On the reconsideration of ideology, and the free spirits of a modern age.

Posted by Jeremy Clarke on March 16, 2004 · General

heh.caOne of the projects I was seriously considering before I lost all will to draw was a journal comic supposedly created by a neo-nazi. I was drawn to the idea of representing him as a normal, intelligent person; having humorous encounters with his co-workers and friends, running out of toothpaste etc. But showing parallel to this that he hated all those who were different from him. I wanted to test myself, see if I could give his xenophobia the same kind sincere and earnest voice that I gave to my own aesthetic and philosophical beliefs in my comic, to try to get under the skin of something that seems so fucked up to me and the majority of those around me, and try to be convincing. I was going to try to get “him” into the journal comic circuit, in the jam etc, and see if I fooled anyone.

I didn’t do it (and now probably won’t), but am still very interested in the concept. A few months ago I spent a few days listening to an internet radio program by a genuinely fucked up person called Hal Turner (you can listen there with winamp or iTunes), who encouraged the white masses to stop being lazy and show their support for their race, and was, apparrently, “the only one willing to go out and say the “V” word”, which means that he was the only public figure willing to advocate racial cleansing through direct Violence. Listening to this man’s hate rambling on hour after hour was insane, entertaining and surreal, his logic was so flawed it was hardly more than smoke, yet he and his base of yahoo fans were so convinced of themselves.

All this to say, without any insult to the proceeding topic of discussion, that sometimes we encounter things and people that force us to seriously and consciously reconsider our positions on questions who’s answers have always seemed so natural, so obvious to us, that we scarcely consider them problems at all. We are given no choice but to re-evaluate our presumptions, logic and ideology, and sometimes we are also given some very good arguments against what we thought.

Recently I met an individual who identifies themselves as a pedophile, and who, in contrast with stereotypes, is politically active on the subject. The site contains no pornography less appropriate than greek sculpture, but holds ideas, arguments and an intelligence that is both unnerving and fascinating. It is no neo-nazi hate sheet lacking in rationality, nor is it a swooning or vacuous appeal to freedom or ideals totally foreign to all but a vast minority. It is reasonable and careful.

If you have some time read a bit, I still don’t know what I think about it or the subjects it tackles. But I’m pretty sure that I’m not longer certain of anything.

Posted by Jeremy Clarke on March 16, 2004 · General

4 Comments

  1. Jason

    I’m flattered by your comments, Jeremy. If my site makes people think about their views, then I’m satisfied.

    March 18th, 2004 at 9:02 pm

  2. Les

    It’s good to have an open mind, but there are four things you should never, ever open your mind to.

    1. Murder
    2. Rape
    3. Racism
    4. Pedophilia

    Unacceptable under any circumstances.

    March 19th, 2004 at 5:17 pm

  3. jer

    What if we were in ancient Greece? Or in any number of tribal settings where pedophilia was both accepted and encouraged as a rite of passage and as a relationship building activity? Where no one ended up messed up because of it simply because it wasn’t considered a messed up thing.

    Not unlike sex in general in our society (the fear of which is a scale, peaking with Victorian bullshit, and lowering in recent years).

    Obviously it’s completely absurd to think that it could be acceptable NOW. But a strong case can be made against “Unacceptable under any circumstances.” Which is just a bit too general.

    DonÕt get me wrong. I hate it too. I hate the idea, I hate the result, and I am inclined to hate anyone implicated. but I also know that I have the same feeling about a lot of normal sex things, like swinging etc. What it comes down to, at least for me, is that it is merely part of our ideology to think that it is completely perverse, and that, theoretically, if we lived in a world where sex was not the prized and caged thing that it is, it could be a merely neutral thing.

    March 19th, 2004 at 7:33 pm

  4. Jason

    Unacceptable under any circumstances.

    This kind of statement suggests an attitude of moral absolutism. A few decades ago, no doubt #5 would have been ‘homosexuality’, and at other times, different moral absolutes have reigned in different cultures.

    The fact is that pedophilia, like any other sexuality, is a diverse issue, and has diverse results. Yet this diversity of result has not be studied (much) because there is a strong ideological opposition to this investigation.

    The major questions are: 1) is there any set of circumstances that can be shown to result in positive experiences, and 2) are these circumstances at all controlable, replicable, useful?

    There is no doubt that some circumstances result in bad experiences. If there is no replicable circumstance that results in a positive experience, then pedophile sexuality would be like playing a game of chance. If, on the other hand, there are replicable circumstances that result in positive experiences, then it would be like any other sexuality.

    My working hypothesis is that it is more like other sexualities, and that this point of view will become more understandable as the topic is investigated in a less ideologically charged way. Once we have a more thorough understanding about the etiology of abuse trauma, we will be able to distinguish between various circumstances, and deal with the various outcomes accordingly.

    Jason

    March 20th, 2004 at 3:25 pm