Archive for November, 2009

Rape, Repression and The News

November 1, 2009

Nobody chases what they don’t want. We’re wired to desire until we have our fix, then contentment and relief treat us. This has been the Buddhists’ first two laws for millennia: Life is suffering, suffering is desire.

Some take this fix’s satisfaction and ask for no more – retirement for example, or marriage. Then, others always want more. It’s not happiness, but the gain they thrive on. Business tycoons and drug addicts fit this group. Advertising, sex appeal and materialism pound this need for more pleasures into us each day. The keyword is ‘need’. When we feel enough need for a thing, we claw and bite, kill, rape, declare wars. Whether we really need it doesn’t matter – desire is one more feeling. This cycle keeps the news interesting and violent, no matter the cost. We’d have nothing but vox pops, otherwise.

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Is this newsworthy, Griffith? IS IT??

Ugly crimes of desire were everywhere last week: A young footy team who trapped and pack raped two girls on Phillip Island, a Queensland woman suing the government nearly $500,000 for her rape in a state-run mental ward, a doctor nearby about to face suspension for committing two cases, while Cairns endures more than double the state’s average, making it the most unsafe city for women.

We hear so much about the ground-zero disaster that the victims’ lives become – everything upturned, made hideous and sad, or just gone. We think it’s impossible to understand the attacker. Only an injured mind could let itself maul another person. But some try. The Montmorency Football Club stands behind their accused members, announcing they’ll treat the 18-year-olds as “innocent until proven guilty.”

Not many could take this level-headed stance. But it’s logical – nobody understands uncontrollable hormones like footy veterans. They play on fields surrounded by ads and screaming – just like anyone who spends Monday night watching TV. Yet society’s other big message is guilt. ‘If your sex drive is high, you’re easy. Think like that and you’ll go to hell. Don’t do that until you’re married. You’re married now, stop doing that.’ We can only deny our nature until our repressive damn breaks, and we do something stupid.

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Spend too long as a tough guy, and you too might release a rap album aimed at children.

The Greeks were far more controlled. Man-boy love was noble, oral sex was an outrage. The Huns would share a wife between brothers. The Vikings allowed gay sex – but being on bottom was illegal. All evidence indicates that our rules are one way of infinite to keep things in control, and are always wrong somehow. Take the Indians – they allowed everything. Hinduism and the Kama Sutra became their obelisks of conquest over lower desires. Total control by allowing anything that didn’t harm. What can we learn from this?

The message is easy: Comfort before ego. Happiness before monogamy. Your needs before others’ opinions. With enough denial, anyone can be a predator.

 

Appearing in The Area News, Griffith, c. Friday November 6

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