The Grid TO | The notion of ‘normalizing’ teenage sex – by Edward Keenan
*edit, November 10, 2011 – I added a few more lines to this post. I didn’t take anything away. Once it sat with me for an evening, I realized I actually had more to say. I mostly emphasized or clarified a few things, emphasizing for example that while reading may be work, it’s necessary work, like walking every day. Give up your mobility – most don’t have that option, but bear with me here – and eventually you won’t have it at all. Your legs won’t function. Guess what? Your brain is a muscle too!
The Grid replaces Eye magazine. As I discussed with someone else recently, The Grid is a reader’s magazine. But this is sort of a ‘no win’ situation. Reading is good and it’s good exercise for the brain and it’s exercise that too many people aren’t getting. While it can be annoying finding articles quite chopped up, forcing you to turn pages constantly to get through it, or through them, the upside to that format is that it’s more interesting, at least visually. To see a huge block of text on a page, because that’s an entire article or most of one, might signal that you can relax and focus on the article, but I suspect that our brains crave visual stimulation. I suspect that instead of relaxing, we are stressed, thinking “I’ve got to read all of that! I’ve already got a job!” It can be de-motivating.
If that page has only one or two tiny images, you’re kind of… hanging. Turning pages could be annoying in one way, but in another way, you’re at least seeing images and clusters of text whiz by, satisfying that craving for stimulation, and you’ll be noting stuff you’ll want to come back to in the process. If I notice something interesting, Well then… I enjoy looking forward to whatever that was! Is that good or bad? It’s clearly not all good. The less discipline and awareness you have, the more likely you want to satisfy that craving for stimulation and not get down to business, in my view.
I know there are other issues, which I’ve just hinted at, such as those discussed by Michael Albert in an article by him that I found interesting. (See “Facebook Vs Civilization,” by Michael Albert. See also my blog post about that titled “Communicate If You Can Pay Say The Anticapitalists,” in which I look at Albert’s concerns and express my annoyance with ZNet over it’s inaccessibility to poor people, in some ways.) He may be right that much of our corporate-designed culture is harming our ability to focus. And I may be right about our natural desire and need for visual stimulation that is only satisfied by… eye candy. I am a big believer in motivation. I have not had an easy life. I get by by pleasing myself, however I can and without violating my principles. Happiness is a need and a desire.
I think Michael Albert is right and I’m right. Make of it what you will.
I have a problem with the people producing The Grid. When I set out to respond to this article, I found that TG wanted me to allow it to show my real name publicly. If it (whoever) takes a certain position on that, such as, say, It’s more upright, or ethical, to let others see who you are, then I would say that that’s TG’s view, or the view of some at TG, which they are entitled to. But my view is that others should not force their views on me. (Incidentally, I like Edward Keenan’s writing.)
At least for tonight, TG has allowed me to give my real name as ‘grid sucks’. I don’t want to do that. But that, I feel, is the appropriate response to the fascist tendency to push around those who can’t push back and who think differently than you do.
The following is an excerpt from the above linked-to article:
…When I was a in high school, it was absolutely normal for teenagers to be having sex with each other. Not everyone did it, but it was certainly not uncommon or shocking, except maybe to the parents of those teenagers. But it isn’t some post-1960s hooking-up-culture thing that made it normal. When my own parents were in school, it had also been normal, even though it was more emphatically frowned upon. The multiple incidences of teenaged pregnancy among my good Catholic ancestors—and the corresponding incidences of babies born five months after a teenaged wedding—were not exceptional.
Teenagers having sex has always been normal…
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
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“Teenagers, and now even many twentysomethings, are simply not prepared intellectually and psychologically to become adults, and sexual activity can carry with it quite a lot of adult baggage.”
That was a rather strange statement. You sort of protected yourself by saying ‘many’. However, It’s almost like you’ve judged a lot of people before knowing them. It may be that you phrased things rather poorly here. You’re either adult – attitude and behavior-wise – or you’re not, regardless of your age. If you’re talking about intellectually and psychologically prepared to engage in sexual activity, then you should have said that. I would also find that position to be one worth exploring. Do you have to be a perfect piano player to play piano and enjoy it?
There are a few issues of course. There’s no pleasure in suddenly finding yourself pregnant – if you’re a female who doesn’t believe in abortion or whose parents don’t believe in it. What young man, without a job or money or any interest in starting a family wants to find out he’s going to be a father. And so on.
One thing’s for sure. Everyone’s got their own personal moral code and too many are trying to shove their personal moral codes down others’ throats. Often, that attitude is accompanied by a large dose of hypocrisy as well.
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