“I look at a lot of porn”, he told the court. “I’m
rather depressingly normal for a man of my age.”
Next, he argued he was special.
It was research: the high-risk activity of the
(male) intellectual and artist, working on
behalf of society. Like Dickens.
Finally, he pleaded therapy.
Abuse as a child had led him to seek out
images of children being abused.
Years working in the media produced ignorance:
about its role in the exploitation and violation of
children and women in societies, cultures, religions.
Normal, like he said. Incidental, routine,
institutionalised. The relentless traffic.
Facing prosecution, he asks society to sympathise
with his anguished memories of abuse as a child
and his sexual needs as a grown-up.
“I am not a paedophile.”
Hard to know where to start, how to find words to
communicate across this cultural, political and moral
void, in which sexploitation, the industry of sex,
provides ‘material’ for the writer, the comic performer.
Apolitical and value-free.
It’s a question of sexual politics.
Not sexual preference or therapy.
Not consumerist ‘choice’: the
free-for-all of “I can therefore I will”.
Years of feminist protest, activism, research
and theory have passed him by. And satire,
voided of sexual politics, looks like vested
interest commerce. Jobs for the boys.
So please tell the court why women,
children and babies should remain
meat for men’s appetites.
On or off-screen.
val walsh / 2009