Dream a Little Dream of Me.

Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

aids scorpion

As long as the subject of zoophilia is currently in the spotlight here, let me bring up something that I’ve been pondering for several weeks. In France there is an AIDS awareness campaign out that plays on our societal aversion to the “Ickyness” (to borrow a phrase from Skatje) of sexual contact with animals to make the point that sex can be dangerous.

Obviously the ads would never fly here. The modern fundamentalist religion movement has forcibly dragged the societal acceptance of rational discourse about sex and sexuality far enough into the closet to prevent the ads from ever seeing the light of day on billboards and bus stops. Visual depictions of sexuality on this level are verboten in public due to the appeasement by both our society in general and our government in particular of the medieval false-prudery of a group of people with no connection to reality.aids spider

Discussion continues, below the fold.

Setting that aside for the moment however, I’m not sure what to think about this tactic. Though visually graceful and appealing on artistic merit alone, the images are effectively scary. The question becomes “Is that a desirable reaction?” We could also ask, “Is that a goal for which we should be striving in this campaign?”

For starters, I think the images used in this tactic cast the net a bit wide, and don’t specify that the targeted behavior is unprotected sex. They could easily give the impression that they are putting out a message about sex generally. In fact when I first saw the images, my initial thoughts were along the lines of “Holy crap. Could the abstinence-only-sex-is-sinful sycophants sink any lower?” (I admit, my thoughts are often less genteel and generous than my keyboard, as hard as that might be to believe.)

After reading a bit more and looking a little deeper, I realized that this is not at all what it at first appeared to me to be, but rather a campaign that was only colored that way in my mind because of the time and the place wherein I reside. Were there less hysteria over sex here (brought to you by your friendly neighborhood fundy), there would probably not be the knee-jerk reaction that this was yet another crusade against biological reality.

Another thought that comes to mind is that were it not for such hysteria, an intelligent and informed conversation on the merits of this campaign and its reinforcement of zoological “stereotyping” (if I can be allowed a bit of literary license) regarding certain animals might be more towards the top of conversational priorities. What is it that causes the “scariness” of spiders and scorpions (not to mention sharks or octopi)?

What is it about zoophilia that bothers so many of us? Rather than the ridiculous rantings and rhetorical masturbation of the likes of Slimy Sal, it would be interesting to discuss the original issues brought up by Skatje in an intellectual manner, as she had intended.

There are many issues that could and should be discussed about these images, and perhaps we might be able to address some of them here, without the fanatical screeching of the likes of Slimy Salvador Cordova, Asshole of the Year.

From whence came the art:

That first image is titled aids scorpion, by bryan88.

That second image is titled aids spider, by bryan88.

Filed under: Biology, Censorship, Education, Images, Photos, Science, Sex, , , , ,

9 Responses

  1. Janine says:

    Yikes, I am now flashing back to the sex scene near the end of the movie “The Naked Lunch”.

    Yeah, this definitely make literal the idea of passing on bugs by having sex with bugs. And face it, the scorpion tail posed over the man’s back is terrifying. Very effective.

    But I can see our american fundies making the argument that this promotes bestiality and promiscuity.

  2. Things That Make Ya Go Hmmm….

    It's been a while since I've posted here, and for my recent lack of desire to do much blogging, I must apologize. I've been feeling the urge creeping up, however. Whether that's a good or bad thing remains to be seen, I suppose. :)Anyw

  3. JanieBelle says:

    Hi Janine,

    I haven’t seen the film, and now I’m pretty sure I don’t want to. 🙂

    Yes, I’m expecting fundy nutjob trackbacks to begin popping up any minute. On the other hand, they might be busy washing their eyes out with soap after having seen just my header.



  4. Janine says:

    It is one of David Cronenberg’s best movie. Think of it as his version of what William S Burrough’s “The Naked Lunch”. There was no plot to the novel, it is basically a random series of heroin fueled scene, some funny and some scary. The movie combines elements of the novel with elements from Burroughs’s life, especially Burroughs’s murder of his wife, his drug use, his repressed homosexuality and the paranoia that all of those elements.

    It is not a pleasant film to sit through but it is quite an experience. If you like either the works of Cronenberg or Burrough’s, it is well worth you time.

  5. JanieBelle says:

    Well, maybe we’ll see about renting it this weekend then.

  6. To start with I Don’t find octopi at all scary, spiders and scorpions do get to me though. Both live in close proximity to us and can deliver painful and possible fatal bites or stings. I dislike scorpions more than spiders and I have to deal with the occasional Black Widow in a cutlery drawer. Scorpions are far more aggressive then spiders, they will not back down and will actually charge you. Once you hear the sound of a scorpion moving over a hard surface you never forget it, sort of like the sound a rattle snake makes.

  7. JanieBelle says:

    Ooo. The sound is making my skin crawl, and I’m only hearing it in my head.


  8. Berlzebub says:

    Wait a minute. I think I used to date the scorpion.

  9. JanieBelle says:

    This article at LiveScience bears directly on this:

    Fear of snakes is one of the most common phobias, yet many people have never seen a snake in person. So how is this fear generated?

    New research suggests humans have evolved an innate tendency to sense snakes — and spiders, too — and to learn to fear them.

    Psychologists found that both adults and children could detect images of snakes among a variety of non-threatening objects more quickly than they could pinpoint frogs, flowers or caterpillars. The researchers think this ability helped humans survive in the wild.

    (More at the link.)

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