Objectivity In A Smelly World
Two things have unfolded in the last few days that I feel I must comment on because they offer an interesting study in contrasts. The first is the letter in theShepherd Express Aug. 22-28 [Vol 11, No. 34] issue about the Tie Me Down ad. The second is the G.G. Allin trial.
Both Tie Me Down and Allin are under fire for their activities of artistic expression. In both cases, the question lies in the concept of how these acts of artistic expression are “dangerous,” or how much they can “influence” the “masses” to “acts of sin.”
Upfront, what did they do? Tie Me Down released an ad showing a woman in bondage. Allin, among other things, took a dump on stage. There are people in the Milwaukee community who feel that the sight of these acts of artistic expression will turn the average viewer into a rampaging violent person.
Shepherd reader and public-censor-at-large-wannnabe M.K. Schatzman (I shall not duplicate M.K.’s obviously chauvinistic mistake of guessing the sex of the Tie Me Down management) says that “The Shepherd Express panders…to those with a perversion for sexual violence against women.” Yep. And I suppose G.G. Allin crapped at the Odd Rock Café to pander to the crepophiliacs in the audience.
I’m glad to see M.K. showing a concern about a definite social problem. But someone who is looking for a masturbatory aid or an image to inspire their sexual deviations will find them – anywhere – no matter what you ban.
In Yukio Mishima’s semi-autobiographical novel, Confessions Of a Mask, the narrator reveals the image that solidified for him that he was a masochistic homosexual: Christ on the Cross. Try and ban that.
In America, as I was brought up to understand it, people have the freedom to express themselves. Today this freedom is constantly under attack. From many different points of views. By people who think they mean well. I shudder to think of the sort of America we will have when “Mommy and Daddy” have taken all the “bad thoughts” away because the Average American is far too impressionable to cope with them.
I prefer to work for a world where people can say what they think and create what they want, and other people can look at it fairly and objectively. No matter what is smells like.
— Erik Thorsen