Monday, December 8, 2008

I think I may have to retire from reading the news

It has finally happened. It has gotten to the point where I read or watch the news and I find it indistinguishable from reading satire. I submit to you, two recent items.


Okay, it's Sean Hannity. It's Fox News. But this, more than most any serious reports I've seen from them before, is like some sort of absurd self-parody, that Sean Hannity is perhaps unaware of. I actually am having trouble telling whether or not this is supposed to be a serious report. I mean, at least when Fox News usually reports on absurd bullshit, it has some sort of basis in reality. I think they are running out of terrorism stories to scare us with, because I think Sean Hannity seriously just tried to warn his viewers about the imminent threat of vampires. They are all around us.

I wonder how much further removed from reality Fox and their viewership will get in the coming years. It would be frightening if it weren't so ball-raisingly hilarious. I don't know what that means.

2. Another recent item, this one taking place outside of the fantasy bubble of Fox News and inside the realm of what I am supposed to believe is the real world.

For those not inclined to read the linked story, Australia may have just set the most absurd precedent I could possibly ever think of. They have granted cartoon characters with human rights.

I...I don't even know where to begin here. Did this really just happen? Am I dreaming?

Yeah cartoon porn is a little weird on its own, especially so when the cartoon characters depicted are children. But illegal?

Who has been victimized? Bart, Lisa and Maggie are not traumatized because they do not exist. There has been no harm brought to any human children and the fact that someone was punished for this is completely insane. While they're at it, why doesn't the court declare that Homer and Marge are unfit to care for children and take the kids into protective custody. After all, this incest was going on right under their noses.

It just raises the question again: How far removed from reality are these people? I mean, I've become accustomed to assuming that Fox News and parts of the American South are trapped inside of a fantasy bubble and that I shouldn't take anything they say or do seriously (except when it escapes the bubble and affects the nation at large, i.e. in a national election). But the entire nation of Australia now? I just don't know what to do.

And as if it wasn't bad enough that cartoon characters are now treated as people, they're really taking it to its limit. Since, of course, cartoon characters often don't have established ages because they are not real people, apparently if one owns a nude drawing of a girl that looks like she might be below legal age, that's not okay either.

I can imagine the court case now.

Judge: You are charged with the possession of some underaged cartoon titties. How do you plead?

Dude: Not guilty, your Honor. That girl is 18.

Judge: How do you know this?

Dude: Well I created her. She's 18. She just looks kind of young is all.

Judge: Can she produce a birth certificate or other identification to prove that she is of legal age?

Dude: I can draw them for you if you'd like.

Judge: Bitch looks like she's 15. Guilty. For having the audacity to draw something, give us a few thousand dollars, k?

Let's just keep in mind here that comic and animation fans in general, not just guys that are into seeing Bart Simpson's dick, are potentially affected by this. Hell, I'm pretty sure Bart has been naked several times on the actual show. Let's hope Matt Groening and friends have no intention of going to Australia any time soon. But beyond that, what of us who are into more mature comics from artists like Alan Moore? The guy made Lost Girls. Is Alan Moore, perhaps one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, a kiddie porn salesman? I'm pretty sure Warren Ellis's Transmetropolitan has a side story at one point about a child prostitute. While I'm not sure if the kid is actually shown naked in the story, one could still say he is being exploited. You know, the fictional child that doesn't exist by any stretch of the imagination. It's been a while since I've watched it, but I think some of the girls in Neon Genesis Evangelion who are supposed to be about 14, are nude at times and in somewhat ambiguous sexual situations a couple of times as well. And I don't think this is terribly uncommon in just regular anime, as opposed to explicitly pornographic anime, which is just rape central. The list goes on.

Perhaps this is making a big deal of nothing. I don't live in Australia, but there have been similar cases brought to trial in America (a citation is eluding me at the moment. Sorry). It may not be something that affects everyone, but it is such absolute nonsense that I can't believe anyone would actually be punished in a real life court of law for it.

I just don't understand.

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