Thursday, 31 October 2013

What is pornography exactly?

Twerking, Victorian style

At one time, pornography referred to top shelf magazines in run down back street shops.

Fairly rapidly it progressed to allegedly responsible retailers such as WH Smiths and Menzies and it was not just magazines but videos and DVDs.

If you had to place a marker in time for when the fulcrum shifted and porn moved into the mainstream, it would be reasonable to cite the trial over DH Lawrence's now infamous book, Lady Chatterley's Lover, in 1960.

This opened the floodgates to an industry that knows no depths or parameters.

Today, television has run fast to gain a substantial place in the Porn Sweepstakes and those who do not know the name, Mary Whitehouse, should Google her and see for themselves the massive task this woman undertook and how much we miss someone of her calibre today.

And so, the public perceptions of what constitutes pornography have changed and we accept, today, what would have scandalised us twenty five years ago.

I have never watched the BBC TV "Strictly Come Dancing" programme, I have no interest in dancing and certainly not in the sort of dancing that "Strictly" employs.

Here, it must be said to those few who might now be saying: "How does he know about it if he hasn't watched it?" - that I have seen snippets, the sort of ten second glimpses that arise as you grope for the television remote control in order to turn off what has just invaded your living room.

And, yes, yes, yes, I hear all those good arguments that state that we should just get rid of our televisions.

Trouble is, as I age, by the time evening comes, I have diminished energy for reading or constructing models of St Peter's Basilica out of matchsticks.

I enjoy good television programmes and why not?

But, with the advent of "Strictly" we now have immodestly dressed dancers performing indecent dances.

 Twerk was a word Yorkshiremen used to describe where they went to from Monday to Friday.
Now it has been hijacked by the dancers who like to 'twerk', that is, dance in a lascivious manner.

And grannies in Biggleswade and spinsters in Exeter think it not wrong one jot that such gyrations should take place well before the 9pm 'watershed' and parents seem delighted to have school plays and events based on the "Strictly" theme.

That is the world we now live in.

Some years ago Mrs L and I were invited to the parish banquet (I think some good souls thought that we could be enticed back from the brink of orthodoxy).

During the course of the evening, the PP visited each table for a chat and, when it came to our turn he started off by recounting some recent films he had viewed.

He proudly announced that he had just watched 'The Full Monty' (this I believe to have been a provocative move as he knew full well we would not approve).

In true Pavlovian fashion I responded, in a calm and not outraged manner, that I did not think it was the sort of film a Catholic should watch, let alone a priest.

"Ah, it's just a bit of fun" said he.

And there's the rub.

It's all just a bit of fun, nudge, nudge.

And, if you think it's immodest or immoral or pornographic, then you are a killjoy, a puritan, a wet blanket, a party pooper - or, a traditional Catholic.

Mary Whitehouse was able to take on the media corporations and, if not exactly win, she certainly stemmed the tide and provided a platform for those who agreed with her views.

Do we have anyone of her mettle among us today?.....a leading Catholic  woman?.......a priest or, even, a Bishop?

None from where I'm sitting.

And if you would like to know what happened to the Parish Priest, a few years later he was arrested for importuning outside public lavatories, and fled to Ireland a few days later, never to be seen again.

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