Showing smutty stuff on Facebook and the Desert Peach
A buddy of mine got busted by a female follower of his when he posted a
picture on his Facebook wall of two women having sex (Strategic parts
were covered of course, but it was pretty obvious what the two women
were doing). He said "But I didn't think I was posting the picture in a
childen's forum! What was her problem with the picture?" Let me
explain, in a round-about "all over Robin Hood's barn" kind of way,
what I think the problem was.
Here's Erwin "The Desert Fox" Rommel and his fictional gay brother
Pfirsch (Peach) Rommel. They both served in the army of the Third Reich
in the Afrika Korps, a unit that was somewhat removed from the main
force that was fighting in the Soviet Union at the time. Yes, the wehrmacht (The unified armed forces of Germany from 1935 to 1945), served
a truly evil organization, the Nazi Party. But as the real-life Erwin
actually did, Pfirsch does whatever good he can by being a dedicated
soldier and by being as fair and as professional as his role allows him
Erwin crashes the wedding of Pfirsch's orderly, Corporal Udo Schmidt.
A pair of Australians notice Pfirsch strolling to his rendezvous and
try to figure out his nationality by the manner in which he walks. Note
that whenever words are bracketed by "<" and ">," the characters
are speaking in their native German. There are a few scenes in the
series (Which ran from 1988 to 2000 and has apparently been taken up
again as a web feature), where Pfirsch speaks to Americans/British in a very rough, broken English.
Pfirsch speaks with his Executive Office (XO), and with his usual good
manners and gracious tact, gets the XO to follow instructions.
Which is not to say that Pfirsch is always gracious and polite. There
are times when hs subordinates test him and he explodes at them.
Pfirsch and his lover Rosen Kavalier (They considerd each other to be fiancÚs long before members of the LGBT community could marry one another) get interrupted from their night's sleep by a runaway horse.
Here, Pfirsch receives some shocking news (Desert Peach has a bit of nudity here and there).
In this scene, Pfirsh lays down the ground rules for his relationship with his orderly.
What's my point with all this? Pfirsch is obviously a pretty complex
character, he doesn't fit neatly into a small check-off box or easy
category. As fabulous and glam as he is, he's also a professional
soldier who serves an ultimately evil organization, but does his best
to get by and to do the best he can by his fellow human beings.
Personally, reading history in my tween years (11 to 14), I got
interested in the German generals because they didn't have it as easy
as the more popular generals, Patton and Eisenhower did. Patton and
Eisenhower had the advantage of serving in an army that was morally
much less complicated, they had a Commander-in-Chief that kept to his
proper sphere (Der Fuhrer messed up the Battle of El Alamein
by issuing Erwin Rommel an order to stand fast at a time when Rommel
really should have retreated in order to preserve his forces) and they
had lots and lots of material given to them by the surging industrial
capacity of the US.
Now, when we show pictures of people making love, can we make them into interesting, complex characters?
The pornographic performer Erica Boyer tried to add singing to her act
and reported that her fans, who had come to see her dance and strip,
were shocked and taken aback at seeing her trying to expand her
repetoire into the area of singing. She felt that her trying to sing
confused her fans so much that she gave it up after one try. Is it
always impossible for a sex performer to present a complex,
multi-dimensional character to the public? No, I think that American
tastes are peculiar in that manner. Here's a scene from an Italian fotoromanzo (Literally, a photo romance). A waitress receives a proposition...
She accepts and serves food at an upstairs room...
The following sex scene took several pages to detail. So far, perfectly normal.
Here, however, is something that pretty much never happens in American
pornography. The characters put their clothes back on and engage in
dialogue! American scenes pretty much always end with the various
performers looking happy and content and that's a wrap.
I never agreed with the Anti-Porn Feminists who arose in the 1980s to
condemn all pornogaraphy under all circumstances. I don't agree that
showing porno necessarily degrades people. But I do agree that American
porno shows very limited characters who don't even approach being
anywhere near as complex or as interesting as real people are or as
concoctions like Pfirsch Rommel is.
There are many genres where we get very limited characters. Westerns,
detective stories, romances, etc., etc. These are obviously fine as
people understand going in that they're not going to be getting true
literary experiences. When one presents pornography in a forum like
Facebook however, one is presenting extremely limited, cardboard
cut-out characters that don't get anywhere near being full, rounded
portrayals (This is also why I don't care for dating services, there's
just no apparent way to get a real taste for what a person is like
through their self-descriptions) and people appreciate seeing people
like themselves being presented to the world as the full. complex
people that they see themselves as being. When women see fellow women
being represented as the limited characters we get from pornography,
they think "Gee, is that all I am to him?"