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The Truly Pornographic

The Truly Pornographic

Botticelli's Birth of Venus

The other day, my ex-wife got upset at some photos I had printed of some nude women. I believe these photos are excellent examples of natural beauty & are every bit as lovely as Michelangelo’s “David,” Botticelli’s “Venus on a Half Shell,” the Mona Lisa, etc. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder & so is “pornography.” I have never bought a Penthouse magazine or Hustler, etc. because to me, they are tasteless. I have bought many copies of Playboy over the years. But what occurred to me after my ex-wife got upset & felt so offended was that the true pornography is the pornography of power & the pornography of ignorance that allows or turns a blind eye to so much of the pain, suffering, degradation, & death all around us.

Vietnam

First off, what I mean by the pornography of power is the obscene levels of power that we have allowed our government & transnational corporations to acquire. Time and time again they have in effect, spit in our faces. The American public in poll after poll, voted against the bailout of Wall Street but the government went ahead & bailed them out. They tell us they don’t have the money to provide health care for all of us but they keep funding these wars in Iraq & Afghanistan to the tune of a billion dollars a week. Our public school system has been steadily crumbling for decades & they tell us there isn’t enough money yet the weapons manufacturers & the private mercenary corporations like Blackwater are flourishing. Our infrastructure is disintegrating while the president of vice, Dick Cheney’s corporation, Halliburton is making record profits supposedly rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure, which we destroyed.

Iraq

These are but a few of the many truly pornographic or obscene acts that are going on & I wish my ex-wife and all Americans were even a fraction as outraged at these acts as those “Christian” fundamentalists are at abortion & gay marriage. It’s the pornography of ignorance that has allowed things to go so wrong for so long in this land of “freedom,” “equality,” & “democracy.” And the corporate media & the purposeful “dumbing down” of our children have deliberately spread this pornography of ignorance in our public educational system. The standards of academic or intellectual excellence have been watered down steadily over the past decades & as a result, many high school graduates aren’t even equipped to handle a minimum wage job. The paramount skills of critical & analytical thinking are taught in only a few, isolated school systems. An uninformed & unable to think clearly & rationally citizenry is easy to fool and easy to ignore. No, I’m not a ‘conspiracy nut,’ the elite have publicly declared their goals time and time again. Look up President Wilson’s statement regarding public education for a prime example of their contempt for us.

To continue, we’ve become so disengaged or psychically numbed that we don’t have sympathy or compassion for the soldiers returning from the horrors of the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. I don’t see those outraged fanatics screaming that abortion is murder, scream about the suffering & humiliation of the homeless. Many if not most of the homeless are veterans of the Vietnam War, the Gulf war, & now the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. Bumper stickers proclaim “Support Our Troops,” but this is the same shallow or simplistic jingoism as those bumper stickers commanding “America, Love It or Leave It.” If we truly supported our troops, we would house them & we would give them the best medical & psychological care available immediately. I just watched a panel of “Winter Soldiers” testify before members of Congress about the horrors of war they’d experienced in Iraq & Afghanistan and several told how they & many of their comrades turned to alcohol & drugs to escape the pain of what they’d seen & done in war and when they seek help, they are ridiculed, told they’re faking it, & put on waiting lists for up to a year or longer. Some tried to commit suicide & some succeeded.

This is the true pornography and obscenity. The politicians & the military commanders turn these young, idealistic people into killers & then tell them they’re phonies or weaklings and turn their backs on them. Our soldiers are trained to dehumanize the “enemy,” in order to make the killing of the “enemy” easier to live with psychologically yet when they return to America, they are also dehumanized by the very people that told them it was their patriotic duty to go to war & defend America and her values. My family & “friends” have long told me that I’m “too sensitive,” and it has been both a blessing & a curse because I empathize with all the downtrodden of the world e.g. the working class who break their backs for a lifetime & live in a constant state of dread, despair, & pain; the scared immigrants who risk their lives to get here only to be treated like sub-humans & to be exploited by the wealthy; the people of countries that our military has invaded & bombed and killed & maimed their loved ones in the name of democracy & freedom. The corporate cockroaches & their lackeys in the government have duped us all.

To sum up, we should all be so outraged that we take to the streets en masse & bring business as usual to a complete standstill because it’s not until the greedy swine holding the reins of power, feel it in their bank accounts, will we begin to reclaim our dignity & honor as a people. I’m not a religious person but when I see the picture of or an actual lovely nude woman, I feel she is a beautiful reminder of God’s handiwork just as much as those majestic Redwoods or the waves crashing on the Pacific coast. No my friend, the true pornography is that which degrades us as human beings & makes some of us do obscene things because the pain has killed that most precious gift, the human spirit!

—Rob DeLoss, November 28, 2008

P.S.  If we are to stop the truly pornographic forces of power, violence, & ignorance, we need to reach out to one another and I hope that you will join me in this critical debate by offering your comments on what I’ve said here.

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