All entries for Thursday 25 July 2013

July 25, 2013

Fantasy, reality and the Conservative party

So along with the introduction of this optional, but default on, pornography filter came a far more worrying piece of suggested policy: David Cameron also wants to ban ‘rape porn’. Now lets put aside the huge slew of legislative problems that will produce in actually defining what that actually is, because I’m starting to wonder if there’s more to all this.

This article in The Independent made me think a little – the crux of the article is that we’re all quite capable of separating reality from fiction, and by equating pornography with the actual act, you equate fantasy with reality, which the opposite of what you want to achieve.

So here’s the thing: we should be confused that this is coming from a Conservative government. They are, theoretically, meant to about hands-off, small government policies. You cut back social services, the NHS, libraries and so on because of the overriding principle that everyone should be able to fend for themselves. As such, nanny state actions like this, the internet filter, minimum alcohol pricing and so on seem at odds with that.

But then it comes back to that line from earlier: we all know the difference between fantasy and reality? But do we? Is that actually a quality we all possess. See, I know, because I have always had fantasies – I’m not talking of a sexual nature now, I’m talking far bigger: fantasies of wealth and maybe power. We grew up wanting stuff and knowing we couldn’t have it. We got older and got jobs and wanted stuff but knew we couldn’t afford it. We sometimes play the lottery and think about what we could do with the winnings.

Now stop for a second and imagine that never happened. Imagine you grew up in a rich family where, if you wanted something, you got it. As a kid, if you saw an awesome toy you just asked your parents and you had it next week. When you grew up you had the best possible education with all the options in the world open to you, and you were born smart enough to take advantage of them. You got a high paying job, could easily buy a nice house, and if you saw something you wanted you just bought it. You weren’t particularly attractive, but you could afford expensive clothes, personal stylists and a nice car so you were hardly starved for attention from the opposite sex.

If you grew up in that world, a world where you had everything you wanted, up to and including being part of a small group of people who ran the whole country, would you know the difference between fantasy and reality?

I’m not sure you would.


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