I am Robert

Journalist. Raconteur. Critic. Marketing Guy.

Forbidden Fruit 
Here’s an odd association, I was thinking about Internet  porn, pot, and 
gay marriage. (This isn’t a family values thing, nor an invidious  comparison, 
I promise!) When I was a kid, of course, porn was Forbidden Fruit of  the 
highest order. A copy of Playboy - which by today’s standards could be Good  
Housekeeping, or, as Paula Poundstone says about mainstram stuff like Maxim, 
 “guys, just admit….it’s porn.” And, really, what can’t you get away with 
now?  Oh Hoda and Kathy Lee, they were talking about whether they would 
prefer to date  someone who was a vegetarian or not. Hoda said “Oh, in men, I 
have to have a guy  who likes to eat meat.” Kathy Lee fell out of her chair 
with laughter. Now, when  porn made it to the Interweb, I am sure everyone 
looked at it once, twice, that  was about it. (The only site I ever peeked at 
like 10 years ago is still there,  they must have found some profit center, 
the joke is, of course, that the  amateur porn producers put the bigger 
people out of business.) What made  interest in it evaporate? Ubiquity. (I am 
sure there are still porny people out  there, but that’s their issue.) As soon 
as something is everywhere, it loses its  dark attraction, for most people, 
I’d gather. Same with pot. Were pot legal,  would their be a spike in use? 
Sure. But, nothing made alcohol more attractive  than Prohibition. I, like 
Obama, have smoked once, twice, three times, 30 years  ago. Not my thing. 
But, I certainly don’t object, there’s lots worse things out  there. Alcohol 
is much worse, of course. (And, nobody in my generation hasn’t  smoked pot, 
except Mitt, and it shows.) As we get closer and closer to  legalization, as 
the number of people polled check the “don’t care” box about  pot, whatever 
loopy reason the federal government made it illegal 70+ years ago  has so 
receded in memory that it simply doesn’t exist anymore. As Wm Burroughs,  “
Naked Lunch” author said, in a famous non-defense of the book, “I didn’t 
make  this obscene, you did, America. There is a (then) huge underground in 
heroin  because as soon as you make it possible to make that much money from 
something,  a market will be created. And, homosexuals want exactly the same 
life as anyone  else.” And, that’s the final point. Everyone has played with 
porn, and – I  believe – almost instantly got bored with it, because it’s 
everywhere. Everyone  has smoked pot, and simply doesn’t care. And, while 
you don’t “sample” gay  marriage, the hidden gay bars of a couple of 
generations ago are…bars. Gay  couples are the couple across the street. In 
straightland, only the darkest  psyches still have, or pretend to have some serious 
objection to marriage. I  lived in a state that adopted gay marriage just 
before I got there. Here’s what  changed in the social fabric: You had to go 
to more weddings. That’s it.

Forbidden Fruit
Here’s an odd association, I was thinking about Internet porn, pot, and
gay marriage. (This isn’t a family values thing, nor an invidious comparison,
I promise!) When I was a kid, of course, porn was Forbidden Fruit of the
highest order. A copy of Playboy - which by today’s standards could be Good
Housekeeping, or, as Paula Poundstone says about mainstram stuff like Maxim,
“guys, just admit….it’s porn.” And, really, what can’t you get away with
now? Oh Hoda and Kathy Lee, they were talking about whether they would
prefer to date someone who was a vegetarian or not. Hoda said “Oh, in men, I
have to have a guy who likes to eat meat.” Kathy Lee fell out of her chair
with laughter. Now, when porn made it to the Interweb, I am sure everyone
looked at it once, twice, that was about it. (The only site I ever peeked at
like 10 years ago is still there, they must have found some profit center,
the joke is, of course, that the amateur porn producers put the bigger
people out of business.) What made interest in it evaporate? Ubiquity. (I am
sure there are still porny people out there, but that’s their issue.) As soon
as something is everywhere, it loses its dark attraction, for most people,
I’d gather. Same with pot. Were pot legal, would their be a spike in use?
Sure. But, nothing made alcohol more attractive than Prohibition. I, like
Obama, have smoked once, twice, three times, 30 years ago. Not my thing.
But, I certainly don’t object, there’s lots worse things out there. Alcohol
is much worse, of course. (And, nobody in my generation hasn’t smoked pot,
except Mitt, and it shows.) As we get closer and closer to legalization, as
the number of people polled check the “don’t care” box about pot, whatever
loopy reason the federal government made it illegal 70+ years ago has so
receded in memory that it simply doesn’t exist anymore. As Wm Burroughs, “
Naked Lunch” author said, in a famous non-defense of the book, “I didn’t
make this obscene, you did, America. There is a (then) huge underground in
heroin because as soon as you make it possible to make that much money from
something, a market will be created. And, homosexuals want exactly the same
life as anyone else.” And, that’s the final point. Everyone has played with
porn, and – I believe – almost instantly got bored with it, because it’s
everywhere. Everyone has smoked pot, and simply doesn’t care. And, while
you don’t “sample” gay marriage, the hidden gay bars of a couple of
generations ago are…bars. Gay couples are the couple across the street. In
straightland, only the darkest psyches still have, or pretend to have some serious
objection to marriage. I lived in a state that adopted gay marriage just
before I got there. Here’s what changed in the social fabric: You had to go
to more weddings. That’s it.

  • 6 July 2012