Monday, June 19, 2006

Sex and violence - crude, degrading and disgusting.

I make a point of not deconstructing small insects in the presence of my two-year-old daughter; that said, the ants in the garden which bite me only ever get one chance to pull that stunt.

This being the case, I was shocked and disgusted by what I saw the other day on Japanese TV, a program about water boatmen, those insects which live comfortable on the surface tension of water.

I had always imagined these denizens of planet earth to be peaceful zen Buddhist vegetarians, devoted to meditation and focused on the path to nirvana. But not a but of it!

It turns out that these monsters are cruel and ruthless carnivores, brutal with their enemies.

We saw, on TV, a bunch of the boatmen ganging up on a white butterfly which was floundering helplessly in the water. They needled into it while it was still alive. Then we saw an ant struggling in the water. And they went and murdered that, too.

Then, having engaged in an orgy of violence, the insects turned to sex, and started copulating in front of us.

The Japanese-language voice-over coyly said that the insects were "married". But I saw nothing which looked even remotely like a marriage ceremony.

I do not believe that what I saw took place within the sacred bounds of matrimony. Rather, I believe that what I saw on screen was an expression of monstrous insectile lust.

There was, by the way, no artistic justification for this sex and violence in terms of plot development, for example, or the illustration of character development. It was just brutality for its own sake and orgasmic license likewise.

I wish I could extract some kind of meaning from this unwelcome insight into the hidden horrors of the universe of insects, but, much as I ponder it, it remains in my mind as undigested horror, bereft of any redeeming feature or any moral point.

As I was brooding about the horror of the boatmen I happened to receive a communication from Steve, who told me about the website

An Internet magazine which, apparently, bills itself in the following terms:

"Helix exists to publish the stories that are "too 'dark', too unconventional” or, most disturbingly of all, too likely to offend somebody."

The boatmen are definitely dark, as dark as dark gets, so maybe helixsf would be an outlet. Or maybe someone has already discovered the boatmen and has written a twelve-volume series about them, with titles such as DUNGEONS OF THE BOATMEN, ACID BATHS OF THE BOATMEN and WATER BOATMEN: PICNIC AT HADITHA.

Story at the top of the helixsf page was called A FEAST OF COUSINS and carried the rubric "some things are best kept in the family".


"Consanguinity was Cousin Tessa's new favorite word. The one she whispered to me last week, when we made sticky, bone-crunching love in her bedroom. Tess collected words like pennies, snatching them up from wherever, setting them sideways and spinning them around, before she lost interest and tossed them aside for a newer, shinier word. She did the same with lovers."

Okay, so far so good. I'm curious. Why is the love "bone crunching"? Is it because they haven't cleared away the bones from their recent cannibal feast? Or is "bone crunching" a standard mode of American love-making of which I, having never gotten intimate with anyone in the United States of America, am ignorant?

The title "After the Protocols" also caught my eye, and I clicked.

But, face to face with the computer screen, I find myself impatient, not in a mood to settle to the task of reading. The computer encourages habits of impatience. But I do plan to come back to this site and see what they are up to.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a bit late, but you can use japan google in English by specifying the hl parameter.

This url should do what you want.

9:16 AM  

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