The word "pornographic"

Bruce Dykes bkd at GRAPHNET.COM
Mon Jan 24 06:16:49 UTC 2000

-----Original Message-----
From: James Smith <jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM>
Date: Friday, January 21, 2000 1:03 PM
Subject: Re: The word "pornographic"

>   Has the word "pornographic" lost its reference to
>the erotic and sexual (whether erotic and sexual
>material is good or bad is not the point of my
>enquiry) and become another word for disturbing,
>obscene, disgusting, horrific, etc.   Maybe this is a
>local phenomenon: a local radio talk show host has
>said several times that he finds the Holocaust to be
>pornographic, which is a concept that I really find

Pat Cadigan, in her novel "Synners" (a near future cyberpunk novel), has the
word porn evolved to cover any type of entertainment: the Food Network shows
food porn, the Weather Channel shows weather porn, Court TV shows law porn,

This isn't a great leap when you consider the extreme verticality of certain
adult entertainment (porn) industries. There's often very little overlap
between one audience, say foot fetishists, and another, Amazon fetishists
(people excited by heavily muscled and sculpted women, not rainforests!)
f'rinstance. Ignoring for the moment the whole erotica vs. porn vs.
obscenity discussion, people in the industry (and most of their consumers,
and quite likely, many people who've only watched from the sidelines) are
highly cognizant that one fetishist's entertainment is another's puzzled
stare, so it makes sense that it might grow into such a usage.

As far as the local radio host's comment, the only meaning that you're
bringing across that makes any sense implies that he's a genocide fetishist.
I really can't say without a precise quote. There's also the usage of
'pornographic' that means exploitive that he may have been attempting, but
again, without a quote, I can't say.

In a related note, we have the word fetish, which, when speaking of
behaviors, can be tacked on to just about anything, but when speaking of
clothing, it refers to only specific materials, shoe fashions, and corsets.


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