Tuesday, June 01, 2004

A Bit of Violence With Your Porn?

A colleague (hee... it's fun to say that while still a student) pointed me to Frank Rich's latest article in Sunday's New York Times, 'It Was the Porn That Made Them Do It'. A pretty interesting, if incomplete, look at the far-right's current efforts to blame the abuses of Abu Ghraib on pornography and the sexualization of American society. Well-worth reading.

Incidentally, this same colleague had some very interesting thoughts on Saturday afternoon, linking, in a very unpretentious, non-wanky way (amazing, really, for an academic) the images of violence in The Passion with those in Iraq -- qua two sides of the same fundamentalism bent on 'generative violence' (i.e., the violence that heals).

They [images of violence]capture us because we need them. And we need them because we need to feel we master them. But of course by needing to feel we master them we don’t master them. This America has been forced to realize all too disturbingly: the violence they claimed they went in to master in Iraq turns out to be the violence they succumb to and deliver themselves, as brutally and as barbarically. And the same with Gibson’s film: the violence many Christians feel they master by the blood of Christ, the violence religious conservatives have repeatedly decried in Hollywood films and video games, becomes the violence they embrace in the Hollywoodized rendition of Gibson’s Passion.

I've nothing to add to this, really. Just saying to be saying . . .