• The Shoutbox
    Bang on, sir! :up: I bang on drums after work. I’ve a feeling that if i banged the drums AT work, I’d soon have a lot more free time to drum even more. Hmmm...
  • Is pornography a problem?
    Bonobos (our closest relatives) are highly promiscuous and use sex to defuse tensions avoid fights, and promote social cohesion. For humans, it is much more a matter of status, and therefore it is socially controlled. Specifically, society is patriarchal and patrilineal, and this necessarily leads to the need to control women's sexual activity, because while the mother is easily known by the fact of giving birth, the father must be presumed. Thus we arrive at the notion of women as property, assets for reproduction that need to be guarded. Religion serves the nobility, the propertied class, to protect their bloodline from pollution. This is why female prostitutes are tolerated, but wives must be virginal. See Charles and Diana for example.

    This is the background into which pornography is projected. Women are already commodified as assets to be owned or rented.

    Pornography is both advertising and product. It functions to create the need that it then satisfies momentarily, and unsatisfactorily. So it induces addiction, and deliberately. And the nature of all addiction and all advertising is that the hunger is stimulated more than it is satisfied.

    You do wonder what the effect must be of digital pornography suddenly appearing in cultures which had previously been characterised by extremely censorious and proscriptive sexual mores, where women are veiled and extramarital sex is punishable by death. It's a long way between that and the kind of sexuality that is routinely depicted in contemporary porn, which nowadays anyone in a remote rural village can access via their new smartphone. I can only imagine that the effects would be truly explosive. You do wonder if it is implicated in the so-called 'rape culture' of the sub-continent.Wayfarer

    It's sad that our ideals don't include our nature - we have to discard that which makes us us to be any good in some people's eyes. Sex is a case in point. We're sexual creatures, our libido being, as is obvious, liberated from the rhythms of the universe; quite unlike other animals, we're arousable 24×7, 7 days a week, 30 days a month, whole year round. That's biological sexual revolution, anticipates and dwarfs the cultural sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s in me humble opinion. We'll always be unworthy in our own eyes.Agent Smith

    The most obvious one giving children a badly skewed version of sex, love and relationships. It's not the sight of naked people that's a problem - in fact, that would be healthy, if the naked people were depicted engaging in normal, benign activities. But they're not, and what they're doing is not simply coupling like normal people. There is a lot of kink, fetishism, deviance - and no, I don't mean same sex couples who are both alive and willing - sadism, etc. That's not the way to introduce children to understanding sexual desire or sexual fulfillment.
    Then, there is the issue of respect for self and others. If the most intimate acts are on display as performance by paid participants, what is the child to think of the dignity and value of persons? How is he supposed to respect anyone's privacy? Or curb his own baser impulses? How is he supposed to think about, talk to, show consideration for potential romantic partners? Pornography won't turn all the little boys into rapists and all the little girls into sluts... but it's not doing much for interpersonal relations.
    Vera Mont

    People get hooked on phonics--a desirable addiction. They also get hooked on Crispy Creme donuts, Coca Cola, coffee, Diet Pepsi, work, McDonalds, the New York Times, shopping at Neiman Marcus, fishing, working out at the gym, watching soap operas, and so on. We will, in due course, become hooked on porn too -- if we happen to like it. Will spending too much time at work negatively affect your relationship? Yes, it will. Can Crispy Creme donuts ruin your life? Yes, if you eat enough of them. How watching football all the time? Heard of 'football widows'?BC

    You're right but it's worth mentioning that sexual energy (libido) can be sublimated into other areas of activity. Culture can be thought of in one sense as a system for sublimating sexual energy (in humans) and directing it towards other means. Before culture emerged most of human energy (sexual) was spent only on biological imperatives (like animals). Consider a simple example such as how certain religions require abstinence from some or all of their members; this would be a strong form of sublimation. Weaker forms of sublimation take on the appearance of cultural norms, taboos, and such. The more sexually liberated a society is the less sublimated energy is available for the social and cultural apparatus. Pornography thus can be understood to be a desublimating agent. What that might mean i have my speculations.punos

    :100: :up: :clap:
    Lot of insightful comments in this thread! These are just a small sample. Thanks everyone.
  • Is pornography a problem?
    Most cities have an area where one can go for things that are usually frowned upon or just difficult to get. Even if these things are still illegal, in these (usually rundown) areas one can obtain them with less risk than elsewhere. The hypocrisy of the situation, and class and racial inequities aside... for whatever reason these places exist on the margins. Never in the center, unless it’s Las Vegas or something.

    These physical places have their counterparts in both the cultural and individual psyche. Is the individual who gives into such temptations “going astray”? Or are they just being a human being with regular human needs? Could be either or both, depending on the situation. It’s a difficult and potentially dangerous situation in any case. Addiction, arrest, shame, violence, the cost of time, energy, money, etc...

    The dominant culture (I use that term intentionally) has little regard to such things as balance, harmony, the sacredness of all, and “having enough”. (So little regard that such terms seem idealistic at best, wacky at worst). Also little or no respect for animals and nature, both of which are seen as the uncouth ground on which we stand, to be covered up. Or they’re seen as mere raw materials, to do with whatever the hell we want. There is still (amazingly) a large number of people who don’t want to believe in the reality of the theory of evolution. Possibly because they can’t accept that humans are related to lowly animals, even distantly?

    Therefore, a culture of this type will not put human needs at the top of the priority list. Those things that feed into the fantasy of absolute dominance over “dumb” and “crude” nature, and dominance over “those weird / backwards / wrong people from other lands” are the priority. They get the lion share of everything. Every other aspect of human nature has to try to get its fill after the lions have eaten most of the food, so to speak. Those people and things that symbolize weak and unrefined “nature” will usually be exploited or ignored. Women, children, brown-black-red-yellow people, the eldery, tribal cultures, etc. This is the imbalance and very foundation of our civilization. The insatiable devouring Machine. The Death Star. Mordor. The land of hungry ghosts. The Wasteland. The hatred of the Yin.

    Why should we live like lowly and simple furry mammals and primates... when we can conquer and rule the world and build titanium towers to the heavens? (irony intended)
  • The Shoutbox should be abolished
    It could be called the ShiteBox... a place where some go to shoot the shite. With or without shouting.

    And when the shite-ing and shouting become too much, the Soapbox can be used to stand on, and clean things up.
  • The Shoutbox should be abolished
    In those days, a strange wanderer named Agustino fell in with them. And lo, he created mayhem and havoc wherever they might go, until he mysteriously disappeared, having most likely been taken up to heaven without tasting death.Noble Dust

    Yea! And Amen! It is prophesied that he shall return during the endtimes.
    (which should be in about 3 weeks... ) :halo: :monkey:
  • Frozen Bodies, Warm Hearts - By 0 thru 9
    haha! Happy just to be Ringo’s roadie. :victory: :starstruck:
  • Netherswell - By Jack Cummins
    Great job! :up: Seems to accurately reflect a part of childhood that is part dream, part nightmare... just my impression.
  • In the end, what matters most?
    I’d take 10 magic lamps with a powerful genie inside each! Muhahahaha!
    (sorry, i just watched Aladdin with Robin Williams). :monkey:
  • Surface of the ocean. - By TheMadMan
    Very mythological! Like it. :up:
    (bonus... it’s a myth that no one will kill each other for).
  • The Organizers' Dilemma - By god must be atheist

    I’m afraid, Sir Hanover, that you are merely covering your tracks. This story has your fingerprints all over it. Watson... arrest this man for attempted literature! :nerd:
  • Kevin @57 - By 180 Proof
    Very bittersweet. All moments in life are not created equal. Not even close.

    Nicely written! :flower:
  • Frozen Bodies, Warm Hearts - By 0 thru 9

    They’re dogs... and they’re playing poker!!! :scream:

    We had a story to go with this painting, but it was way too intense... -Bart :snicker:
  • The Organizers' Dilemma - By god must be atheist
    Made me laugh. Nice joke and story, and a welcome change of pace! :up:

    And @Amity’s in-depth literary criticism is as entertaining as the stories. Keep up the good work everyone! :clap:
  • Nightmare in D Minor - By hypericin
    Love it! :sparkle: It’s an enjoyable hot mess, like one of those dreams where you can’t find a bathroom, and you really gotta go! And you’re late for class, and there’s a huge test you didn’t study for. Glad it’s just a dream... or is it? :chin:
  • Ashen One - (anonymous)
    Ok, thanks! :pray: (might need even more hot cocoa). :nerd:
  • The Busycuttingcraps -- A Family Novel - By god must be atheist
    Nicely absurd and satirical. A Swift promotion for the author! :up:
  • Astronauts - By Benkei
    Excellent! Reminds me of a Harry Chapin or Jim Croce song, in a good way!

    (Not that I’m old enough to have actually listened to them in the 70s.... er... my Grand Papa told me about them. Ummm.... last year). :snicker:
  • A Clean Well-lighted Life - By Ciceronianus
    So in the original Hemmingway version the old man was deaf.Hanover

    What story is that? (Unless i missed a joke... entirely possible)
  • Evening - By Vera Mont
    Good stuff! Thanks for sharing. A little verbose and long-winded though... j/k.
  • Ashen One - (anonymous)
    Fascinating. The fact that I’m still trying to completely grasp the ending is probably because of my frozen brain. Will try again after soaking my brain in hot cocoa lol.

    Good stuff! :smile: :up:
  • A fat cat captures a mouse - By Benkei
    Haha! Good stuff. Like an Aesop’s fable. Moral(?): be wary of collaborating with killers, even to save your skin... ??? (Or always carry your cat-hunting rifle? :lol: )
  • Drive, He Said. - By Vera Mont
    Haha... i get it now. Was expecting a sex worker and her “john”. Great stuff!! Satisfying ending. Pulling off something interesting and coherent in 200 words is like tap-dancing in a phone booth!
    :blush: :up:

    (you see kids... a long time ago public phones had these small booths around them. You’d pay to use them, and couldn’t even watch movies on them. Crazy!)
  • The Porn Shop - By Bitter Crank
    Excellent story, imho. So concisely and efficiently written that Hemingway would be jealous. (And maybe a little “bi-curious” as well. :wink: )
  • The Shoutbox

    Ok... the owners of the pig and cow are engaging them in rough sports contact for their future job as a pigskin football and a leather baseball mitt.

    Sorry... that was tasteless. I’ll try again.

    All right, the pig is actually a Catholic bishop, and is performing the laying on of hands / hoofs in the confirmation sacrament of the little cow. (the Church having a shortage of priests and bishops allowed pigs to serve. But not women? They’re still trying to join the 20th century. We’ll see pigs flying airplanes first).
  • The Shoutbox
    I lot of Floyd fans I've known thought it was self-indulgent tosh.Tom Storm

    What, if anything, would you say about it?

    Personally, I find it harsh, pompous, schizophrenic, self-righteous, horrifying, dystopian, dyspeptic...
    A soundtrack for today, in other words.

    But talking about subjective musical tastes without becoming Jack Black in High Fidelity is difficult. :grin:

  • The Shoutbox
    alright I’ll bite... The Wall isn’t good? :monkey:
  • Americans are becoming more hedonistic
    Mostly, no. It's not for everyone, and I suffered psychosis from psilocybin. It should be noted that there's a bias towards reporting positive experiences on the internet that makes psychedelics look warm and friendly, even if you're down and depressed internally, which can contribute to a bad trip.

    How about you?

    Wow, sorry to hear that! Well sometimes you have to experiment...

    I have not tried magic mushrooms, but I would probably try a small dose. LSD scares me, even if i knew it was from a good source. But i hear some people have benefited from micro-dosing it.

    Right now, CBD and hemp infused with delta-8 is proving very helpful, physically and emotionally. I’m still learning the science of it, like make it more bioavailable in the body by eating it with fat, since it’s fat-soluble. Black pepper and others herbs help the body absorb it better.
  • Americans are becoming more hedonistic
    Number one addiction in terms of number of people? Sugar.

    I think a huge health problem in “developed nations” is diabetes, and related blood sugar conditions. The majority of adults I know (including myself) are affected. And many of them are having trouble breaking the sugar / refined white flour habit.

    It’s a tough addiction to break, because a person will start getting faint and cranky when the blood sugar dips low on its roller coaster ride. Then they will probably eat more snacks which only temporarily solves the problem. I went years with low blood sugar and brain fog before switching to a low-carb diet.

    It’s an adjustment to go low-carb, but after a week it feels great. And just gets better and easier. Thank goodness for Stevia as a sugar replacement. Basically there are only two sources of energy for the body: carbohydrates and fats. A diet high in sugars and refined flour tells the body to STORE FAT. A diet high in fat (strangely enough) tells the body to BURN FAT. And the high fat diet will promote a stabilizing of insulin release, so all those symptoms like irritability, confusion, hunger are gone.

    We have this fear of eating fats. We think our arteries will clog and we’ll gain massive weight. I think most of us are probably low on fat, especially the omega-3 fats.

    Don’t fear our friends the fatty foods. Have an avocado! :victory:
  • Americans are becoming more hedonistic
    Not about hedonism; but, more about therapy with psychedelics.Shawn

    Was your experience with psychedelics positive? (If I may ask)
  • Americans are becoming more hedonistic

    Definitely! :up: Monoculture / McWorld has been spreading around the globe for many years. There’s only a couple hundred square miles yet to be conquered. Viva modern man!

    Consumerism backed by Capitalism sanctioned by Civilization anointed by Christianity.

    That is, consume the whole planet so we can live like royalty because economists much smarter than us have shown that the “free market” is the best way to assert our dominance over primative peoples, animals, and the hunk of raw material we call Earth. This whole mess is anointed holy and good, and white-washed by a corrupt Church seeking worldly power. The only thing more corrupt and hypocritical is the government legalizing this galactic pyramid-building scam.

    How can you blow up the Death Star when you’re living on it?

    But this may be veering onto larger or different topics. I actually think hemp / cannabis are wonderful things and have been unfairly repressed and cruelly punished.

    My wild guess is that weed tends to make people a little more reflective, peaceful and content. We can’t have that in a “Make War-Get More” society. It’d wreck the whole scheme!
  • Should I become something I am not?
    The unexamined life is worth a pile of jack-squat, said Emerson. (Or maybe it was Matt Foley, motivational speaker?)

    But seriously, I usually get these type of thoughts when there is a looming choice to be made, or when going through trial by fire #3527. Then reading Greek myths or other stories of transformation, death and rebirth, and metamorphosis is comforting and maybe even helpful. At least it helps me procrastinate a little more.
  • Should I become something I am not?
    The one thing each of us knows most about is ourselves and our lives. But I suspect that the even most aware of us is only skimming the surface of our entirety (whatever that is). If our unconscious were totally accessible and conscious, we still might be in the dark about our own life... and we had a front row seat.

    Like Bart Simpson said, after taking Focusyn (a fictional ADHD drug): “most people only use 10% of their brain. Today I am one of them”. :snicker:

    Not exactly sure how this relates to the OP about being something that we are not. Have we really discovered and explored all of our being? Maybe someone has. It probably took a while.
  • Should I become something I am not?

    We humans along with all living beings on this Earth are firmly rooted in duality. Ups and downs, pleasure and pain, hot and cold...

    Some have discovered/believed/theorized that underneath is something more, something whole... for lack of better words. Existing right now, not just in the afterlife. I think we all have had glimpses of it, moments of awakening, perhaps in dreams ironically. This well-known quote reflects this notion:

    “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.”
    ― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

    As does the concept of Being, Consciousness, and Bliss in Hindu philosophy. A related idea to Plato’s Cave Allegory...
  • If you were (a) God for a day, what would you do?
    Hmmm... sounds like a good idea for a movie. Oh wait... :grin:
    Excellent movie. This scene is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

  • The Shoutbox
    Health and beauty tip: for muscle cramps and soreness, rub magnesium oil over the area. The oil also acts as a deodorant, and is not actually oily.

    Cheap bastard tip: expensive magnesium oil is just epsom salt in water. Buy a bag of epsom salt and make your own.

    Tummy tip: do NOT drink magnesium oil unless you’re so constipated that projectile diarrhea is a welcome thing at that point lol.
  • Being Farmed
    Do I detect a note of sarcasm? :roll:jgill

    An attempt at pointed humor aimed at the ruling “elite”. They wanted powerless, mindless, addicted sheep that they could control. Mission accomplished! Baaaaa!
  • Being Farmed
    Universal basic income provided by the state? Is this part of the "truth"?jgill

    About UBI, States, Governments, and people looking for a free handout... parasites! All of them are bloodsuckers. No more!

    There is only one way to get rid of the entitled vampires bleeding us dry. Fire all politicians.
  • Being Farmed

    The OP (seems to me) to reflect an influence of writers like Daniel Quinn, who dealt with the intertwined subjects of “totalitarian agriculture” (farming, forestry, mining, etc that is indifferent to its effect on the environment. Usually done in an attempt to dominate other peoples as opposed to mere survival). And also “Mother Culture” (his term for the process of creating the mythos supporting domination and perpetuating it).

    Basically, Quinn was critical of the mindset that the world was human property absolutely, ours to do whatever we wanted. And anything or anyone who dissented this “divine mandate” for humans to grab control of the Earth was impeding Progress. And thus fit to be steamrolled unless these “uncivilized people” stepped aside, according to the personified Mother Culture.

    It is the modern mindset, our mindset, injected deep in our psyches at an early age, and reinforced often. Human evil didn’t start with totalitarian agriculture. But it was like crystal meth, in terms of energy and addiction, adding seemingly endless fuel to the fire.

    Since writing the philosophical novels Ishmael and The Story of B in the 1990s, world events have only made Quinn (and fellow deep ecologists) all the more relevant... unfortunately.
  • The Unholy Love Affair Between The Corporate and Political Elite

    Could you give a summary of the video perhaps? The highlights or most relevant to your post... thanks.

    But just the thread title makes me nod in agreement. Something is rotten in Denmark, and if we follow the money we are certain to find the stinkers. Let the 1% devour each other like huge dinosaurs to give us little primates some room. Being clever primates, we each have a monkey wrench. But where in the machine to throw it?