This was originally written for King’s Tribune. You should read it there, because there are heaps of things way cooler than this to read as well.
Q and A has received a fair amount of criticism of late, not least from the Tribune’s very own Justin Shaw. While much of it may have appeared fair and reasoned at the time, it can now be revealed that the writers of said criticism are terminally deluded, and seek to maliciously mislead you gentle seekers of truth.
‘On what basis does he make this claim?’ I hear you ask, as, dear reader, you are so often wont to do. The answer is simple, and undisputable.
On Monday, May 23rd, Q and A gave us the finest moment in Australian television history – possibly of all time, but certainly since Miranda Devine’s left nut popped out when she pulled her Basic Instinct move on Barrie Cassidy from the Insiders naughty chair.
I speak of course of the moment when Gail Dines uttered those three magic, oft misunderstood words, Arse To Mouth. There was silence in the streets as a whole nation collectively battled their gag reflex, or searched frantically for somewhere to offload the mouthful of sick they had just acquired. It was a thing of true beauty. Should I die tomorrow, your humble scribe will consider his life to be complete.
For those unfortunate souls who missed this exquisite little nugget of WTF, a little background information is required.
Some folk regard Gail Dines as a prime example of the Fun Police. This is not the case. Gail Dines is the Fun Mossad, assassinating pleasure with unbridled lethality.
Her mere mention of the word ‘erection’ is enough to render any mortal man incapable of having one, often for months afterward.
Her place on the panel was in keeping with Q and A’s long running policy of ensuring that the sanity of other guests is counterbalanced with at least one raving wingnut. This compliments the show’s other policy of rounding up as many mouth breathing Young Liberals as they can prise away from Mummy’s computer in the false pursuit of ‘audience balance’.
And rave? Boy did Gail rave. Gail raved harder than a metrosexual with a Hello Kitty lunchbox full of disco biscuits.
I find there is something almost awe-inspiring about watching a moral crusader in full froth. Perhaps it’s the sheer tenacity of their fervour, or their idiot child-like comprehension of life’s complexities. Most likely there’s an element of sheer relief that I can manage to get through a full day without becoming outraged at what someone else chooses to do for fun, something I doubt Gail has managed to do since she was four years old.
You see, like all true nutters, Gail knows what’s wrong with the world, and she knows exactly how to fix it. Actually she didn’t really get around to the latter, but the former certainly seems to revolve around arse to mouth.
In Gail’s World™ pornography is bad, mmkay? Apparently it was invented in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and ever since has been destroying our capacity for happiness, intimacy and something something. Our children now progress straight from Marco Polo to the uncontrollable urge to sodomise each other with garden implements. All men who watch pornography are diseased and women who watch it are actually men, or self-loathing Jews, or something something. I’m sure you get the idea.
Much hilarity ensued on twitter, and not a few thought provoking conversations carried on long after most of us had showered to wash off the bukkake of wowser we had just endured.
It occurred to me then that as deranged as the performance had been, it was not wrong (in the way that picturing Nicola Roxon giving a hummer is wrong) merely misguided, and dangerously naïve.
I don’t presume to speak for all men. That would be presumptuous. I do, however, have a penis. It is a very good looking penis and I call it Captain Winkie, but that’s a conversation for another time. The good Captain grants me the right to speak for myself on the issue of how men view pornography; certainly with more authority than some harpy who was weaned on pureed capers and wasabi.
Similarly, I know women with vaginas. They’re my favourite kind of woman. They can also speak for themselves. (The women, not the vaginas; though I would definitely take the advice of a talking vagina. Again, I digress.)
So here’s my perceived wisdom on this delicately nuanced subject. I seek to set the record straight, at least in my own terms, and for the sake of people I know: Pornography is a form of graffiti. Occasionally it can be beautiful, but mostly it just dirties the place up. Somewhere in between the tawdry and the artful is a form of communication that has been with us forever, and holds some attraction for all of us.
I enjoy watching images that reflect my own admittedly vanilla tastes. Provided the tastes of others don’t cross the boundary of criminality, I have no problem with them.
People – especially women – are sometimes exploited by the makers of pornography. It’s iniquitous and we should be talking about it, but we can do that without prefacing the discussion with an assumption that all men are violent, hate-filled slaves to their own penises.
As I write this the Perth Sexpo is ramping up in the centre opposite my apartment. Couples are indulging in the sort of behaviour that brings Gail Dnes out in hives. They seem happy, and sexually charged. They are leaving with their showbags of carnal depravity and going home to their apparently dysfunctional lives, hand in hand. They are kissing, touching and being flagrantly enamoured with each other in public.
They are obviously yet to learn of the depth of their perversion. I for one am fucking glad for that, and if I was capable of praying, it would be for Gail’s overactive bile duct to rise up, detach and lodge itself in her throat. Or something something.