I’ve started the slow disengagement from Facebook. It’s kind of a cliché at this point, but as a freelancer used to being constantly busy traveling and whatnot, the last little while has seen me with too much time on my hands, too much alone time, too scattered, and too easily manipulated by the algorithm and the timeline. Also this article has had a profound effect on me and the reward-center tapping of tech, specifically social media, more specifically Facebook.
But this isn’t a Turkey Lurkey “Sky Is Falling” anti-FB rant. This is actually about a the Stanford Rape case and the anger it’s caused me because of this poor (meant literally, lacking) fucker’s unapologetically unaccountable excuse: alcohol happened. He didn’t say rape happened, or specifically that he raped someone. He didn’t say he would accept the consequences of his actions. He said he got drunk and she liked it. I’ll spare you the rest it’s echoing all over the internet right now.
But I was walking back home from the coffee shop and was angry about being angry. I was, and am angry that once again what could’ve just been news, was plastered all over my timeline and what was to be a quick (allowing myself no more than a minute) scroll/stroll through my timeline was THIS story. And I’m pissed (again) at this raping swimmer, and I’m pissed at the sentence and mostly I’m pissed that somehow, somewhere I feel like even at its worst real life effect for the young woman assaulted and her family and friends, in this digital (read binary) venue I can’t help feel even more helpless. It feels like the effect of all this is just the echo, rage-building. That, depending who your audience is on your social media, you may just be preaching to the choir (my page is private). What ever could I say or do to fix this shit I’ve been fighting against my whole adult life; that I’ve been fighting against since as 2nd or 3rd grader I defended a 5th grade girl who was being picked on by her male classmate and ended up gashing my leg open. What are my words gonna do? What are yours?
That was the anger part. The message part came next, after 2 sips of my coffee and I lit a cigarette. Through the smoke I remembered something crucial to this whole thing. We’re talking about consent. It’s always about consent. Even in some kind of horrific, sub/dom fantasy situations, both parties are consenting. There is nothing sexier than consent. Frankly, this message seemed to be lost when I was a well-intentioned teenager in a small world of weirdos surrounded by jocks and entitled white kids.
Yeah, it’s old fashioned and totally get off my lawn but if kids were stupid in the early 90′s they’re ridiculously ill-informed about it now. Sure you can look up anything you want about sex here on the World Wide Web, and see every version and perversion of it. But intimacy and the quest for it must be learned and for that to happen it either has to be discovered or taught. In my case, I realized that sex without desire didn’t work. And if I desired someone badly and sensed that my partner was more into the act than into ME that watered down whatever was going on. Sure it might have served its purpose of connection, orgasm, validation or whatever, but all those things probably got a C grade. The older I got I found some unfulfilling repetition with certain people who only wanted to hook up with me when they were drunk (coherent, consenting, vocal about their intentions, but yeah drunk) and nothing more during more sober times.
There is a deep-rooted primal thing in men, where a buzz comes up from deep within that says go out and fuck. It’s that basic. And it doesn’t come with disclaimers or any morality to it. Billy Crystal had a bit talking about male versus female sexual awakening (or something like that) where the guy’s inner voice is saying, “NOW NOW NOW!” and the girl’s is saying “WHEN WHEN WHEN?” I think that’s dumbing it way down and wrought with misogyny, but the former part comes with little regard to consequence. Throughout the years that same buzz, you learn in school, is the desire to kill, but society and god seemed to shut that down pretty quickly. Not being a rapist isn’t a commandment, though.
Part 3 of this, nearly to my door, was saying this kid is an animal in a society that has, up until recently, championed rising above the animal and immediate rewards to become the best humans we can be. NASA, science in general, and even the fucking iPhone are a tribute to the desire to create a world with human societal balance. We wouldn’t have those “gifts” in a world full of unbridled, animalistic, pleasure-center-serving.
21st century Idiocracy changed that. I was thinking being human is to act with high regard for consequence, but I’m wrong. Watch any two or 3 episodes of Blue Planet and you’ll see the animal kingdom is full of consequence, and that world is not oblivious to consequence. Necessity will often override that, but that’s base, desperate necessity. A dumb ass rapist has only one necessity.
Part 4 was after I’d showered and had the harmonica solo to Chaka Khan’s version of I Feel 4 U in my head. Toweling off the rap came in:
Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan
Wanna rock ya Chaka Khan
That’s all I wanna do
And I thought, well there you go. That’s all he wants to do.
But then the whole song unfolded in my head and I get to:
Won’t you tell me
What you wanna do
Do you feel for me
The way I feel for you
There is nothing sexier and more integral to the sexual experience than wanting to be desired. Thanks, Prince.