I was living in Chicago when the very unsurprising news broke that Jesse Jackson Jr. was going to prison. The allegations of his corruption and theft had been mounting for some time, and given that his truly loathsome father was the reason he was in politics at all, the actual headline announcing his stepping down from congress did not raise even one of my eyebrows.
The real news was when Mel Reynolds announced he would try and replace the now completely disgraced son of good fortune. After all, not quite twenty years earlier, Jesse Jackson Jr. had replaced Mr. Reynolds when he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 16 year old that worked on his campaign.
However, Mr. Reynolds did not make the cut, and I left Chicago and forgot all about the matter. Then of course he made headlines again, having managed to get himself deported from as lawless and backwards a country as Zimbabwe – with some “pornography” charges (that were eventually dropped) to boot. Admittedly, this “news” demonstrates more that the media has to be reporting on anything and everything at all times than anything else, but it reminds me of a connection that has been floating around my head for some time.
The left, for all of its moralizing, has a curious obsession with pornography. In the case of Mr. Reynolds, though the charges were dropped, I have no doubt that the allegations are true of his possessing pornographic videos and images on his mobile phone – is it hard to believe that a man who slept with a teenager would be interested in such material? But this latest embarrassment of a small-time Windy City black crook is just a small example of a broader trend.
The infamous left-wing agitators at Salon, in addition to calling everything under the sun racist and sexist, reporting on the latest micro-aggression directed at a homosexual, etc. also regularly feature articles on pornography, and almost always in a positive light. Likely the site’s most infamous piece from last year was “White supremacy, meet black rage”, published shortly after George Zimmerman was found not guilty (I will leave it to your imagination what it was about). I recall hearing about this piece at the time of its release, going onto Salon to read it, and finding a sidebar that listed the site’s most popular articles, with “The best of Tumblr porn” sitting right at the top. Apparently, today’s lefties want their Cultural Marxist calls to arm and their “best of guides” for porn in the same place, even if the readership seems to have a much stronger preference for the latter.
Indeed, a few months later the author of “The best of Tumblr porn” wrote a follow-up called “The best of Vine porn” that opened with the line, “”You guys are pervs — and I mean that in the most complimentary of ways. Thanks to you, my piece “The best of Tumblr porn” has been sitting on Salon’s most-read list for more than two months.” A quick search of the site reveals plenty more similar gems: “Turning orgasm into art,” “How to take the perfect naked selfie,” and on and on and on.
The fact that the immensely popular post about pornography was also connected to Tumblr is indicative as well. For those of you out of the loop, Tumblr is a social media and blogging website that is particularly well known for its progressive politics. Some have even pegged it as a breeding ground for the latest in bizarre left-wing identity politics: transethnic, otherkin, and what have you. Of course, in addition to that there is all of the aforementioned pornography, and the glorification of eating disorders and self-mutilation. Who would have ever guessed that such progressive people seem simultaneously obsessed with masturbating and harming themselves?
Even “Libertarianism Inc” as Vdare calls it, is not immune from this overlap. John Stagliano, better known as “Buttman,” is a porn godfather of sorts, having founded the very popular company “Evil Angel,” and just so happens to be a sizeable financial backer of both Cato and Reason. Apparently Mr. Stagliano considers himself something of a libertarian, but I suspect he has never been sufficiently moved by anything Justin Raimondo has written so as to donate to the Rockford Institute. Presumably the donor dinners at the Ludwig von Mises Institute are devoid of Mr. Stagliano’s presence as well.
Many readers will not be surprised by any of this, but it is still worth knowing the concrete facts behind it all. The left always attacks “us” from the presumed position of having higher moral standards, and their obsession with pornography should be considered another arrow in our ever expanding quiver of rebuttals.
First published by Chronicles on March 6th, 2014