I don’t need to rehash any statistics about pornography on the internet. If you want to know anything about that, please go to Fight the New Drug.
But there’s porn everywhere. Our whole culture is devoted to Porn. There’s “Flesh Porn” if you will, which comes in any number of orientations and permutations. But there is also Food Porn, Room Porn, Design Porn, Shopping Pron, what else… Increasingly I feel the “ironic” selection of “porn” is those categories is exactly right. What is the Food Network if not porn for foodies? What is HGTV if not porn for Designers? Personally some of my favourite porn is Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, Jacques Peppin’s various cooking shows, and The Frugal Gourmet.
Advertising is porn, of course. That goes without saying. We see something designed to stir up covetousness within us.
The movie, Dances with Wolves, is a kind of porn as well: great western expanses, loud “American” style classical soundtrack music, and stirring images that strike chords of patriotic American exceptionalism.
9/11 is porn. Not only for terrorists for whom it is more of a wet dream, but also for Americans for whom it is – like Dances with Wolves – a collection of stirring images and patriotic feelings drummed up by playing on the same pathways in the brain that actual patriotism would hit.
Almost everything in our culture is porn: fake images designed to stir up some emotion or another.
And we go straight for it.
Granted it was reading up about “real” (sexual) porn that caused me to realize this, but our collections of pictures of everything from Baseball Cards to movie stars, from museums to even icons. Anytime we let a collection of beauty become objectified, it’s porn.
Thing is, we do it a lot.