Friday, June 2, 2017

Extended Thoughts: The Importance of Explicit Content

My pulp-lit zine experiment, Poison Shot, has just released, and I couldn't be happier and a bit mortified that I've put it out there. A fair amount of explicit content is in it, and I'm sure anyone would blush if I listed all the ways it aims to be explicit, but I'll spare the gory details. This post isn't aiming to talk about the content within the first zine in this weird series that I've started, but rather, aiming to describe the importance it could bring. I guess it would behoove me to be clear about one thing, I don't 100% condone every vulgar and explicit act within the pages of the zine. But sometimes, with writing, you have to throw caution to the wind, air some kind of dirty laundry, and dump all the prose you can get out with any regard for anyone's feelings, proclivities, or whatever else that should be considered. All in all, it's a way to just have some unadulterated, imaginative fun. Whether or not you enjoy my explicit content or not, however, is hardly the issue. The issue might be the idea of explicit content itself, which I'll be the first to agree it isn't something wholesome for kids or family fun. However, there might be cultural danger to cleaning up everything, much like the way the fairy-tales have been cleaned up to shelter impressionable minds. In regards to mainly adults, though, I have to say that I respect a need to rid yourself of all this gruesomeness, but at the same time, being antagonistic toward this type of content might not be a necessary endeavor, in my opinion.

The unfortunate mode of circumstance in this day in age is that there comes a particular notion when it comes to people who try to wipe clean everything that is dirty about language, entertainment, or even some gruesome art. If you'll bare with me on the political speak for the moment, a certain handful of conservative minded individuals are particularly fond of doing this, and even within in my mind, who tends to be mostly for that political persuasion, I find them to be quite cowardly in keeping content like that at arms length. Like I said, it is understandable when not using it directly in public and around children, but at the same time, there are a good many things to learn from people who can't stop cursing, or who are even perverted. I don't see the reason of shirking away from explicit natures, especially if it means keeping away from explicit people, which is really an impossible task.

Then again, the real issue of avoiding explicit content may have gone under radar, ignored and forgotten like a lost temple of old. Yet, at the same time, it is right under our faces and known in it's diluted form. Perhaps it might already be known, but fairy-tales, whether expressly myths or legends or folktales, are very familiar with the utilization of explicit content. Even religious texts, the Bible example, have their fair share of gruesomeness. Certainly, the old to ancient world had its faults and sins, but I can't their stories for having no need to shelter their children from violent or evil possibilities. In those days, the Big Bad Wolf came in many forms, including a normal and hungry wolf. One could say that fairy-tales diluted truths replacing somethings with anthropomorphic characters, but that would be false, considering the real presence of death at every turn when it came to times that did not have our modern advancements. Perhaps, in short, our very need to shelter our children's minds, preserving their innocence for however long we can, is a luxury afforded by the price of our ancestor's backs.

I'll conclude by adding a furthermore statement: If culture, whether in art or wherever else, is to mean anything it means getting your hands dirty to build worthwhile things. Even, I dare say, if the worthwhile things don't necessarily turnout clean. There is something very beautiful, at least in my mind, the glimmer of light that can be seen past all the dark grime and messiness of people and their sins.

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