A few days ago I posted a Youtube video of one of my favorite Pungent Stench tracks, with an album cover of what looks to be the heads of two decapitated elderly men kissing. I've always thought the image to be extremely compelling so last night I looked up the artist, Joel Peter Witkin, and was surprised to learn that it was not, in fact, a drawing but an actual photograph of a severed head that had been preserved for medical experimentation. This seems problematic because, generally speaking, it seems important to receive the consent of anyone whose image you will be immortalizing, particularly where the image is recognizable and that person has living relatives who might be affected by the work. So I found an interview with Witkin to get his take on that matter and was surprised again to see a photograph of his that can only be described as child pornography, accompanied by the following quote: "This girl was four year old when I photographed her. I call it Nude with Mask - not Little Girl with Mask, because this person is going to be the next Marilyn Monroe. She's a hot kid...To me it's a very poetic photograph, the little oval is like a tiny key-hole, meant for the eye of a cock, so when you look at the image you are like the head of a cock (laughs)." Here is a link to the interview, and no I'm not going to reproduce the image here because I don't want my blog to be a place that hosts kiddie porn.
I'm not going to go into a lengthy description of the Monarch Project for new readers but it will suffice to say that there are people in high places that really enjoy this kind of thing, and that some of the imagery in the photo very well may indicate that the child has been passed around for quite a bit more than suggestive nude photos. Anyone who wants to pursue the subject in depth is encouraged to read The Illuminati Formula. What one has to wonder is how this man can literally get away with making kiddie porn without getting arrested. And what kind of parents would allow their child to be photographed in a way that is quite obviously sexually provocative? Well, if you know a few things about the prevalence of international child sex trafficking, answers will emerge.
I'm not going to bother trying to explain why this kind of imagery is wrong because hopefully that doesn't need to be said in the first place. Even in prison child molesters are not looked on favorably, to state things delicately. So, the nonchalant acceptance of kiddie porn in the entertainment industry should do more than raise eyebrows, especially considering Corey Feldman's recent revelations about pedophilia in Hollywood. When it comes down to it, people need to start asking where this imagery comes from and who exactly was involved in its production.
On another level, I frequently wonder about the motivations of people involved in some of the subcultures I've associated myself with such as the extreme fringes of underground death metal or the BDSM scene(the latter of which I want nothing to do with these days). While catharsis and exploration into taboo subject matter is, in my opinion, a vital part of any healthy society, so often the people who are drawn to it seem to be driven by a need to exploit others' vulnerabilities in a parasitic way. This pattern is obvious in a BDSM context but it is no less prevalent amongst the moral crusaders on the religious right who are quite simply bullies that target easy cultural scapegoats. As ridiculous as it may sound, the people who are attracted to these cultures are typically motivated by a subconscious need for healing and renewal, yet while pursuing that goal they are recycled back into the domain of the parasites, whose attempt to capitalize is merely a way to correct their own internal weakness. But no, this rant is not based in misanthropy because the patterns I'm referring to are cultural outliers not representative of "the masses" as a whole.
The only solution I can see is a new subcultural paradigm, one in which catharsis is perceived as a potent tool whose misuse can be catastrophic. The difference would not be a matter of censorship as much as containment. Even the most disturbing portrayal of abuse can be transformative in the proper context, yet without that context "representation" of an act degenerates into a traumatic enactment in and of itself. At times it can be hard to know where to draw the line but I think it goes without saying that kiddie porn is not any less objectionable if presented in an "artistic" way. Personally, I would encourage anyone skirting the edges of acceptability, so to to speak, to very closely examine their own motivations because there are obviously some serious problems with the "anything goes" mentality that characterizes the cultural fringes.