Thursday, 4 January 2018

IDEOLOGIZED SMUT AND THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION

The following passage is taken from Andy Nowicki's as yet unpublished collection of essays, Ruminations of a Low-Status Male, Volume 3. Volume 1 and Volume 2 are currently available for purchase.



Why did the sexual revolution take place? How did traditional notions of wedlock first get undermined? Who sought to effect this massive change, and to what end?

These questions are aptly investigated elsewhere, and are beyond the scope of my inquiry, which is composed for an altogether different purpose. That said, I think it must be acknowledged that these “changes and rearranges” didn’t just happen by accident. These trends were, to a greater or lesser degree, shoved upon us by those who have the power and resources to engage in effective trend-setting and opinion-shaping.

How much have they created ex nihilo, or contrived from scratch, and to what extent have they merely taken advantage of opportunities which in fact arose quite organically?

Were The Beatles manufactured in a Tavistock Institute test lab, as some allege, or did they come about entirely on their own, yet were talked into hitching a ride along with the same Zeitgeist-planners who projected the counter-culture into prominence and notoriety?

Similarly, was the Laurel Canyon music scene a CIA front from the get-go, with the members of various bands being quite witting accomplices of this centrally-orchestrated effort to degenerate the morals of the public, to erode traditional attitudes on sexuality, and generally to loose “mere anarchy upon the world,” the better to create a crisis, in order to enhance their central power and control through the time-tested “problem-reaction-solution” dialectic? Or was this scene, and the “hippie” lifestyle and degraded morals it promoted (“Tune in, turn on, drop out”; “make love, not war,” etc.), merely opportunistically hijacked by the controllers, the better to wreak their planned cultural chaos?

Were the halter-top, the miniskirt, the bikini, the push-up bra, and similar items of apparel invented and marketed with the idea of making ladies into whores, and thus stoking every manner of unrest between men and women, as well as an overall dissipation of chastity? Or did the whore-conditioning come first, and in some sense organically, over time, with the help of such subtly pro-sexualizing anthems as “Georgy Girl”?

These are questions about which reasonable people may differ, but the overall trajectory of events couldn’t be clearer to those with discernment. The sexual revolution surely didn’t come about by happenstance; it was a “revolution from above,” as it were; its tenets were actively supported and promoted by those with clout and influence. It was relentlessly foisted upon the populace through the various venues of popular entertainment.

Of course, we shouldn’t be so naïve here as to think that sex hasn’t always “sold”; there need not be a spurious agenda behind the marketing of salacious material. But prior to the onset of the sexual revolution, there existed no tendentious rationalization of smut as “art”;  for most of recorded history, in fact, smut was simply and unadornedly smutty; salacious pornography existed for the sake of satiating man’s ample appetite for salacity, nothing more.

With the sexual revolution’s onset, however, smut has become an ideological instrument, through which the smut-consumer gets forcibly “reeducated.” Often this happens through a weirdly discombobulating procedure by which the viewer is both systematically tantalized and traumatized, in a manner similar to the “Ludovico Technique” of torture applied on Alex in “A Clockwork Orange.”

Ideologized smut: instrument of simultaneous tantalization and trauma
The eyes of the smut-propaganda consumer are prized open—not by force, as in Alex’s case—but by the base allurement of the subject matter, after which he is subjected to embarrassment and humiliation by proxy, the result of which is indeed a kind of brainwashing, through which lust is inwardly weaponized, leading to decreased self-control and increased debasement of spirit.

*************

Perhaps the most relevant pop-culture template in this regard is the dynamic on display in Mike Nichol’s 1967 film “The Graduate,” wherein Dustin Hoffman’s character is both tantalized and traumatized by the prospect of carnal relations with Ann Bancroft’s now-iconic “Mrs. Robinson.”

Hoffman’s character, a fidgety and virginal young man named Benjamin Braddock, clearly finds the advances of this older woman—a family friend, no less-- highly disconcerting, yet he eventually yields to temptation, touching off a love affair that is ultimately emotionally devastating in its consequences for everyone involved.

For the viewer, prurient interest is aroused at the same time that anxiety is abundantly generated; there is something heartlessly predatory about Mrs. Robinson, as well as the carelessness she displays in the very act of angling to deflower this hapless youngster. She seems altogether motivated less by attraction to Benjamin than by sheer boredom. In fact, it would appear to be Benjamin’s very vulnerable awkwardness that leads her to want him carnally; a sort of ruthless psychic succubus, Mrs. Robinson seeks to drain the last vestiges of Benjamin’s innocence for sport.

Another motivator, of course, is the contempt that she feels for her bland and juiceless husband. Mrs. Robinson clearly loathes his cringing benignity and general absence of anything resembling gumption. She takes young Benjamin on as a “project,” to see if she can “make a man” of him (though of course she wishes to accomplish this strictly on her own terms, which casts this entire motivation in doubt—how “manly” can he really become if he is really just her pet, after all?).

The entire queasy dynamic of the seduction depicted in “The Graduate” provokes the viewer to simultaneous embarrassment and arousal; indeed, humiliation seems in general to be the very point of this entire cinematic exercise.

The “graduate” of the title forfeits his dignity and goodness, and graduates to corruption and sacrilege. His final act is to disrupt a matrimonial sacrament and steal the bride for himself. The fact that this bride is the daughter of the very woman who used him to cuckold her husband only serves to underline the extent of the outrage that has been perpetrated.

Throughout the course of the plot, the viewer vicariously accompanies Benjamin from a pitiful beginning to a terrible end, wherein he has effectively cast himself from grace.

A ruined bride, a man cast from grace
Undoubtedly "The Graduate" “works” as drama, and perhaps even as “art”; however, the film’s lasting influence is more on the loins-level; for all of its lofty thematic intentions, it is as a soft-porn propaganda piece that it has had the greatest impact as a purveyor of a deeply destructive revolution which has inverted sexual morality, leading to the current baleful status quo (that is, the wreckage of the “current year”), wherein chastity is scorned while concupiscence is revered.


Andy Nowicki, assistant editor of Alternative Right, is the author of eight books, including Under the NihilThe Columbine PilgrimConsidering Suicide, and Beauty and the Least. Visit his Soundcloud page and his YouTube channel. His author page is Alt Right Novelist.

8 comments:

  1. Why did sexual revolution happen? Success of capitalism. For most of history, main economic activity was to procure basic necessities for life. Communist nations remained in this mode. There were long breadlines. Problem with capitalism was over-production. Even during the Great Depression, the problem was TOO MUCH FOOD which decreased food prices for farmers. So, government had to destroy food supply to keep farmers economically viable. As for those who didn't have work and couldn't pay for food, there was government aid. After WWII, the US, Europe, and Japan moved into consumer economy and vice economy. The basic role of economy was no longer to house, clothe, & feed. It was to incentivize people to work to 'get paid and get laid'. If they couldn't 'get laid' literally, there were other forms of pleasure in pop music, sugary food & snacks, all-you-can-eat buffets, TV, tons of consumer products. Shop til you drop. So, the rise of sex culture was part of the larger trend. When people are hungry, they work for food. When people have enough food, they eat not to live but to enjoy food. When women relied on men for survival, they got married and had families. But once women gained more independence, they looked for sex for pleasure, not for family and kids. Likewise, when kids had to work early, they got elementary education & worked. But once young people could spend more time on education or get government help, they could put off maturity forever. Also, as youth could be extended, a youth culture mindset developed. Sexual Revolution followed Age Revolution. For most of history, youth was brief. Once childhood was over, young people had to become adults fast. But in postwar economic boom and educational opportunities, youth(as transition from childhood to adulthood) could be extended, and a whole new cultural industry pandered to this youth with music and TV. So, even as young people grew older, even into middle age, they were stuck in 'fountain of youth' mentality. The boomers thought they'd be young forever. And today, even older people listen to rock and pop as their main music.

    There was also the Jewish and black factor. Many Jews got their start in Vice Industries because Virtue Industries(production of basic necessities) had been owned by Wasps. Jews took over movies, music, gambling, and later pornography. Jews were among the biggest bootleggers during the prohibition. So, Jews wanted to expand the market for vice. And blacks were prominent in music. As black music was more sexual and influenced white music, whites people got more jungle-ish.

    Now, sexual revolution ended up like libertarian capitalism. Initially, it seemed like more fun for everyone. Without inhibitions, more men and more women would be fuc*ing one another. Likewise, libertarians said more free markets and less regulation will lead to more wealth and opportunities for everyone. As it turned out, most people are not good at business. So, more free markets and free trade have led to the rich getting richer and super-rich getting super-richer. Concentration of wealth and privilege. Meanwhile, the middle classes remain stagnant and lower classes got nothing but opioids and degeneracy.
    Same with sex. In the 60s, the idea was everyone would be part of some massive happy orgy. But as things turn out, most people are not very attractive. Most men are not handsome hot devils with biggus dickus. And most women are not hot stuff or super-babes. So, most women didn't put out to most men but only to the best kind of men. And hot men used most women as just pussy-meat while looking to settle down with only the best kind of woman. So, sexual liberation only led to more inequality. It led to concentration of pleasure and delight.
    Prior to such hedonistic sexuality, most women had to find someone who was good enough. But once sexual revolution was on, each woman looked for the best kind of man who could give her multiple orgasms and offer her tons of money so she could go shopping big time.

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    Replies
    1. If most people were gonna lose out, why did so many take to it? Because people are horny and prefer fantasy to reality. Why do so many people buy lottery or go gambling? They like the fun and thrill of getting rich quick even if odds are against them. Likewise, the idea of being sexually liberated and humping hot people is appealing to people even if such thrills will not be availed to most. People want the fantasy even if they can't get the reality.

      Even if The Power was behind it, the people were willing accomplices. The Power only gave the people what they wanted. People are dumb this way. If the Power tried to convince people to eat healthy, most people will ignore the advice. But if the Power advertises sugary fatty foods, people will buy that stuff cuz they want them yummy treats. Imagine if rich people built a giant city devoted to serious books and literature and spent billions promoting it. How many will visit that place regularly? But tons of people go to Las Vegas and Disneyland. Why? Same reason so many people see STAR WARS but will not see something more worthy like BLADE RUNNER that was a flop.

      As for THE GRADUATE, you're part right but also very wrong.

      "there is something heartlessly predatory about Mrs. Robinson, as well as the carelessness she displays in the very act of angling to deflower this hapless youngster. She seems altogether motivated less by attraction to Benjamin than by sheer boredom."

      In the original story, Ben is taller and more handsome than in the movie. So, Mrs Robinson's attraction would have seemed less eccentric and more sexual. Granted, Hoffman is reasonably attractive in the movie in a funny way, but he played an intended Wasp role in a Jewishy manner.
      Btw, I don't think Mrs. Robinson's action is heartless. It's certainly not out of sympathy, but I don't think she was just acting out of boredom. If she wanted sexual hijinks, she could have done it with anyone. She chose Ben because she did find him attractive. He was a honor student and track star in college after all. He graduated from a good school and has a bright future ahead of him. Does she take pity on him because he seems to be wound-up tight? Maybe. The thing is Mrs. Robinson feels cheated in life. We later learn she was an art student, but she got knocked up by Mr. Robinson and she did the 'right thing'. She got married and became a housewife. But she didn't really love her husband. And she didn't want to give up youth so fast and lead a domestic life. So, through Ben, she gets to experience the youth that she lost so fast; and as a middle-aged woman, her womanly attractiveness is fading everyday. She does suck on his life energy. She is a vampiress, but she also gives him energy because post-graduate Ben is sort of on the same wavelength as Mrs. Robinson. After graduation, Ben feels his youth is over. The future has arrived, and it's about 'plastics' and suburban materialism that is nice but soulless. Ben finds something exciting and 'different' about Mrs. Robinson. So, there is a symbiotic relation between them. Also, Mrs. Robinson fears she hasn't been a good mother to Elaine. In a way, she's very protective of her daughter. She gave up her career and youth to raise Elaine. But she also feels that Elaine stole her chance to be free. This anger toward Elaine also makes her feel a bit guilty. (Unlike the Charlotte Rampling character in GEORGY GIRL, Mrs. Robinson didn't just run off from her responsibility as a mother.) She is confused. She is proud of Elaine as the good girl she raised. She wants Elaine to be a real lady. But she also feels competitive with Elaine since Elaine stole her freedom away.

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    2. "Another motivator, of course, is the contempt that she feels for her bland and juiceless husband. Mrs. Robinson clearly loathes his cringing benignity and general absence of anything resembling gumption."

      I disagree. Mr. Robinson is NOT bland or juiceless. His wife may dislike him precisely because he's too gruff and rough-around-the-edges. After all, he must have convinced her long ago to put out to him in his car, and because of that night with the brazen caveman, she got pregnant and stuck in role as housewife. When we first see Mr. Robinson, he is all firm handshake and big smile. He is manly and takes charge of the situation. He showers Ben with manly affection. Also, he's no moralist. He tells Ben to live it up. Seek excitement. Sow his wild oats, be a lady's man.
      I think Mrs Robinson, who majored in art, finds this side of Mr. Robinson a bit crass and vulgar. (He spits out the end of his cigar.) Mrs. Robinson surely wished she'd ended up with someone who's less crass, less crude. Someone more sophisticated and debonair. She had to cook for this guy whose idea of culture is making money and playing golf. Indeed, the one time Mrs. Robinson is presented sympathetically is when she harks back to the time when she studied Art. She had sex with a frat-house boor. He could get a good job and bring home the bacon, but he has no culture. And she grew cynical over the years. She lost interest in art and wants to be with Ben as a source of youthful energy.

      "The entire queasy dynamic of the seduction depicted in “The Graduate” provokes the viewer to simultaneous embarrassment and arousal; indeed, humiliation seems in general to be the very point of this entire cinematic exercise."

      Interestingly enough, Hoffman's performance in THE GRADUATE was anticipated by Perkin's in PSYCHO and THE TRIAL.

      "The 'graduate' of the title forfeits his dignity and goodness, and graduates to corruption and sacrilege. His final act is to disrupt a matrimonial sacrament and steal the bride for himself. The fact that this bride is the daughter of the very woman who used him to cuckold her husband only serves to underline the extent of the outrage that has been perpetrated."

      Yes and No. Was there really dignity in Ben's life trajectory? He went to college to learn something but after college, people expect him to work in plastics, the stuff that made Sam Wainwright rich in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Sam made the money, but everything about him is dollars. George Bailey, in contrast, makes no money but finds the meaning of life. Ben contemplated his life after college and just saw plastics and suburban home to become just like his parents, who are good people but whose entire lives revolve around keeping-up-with-the-Joneses.

      In a way, Ben's shameful act with Mrs. Robinson was a striving for truth. He went about it the wrong way, but he wanted to feel something real and powerful, something that wouldn't win him awards but made him feel alive. And she made him feel alive in the beginning even though... eventually it just became boring too.
      It's like THE SWIMMER and THE ARRANGEMENT. Both movies are about male neurosis and middle age crisis. As such, the characters in those movies are like both Ben and Mrs. Robinson. Why the male neurosis? Because men evolved to be hunters-warriors. Men seek out adventure. But civilization led to men having to serve niche roles as farmers, fathers, husbands, and etc. Men gain from such stability & domesticity but also feel imprisoned by it. It's like the Odyssey. It is an adventure story but also a journey to home. THE SWIMMER is like a middle class Odyssey. The man wants to be free and young forever. But he also wants to return home and be with his family, whom he lost. ARRANGEMENT by Elia Kazan has a similar character faced with middle age crisis, and of course, LAST TANGO IN PARIS pushes it even further. (Cassavetes is a great movie about middle age crisis among the Greatest Generation set.)

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    3. Ben wanted something different. He didn't want to go through education and institutions just to return to suburbia and start the same thing all over again. Mrs. Robinson obviously isn't the answer. He isn't motivated by love but by lust and confusion. Still, it's a way out for him to feel free and without worry, maybe for the first time in his life. In a way, he's been doing everything to please his teachers and parents. He got good grades and earned honors. And he was given a sports car and he can have a good job. But he feels like his life had been all planned out for him without him having any real agency or vision. He feels like the suitcase on the conveyor belt in the airport. It's like his parents, teachers, the system, and everything had already mapped out everything for him. He wants to do something on his own. It's like the moment in THE GODFATHER II(the ending scene) where Michael says he decided to join the Marines. Tom says his father has plans for him, and Michael feels offended that OTHERS are trying to plan or direct his life. He wants to do his own thing. And it was with Mrs. Robinson that Ben felt free for the first time. He finally acted in a way that was without social rewards. He did it because he felt like it.

      If Ben acted out of lust with Mrs. Robinson, he acted out of genuine love with Elaine. Even though he went to Mrs. Robinson for freedom, he found himself a slave to her whims. He promised Mrs. Robinson that he would not to take out Elaine Robinson. But feeling compelled to do so by his parents, he wanted to louse up the date and take Elaine back home as soon as possible to please Mrs. Robinson. If he'd wanted to please his parents all his life, he wanted to please Mrs. Robinson by ruining his date with Elaine. But Elaine is hurt, and Ben is touched by her pain and feels pangs of remorse. He feels like a repentant knight protecting the damsel from his dark nasty side. And in falling in love with her, he finds a side of himself he'd never known before. And they have a real special date for the rest of the night, and we can tell that Elaine fell in love with him too.

      Later when they meet at Berkeley, it's obvious that she loves him even though she is going out with some tall guy named Carl Wasp(and even though she pretends to believe her mother's false claim of 'rape'. She knows her mother very well, what a vindictive bitch she is). And it's also obvious that Ben wants to do things right with Elaine. He doesn't hump her or treat her like a whore. He prizes her presume virginity and wants to court her properly and win her heart and have her marry him. Ben lost his innocence but he wants to regain his honor and dignity through her.
      And Elaine wants to be with him and marry him. But she can't because she fears hurting her parents. Also, she likes Carl and doesn't really want to marry him but is pressured into doing so.

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    4. So, in a way, Ben's messing up the wedding is an act of courage and romance. It's like Oliver's rebellion in LOVE STORY. It is heroic and adventurous, like Odysseus' act of killing the suitors to take back his wife and son. In the novel, Ben arrives before the wedding vows are said. Nichols made it more daring by having Ben disrupt a wedding that was finalized. But Ben's wails and calling out to Elaine and Elaine's walk toward him show that their love is true. So, the irony is that Ben's act was the greater act of fidelity whereas Elaine's decision to marry Carl had been coerced under psycho-social pressures. She hadn't been faithful to her true feelings that are in love with Ben. (To be sure, it's possible that she truly and madly fell in love with Ben when she saw him calling out to her. She was deeply moved by the fact that he went to such lengths to win her heart. I mean only true love could motivate a man to go that far. It's like Michael loved his father so much that he was willing to risk his legit career by killing Sollozo and the police captain.) She was acting against her true will. Imagine if Mrs. Nowicki had been under social pressure to marry Richard Spencer instead of Andy, whom she really loved. Suppose Andy crashed the wedding and snatched her away from Bad Boy Richard. Unethical perhaps but perfectly understandable from a romanticist POV.

      But from a conventional social POV, yes, Ben's act was outrageous and even criminal. But that's why THE GRADUATE is a great movie. A kind of moral cubism operates where everything is more than it seems from another angle. Mrs. Robinson failed to finish her study of art, but Mike Nichols understood art well enough to make one of the most astounding films of the 60s that, along with IN COLD BLOOD and MIDNIGHT COWBOY, show how human existence navigates between the Scylla and Charybdis of grim unforgiving reality and hopeful but elusive dreams.

      I think films that are more relevant to the discussion of SEXUAL REVOLUTION are PAPER CHASE. More than Mrs. Robinson, I'm really appalled by the woman played by Lindsay Wagner. At the very least, Mrs. Robinson doesn't pretend to be a moralist whereas Wagner's character does when she is nothing but a bitch.
      And Nichols' film that really gets to the emptiness and soulless of the sexual revolution is CARNAL KNOWLEDGE.






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  3. Can Andrea keep.it.down to.four thousand.pages.p

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