Friday, June 18, 2010

Critical Thinking Class

Last week I started a class at Hancock College - English 103, Critical Thinking. Pretty intense - in terms of schedule, assignments, and pace. Critical thinking wise - not sure yet. First topic for the paper - pornography: should it be censored? Two opinions on the topic: yes/no. "Yes" states that pornography is dirty and disgusting and portrays women unfavorably (only women? what about gay porn? in my mind, "Brokeback Mountain" was waay close to gay porn - and it was in the movie theaters and aired on TV and is now on DVD).... For all these reasons, it should be censored or at least put out of sight. "No" - pornography is protected by the Freedom of Speech Amendment and therefore should not be censored. There. The end.
I appreciate the passion the two authors have for the subject, I just do not share it. My life does not revolve around pornography, I do not see it on a regular basis, and to me it is neither "offensive" nor "diminishing." In my world, these two terms are reserved for commercials. It drives me off the wall when some desperate organization/company/person gets in my line of vision - either on TV, Internet or in person - and tries to convince me that I need something that I do not, sell me something I wish to spend no money on, and generally wastes my time. "Cheerful" commercials about childhood, "comfortable" ones about feminine hygiene, "tragic" - about children abroad that apparently will die of starvation, thirst or lack of education if I do not get involved. Annoying phrase at a local VONS proclaims "Support Breast Cancer" (in a hurry they forgot to add the word "research", so it actually sounds like I am asked to support the disease). All this virtual poking, prodding and bugging makes me feel like a piece of meat on the market. Often I look at my TV and ask myself, " How dare they? Do they really think I am SO gullible that I would consider donating to the cause of sending video games to Third World countries? Or spend money on hygiene napkins for girls in Africa?" This attitude of the companies towards me, the viewer, as if I were a mindless vessel to be filled with junk, bothered me. But what to do? The answer came quickly: get rid of cable.
So, we have been cable-free for over a year now. No video persuasions, and no bill to pay for it every month. I like that. But if someone brings over a porn movie - I might watch it. As long as no one tries to persuade me that I need to buy something.

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