? How many women have destroyed real relationships because romance novels caused them to believe they were princesses who must save themselves for some mythological Mr Right?

Romance novels often have sex scenes which can get pretty heavy duty. For ex: one recent romance novel I read has the hero performing oral sex on the heroine, then getting into a heavy duty lip lock, and then having her describe how her own vaginal fluids tasted via his mouth.

Heavy duty!

ginmar

Christ, because oral sex performmed on one as an act to further one's arousal is SO much like a double-penetration act of anal sex.

the priest

I am a young woman who has been involved in the sex industry, but there was no way I would have been irresponsible enough to let it take me down. I learned a lot about men and their secret lives and about men as a gender. And I regret the secret life that I had at that point in time, but I was disrespected so much that I learned how to spot it a mile away. I now respect myself as much as anyone could, and maybe I would have gone in that direction anyway, but I think it helps to have a person in mind when you look at yourself in the future.

rambler

well, female porn, for one, is in romance novels and is especially about, you guessed it romance. There is not one thing about love and/or romance that is demeaning to anyone. It may be sprinkled with lust sometimes, but that is a far cry from some young goodlooking girl pretending she likes to get double dicked hard by two guys that are taking out their agrression for all the women that have broken their hearts or denied them. This woman looks like she is getting punished, or gang raped, not romanced. However, I do think that romance novels promote adultery and fantasies about adultery that are unhealthy, but i dont think there is anything wrong with a women who gets woken up by a romance novel and decides she is not going to settle for this shlup she spends her time with.

M

I met Pasquale or Pascal....when she was a dancer by the name of "Seven" at Supersexe and she and her boyfriend who looked like a wimpy version of a swedish troll. I remember her being very nice and spoke very little english. I actually had no idea that she was doing "big market" porn but only webcam stuff with she and her boyfriend out of a loft on the corner of Ontario St. and St. Laurent. They had a pretty big loft but very messy and she was/is a sweet girl. She seemed very naive and her boyfriend who had this unmistakable lisp controlled her pretty much. He went nuts at this friend's place once and pushed me in the bathroom and I fell into the tub and got up and instead of getting physical, I talked to him about how to be nice to her cuz he treated her like a pet more than anything. He was just upset because she was not paying him any attention and thought that I was an interest of hers. This wasnt true but just wanted to give my two cents about her. She had a model's body and one of those Italian-ish French-ish faces straight out of European vogue. Very different but in a very european attractive way.
Well, just wanted to shed a little light.

Tam

I'm responding to this post from over two years ago. Oh well. Eric wrote:

"If there are a thousand of us who will pay to see you [Hugo] jump off a building, would you?"

I'm pretty sure Hugo wouldn't jump. But I'm pretty sure there are other people who, if they were offered enough money for their families to have after their death, really would jump. And I'm pretty sure that would make those of us who paid to see it complicit in their deaths, no matter how bad of a decision they made in taking the offer. I think that's close to the point Hugo was making.

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