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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

May 18, 2006

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

When Raf was more or less running the Observer blog solo, it was quite good fun over there. It was how I discovered Marie, for example.

But now that blog is more like all the other Guardian group blogs, and the commenting system is all rolled into that "Comment is Free" thing they do. I made a mistake earlier. I posted up a half-baked opinion, which was followed by a certain amount of vitriol and abuse. Sheesh.

I prefer my opinions half-baked, because then - like half-baked bread - they have the illusion of freshness. The question concerned a sex column in the Observer magazine which was - to put it mildly - a load of old wank, written by the kind of people you should be exempt from prosecution for killing. The Obs pulled it after reader complaints, and the blog was asking whether it was the right thing to do.

My own opinion is that with porn coming out of the walls (and hand-wringing articles in the likes of the Guardian about whether people aren't degrading themselves because wall-to-wall porn really has lowered people's standards of behaviour and raised expectations about what is do-able), and plenty of sex advice available in just about every single fucking magazine on the newstand, it was hardly necessary for the Observer to chime in. The key difference is that if I want to read bollocks about sex I can go buy a copy of Cosmo or FHM. But if I choose to buy a Sunday newspaper for news and interviews, I don't necessarily want to field questions like, "Daddy, what's anal sex?" from my 8-year-old, who might have been looking at a picture and read something I'd rather she hasn't.

So I posted my half-baked opinion that I believed in protecting the innocence of my children as long as possible. Of course people who don't want or don't have kids aren't going to sympathise with this point of view. What do they care if my kids still believe in Father Christmas? And I agree with them: wouldn't society be so much better without other people getting in the way with their opinions and feelings? And you get that other opinion, too, from people who think that our record-breaking rates of teenage pregnancy are something to do with the fact that our Sunday newspapers don't discuss anal sex enough. I can't follow the logic there, but apparently all the 15 year olds who get pregnant, its All My Fault. I never touched her, your honour!

I am a prude, I know I am. Always have been, always will be. I'd rather, as the saying goes, have a nice cup of tea. And, yeah, I do think it's wrong to see half-dressed dancers on what is a children's TV programme (TOTP) thrusting their crotches at the camera and shaking their asses at each other. I don't want my under-tens wanting to dress like that for their pass-the-parcel parties and dancing at the school disco like that. So sue me. But being abused by the nasty people who populate those Guardian comment-is-free pages is hardly going to change that opinion.

I do have a lot of sympathy with those who have to moderate all those comments. It must be like being drowned in raw sewage, to have to live, day after day, in that stream of rage and hatred from all those angry people.


  • Mo'75 to that brother...

    By Blogger patrische, at 9:26 am  

  • I feel your pain and echo your sentiments.

    Modern and explicit is NOT better. The Internet has spoiled many many things.

    By Blogger SimonHolyHoses, at 10:35 am  

  • I don't have children (yet), but I do agree with you. I don't like censorship, but I do believe it is necessary to protect innocence sometimes. If/when I have kids I want them to be able to be kids. Children should play in the woods, learn about fun, get muddy and climb trees and for as long as possible. I hate the idea of 5 year olds with more make-up than my partner, being forced by the media and their peers to grow up.
    We all know by know that being grown up lasts one hell of a long time and it isn't at all fun, we know that being cynical sucks the life out of you, but it happens. Being young and innocent is important, it should be the best time of your life. Discovery is great, discovering sex for the first time is unreal, amazing even, but you've got to be of an age where you know the responsibilities that go with it, and the knock on effects it can have. At school you should be more worried about homework and 'playing out, on bikes'. I hope to maintain a certain amount of innocence for as long as I can. Trying new things is one way, learning new stuff, being a beginner at something, being open.

    By Blogger HolySwerve, at 12:31 pm  

  • My daughter's on line chat room name on MSN is XXX-SEXY-HERNAME-XXX. She's 11. Her best friend is SUPER-SEXY-PLAYBOY-BUNNY also 11.

    I found this out by accident.

    I also caught her with a MSN open and there was a message from a boy called Ben in her class at school in which he said, quote, "I might not be clever, but you won't find a better fuck than me in the whole school". He is 10.

    I am still thinking on what to do about this.

    I spoke to my daughter and explained that either this boy is telling lies, in which case he is stupid, childish, and untrustworthy. I explained that if it were true then he had done something illegal and wrong.

    Her reply was to play it down and offer the explanation that it was okay because the boy's parents had seperated and that he spends the weekend with his dad, who spends a lot of time looking at "porno" on the Internet. That, apparently, is where he'd got it from.

    Is this good? I think not.

    By Blogger SimonHolyHoses, at 3:55 am  

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