NOTE: Due to travel and other issues, YAD will be updating more irregularly than usual during the first two weeks of September. Follow YAD on Twitter if you need YAD methadone during this time.
You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Archive - Mar 20, 2012
Memo to Rick Santorum: PLEASE PLEASE, WIN THIS THING.
I know there's a line of thought that dreads Rick Santorum winning the GOP nomination on the grounds that, on the off chance we end up with a Republican president in 2012, it's better we have Romney than the Frothmeister. That is understandable cowardice, but cowardice nonetheless. I want Rick Santorum to win the nomination so bad, because then the religious right can finally have the fight they've been wanting to have for decades. And then they can lose that fight.
I mean, come on. Rick Santorum wants to have a fight about pornography! ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"The Obama Department of Justice seems to favor pornographers over children and families. You have to look at the proof that's in the prosecution. You draw your conclusion." - Santorum, on CNN's State of the Union.
Right. The Obama Justice Department isn't prosecuting a lot of porn cases. Now, if Rick Santorum were talking about the super-extreme gonzo stuff, well, he still wouldn't be able to win that fight on technical grounds, but he might be able to sway some voters with the same kind of tactics they use to demonize the NEA. But that's not what RIck's talking about.
"There are laws against purveying hard-core pornography. And that — we have attorney generals in the country, at least under the Bush administration, who did prosecute that. And this administration isn’t. And I simply said I would follow the law, which I know in the case of Barack Obama can be somewhat of a hefty challenge for him.”
Now, I have to assume that, since RIck Santorum is running to be President Of These Motherfucking United States, that he is familiar with the common definition of "hardcore" pornography, and how it differs from "softcore" pornography, and that he actually believes that hardcore porn can be prosecuted under federal law. And I say, more power to him. Let's have the fight over looking at straight, vaginal, two-person fucking on the Internet. Because that's a fight Democrats can win without even having to stand up for a principle. It's the best kind of fight for them.
See, I don't pretend to understand the Republican mindset, the religious mindset, the moneyed interest mindset, or the Tea Party mindset, but I don't need to know that mindset to know that all those dudes jerk off. Or at least so many of them do that the ones that don't, due to religious convictions or advanced rheumatoid arthritis, are so statistically insignificant that I'm fine saying "all".
And when all of them jerk off, I guarantee that a solid eighty to eighty five percent of them do not masturbate to a mental image of having missionary position sex with their wives in the dark in the hopes of conceiving a child. They might hide it. They might never admit to it. But every single one of them knows how to clear their browsing history. Because at the end of the day, a lot of people like watching other people fuck.
What is it with Republicans and unwinnable wars? They invaded Afghanistan, they want to bomb Iran, and now they want to send people to jail for filming people fucking and putting it on the Internet? That will be their Watersportsloo.
Santorum is going so far as to say that porn is "damaging", by which he means actually psychologically harmful and not just a chafing issue. I mean, sure, there are valid complaints that porn is sterile, mechanical, infantilizing, and bland, but so is most of the programming on the Hallmark Channel, and I don't see people calling for those greeting card bastards to be prosecuted. I mean, I'm tempted to call for it, but I'm kind of a First Amendment purist.
And, of course, prosecuting porn in the age of the Internet is roughly the equivalent of prosecuting public urination in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. An international, extralegal distribution system? Check. A library of existing content that, by now, covers 99.5% of all past and future potential permutations of human* coupling? Check. The genie's not out of the bottle - the genie's ancestors disintegrated the bottle, and despite attempts at maintaining an oral history**, all memories of the very idea of a bottle have been lost to the mists of time.
If watching people fuck is harmful, you know, like Big Macs are harmful, then we're just going to have to come up with the psychological equivalent to Lipitor, because 30+ years ago, when someone mailed someone else an ASCII tittie, the human race was destined to spend its waning years watching each other bone. And if Rick Santorum stands in the way of that destiny, he'll end up both a failure, and really sticky.
**Also, I'm sure, an existing type of porn.