On: Critiquing Masculinity [and XXX Pornography] at the [Marine] Corps, by Robert Jensen

I commented on a Facebook post: "Critiquing Masculinity At The Corps," by Robert Jensen. www.countercurrents.org.

Jensen's FB profile image

Read Roberts post on countercurrents.org at your own risk. If you are strong in resisting temptation dredged up by dealing with a sexually explicit discussion (albeit from an anti-pornography stand, which is Robert's stand and with which I whole-heartedly agree), then by all means, go and read and come back here to comment and comment there too if you are so inclined. I'm not linking to it though for reasons that should be clear from the below. If you're that curious, you'll just have to seek it out without my leading you right to it so to speak. Here is part of the thread on Facebook that I think is well worth reposting here.

The rest of the thread there is quite good. There were other commentators who seem to me to understand my position and did more than hold their own on additional attempted points raised by the suspected libertarian.

Tom Usher

Wow, that left me feeling sick. You wrote stuff I'd never heard of, and I thought there wasn't anything about that kind of stuff I didn't know.

Well, I know you know that pornography is not confined to women being used, but it bears repeating.

Every sex and age is used. Almost every single thing is used.

I'm glad I'm out of it. I wish I had never been exposed to it. It's something that is sprung on us way before we are able to comprehend that it is so, so dangerous.

I'd share it, but I'm not sure I want to. It's like telling a child not to stick his fingers in the fan. Bring it up, and he'll test it. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. You're right to want to get to Marines and others who are in it, but we have to take care not to expose those who aren't already there and wouldn't otherwise even think to check it out: porn. No, don't! Leave it alone just like leaving alone jumping off a cliff without a parachute. It can be just as fatal.

Peace to you.

There is a book, Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies by Michael J. Bader. Human awareness is so very complicated. You cannot simplify this into bad and good.

Tom Usher

Yes, just how aware are people of the harmfulness of their intentions?

There was a man who had a beautiful mare. His neighbors said " That is wonderful that you have such a beautiful mare".

The man said, " don't know if its good or bad. I just know I have this mare".

Then one day the mare jumped the fence and ran away. The neighbors said, " that is too bad that your mare ran away"> . The man said, " I don't know if its good or bad, I just know the mare is gone.".

And then three days later the mare came back followed by seven stallions. And the neigbors said, "That is wonderful, that you have your mare back plus seven more".

And the man said, " I dont' know if its good or bad. I just know that I have 8 horses".

And the mans son tried to ride one of the stallions, and was thrown and broke his leg.

And the neigbors said, " What a tragedy, Your son will be lame. Curse that mare and the stallions she brought".

And the man said, "I don't know if its good or bad, I just know that My son has a broken leg"

And then war was declared by the king and the army called up all the sons of the town to service in the army. But the mans son could not come because his leg was broken....

Do you know what is harmful and what is not?

Tom Usher

If it hadn't been for the mare escaping then, the son would have had to go serve in that war that his father would say, "I don't know whether it's good or bad. I only know that there's a war." "I don't know whether it's good or bad. I only know BP drilled a hole in the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and there's a huge underwater, uncontained oil gusher." Those are inexcusable, evil positions. Don't you know there should be no wars and there should be no such oil gusher?

If you feel the way you appear to be suggesting that you do (unless you're just playing devil's advocate), why do you attempt to instruct others seeing as how under your philosophy, there's no good in any instruction? Why eat? Why breathe? Why die? Why exist? Why be a sociopath?

My point is we can't see the end of the game. I was commenting on the idea that Obscenity is morally wrong and harmful. My view is that art is in two classes. The art I like and the art I don't like. Is the Kubrick movie "Eyes Wide Shut" or "Clockwork Orange" obscene? Is his intention harmful? The story about the mare goes on forever. It is impossible to judge it as good or bad. If I don't like art I don't pay attention to it. I don't like the idea of judging art as "bad and harmful". Thats what I meant. That was my point.

Tom Usher

War is an art form. Drilling for oil is an art too. People study film as art. Film is used in the propagation of war and offshore oil-drilling and whatever else the artists are paid to, or just want to, promote or denounce or concerning which they want to elicit emotions and more or any combination of the aforementioned. My point can be put in the form of a question concerning artists who don't know what they are doing even as they think they know better.

So, you don't look at art you don't like. Granted, social standards are a moving target. Some people down through the ages though have concluded that some things are better never entering the mind, never put before one even to ponder as to whether or not ever to see, hear, or feel, etc., again – that the damage is done to some degree until such time as some radical healing takes place. Of course, we don't trust every last person who has gone before. It doesn't mean we shouldn't trust anyone.

Truth is also art, as is its opposite.

Yes, life is learning how and what, etc., to filter. The Kubrick films you mentioned are food for nightmares, especially for the very young, albeit tame compared to the porn Robert wrote of. All things being relative, I'd rather have never bitten the forbidden fruit.

People often say, "Things could be worse." They also say that concerning certain questions, they just avoid them because the questions are too hard. I'd rather that much of the subject matter of the Kubrick films didn't exist in the human consciousness as temptation.

So, how do we have a society that by virtue of communications at the speed of light (and someday instant or even anticipatory) is becoming smaller where minds can leap over the temptations and yet know how valuable avoiding those pitfalls must remain. Do we have to experience Hell before not going there? In the name of some notion of liberty, do we have to tolerate Hellish arts in whatever form.

Can we stop them without being evil in the process? Coercion is an art too, just as is making up minds individually and/or collectively before anyone is tempted to coerce. Will we hear each other? Will we think about harm and the end before throwing art out there.

The end game is known depending upon the position and path. The porn of which Robert wrote is bad art. It shouldn't exist. Nothing good has ever come out from it or ever will. People are not improved by falling into it even if they come out more determined not to fall into it again or into other bottomless pits of darkness.

Are the creators, purveyors, and others in the porn discussed in the article not fit but for the pit? Will they hear? Will they listen? Will they do the right things? If not, they'll not come out. Where I'm headed though is far separated so that their porn won't exist. They'll be where they are, and I'll be in another dimension they can't see for all their darkness. I'd rather they come out, but I can't force them to see the light, feel the love, and know.

How far in does one need to go to rescue souls? When does it become an exercise in futility?

The Marine Corps run the lives of its members. How do they shut down some porn without being hugely hypocritical by leaving the obscenity pit that is their system of violence, death, and destruction – their creation?

Only someone with the wisdom of God can know that something is bad and nothing good will ever come of it.

We were kicked out of the Garden of Eden for this "knowlege of good and evil" That book by Michael Bader gave me an inkling of how extremely... no infinitely complicated it is.

Some of those "pits of darkness" we create for ourselves for our own internally valid reasons. Some of these "evils" we construct to wire around the repression and psychic programming you might call "good".

I saw this video with the musical artist Laurie Anderson. She talked about when she and a bunch of protesters were picketing the playboy club in Chicago... they were marching around with signs decrying women being portrayed as "bunnies' or being objectified. One of the women that worked in the club spoke to Laurie and said, " Honey... Listen. This is a great job. This is the best job I've ever had. I make enough money to care for my kid. I like working here. ........... Why don't you take your little signs down to the garment district where women work in slavery for less than minimum wage and march around down there?"

I would vote to make the military smaller and give them different orders, but I don't think they are evil.

Tom Usher

[deleted],

I have heard both of your stories before. The Bunnie story is exactly what I meant by raising those who say, "Things could be worse." Which of those same feminists in Chicago who were decrying the Playboy lifestyle and club, etc., would have shied away from also decrying sweatshops. Which ones hadn't already denounced sweatshops before Laurie Anderson ever said a word?

"Honey, listen. This is a great job. This is the best job I've ever had. I make enough money to care for my kid. I like working here. Why don't you take your little signs over to Auschwitz where people were gassed and march around over there?" That was said by a CIA agent, who had just finished his 183rd water torture, to a waterboarding protester carrying a sign against torture near Langley.

We were kicked out of Eden, but the way to the highest Heaven is to merit the fruit of the next tree. You don't merit that by fence sitting concerning good versus evil.

Thou sayest. The wisdom of God comes by way of those who bring it, speaking and doing.

You started out asking the question of how can one know good from bad, but you went on to demonstrate that you hold things relatively better than others. If you would vote for smaller and different, would you do it with no end in sight? Is that the best you can think of concerning militarism for humanity and the planet, etc.: just smaller and different orders?

The world would be better still were there no militarism at all – not a speck. Does God know how you don't know that?

Anyway, this is one of those "futile moments" in terms of knowing when to break off. If anything I've said helps rather than harms, then good. It was good that I did write what I did regardless of whether you know it.

Peace and blessings,

Tom

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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