Thursday, August 7, 2008

Glitch in the Matrix

I originally had a post here titled "Tourism Gone Wrong". I decided to delete it for reasons I will go into below. But first, here is what I wrote as the opening:

One thing which all of us spankos and CP fetishists seem to have in common is that we draw inspiration from a wide variety of sources - novels, history books, movies, TV soaps, music videos, cartoons, paintings, Shakespearean dramas, museum exhibitions, advertising... Everything from the ridiculous to the sublime, from High Art to trashy popcorn entertainment. News reports about real events are another popular source, and often an especially interesting one because of the "This actally took place!" factor.

Now, there is debate about whether or not it is appropriate to eroticise real suffering, be it historical or contemporary. I reserve that discussion for another time. Suffice to say that I don't think there is anything wrong with taking inspiration from such events, or else I wouldn't be posting this, obviously. The fact that I can eroticise the following story, shaping it into an exciting fantasy through a process that involves a great deal of fictionalisation and abstraction, doesn't mean that I support real judicial CP - I don't. Neither does it mean that I am "mocking the victims", which would be a very superficial and simplistic reading. Actually, even though I'm a kinky sadist, I often empathise more strongly with the victim than with the perpetrator.

I certainly do in this case. Here is one of my all-time favourite news stories, as reported by Associated Press:

Then I reprinted a report about two female Australian tourists who were caned in Malaysia, probably sometime in the 1990s (it was part of a longer article on judicial CP and didn't specify a date). The two tourists pleaded guilty to possession of a small quantity of marijuana which the maid had discovered in their hotel room. A magistrate sentence them to eight cane strokes each. There were various details of the story which I find incredibly hot.

However, there is one significant problem: the tourists were both aged seventeen. Actually, that was a prerequisite of sorts - CP of adult females is not permitted in Malaysia, so if the girls had only been one year older, the whole story wouldn't have happened in the first place. I was aware of the sensitivity of the issue when I posted it, but I figured that the girls were "adults in all but name", anyway. Here is what I had to say about it at the time:

To begin with, the girls were... just young enough to be still eligible for a caning under the Malaysian law, but old enough that I can picture them as "all grown up". If they had been younger, that would be an emotional obstacle to eroticising the news report, but here I can pretend that they are adults. That's where the aforementioned abstraction and fictionalisation come in. Actually, in my fantasy, the girls are around 20 or 21 and the juvenile law extends to that age. Which makes it even more interesting.

Clearly, what excited me was not the fact that the girls were juveniles, but the opposite - that they were almost adults. The maximum female age eligible for CP, which made it all the easier to turn the story into a fantasy where the age limit is higher and the girls are in their early twenties. Another fantasy version I have - I could have mentioned it at the time, but left it out for the sake of brevity - is that the CP law applies to all women, regardless of age. Okay, maybe not 89... But you see my point.

The point is, I didn't think anyone in his right mind could interpret my post as eroticising minors or the abuse of minors. I still believe that such an interpretation would require a great deal of simplemindedness, or malice, or both. However, we know from experience that there is no shortage of those qualities in the population, especially among self-appointed moral guardians who oppose our kinky lifestyle. And so, after I got a mail from a well-meaning, concerned reader, I reconsidered the issue and decided to take the post down in an act of self-censorship.

Ironically, I expect the decision to attract more controversy than the original post was ever likely to. After all, it is pretty irrational, even self-contradictory: philosophically speaking, it is hard to see why the "fantasy is totally seperate from reality" argument I mentioned briefly in the beginning should, all of a sudden, not apply here. If eroticising reports of real events and blogging about it is okay in principle, then what is wrong here? And does one year of age really make any difference?

Logically speaking, there isn't a problem, because the fantasy vs. reality argument still applies, of course. But as I already indicated, my decision has to do with experience rather than logic. There are two emotional hot buttons the zealots love to use: 1) Nazi crimes, 2) abuse of minors. Because allegations that someone has sympathy for either of these atrocities, no matter how unfounded, far-fetched and absurd the allegations are, are a sure-fire way to provoke emotional outrage and kill off any semblance of calm, reasoned debate. The Mosley story and what happened to Spanking Art Wiki are only two examples.

In the case of Spanking Art Wiki, some of you might remember that it was me who argued (rather loudly as usual) that, while the allegations against them were of course nonsense, the authors had also been pretty damn stupid. They should have been more careful to avoid misconceptions and deliberate misrepresentations. So I should swallow a bit of my own medicine, I suppose.

Maybe it is the oppressive spirit of the upcoming Berlin, err, Beijing Olympics invading my corner of cyberspace, too. And once again, my meticulous four day posting routine is completely messed up. Ah well. One day, I shall have to restore the order in the matrix with a long philosophical post about freedom of speech vs. self-censorship.


Dr. Ken said...

For what it's worth (and coming from me, probably not much):-), but I think you made the right decision. The irrational high-horse that some people get on can be very hard to fight and argue against. Save your strength for other battles....
Love the blog, btw....

Dr. Ken

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dr. Ken, especially as there are people who refuse any kind of argument. I love a good discussion for its own stake, but not to the point of sterility.

Unfortunately, what matters is what people make of discourse, not what is actually being said. Whatever you're trying to say can be completely distorted (perverted :P) and used against its original meaning.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ludwig's decision, which may have been prompted by a comment I made on the deleted post. I suggested that Ludwig should be wary of including a report involving non-consenting juveniles in a blog dedicated to erotic spanking. (I agree that there's a lot of daftness around eroticism and young adult women. In theory, at least, people in the UK could get thrown in the slammer for owning a picture of Sam Fox taken when she was 16 or 17 and published in the country's largest selling comic - whoops, sorry! - "newspaper", the Sun.)

The other question I raised about the rport, given the absence of aspecific, dated source, is whether it really happened.