I Have Met the Enemy I Have Bad News
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 95 13:23:07 PDT
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: I Have Met the Enemy I Have Bad News
Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Wendell Craig Baker <email@example.com>
I Have Met the Enemy I Have Bad News
San Francisco Chronicle, June 29, 1995
Copyright San Francisco Chronicle Posted with Permission
by Jon Carroll
EVERYWHERE THERE IS PANDERING. You are being pandered to and the children
you know are being pandered to, and you are scared. No wonder; it's scary.
It's a society in decay, ruled by panderers, and there is nowhere to turn.
They want your money; they want your votes. They are indifferent as to how
they get it. If you want sex, they have sex. If you have fear, they have
more fear. Give them your vote, give them your money. Whaddya want? Every
day is Christmas Day, here in Pander Land.
Sex on the Internet. James Exon amendment to the telecommunications bill --
it will end sex on the Net! Feinstein votes for it; Boxer votes for it.
Desperate Democrats. Please, friends: It will not end sex on the Net. It
won't work. It's deeply cynical.
Fifty out of 50 states have laws against prostitution (yes, even Nevada:
local option). In 50 out of 50 states, prostitution flourishes. It is
confined to certain neighborhoods. On the Net, every neighborhood is the
Do you see what I'm saying? There will always be sex on the Net, on the
phone lines, in the books, on the streets. There will always be sex in your
heart and on your mind. The Exon amendment is a lie, a lie you want to
believe because society is falling apart and the children you know are
surrounded by panderers. Fear makes us all stupid.
Time magazine: Sex on the Net. Weirdest sex you've ever heard of. Your
children are at risk. Alarm! But how many kids have computers? And what
percentage of those computers have modems? And what percentage of the kids
with computers that have modems also have access to credit card numbers and
the will to defraud? Say 0.1 percent of all American citizens fall into that
category -- 250,000 kids. It's not that many, but let's pretend.
How many kids get beaten by their parents every night? How many kids get
smashed around by good old Dad, the drunk? How many kids are suffering brain
damage from malnutrition because Mom just can't get it together? What are
the real problems?
YOU HAVE A RIGHT to be scared for the children you know. They are swimming
in the soup of noncontext. They may not have computers, but they have
friends who have computers. They have friends whose parents have a stash of
porno videotapes. They have friends in school who are packing heat.
You have a right to raise your children the way you want. You need to think
clearly, though. You must not listen to the media; you must not listen to
politicians. Pandering is the last thing you need; pandering is the enemy
Remember yourself as a child. Remember yourself as a 12-year-old. Remember
how curious you were about sex. You were not an innocent; you were not pure.
You had already been corrupted by your own hormones, by the natural and
wholesome lust God gave us all. The problem is not the sex, not even the
pictures by computer. The problem is the marketing, the consuming, the
That's what is newer and stronger and more vicious; that is the context you
need to provide. The first way to provide the context is not to succumb to
I READ A HORRIFYING story the other day. A 14-year-old girl had sex with
her brother while several hundred people watched. Then she had sex with her
father. Then the guests had sex with each other and took turns having sex
with the 14-year-old girl.
The girl was Lucrezia Borgia. The brother was Cesare Borgia. The father was
Rodrigo Borgia, who at the time of the orgy was also Pope Alexander VI, the
Holy Father in Rome. The year was 1497.
Our problems are not new. We must not sign away our freedom and our reason
to make things even easier for the panderers. The only cure for bad
information is better information. You are in charge now; use your power
© 1995 Peter Langston