Failing to connect the dots
I promise myself to finally begin writing seriously, and perhaps I can this year (now retired :)) But to fill in while getting around to that I’m adding some previous ‘ literary meanderings’ to save here. this one is from 2007 and was published in our local Bendigo Advertiser as an opinion piece.
FAILING TO CONNECT THE DOTS
Today I read in disbelief as nearly every major newspaper in Australia carried the news that authorities are finally taking seriously the impact of X-rated pornographic material on our remote Aboriginal communities. It’s wonderful to see this issue taken seriously, but just these communities? Is porn somehow harmful to remote aboriginal communities but not white urban communities?
I’m reminded of one night early this year as I watched SBS with tears in my eyes as the heart rending story of people smuggling (actually, teenage girls) and forced prostitution unfolded in ‘Storyline Australia: Trafficked – The Child Sex Trade
The very next night I watched in horror and disbelief as an SBS promo eagerly touted that night’s offering, ‘Pornography; The Musical.’
Is our society totally ignorant that there could be a connection between that tragedy so graphically portrayed one night, the appalling exploitation and abuse in the sex trade; and its own unbridled obsession with sex on the other, celebrated the very next night in a most banal way. This obsession itself is attested by a staggering proliferation of pornography in print, film, fashion, and internet?
Like a child who has never seen a ‘connect the dots’ puzzle, our society seems unable to make simple connections between our behaviour (such as the almost universal embrace of the most bizarre sexual behaviour in ‘legal’ porn, so freely available to both adult and child) and the fruits of that behaviour – increasing rates of sex offence statistics, broken homes, depression, addictions to drugs (both illegal and legal), dysfunctional and fearful men, women and children
Close to home I walk into the local convenience store and pause to look at the titles on the plastic clad magazines, ‘Barely Legal’ being the most common of titles that convey an unabashed attempt to appeal to that very thing we outwardly react with horror at in social circles – pedophilia! We cry out that we must protect the aboriginal children, but what about the white children living in sexually charged home environments. The percentage of the 40,000 child abuse reports per year in Victoria alone that involve sexual abuse would horrify us. Is that why we don’t talk about it?
I stop at a newsagent on an interstate trip and read the bold red on yellow banner above the local newspaper. It screams out with such urgency – ‘PERVERT PEEPS ON LOCAL WOMEN.’ I look below to the paper itself and read on the front page of a sad disabled man who used a peep hole in a petrol station toilet to peek into the women’s cubicle. Right next to the paper stack lie the piles of glossy men’s magazines, Ralph and Zoo, young girls adorning (that word seems so inappropriate but I cannot find another) the front covers wearing but a few square centimeters of clothing, revealing to all far more flesh than that tragic soul now going to jail could have hoped to glimpse through his peep hole. Are ‘local women’ somehow innately different to those girls in Ralph and Zoo? And are men who read Ralph cultured while that poor soul alone is a pervert
Who exactly are the perverts? My mind swirls at the incongruity of it all!
I went shopping before Christmas with my wife for some clothing for our 6 year old granddaughter, only to be confronted with the kind of garments that once were seen only on ‘ladies of the night,’ or in salacious films. G-strings for 6 year olds? Padded bras for kids still not able to tie their laces?
The real tragedy here is that people actually ARE buying this stuff for their kids. Is it any wonder that parallel to this rise in ‘Corporate Pedophilia’ the rate of child sexual abuse is steadily rising, and that overall reported child abuse cases in Victoria are now approaching that staggering number of 40,000 each year? No, the connections should be blindingly obvious to us, but they aren’t! We are saturating ourselves with sex, literally brainwashing ourselves that sex is the ultimate goal of human existence, while pretending that our daughter, our son, who by sheer proximity is likewise being saturated, will somehow grow up untainted by our society’s idolatry of sex.
What is wrong with us, with our society? What brought about this rising and tragic dissonance?
Well, we bought into a lie. I was part of it in fact, a child of the 60’s and 70’s hippie revolution. “Do your own thing man” was just one of the many quotes embedded into our psyches, and reflected the most enduring change in mindset in our society in the past 50 years. “So long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else man’ was one reply I recall from many a local hippie guru in response to our naïve ethical/moral questions.
I say naïve because we ‘want to’ believe that what we want won’t hurt anyone else, like the drug addict whose child is nevertheless neglected, like the gambler whose family eventually loses their home.
But perhaps no delusion is more ghastly than that of pornography. We pretend that those young girls really are enjoying the never ending sexual gymnastics they engage in for our wanton pleasure. “Everyone’s a winner” is the cry I hear from the protectors of this ‘so called’ free speech. Funny, I never did see a lot of philosophizing or meaningful dialogue myself in those dark days of my own porn addiction. Guttural screams of “oh yeah, oh yeah” seems an odd kind of speech for the ACLU, or our own Aussie Civil Liberty defenders, to be spending such effort to protect!
In short we have thoroughly rejected the long held view that some kind of fundamental standard of right and wrong existed. Instead of God drawing the moral lines in the ground we all began drawing our own lines – man finally became the measure of all things.
Which man though? Which man became the measure? Indeed who exactly became the measurer?
ALL MEN is the answer! We each, in our own new little fiefdom, became the supposed masters of our own destiny, the pioneering founding father of the constitution of our very own ‘brave new world.’
But alas – worlds collide! And this is what our worlds are now doing – colliding. As in the Northern Territory right now. And tragically many (most?) are deaf to the sounds of these collisions, the agonising sickening screech as ‘our worlds’ scrape and grind against each other, with the ensuing exploding of many modern myths, such as sex being ‘free.’
Because we failed to connect the dots.
So men still surreptitiously pass their favourite porn DVD’s to each other for ‘burning’ a copy of ‘Teen Sluts’ or ‘Young and Horny’ at work, yet rage in pious indignation at the latest report of another pedophile being released into the community, or the tragedy in the Northern Territory, or the news that 300,000 youngsters are sexually abused in the United States each year for profit (yes, for profit, their bodies sold for money! This does not include ‘simple’ domestic sexual abuse, a figure much higher!).
For crying out loud – our heads should be literally exploding at the utter hypocrisy of it all, if not the sheer stupidity.
Like a wilful child we simply didn’t want to connect those dots, did we?
We willfully rejected the notion that sex was a sacred gift, sealing the marriage commitment of a man and woman; and quite naturally, when there was no ‘one referee’ for us all to look to, we all became our own referees in the game of sex.
Where will it end? Will the boundaries continue to shift inexorably in the direction we are currently steering? What next? Already the left wing vanguard is talking not just about legalising homosexual marriage, but group/multi-partner marriage, while an even more fringe group lobbies for legalisation of what they call euphemistically ‘man-boy love.’ And then there are the pressures to reduce the age of consent, as in Canada where it has been 14 for many decades, but which itself is colliding with the recent legalisation of group sex in publicly accessible venues. No longer can a mother or father of a 14 year old Canadian child even prevent him/her from engaging in what were utterly unthinkable activities a mere generation ago, even if they wished to.
And AIDS is again on the rise while our youth are embracing the Rage Club culture with dare I say it – Gay abandon! Connecting the dots yet? We cry out for governments to pour as many millions as is necessary into finding cures for a plethora of STD’s, despite having little prospect of curing ANY viral disease in our lifetime, even the common cold.
But the chant rises, ‘let us do whatever we want, and protect us from any harm.’
A friend of mine who recently extricated himself from the Rage Party scene, described to me what actually happens there in the middle of the swirling drug fueled melee of flesh. Nothing so seductively serene as an artist with his nymph like harem there. No, we’ve moved on to frantic drug fueled copulating, random connecting and disconnecting, frenzied ‘partner’ swapping in which it would be impossible for any participant to recall who exactly was a sexual partner amongst the thousands there that night.
And yet, perchance a young man’s DNA were matched with a child conceived in such bizarre circumstances, our laws would nail that young man with 18 years of fiscal responsibility.
That would be two dots connected most peculiarly would it not?
Either our laws are outdated, and just as we have abandoned ourselves to our lusts, we need to abandon ourselves to the creeping socialism already suffocating us, and embrace Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (no care, no responsibility!); or we need to wake up to the insanity of our situation!
Cause and effect! Consequences! Alas, as soon as these concepts are brought into the public forum, screaming condemnation pours forth – Intolerance! Prejudice! Victorian Prudishness!
But while psychologists and ‘intellectuals’ are now boldly proclaiming that there are no universal ‘rights and wrongs’ (we must select for ourselves ‘our’ right and wrong), our workplaces are busily installing a raft of regulations on sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying, etc. Why? Simply because in the work community it is so blindingly obvious that there does exist clear right and wrong. It is wrong to tell sexually explicit jokes, display porn, leer at or ‘feel up’ female co-workers, or to create an overly sexualised environment, full of innuendo, where a woman feels intimidated or uncomfortable.
In bringing these rules into the workplace there is no illusion about any of these issues being ‘personal choices.’ Right is right, wrong is wrong – period! No argument! No interpretation! After all, courts have been awarding huge sums in damages/compensation to the increasing number of victims of sexual harassment in workplaces over the past few decades.
And now the NT and Federal authorities are having to step in and reverse this trend in at least one set of communities. How soon will the civil libertarians take to fight this I wonder? And what will be the result in the courts if they do. I already know the result in Aboriginal communities if they succeed; we are seeing it now!
Who among us is able to connect the dots any longer? And of those who are able, who is willing to stand up against the tide of filth and banality in his or her own community?
Let me ask you lastly; what would you want for your 6 year old granddaughter this Christmas? A G-string? Or a fairy outfit – with wings? And how would you want her to grow up? Taking drugs to cope with the nightmares born of a ‘career’ in the porn industry or a youth dissipated in drug fueled rage parties, or an addiction to pornography? Or just possibly always retaining just a little bit of the innocence of the 6 year old child through her fragile but protected teen years. And always keeping her fairy costume in the back of her cupboard, just to remind her of a sweet and blithe childhood?
I think when my 6 year old granddaughter visits next I’m going to teach her to play connect the dots, because it’s high time we all started re-learning that oh so important skill.
Ministerial Coordinator – Australia
Setting Captives Free