Monday, 19 September 2016
The New Pornography - A Vision of the Future
Pornography is one of those words which doesn't so much have a monolithic definition as it does a broad collection of meanings underpinned by discrete collections of vague, culture-specific values.
When I come to power, lexical shenanigans like this will not be tolerated. A definition will be chosen and its usage aggressively promulgated and enforced. But the quality of mercy is not strained and so on, so the chosen definition will be a deliberately broad one, as a society cannot be totalitarian unless it is also somewhat inclusive.
Pornography: (n) Any material or representation, literary, visual or created by digital or mechanical means, which has been designed for the sole purpose of creating strong sensations in the audience.
Of course, we'll have to get the professional lexicographers in to clean this up, and maybe to suppress the etymology (pornes: prostitutes, graphy: come on, that's pretty obvious).
Sure, there might be some minor downsides to the enforcement of this new verbal rigour, but think of the benefits. Under my regime, everything created merely for sensation would be subject to obscenity laws. This would mean that publications like the Daily Telegraph would be wrapped in plastic and bought furtively at $14.99 a pop, and it would be highly illegal to expose anyone under the age of 18 to a Miranda Devine column.
In this new world of mine, I envision this redefinition of pornography sweeping across multiple walks of life, even unto political speech. Politicians like Corey Bernardi, Pauline Hanson and Donald Trump would be debarred by law from speaking in public. Those wishing to hear about their ideas would be compelled to do so in dark mirrored booths, dropping coins into a suspiciously sticky slot for every ten minutes they wish to spend furiously titillating their frenzied sense of outrage.
But by far the biggest advantage would be the sheer scope and variety of those who would be relegated to the obscurity of the porn shop. Hate speech consumers of all stripes would be forced to rub shoulders, amongst other things, within the narrow compass of the fringe, awkwardly avoiding each others' eyes as they browse the shelves, or await the onanistic ecstasy of absorbing the concussed parrot ramblings of Pauline, or the sloppy false syllogisms of Trump.
And perhaps, while they're waiting on line, they'll talk. "What are you here for?" a Hansonite might say to the angry Islamist next in line, which could spark a brief waiting room conversation involving the White Supremacist and the Young-Earther pretending not to browse their shelves. And in this situation of enforced, awkward intimacy, they could be brought to discover their essential sameness - the strong bonds of irrationality and hatred which they share to such abundant extent - and thus be brought to peace, if not with us, then at least with each other.