Sex and violence, Apple stupidity

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, February 24, 2010, 10:15 PM | comments: 0

Apple decided in the last few days to kill a bunch of apps from the app store that were apparently too sexy or something. They did it on a fairly arbitrary basis, and without warning. Understand that these things had all gone through an equally arbitrary approval process, so it's not like the company didn't know they were there.

This only begs the question, what incentive to you have to create software for this platform if you have to go through a gatekeeper that may not let you have it in the first place? This is the thing that has troubled me for some time about the iPhone/iPod platform. Nevermind that the platform uses an archaic and ugly language, you can't even be sure if you'll get the thing out into the world.

And for as much as Apple succeeds at being arbiters of taste in terms of the hardware they build, where do they get off choosing what you can't see? The app store is filled with fart gags and virtual beers. They hardly strike me as having high standards.

The other side of this is still the strange cultural banishment of sex, that also happens to embrace violence. That was one of the observations from the founder of Suicide Girls, among others. In terms of entertainment, I'm pretty OK with sex and violence on TV, movies and video games. What's weird to me is that everyone I know in real life embraces sexuality, but not violence. Yet it's the sexuality that is so passionately demonized and stricken from the record.

Understand that I'm not talking about what's appropriate for social conversation (though I think people are generally too uptight about that as well, but respect others' boundaries), but rather the banishment of sexuality from the culture itself. Think about how a movie gets an R-rating for violence, where dozens of people can be killed with blood everywhere, but if two people are getting busy, and you can see it, it's destined for an NC-17.

The strange double standard is that we allow fictional violence into culture, generally not worrying that it drives people to want to kill people or blow shit up, but if we allow fictional fucking into culture, we might encourage people to have sex. Wait, they already are having sex, right? I mean, the world population isn't getting smaller, so that must be what's going on.

If you want to bring up the "you'll think differently when you're a parent nonsense," don't, because I'll virtually punch you in the balls (saw it in a movie once). Trying to "protect" my kid from sex will not stop him from eventually having it. He'll have easier access to pr0n than I ever did as a horny 12-year-old, so the best defense will be a good offense, to give him information and instill in him incentives to make good decisions. Trying to assert any control greater than that is a fantasy.

I guess at the end of the day, my frustration comes out of the double standard that glorifies violence and says that sexuality is something to be ashamed of. Like you need anything more to be ashamed of in life.


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