Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sex, Horror, and Enlightenment

E. Michael Jones, of Culture Wars magazine, writes fascinating conspiracy histories.  They show how sexual liberation has been used to undermine our population’s self-control and make them more pliable subjects.  The tawdry details in his escapades through the sexual madness of Kinsey and the Marquis d’ Sade always entertain.

In Monsters from the ID he locates the origins of Horror films and porno in the Enlightenment.  The Enlightenment, in getting rid of God, leaves only pleasure and pain to guide our morals. In this vacuum, figures like Sade see nothing wrong with cruelty.  When people leave the natural family structure, and pleasure guides men, porn arrives.

Mary Shelly’s was ensnared by Percy Shelly and Lord Byron’s incest  laden escapades.  Her mother, the author of the Vindication of the Rights of Women, had also been abandoned with child in the midst of the French Revolution.  It was within the motif of crossing the boundaries that Shelly wrote Frankenstein.

Frankenstein’s picks up where God is abandoned; he gives life.  Science in the absence of man creates a monster.  This monster represents the nightmares that happen when we take God out of the pictures.  He is a child of lightening, science, and madmen; a product of Enlightenment ethics.

Last night I saw Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Met.  Though Mr. Jones does not reference the opera, it perfectly illustrates his point.  Don Giovanni loves 1000s of women.  He relentlessly lies to get them, mocks love and even kills.  His deceits, as Sade’s, are boundless.  To restore order, a ghost of a victim needs to reappear and take him to hell.

Jones’ claim that porn comes out of a pure pleasure / pain moral landscape, was always a bit elusive.  And, as my deeming him a “conspiracy historian” implies, I have not entirely bought his argument.  But Don Giovanni is a horror opera.  The Ghost in a form of a statue that kills the lead, is as frightening as Freddie Kruger.  As such, the opera provided powerful evidence for and illustration of Jones’ thesis.


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