Posts filed under ‘editorial’
I find myself in a weird position: Defending what seems to be something I don’t wanna defend.
On one hand, it’s one of the more… … … debatable issues out there: censorship of Japanese modern art depicting minors in sexually appealing positions (and in some cases, depicting said minors engaging in sexual acts). As a supposedly moralfag Christian, it is my responsibility to point out how sickening this is (and even though I’m actually desensitized to such things, from an intellectual standpoint, it is disturbing to see such things, for reasons I will explain below, and not because of some supposed idol worship of the innocence of the child) and most people would expect me to jump the shark and proceed to call for draconian legislation to ban such images.
On the other hand, cooler heads have said it’s a whole lot of paper and ink, and it doesn’t harm anyone. Better yet, the fact that such material exists might also help in curbing actual child abuse cases (if studies concerning pornography are to be believed). That, and that the resources could be better served freeing actual victims of child abuse. Since going nuts over supposedly fictional characters is supposedly doing a great disservice to children who are actually being abused (and I do believe the abused would agree with me on this).
Honestly, I really have nothing that might seem useful to the whole issue, even though I am believed to have a strongly-worded opinion on censorship in general. And I’ve given the whole issue much thought. Censorship (or rather, something similar), as I’ve said before, has backfired on itself and has led to people being more anti-establishment, even though it was probably done for thier own good.
Now, as a moralfag Christian, I’d like to say that porn, in any form OR fetish, no matter how useful it is in keeping sex crimes down, only illustrates how little faith we have in ourselves in trying to approach girls and asking them out (with zero intentions for trying to sleep with them). While I DO understand that a man has urges that require some form of physical relief that sometimes cannot be relieved by automatically jizzing in your pants at night, the fact that porn is used as an aid (rather than say, your imagination. Lewis Black has one or two things to say about that.) only goes to show how unimaginative a man has become. Yes, that applies even to me.
But does that mean I should campaign for people to actively censor what they do not like? That’s not my job, nor is it my responsibility. Some moralfag Christians think that they should be trying to block people from seeing such things. Let’s just say that as a moralfag Christian, my job is to point out the flaws and educate, not to censor. If my Father Up There deems it okay for me to see just how rotten, how despicable and how sickening the human condition is (Romans 8:23 becomes PERSONAL when you are in the Army, and it’s not about how the recruit is the lowest on the foodchain), then I should be cool with people CHOOSING to go see pictures (and idealized pictures at that) of of minors dressing up in “sexy” clothing, posing in erotic poses, and engaging in sexual acts. I’m only here to inform, first and foremost, and to live my life according to what I know.
On the flipside, censorship, especially when defined within a limited scope, can be extremely useful. The issue I have with censorship (especially in my country) is that the definition of what can be censored is not just plain vague, but highly contradictory at times. Which basically means, for some people, that it’s something used to control information, like what China does. In Singapore, while we do get the BBC and CNN, our local media outlet (yes there is only one media company in Singapore), does not cover what the opposition does, for reasons I’ll not discuss. That in itself is a form of censorship. A form of censorship that still puzzles me to this day. And in Singapore, you cannot speak your mind freely on things that do not toe the party line. No lie.
In any case, while I personally see no problem with people wanting to see idealized art of children in sexually provocative poses (or engaging in sexual acts) even though I have told them many times that there’s something wrong in viewing the materials (the issue here is NOT perversion, but a matter of confidence) because it’s THEIR choice, there is a problem with the fact that there are people and organizations out there who ARE wasting time on making decisions without understanding Japanese culture.
The issue then becomes less of a censorship issue, but rather why are they trying to actively ostracize Japan instead of, you know, trying to HELP them?
Drm Note: My stance on censorship is this. “The most dangerous blade is a sheathed one.” I’d love to have it at hand for the inevitable, but it is my most sincere wish to never use it. It is also the same stance I take with abortion. Also, I think I’ll be talking about this issue for some time to come. Idle hands, etc.
Links because I am Obligated to.
Google Censors Lolicon
Google blocks Baka-Updates from Adsense
Google Blocks lolicon, the Aftermath
The Obligatory Reaction Piece
Obligatory Reaction Piece, Part 2
Why is Kuro Here I don’t Even
Yes To Freedom
Impz posits a question: Does age matter in the economy of blogging?
I’m not too uncomfortable with the question, per se, but…
Does age matter? It matters, but not as much as you think.
I’m quite relieved that most of the people doing this are around the 20-29 age range, as this means that even in this age range, you can find a lot of differing opinions and styles, not to mention content.
I could throw out 5 names and they’d all be having different ways of writing, covering events, episodes, editorials, and whatnot. Hinano, jpmeyer (wait, is that one name or two?), Impz, NewGeekPhilosopher, IKnight. Of course, we all know them. But their styles are different, even if the content is similar.
Hinano is mostly HURRDURR FANGIRL RAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE, jpmeyer uses wit and sporadic posting, Impz is, well, Impz, NewGeekPhilosopher HAS FUCKING ASPERGER’S BUT IS A HUMAN BEING ALL THE SAME, and IKnight, well, kinda writes with regards to philosophy and literature in mind.
5 people in the same age group, but they discuss the same content in different ways. Does age matter, in this case? I would say it takes a step back. Age helps a lot as an older person is seen as a wiser individual, more grounded and less prone to FAN RAGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
Though to be honest, I feel that age isn’t very important, considering people actually read what I write (Of course, I’m not going to break 500K hits anytime soon :P), and I’m pretty random when it comes to content. At times I flip out like a fanboy, sometimes I take on the erudite scholer mantle, once in a while I pretend to be a firebrand preacher, and most of the time, I’m just an average joe who has a lot of fun with this.
But to be honest, I really enjoy what I do, and I love what I write, even if it does get painful at times. It’s rare to see someone who just does it and ends up enjoying it, since most of the time, I usually see either extreme disappointment, apathy, flamebait, or some philosophical discussion I don’t seem to grasp at that point of time (the last has yet to happen. I think.). Or somewhere in between. I dunno. I don’t think a lot of us enjoy watching animé anymore. Maybe that’s why a lot of people are either on hiatus or ARE DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAD T_T
I dunno, mang. Maybe we should stop pretending to like something in order to write about it. We all gotta be honest with ourselves, or we might lose our reason to blog. Or live.
Something bothers me about the otakucube (YES I AM GOING TO POPULARIZE THIS TERM TO DESCRIBE A BLOG COMMUNITY CENTERED ON OTAKU PURSUITS. SOMEHOW).
No, it’s not the personalities this time. That one is enough for a lot of rants.
What bothers me the most is the amount of quality, better known as the signal-to-noise ratio. It’s pretty apparent when I take a look at the aggregators.
Now, this should not even be a problem, given the nature of blogging, new media, and who’s behind it, since it is assumed that new media will have a very low signal-to-noise ratio.
Unfortunately, the otakucube is considered counterculture, and thus, cannot suffer from a low signal-to-noise ratio. (COUNTERCULTURE = BAD) A low signal-to-noise ratio hurts counterculture movements by depicting the movement as disorganized and fractured.
And that is what the otakucube has become. While the news side (and by news, I mean episode summaries and releases and con reports and the like) is at least on par with traditional media in terms of credibility (amazing, considering the nature of new media), we can do better on the OP/ED side. When our most famous personalities are either obnoxious, self-centered individuals, people who dress up the prevailing public opnions as respectable, people who adopt tabloid-style reporting, or people who just want to see people get a rise, that says a lot about the movement.
We don’t need charlatans, trolls, and people who are more interested in their own agendas (and no, I don’t think Danny Choo is included in this list), we need people who are highly passionate who can keep a cool head and are willing to present the otakucube as somewhat decent. We’re already being looked at funny in all aspects. We can’t afford any more setbacks.
PS: I sure wish Cameron Probert would come back. And IKnight and jpmeyer to write moar. And Hinano to maybe tone it down a little. And for more time to find better writers.
PPS: I AM NOT BITCHING ABOUT DANNY CHOO. DANNO CHOO IS A COOL GUY, EH, NOT AFRAID TO DRESS UP AS A STORMTROOPER IN JAPAN AND WHATNOT.
If you’re not going to read at least one of the two linked articles, you’re not going to have a broader framework of what I’m about to say. At least for the first part.
The Historicity of Rape in Japan
We don’t like the act. Heck, the word itself is taboo in many societies. Or at least it’s pretending to be taboo in many societies.
Unfortunately, it’s part and parcel of Japan’s culture. Shocking? not really, if you look in the right places.
Yes people, in Japan rape does really mean hello, at least in the Heian Period. In fact it’s right there in their most famous work, The Tale Of Genjii.
Prince Genjii was a dashing, handsome, hunk of a man. He was also a high-ranking prince. And he was very very honorable. Unfortunately, he also liked women, and slept with many women, usually by force.
Disgusted? I’m not surprised.
Ever wondered why Japan has many, many problem with sex crimes? It’s because of their culture that tolerates sexual crime (in this case, rape) and in some cases, even promote it.
To drone on about the prevalance of rape in doujinshi and eroge and the like, in feudal Japan, a woman had no rights. If she was to be raped she had better well like it because the man won’t take no for an answer. And in some cases saying no could be worse.
It’s all there in The Tale Of Genjii. It does seem sexual deviancy is rife in Japan, what with it having a history of rape, sexual deviancy and all.
Wherein the Author Actually talks about Rape Fantasies
Sex was originally meant to be a physical symbol of love between a man and a woman. There’s nothing dirty about seeing a truly loving couple enjoined in the throes of lovemaking. In fact I think it’s quite beautiful when done right.
Unfortunately, we all corrupt even the most beautiful things for for our own debased pleasure. Females develop rape fantasies simply because they cannot obtain the kind of love aforementioned. Usually.
Why do they not find the kind of love I mentioned earlier? It’s because the woman (in most cases) simply isn’t mature enough to develop the patience and passion for a deep, meaningful relationship. To put it bluntly, she hasn’t grown up mentally.
A mentally mature adult knows how to wait. A child doesn’t. In most cases where the woman has rape fantasies, she wants the fleeting joy of being ‘attached’ to a man without wanting to develop the intellectual and emotional affection required to turn this base act into something different and beautiful. To put it really bluntly, Girl Want Sex Now. Relationship Come Later. The same applies to the man.
And that is why people have rape fantasies. Because people want the physical intimacy first without the mental, psychological and emotional attachment first. As a result of not being able to form deep, meaningful relationships with people.
Delicious sausage links:
Hinano (no Hinano, Japan does not think rape is wrong)
animemiz (Girl, go read The Tale Of Genjii)
Haruda (We actually trivialize rape in real life)
a Day without me (Japan and The West have vastly different views on sexual harrassment)
lelangir (I liek Yuu Watase)
Inspired by that single pic and that somewhat inappropriate comment (it is, after all, a /tg/ meme relating to female Tau and all…), I might be, ahem, delving a little bit deeper into animé female archetypes and what makes them so likable. Or something.
Yeah I’m bored. Also may or may not be in conjunction with my flurry of KnJ editorials.
Many have puzzled about the origin of evil; I observe that there is evil, and that there is a way to escape it, with this I begin and end.
– John Newton
I am mildly amused at people NERD RAGING over Suzaku’s apparent moralfaggotry, but not going overboard over Lelouche’s actions.
Which is a ruddy shame, because the both of them are doing morally wrong things, or to put it simply, they are letting the ends justify the means.
Let’s put it in a way that even the pretentious, the trolls and even the mockers can understand.
Let’s say you need money fast. You know there are people who would pay good money if you killed a certain someone. Would you then kill that certain someone to get the money?
If your answer to that hypothetical situation is yes, then congratulations. You’ve just let the ends justify the means. Highly simplistic, yes, but it gets the point across.
Wanna tie this to animé? I’ll use Gurren Lagann.
My memory is rather fuzzy on this, but apparently, a lot of people can’t see that there is evil in Gurren Lagann. Lord Genome, Rossiu, the Anti-spirals, heck, even Kamina and Simon are evil. Yeah, I’m a bit too harsh on the characters, but remember, they did evil before they did good. Lord Genome used fear to rule over Earth and treated humans like playthings. Rossiu lied. The Anti-spirals used fear, uncertainty and doubt and pretty much shat on the whole free will thing. Kamina rebelled against authority. Simon was a coward.
In Lord Genome’s and the Anti-spirals’ (and to a small extent, Rossiu’s) cases, they mistakenly thought that they had to be the evil in order to achieve their goals. What they did helped no one, and as we could see, only caused a ton of sorrow and almost destroyed the earth (in Rossiu’s case.) Kamina was impatient and couldn’t wait for the right time. Simon refused to face up to reality. They all let the ends justified the means.
But I’m being too harsh to the cast. They all realized that they were wrong and finally did the right thing in the end.
What I’m trying to say is this:
If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink. For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
If you want to defeat evil, you have to do good. Knowing that you are evil is nothing but sheer braggery and is the sign of a haughty spirit.
He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.
And you definitely cannot let the ends justify the means.
Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
For evil is known by it’s actions. And the road to disappointment is usually paved with good intentions.
Then again, I’m probably preaching to the wrong crowd. After all, if we can justify stealing AND sowing discord, I’m sure we can justify evil. I mean, we just justified Suzaku’s and Lelouche’s actions (too lazy to link to various posts.), I’m sure we can even justify things that are not just morally reprehensible, but illegal as well. Like murder. And trampling on the freedom of will. Oh wait. WE DO! ON A DAILY BASIS!
PS: War is the consequence of a great number of factors (suffice to say, man’s twisted ambition to control his life is one of them), and as such, death is to be expected. War is reprehensible, but remember, it is the result, not the cause. We are appalled at war because we are appalled at ourselves for letting matters get to such dire straits. What more morally reprehensible is that the people in power always justify the results of their incompetence to cover their asses. Oh liberty, what injustices we do in your name. (aka next person who says something about not justifying war will me modded, ignored, and flamed. You have been warned.)