Happy Tuesday ya’ll. As those of you who heard the radio show last Friday are aware, I’ve been fighting off a nasty cold. Today is the first day in a bit where I woke up and didn’t cough up a phlegm ball the size of my head. Yep, things are looking up. In any case I figured today would be a good day to stick to a lighter topic. Something fun and frivelous. I found a story about why people like puppies. That seemed to qualify. A nice little piece about evolution and companionship. But it was really short and required lots of video. So, as you can see, I just popped up a link for you to enjoy and looked for related stories. That was a mistake. As it turns out the human race is a very disturbed group of people. If aliens landed today their first response to humans would probably be “Oh hell no, these have got to go.” So maybe we should be grateful they haven’t arrived yet. At least not until we can do a little cleaning in the gene pool. We wouldn’t want our new neighbors being covered in moldy slime.
What am I talking about?
How about shooting dogs as performance art?
This fall has been a rough month for animals in the art world. First, we found out that British bad boy Damien Hirst killed 9,000 butterflies for a questionable installation at the Tate Modern. Then we came across Belgian artist Jan Fabre’s cat-throwing performance video, in which he, well, throws cats up a flight of stairs. This disappointing pair of artsy acts against animals got us thinking… Have artists always been this insensitive to animals’ rights?
We did some digging and found 15 instances of artists abusing or at least questionably involving animals in their artwork. From forcing ants to consume McDonald’s food in an enclosed tank to shooting a dog as art, the projects span the spectrum of slightly cringe-worthy to downright horrifying. They make us wonder, should animals be left out of art all together or is there a place for this type of transgressive work? It’s certainly difficult to justify any sort of violence against defenseless animals, but what about when an artist cooks rats for a dinner party? Can we draw a line here? Does all art have to be moral?
Does all art have to be moral? Of course not. However, neither does it need to be homicidal or sadistic. If you click on the link above there’s a slide show. It’s not for the squeamish. And, as far as I can tell, none of it is art either.
No, you didn’t misread that. We’re talking about places where llama love takes on a whole new, and disturbing, meaning.
It turns out “erotic zoos” are tough to ignore.
The Daily Telegraph reports that bestiality laws have been off the books in Germany since 1969, but Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner has agreed to support a law that would make it illegal for people to “use (animals) for their own sexual activities or sexual acts of third parties.” The proposed law would also ban the “pimping” of animals to others.
The Daily Mail ties this decision to address bestiality to the recent rise of erotic zoos, where “people can visit to abuse animals ranging from llamas to goats,” the paper reports.
The proposed legislation has ruffled the feathers of zoophilia advocates such as Michael Kiok, who told the German newspaper die Tageszeitung that “mere morals have no place in law.”
The group Veterinarians Against Zoophilia told Europe Online Magazine that thousands of Germans exchange information online about sex with animals and that some farms rent out animals for sexual exploitation.
The new law would ban these so-called “animal brothels” and also make it illegal to train animals for sex with humans.
Ahem. The famous Electech Video about a petting zoo gone horribly wrong was supposed to be satire, not an ad.
So, when you get right down to it where could our hypothetical aliens find pschologically well adjusted people whose sex lives are not horror stories? Easy, visit the set of any porno.
No, I am not kidding.
Maybe all the self-loathing associated with porn emanates from those watching it on their computer screen, not those performing on it.
A new study challenges stereotypes of porn stars having poor self-images and a history of sexual abuse. The research, which is published in the latest edition of the Journal of Sex Research, suggests that porn stars have higher self-esteem, a better quality of life and body image, and are more spiritual than their non-adult entertainment counterparts.
Researchers compared the self-reports of 177 porn actresses to a sample of women matched on age, ethnicity, and marital status. Comparisons were conducted on sexual behaviors and attitudes, self-esteem, quality of life and drug use.
The study found that porn actresses were more likely to identify as bisexual and to say they enjoyed sex. They also reported having sex for the first time at a younger age, 15, than their counterparts in the control group, 17. Porn stars were no more likely to have had endured sexual abuse than those in the control group, according to the Digital Journal. The actresses did report using more drugs than the control group.
Feminist commentator Dawn Foster criticized the study for whitewashing some of the porn industry’s seedier aspects.
“It is dangerous to generalize about a huge industry: women who are successful and in control of their careers in one pocket don’t speak for women in the less scrutinized parts,” Foster told the Independent. “The study’s main objective seems to be to prove that not all women in porn are exploited: no one has argued that. But glossing over the exploitative aspects helps no one.”
The Sun reports that the actresses in the study had all been paid to work on at least one X-rated movie and ranged in age from 18 to 50. Their average career in the industry was 3.5 years.
Dawn Foster is correct about the seedier aspects. However, what she misses is the fact that the porn industry has been diligently wiping those aspects out, especially over the last decade. The thinking being, if people want home made porn, let them make it themselves. And, as anyone with access to the internet knows, people have. The porn insdustry has loftier goals.
No, that previous link isn’t even a little safe for work. Wait until you’re all alone before you click that sucker.
So there you have it. We live on a planet where porn stars are the stable ones and your neighbor shouldn’t be left alone with Fido.