Oh, General, you’re soooo hot!

Oh, General, you’re soooo hot!
: The Guardian — quoting a Berkeley prof — says that all this talk of military hardware (emphasis on the hard) is war porn:

War porn is everywhere and lots of people, men and women both, have found themselves responding to it.

“As a scholar of porn, I look at this and say ‘these are boys with phallic toys’,” sighs Linda Williams, professor of film studies and rhetoric at UC Berkley. It’s not a new observation, but what is new, is the extent to which it is amplified by technology. “CNN have this special thing they do whenever they introduce a new weapon. It reminds me of the way athletes are introduced in coverage of the Olympics: a little inset comes out with their bio and stats. This weapon they had just now was something called the AC130H-Spectre – some dreadful machine – it came flying out and turned this way and that so that you could see it from all angles.” (A similar thing happens on ITN: “It’s amazing to see the Abrams tank and we’ve put together a little fact file.”) “This,” says Williams, “is the kind of spectacular vision you get in porn – where the point is to see the sex act from every angle. It’s narcissistic; boys getting together admiring their toys. It is about us proudly displaying our weapons and there is something sexual about that.”

Naw. Naw, doesn’t cut it.

I’ll refrain from making mention of particularly attractive TV war babes. That would be wrong. Normal, but wrong.

  • Mike G

    Yeah, the war is all about sex. But there’s nothing sexual about rape as an instrument of policy on the part of the regime we’re about to end. Great, lady, you really demonstrated a lot of perspective.

  • I dunno — notice she “sighed.” I think she enjoys war porn a lot more than she’s willing to admit.

  • Poot Rootbeer

    Prof. Williams sure does like the ‘boys/toys’ couplet, doesn’t she?

  • I’ve never liked these pieces that find sexual imagary in everything. The comparison of the AC120H display being like sex is like saying “the way they turn the jewelery to show it off on the Home Shopping Network is just like porn movies”. I mean you can make that comparison to anything — cylindical or tunneled, movement whether in or out — can be sneared at as “sexual”.

  • Balbulican

    The coverage of war is not pornographic (MisterBlue is quite right, as was Freud…sometimes a cigar IS just cigar). But I think in some ways its appeal is similar to that of pornography. It provides an addictive, feverish, highly concentrated and easily accessible emotional high in several flavours (fear, outrage, elation, hope, patriotism), but doesn’t really mean very much: the closer to the event, the less meaningful the analysis and commentary and the less accurate the information is likely to be.