02.16.2015 02:13 PM

Chris Hedges (and me, via Chris Hedges) on pornography

Finally, someone says what I’ve been labouring to say about pornography for years. Full link is below the quote:

BOSTON—“Fifty Shades of Grey,” the book and the movie, is a celebration of the sadism that dominates nearly every aspect of American culture and lies at the core of pornography and global capitalism. It glorifies our dehumanization of women. It champions a world devoid of compassion, empathy and love. It eroticizes hypermasculine power that carries out the abuse, degradation, humiliation and torture of women whose personalities have been removed, whose only desire is to debase themselves in the service of male lust. The film, like “American Sniper,” unquestioningly accepts a predatory world where the weak and the vulnerable are objects to exploit while the powerful are narcissistic and violent demigods. It blesses this capitalist hell as natural and good.

“Pornography,” Robert Jensen writes, “is what the end of the world looks like.”

15 Comments


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    davie says:

    I always have time for what Hedges has to say, and this article is particularly good. It certainly helps me to focus my thinking on the porn versus free speech issue.
    Thanks for referring us to this article.


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      Mervyn Norton says:

      Lest anyone think Pulitzer-prize-winning Chris Hedges is overstating the case against porn as abuse of women (and men) in this Truthdig column, the truth is laid out by Hedges as reporter in “The Illusion of Love,” a chapter in his book Empire of Illusion. But I warn readers that you will feel sick to your stomach.

      Lest anyone believe that porn still resides in a dark niche rather than a socially condoned part of the culture in your neighbourhood, just look at the program titles on the “soft” porn channels listed in your local cable television schedules.


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    edward nuff says:

    Mr Hedges like the late Howard Zinn is one of the few still brave enough to speak truth to power.

    “the further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”
    some guy named Orwell


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      Kelly says:

      He is also worth reading on the reason ISIS exists. As well as the phony elements of our own sham democracy.


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    Joe says:

    Anyone else old enough to remember when the normalization of porn was the issue of the day? Larry Flint was a hero and a new era of human enlightenment was upon us? I remember a phrase spoken by someone to the effect that once the fruit of the evil of porn has been made known they shall rue the day they normalized it.

    All that aside I haven’t read 50 Shades and I am not about to read it. I won’t watch the movie either simply for lack of interest. However I do find it interesting to read or listen to those who have read the book or seen the movie. One young lady I know thought it was the hottest book she had ever read. Her sister couldn’t get past the second chapter she found it so boring. One woman said it was a set back for women and another thought it gave her a far greater appreciation of her husband.


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    Africon says:

    I have no interest in porn and even less in books/movies like 50 shades, so I may be unqualified to comment.

    While I agree with much of what both Hedges and Dines have to say on the subject, both appear to
    focus on American culture and on global capitalism as if porn, abuse, degradation, humiliation and torture were
    new and recent phenomena which clearly they are not. For a man who has traveled and reported from 50 countries
    Chris writes like someone unaware that of all of the above has been going for hundreds and thousands or years in numerous
    cultures across Africa, Asia ( think India, China, Mongolia, Japan) Middle East and pretty much everywhere else.
    I have lived on 3 continents and traveled in over 70 countries and my own observation is that the “celebration of sadism” or the “dehumanization of women”
    is far, far less common in US and Canada than most everywhere else.
    Too bad that this writer is no better than most writers who feel that dramatics and exaggeration should trump simply stating the facts.


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      Peter says:

      Well said. Ditto for the gratuitous analogy to American Sniper. In fairness, though, he’s addressing the dogmatic left. For them, blaming a problem–any problem–on capitalism isn’t a conclusion, it’s an opening axiom designed to get your attention. I like his revulsion and only wish we could meet so I could tell him the solution is a religious revival and re-introduction of the old blue laws.


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    Billy Boy says:

    If you actually agree with this quote, how can you possibly be a Liberal? Liberalism is the ideological core of capitalism. Liberalism is what attempts to normalize and legitimate the very sadism and violence inherent in every incarnation of capitalism (market fundamentalism, monopolistic capitalism, crony capitalism, casino capitalism, state capitalism, etc.

    Hedges is staunchly anti-capitalist.


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    patrick says:

    Pornography just outrages the puritans who have imposed a false mores on sexual behaviour.
    If it has become cruel and debasing and dehumanizing, to both performers, (and much of that is the result of it is just falling in line with the rest of the Walmart world driven by the bottom line and nothing else. And the degradation of women has been non stop since our myths shifted from the goddess fantasy with a world that provides, to a god fiction with a world that can be imposed on. If man is going to impose his will on the world you need a good back story to justify it. Blaming pornography is just lazy.
    And “survival of the fittest” has to be the most abuse term in the world. It has been used to justify our political, monetary and social predators but it is a perversion of what Darwin meant. The fit survive, not to prey on the weak of the herd, but to be able to protect the herd and ensure the herd’s survival. The meaning it has in our world will eventually lead to our destruction.


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    Kaiser Helmets 'n Motorbikes says:

    Wow, that was one hell of a piece of prose.

    As I grow old, and tired, and cynical, it gets harder and harder to discover a new idea, a new perspective on reality.

    Thanks for sharing.


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    bigcitylib says:

    And yet the audience for shades, both book and movie, has skewed heavily female. Go figure.


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    Tired of it All says:

    I’m still reeling from “War is a Force that Gives us Meaning…” This just piled on.


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    Niall says:

    WK,

    Chris Hedges?
    Not the Marxist Jesuit Chris Hedges? Not that one?
    I thought he’d moved to Cuba to manage the panopticon.

    Oh well, “a bad penny…etc.”

    YT

    Niall from Winnipeg


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      davie says:

      Comprehensive rebuttal…each and every point made in the article is cleverly refuted with evidence and logic, and the overall thesis is shown to be faulty.


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    iBall says:

    The question is who is exploiting whom? The professional girls are seemingly happy to put it all out and in any manner, and the boys and men want to see it for prurience and curiosity. The victims are the children who are force into horror. It’s called the “market”.

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